Lieberman's Critics
Called Anti-Semitic,
Likened to Hitler
David Bartlett

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "david.bartelt"
Subject: Re: Stop the persecution
Date: Thursday, October 12, 2000 1:44 AM

The nonreligious are not only a minority, but are the most widely and viciously discriminated against minority in the United States. Your old "Poor Persecuted Christians" bit might work somewhere else, but it doesn't work here. We have the studies to back us up, and that information is readily available to all who are willing to do the work it takes to find out the truth. I'd even look it up for you, were you a little less consescending toward us, but I have only a half-hour to go get my nightcap, and think that would be time better spent than giving you a free education.

Also, only the religious nuts (fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians, etc.) are ridiculed on television and in the media. They think they're so superior to the rest of us that they want to legislate their religious morals into law (since reasoned persuasion hasn't persuaded us, and their God hasn't "called" us in the Romans 8:29-30 sense).

Most religious people, though, are not fundamentalists. The rest of us never hear from them to have anything to think about them -- much less anything to say. They mind their own business and this is a good thing, because many people find other people's religious views quite embarrassing. Such non-fundamentalists don't threaten the United States Constitution by proposing laws that allow organized religion to have advantages over the rest of us and at our expense. They wouldn't think of abusing their public office to make sales pitches for their religion, much less religion in general. And they don't write to atheist magazines for the purpose of setting us straight. They realize that most of us don't know very much and basically leave the rest of us alone while they practice their religion privately and unobtrusively. Such people don't make for good comedy, so you aren't hearing about them when you watch television, you're hearing about the outspoken nuts who don't have a life and must meddle in ours.

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: "david.bartelt"
Subject: Re: Stop the persecution
Date: Thursday, October 12, 2000 8:54 PM

You generalize about "most atheists" yet you would refuse to get your "facts" from what you presuppose is a biased source. This speaks volumes!

To me, facts are facts and I will not let who spoke them get in the way of my accepting them. This is evident when one peruses our Quotes section. By the way, Gallup is a devout theist, and it is his survey of who Americans would vote for President to which I referred. Read it and weep.

Meanwhile, I have much more to say about the spiteful, vindictive atheistic activists of the latter half of the twentieth century, those following the lead of Madalyn Murray O'Hair and to a lesser extent James Hervey Johnson and the like, than I have to say about organized religion. Since my main goal, here, is to reduce the stigma and discrimination against atheists and to reduce the intrusion of religion in public (government) life, I have lots to say to atheists and very little to say to theists. The only way we will stop this madness is on our own -- without any help.

By the way, have you investigated the claims of those who worked with and for Mother Teresa? She appears to have been more of an exploiter than most religious leaders have been. Also, when did the Dali Lama stop making musical instruments from the remains of his victims? How soon we forget! And if Matthew 23 and John 8 and 10 are any indication, Jesus was as vigilant at tearing others down as anyone. John 15:6 was used for centuries to justify burning my predecessors for not believing. Check out our India and FAQ sections to find out that the core philosophy that drives this website derives its outlook directly from Gandhi, via his friend Gora, Gora's son Lavanam, and then from Lavanam to myself. My only beef with Gandhi is that I wish he would have admitted publicly that Satyagraha is necessarily secular, as he did privately to Gora. MLK took Gandhi's lead in cloaking the message of reform in religious terminology: neither were all that religious. MLK went to India to visit Gora but Gora was out doing some work, so he spent several days with Lavanam at Atheist Centre. There he learned the advantages and disadvantages of cloaking the message of reform in religious language.

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

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From: "Cliff Walker" <cliffwalker@hotmail.com>
To: <david.bartelt@mciworld.com>
Subject: Re: Stop the persecution
Date: Friday, October 13, 2000 4:00 AM

Which do you want? for us to stop e-mailing you or for us to respond to the challenges you raise? If you want us to stop responding to your claims, stop sending them to us.

The 1999 Gallup poll asking Americans who they would vote for President said that 92 percent of Americans would vote for a Jew; 82 for a Mormon, 59 for a homosexual, and only 49 percent would vote for someone otherwise qualified if he or she were an atheist.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr990329.asp
These figures are consistent going back to the 1950s when atheist was entered as a category, and the 1980s when homosexual began as a category. Also, Wendy Kaminer cites studies that show that more Americans think it's okay to discriminate against an atheist than think it's okay to discriminate against a homosexual. This doesn't make sense if atheists are as widely accepted as you claim.

When Miami Mayor Carollo denounced the INS agents who seized Elian by calling them "atheists," nobody raised a cry. Had he denounced them by calling them "Jews" I promise you that he would have lost his job within a matter of weeks. This doesn't make sense if atheists are as widely accepted as you claim. It certainly doesn't make sense considering that there are more atheists in the United States than there are Jews in the world. How could he get away with demonizing one-tenth of the nation's population? Because a large chunk of the American population thinks it's okay to do this to atheists, according to polls designed to find out such things.

