Backhanded Award Proposed
For Willful Misrepresentation
Gregory Tinker

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gregory Tinker"
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 5:29 PM

We are not quarreling with their issuing this honor to the pope (although the Roman Catholic regime, throughout the centuries, has perfected totalitarianism more keenly any we've ever heard of). We cannot bar anyone from qualifying for this honor (although this pope, more than any of his predecessors, has accomplished more to thwart the Roman Catholic tendency toward totalitarianism).

Our beef, here, is with the language "godless totalitarian regimes." Like Mayor Carollo in the Elian Gonzales situation, they have equated atheism ("godlessness") with evil. They have used the concept of atheism as a symbol of vilification.

It would be no different had they honored someone for vanquishing certain unsavory business practices -- but then, in their speech, described those practices using a specific racial stereotype.

My point is that had they vilified the "totalitarian regimes" as Jewish, for example, there'd be hell to pay. These jackasses would be out of work by this afternoon if they'd even suggested equating some evil with having dark skin.

As for the certificate, let's get to work on it. Bigotry? Maybe. I'd like to be more subtle (a la the Golden Fleece Award) and point toward their haughtiness -- their superiority complex.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gregory Tinker"
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 5:59 PM

I have sent a dispatch, requesting ideas, and suggesting two things: (1) something humorous, a la Proxmire's Golden Fleece; (2) that the award deal specifically with vilifying evil at atheists' expense. I would give the first one, retroactively, to Mayor Carollo, and the next one to the members of this Congressional Committee (I hear that the Senate version did not contain this language).

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gregory Tinker"
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 6:28 PM

My sentiments exactly. Too many atheists of the organized variety fail to see that most rank-and-file theists are potential allies in our war against the real problem: fundamentalism. This is why I'd like this to be something that even theists can enjoy and support.

Now: a metaphor for vilification?

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gregory Tinker"
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 7:21 PM

Right now, I'm interested specifically in pointing out the practice of vilifying evil by calling it "atheism." This, to me, is a big issue that even atheists tend not to notice.

I'm also interested in something funny enough for mainstream theists to enjoy (that is, aimed specifically against fundamentalism). I also want it to be funny in a non-exclusive fashion: some sort of metaphor or play on words.

These other "awards" can be ready to go as the need arises, but I want to make this point while the issue is still fresh in our minds.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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