Positive comments towards Sapient that help fuel his activism

Sapient
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Positive comments towards Sapient that help fuel his activism

We have two threads dedicated to as many positive comments as we have time to post.  The previous thread on this topic was here, and covered positive comments aimed at the Squad in general, which generally often referred to my co-hosts.  Now that my co-hosts have moved on to other efforts, I've started this thread of positive comments that help fuel my activism.  I'll post the positive comments from my email and from around the web as I have time, or see a particularly good one. 

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Is Brian Sapient the most dangerous man on the internet? Judging from his appearance on Laura Ingraham's radio talk show, he must be. First thing's first: who is Brian Sapient and if he's so dangerous why haven't you heard of him? Sapient is the leader of the Rational Response Squad (RRS), an online-based, free-thinking Atheist network, and the reason his name hasn't crossed your path is, well, because he's the leader of a free-thinking Atheist network. Sapient employs rather radical methods in order to convey his position. One such tactic is The Blasphemy Challenge. Here he encourages people to record themselves denying the existence of the Holy Spirit (immediately branding them a heretic in the eyes of God and exiling them from Heaven for eternity) in exchange for a free "The God Who Wasn't There" DVD.

 

Ingraham, sighting a potential opportunity to embarrass someone with a differing epistemological viewpoint, invited Sapient on her show. Her nasty, trifling interview is good theater but prosaic commentary. Sapient revealed the show's most remarkable defense mechanism on the RRS message boards, and it speaks volumes about the way verbose pundits hobble their guests and can control dialogue. As Ingraham attempted to roil Sapient with a few below-the-belt jabs ("Why don't you get a real job?"Eye-wink the producer, according to Sapient, was in his other ear forbiding him to defend himself. When Brian defied the producer's command Sapient's mic was clipped and Laura stated her conclusions unchallenged.

While Sapient broadcasts for over an hour each week on RRS, giving equal platform to Reverends, youth pastors and garden-variety believers, one must ask why does Laura Ingraham hate free speech? I am a firm believer in John Stuart Mill's philosophy of total inclusion when it comes to what we admit into popular discussion and the more points of view on such an important topic the better. With this approach the meritless ideas will, over time, shrivel and fade, and truth will reveal itself against the dull backcloth of falsehoods. The idea being reality is quite persuasive (when was the last time you underwent a blood-letting?). So, I ask, what is so dangerous about Sapient's message?

The highlight from the show: Laura presents Sapient with Pascal's Wager, asking if there is a God isn't it better just to believe because if Sapient is wrong he's going to suffer forever, but if he's right nothing is gained. Sapient counters, Socrates-like, by asking her in which God should one believe: Yaweh or Allah? Laura, without skipping a beat, delivers a pot shot and asks Sapient "So, what does your girlfriend do?"

 

Is Brian Sapient the most dangerous man on the internet?

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I think what you do is Heroic. I am a mental health counselor in Buffalo, NY. I used to work at the Center for Inquiry until recently, so I am familiar with the rational/skeptical/secular movement. I really admire your efforts to infuse rationality and reason into the dialogue that is taking place online and in the media about religion/faith/atheism. As a former "born-again" christian, and as a clinical therapist, I can say with a great deal of authority that what your doing helps a lot of people. So many people are continuing to be "beat up" in their own heads by the voices of authority figures past, even long after they leave religion behind. I myself have had a hell of a time leaving the belief system behind me, and still have trouble silencing the chorus of voices in my head telling me I'm on the wrong path, danger lies ahead, and I'm going to fail at everything I do, because "god" isn't at the center for my life.

You are one of the people who I have listened to online to help me battle these demons. It's people like you, Pat Condell, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harriss who have helped me heal from the wounds my christian community keeps trying to inflict on me. You are one of the voices that reassure me that my life ISN'T going to fall apart any minute, and that there IS hope for joy in this life, and that my focus should NOT remain on the after life.

I will be glad to network with you on Facebook, and to continue any dialogue you would be interested in regarding secularism and mental health. My area of focus is positive psychology and cross cultural psychology. I study traits of healthy families, healthy lifestyles, and some cross cultural research.