The movement against the Boy Scouts has gained full momentum within the mainstream populace, just as the anti-Apartheid movement did in 1986 after the University of California divested. But, almost all the anti-Scouting rhetoric concerns the Scouts not allowing gays in; hardly any of it is about them not allowing atheists or agnostics in. This doesn't make sense if atheists are as widely accepted as you claim.

Why don't you do some research before writing to us and rattling off your false witness against us? When it comes to discrimination against atheists, you'd think that we, of all entities, would have done our homework on at least this subject, seeing as how our main point for existing is to counter the injustices that are everywhere apparent against those without religion.

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

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From: "Cliff Walker"
To: "david.bartelt"
Subject: Re: Stop the persecution
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2000 5:38 AM

Oh, now you're escalating your slander of us: I could handle being compared to Stalin and Hitler, but now that you say we're like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, I think it's time to hang it up and find something else to do. Perhaps we should just go back into the closet and lie to people about our true beliefs -- go to church and pretend to believe, or call what we believe by some mysterious and respectable-sounding name such as Buddhism or the like. Anything but state what is truly on our minds.

And you lie when you say that all I came up with was a year-old Gallup poll. You didn't even read what I said (or you did read it and are deliberately misrepresenting what I said).

By sending us letters that contain something in addition to "please stop writing me," you send a mixed message: one part says, "Don't write me" and the other says, "Here's some more slander and false accusations and mud-slinging that invites a response from you." When we receive a mixed message such as this, we are presented with a choice as to how to interpret it. I choose to continue to send you my responses because it's kinda fun making myself the object of someone's bigotry and it's fascinating to watch someone respond to facts when they have already made up their mind.

I'd be very bored if it was all just, "Gee, Cliff, remember the old days when people went out of their way to denigrate atheists? And did you read about when people used to actually burn atheists at the stake? Those days are gone and we can now live in peace and we now have nothing to talk about and nothing to struggle for!"

But, as rapper Ice-T says in one if his better songs,

So, I just keep working and doing what former gay rights activist Luke Sissyfag used to do, and become the object of their bigotry. Then, when they come out and show their colors, I post what they wrote for all to see. What happens is that many who would ordinarily tend to think this way get real turned off by it when they see it in action, and eventually many of them later think about their own thoughts and might even stop contributing to the problem we atheists in America endure.
 

I have a very positive attitude toward others, as is described in our FAQ, though most people's religious beliefs give me the creeps. I can respect that they believe and I can respect that they think they have valid reasons for believing without respecting what they believe. I certainly wouldn't try to talk anyone out of their religious beliefs. I have never done that. But when someone lays their trip on me, they quickly find out that I've done my homework when it comes to religion.

If you had at least done this much, I wouldn't have had much to say to you, and I certainly wouldn't have linked this thread from the Front Page of the website so that the readers could see another example of it in action.

But the first thing you said to me was that Stalin and Hitler would have been proud of me. And it went downhill from there.

So, you really don't have shit to tell me about positive anything. Not after behaving like that! No way! As defective as my outlook may be, I couldn't even fathom thinking and acting toward anyone the way you have acted toward me. You don't have shit to say to me about being positive; you can only serve as an example of what kinds of behavior to avoid.
 

This is your straw-man fantasy of what we do here, and doesn't even come close to resembling what we actually do. This is what I love about doing this: I would have never dreamed that such spite-filled, bald-faced liars of the senseless variety existed -- until I took Luke Sissyfag's suggestion and set myself up as the object of their bigotry as a representative of the group that is the most dispised group of people in the United States simply by erecting a web page with the word "atheism" on it!

Go back and read the Lieberman letter and show me where I attack his faith! If you had read it beyond the title you would have seen that I do no such thing! I only challenge his right to exploit his office for the purpose of evangelizing his faith to the public (which is against the law and against the oath he gave when he took office), and I show how omitting one-tenth of the population from the public discussion constitutes bigotry, and I challenge his proposed policies of giving more of our tax dollars to organized religion, and I refute and sternly denounce his statement that the Constitution does not guarantee freedom from religion (it does guarantee just that, and I made this quite clear to anybody who reads the letter, because that case is not hard to make at all).

Oh, and I challenge you to find anything at all denigrating the Jehovah's Witness faith or anything specifically denigrating the Mormon faith on this website (anything that is not common to religious faith itself).

You are a liar of the worst variety because you fabricate false accusations against someone for the purpose of denigrating that person. (Can you not find some real dirt on me? It can't be that hard! I got two letters from atheists criticizing one of my responses to you! but you sit there and make stuff up rather than nail me for the mistake I made in a response to your own letter!)

I might be tempted to understand someone lying to protect their ass from getting busted, but you're logging onto our website, clicking our e-mail links, and lying to us and about us! I don't think anybody is smart enough to get me to understand why someone would do something like that!

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

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