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Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Evangelising the American South
The American Atheists group, led by one David Silverman, is recommending that Christians skip church three weeks from now.
The ad's certainly eye-catching. And I must disclose that I've lived in the South for some time, where on occasion I faced some pretty awful ignorance and bigotry. Mind you, I've also faced that in the North... and I'm wondering if we're seeing some of that from Mr Silverman.
David Silverman's name alone is making me suspicious, speaking as one with some Ashkenaz background myself. The man appears to have New Jersey roots. In short I think he is not a native of the South.
If I were to suggest a campaign to improve the intellectual level of the Southron, I would invest in cultural memes that showed the human face of scientists and showed the wonders of scientific discovery. Whatever negativity I'd come up with, would go against clear falsehoods and philosophical disasters like Intelligent Design - and only to show how they hurt the South. This process has been ongoing by itself anyway (especially since that Dover case, and that travesty Expelled).
I wouldn't attack the Southern culture as such. By going against church on Christmas, that is exactly what the American Atheists are doing. So they're not convincing anybody of anything.
I don't think Silverman is so tin-eared he doesn't know this. It feels like he's deliberately picking a fight with perceived enemies. It feels like Orange parades through Catholic streets in Belfast. And when the Southrons get upset, they won't see "atheists" in their mind; they'll see "Silverman from New Jersey".
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