Like I said, any time you want to correspond about a topic, let me know.

And thank you, from the bottom of my heart for the effort you put into these discussions/debates with the religiously minded. I assure you, there are those of us out there who get more than entertainment out of it, we get the breath of life.

Corey Neil
Buffalo, NY

 

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Dear Mr. Sapient;

I have long been a fan of The Rational Response Squad, and wished to take a moment and thank you for the hard work you do. I imagine you have heard this countless times and don't need yet another reminder, but I wish to say that your efforts are greatly admired and appreciated, and bear fruit every time I manage to talk some sense into someone or at the very least get them to start thinking a little more critically about irrational ideas they cling to.

I sent a 'friend' request as a show of support and because I would be glad to call an individual such as yourself my friend — for whatever value that has coming from a stranger on facebook. I expect you get a great many of these messages, and given the built-in 'friend limit' will not take it personally if my request is not reciprocated. Regardless, thank you very much for helping to fight the good fight! Your work is an inspiration and a strong motivator to continue fighting ignorance with the light of reason.

Warm Regards,
J. Robinson

 

 

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Just want to say thanks for all the time and money you spend fighting the good fight.  I have been keeping up with your website for years. You are part of the reason I realized I was atheist. Keep doing good work....and know that it does make a difference.

 

 

 

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Thank you for everything  you have done over all of these years in the way of activism~Thank you for creating this site~Thank you for facing all of the haters by addressing all of the shit that has been flung over the past few years~Thank you for the sacrifices you have made in the past and will likely make in the future.  Smiling

Laterz! 

Renee

 

 

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Mr. Sapient, i just wanted to take a minute to personally thank you. For most of my life i was raised with the fairy tale of "god" in a less than strict but predominatly christian family. I got the whole "go to church, read the bible, or your gonna burn" speech often. For the most part I just payed lip service to the whole family, mostly just told them what they wanted to hear. For years now i have considered my self agnostic in my veiws, that recently has changed. A friend of mine told me about FSM, this eventually lead me to RRS. The forums and content really helped me to realize that my veiws are atheist, and the night line show really helped as well. Kudos by the way on the debate. I recently was approached by some baptist evangelists using literally the same debate that kirk cameron and the other guy used. Made me giggle a lil bit. Anyways, thank you for swaying me away from insanity and opening my mind to atheism.

thank you again,

chef chris

 

 

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Listen up Brian! Sometimes when people work every day in pursuit of a certain goal, their labor becomes mundane and trivial to them. Just know that your efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated by other atheists. You are awesome. Carry on. - Wayne Adkins

 

Clint Ballard wrote:

Dude, just don't sweat that shit. We all have people out there who, for whatever reason, feel the need to try and start shit. If you're going to have a voice in the world, then you have to be ready for the trolls. Also your response wasn't weak or pathetic. You're too hard on yourself. Just stay focused and let the work we put into this thing speak for itself.

 

Arcana Ciphera wrote:

thank you for accepting my friend request. it is an honor and pleasure to be associated/connected with someone of your discernment, caliber, and humanitarian integrity. keep up the good work and never lose sight of the noble prize of "a world without religion.” We are in desperate need of people like you, moreso now than ever before in history.

 

 

Zack wrote:

I want to let you know that you and the RRS really helped me get out of theism and know that there were other like minded non-believers out there. I had recently broke with about 18/19 years of belief when I discovered your show in 07 (right before the Dateline stuff) and was HOOKED on all your recordings.

RRS really solidified my non-belief. Thank you.

 

 

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I am a biologist. I happened across your debate with Kirk Cameron on Youtube, and added some text comments in support. Thanks for fighting the good fight. Keep plugging. As a professional with a perhaps greater command of the current facts, would I have responded differently to some of Kirk's points? Perhaps, but who cares? You guys are the ones in there pitching, and you're doing a great job. The fight for hearts and minds happens in the trenches, one chunk of gray matter at a time, and you are the foot soldiers of Reason. I will continue to look for your stuff and support it with factual comments where possible.


 

 

Ali wrote:

Hey guys

I just wanted to say keep up the good work; I think you guys are doing a fantastic job. I can't fathom how frustrating is must be debating
creationists, but well done on your preparations.

As someone who grew up in a religious household, subjected to such issues on daily basis I have a lot of respect for what you do. About 12 years ago I went to university and I was opened to the world of science, physics, and all the intricacies and elegance of this universe. Now not only am I an atheist, but I would consider myself an anti-theist. My main field of work is IT & IS Security, however I do a lot of research in theoretical physics, such fields as M-Theory and dimensional universes.

Your efforts are well appreciated; my brother and I are big fans. I think even if not everyone accepts Science at least you are furthering its reach, which is such an IMPORTANT matter.

Ali

 

 

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Thanks for doing what you do.  A guy I knew in the military turned me on to you.  That's what started this whole skepticism road for me.  - David

 

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I have nothing but admiration for you for all your efforts, after all the direct and collateral effects your positive atheism has cost you.

I don't have the courage and the willingness that you do. So, I offer as much of what I can and am willing to.

I believe the RRS will go down in history as being pivotal in positive atheism gaining exponentially in popularity and in aiding those who were still trapped in religious dogma find the reasoning and the strength to abandon their theism.

- Rednef

 

 

 


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This one is really special because it speaks about how I operate and how RRS operates. Shelley Mountjoy initially got involved with activism because of RRS. She went on to become one of the most active female atheists in the world.

I recently wrote about Darrel Ray and his views on different types of leadership. I commented on how my leadership style often makes it tough to identify future leaders. I mentioned that Shelley got her start with me and I didn't recognize how to utilize her best, she said...

"Brian, you never did anything wrong as far as I'm concerned. I was just deluded into thinking the entire movement was as awesome as your site." - Shelley Mountjoy

In the 5 years since I fueled Shelley into activism she has held or currently holds the following positions (I probably left several out):

Organizer, Beltway Atheists - Advisory Board Member, Atheist Nexus - President, Rational Response Squad (GMU) - Co-Chair, District of Columbia Atheists (DCA) Alumni Advisor, United Secular Alliance (VCU) - Assistant Organizer, Maryland Atheist Outreach - Vice President, Virginia Freethought Renaissance - Board of Directors, Secular Student Alliance - Secretary, Atheist Alliance International - Treasurer, Secular Student Alliance (GMU) - Organizer, Drinking Skeptically - Richmond - President, District of Columbia Atheists (DCA) - Board of Directors, Atheist Alliance of America - Assistant Organizer, DC Atheist Women (DCAW) - Coordinator, Washington DC Coalition of Reason


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Quote:

James sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

I just recently heard of who you are and what you do and recently watched
the debate with Kirk Cameron. I wanted to say thank you for making efforts
to try and wake up your fellow man and open his eyes to a world of reality
and not one of fairy tale. I won't waste any more of your time with some of
my points on disproving a god, I'm sure you'll do fine without them. Thank
You.




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Subject: [Letters supporting our efforts!] Laura Ingraham

Ryan sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.
I just finished listening to Brian Sapient on Laura Ingraham's radio show (for the second time), and sat here in disbelief for almost 10 minutes as Laura used every cheap tactic commonly employed by Christians and people who are just in way out of their depth in any debate, to drain any logic and common sense out of it, and turn it into a shouting match and an exchange of ad hominem attacks. There's no place in the world, other than maybe FOX News, where any of the things she was saying would have accepted as valid arguments. Brian stayed calm, though, and did what he should have done by not descending to her level, and letting her continue to expose herself for the shrill, irrational, rambling moron that she is.

Thanks for all the work you guys do.

Ryan





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Joshua sent you a message.

--------------------
Subject: Good for you.

I know this will inflate your ego tremendously, as it should (not to say that I think your ego is inflated - not yet at least) but I rank you among company of Professor Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as men who have inspired me to come out as a non-believer to my family. Yay you.

Sincerely and without god,

Joshua

P.S. It must have been brutal to deal with Kirk and Ray and their gross onslaught of misinformation in the Nightline? (if I remember correctly) debate. I love your expression when Kirk busts out his crocoduck. I've always wanted to make a great crocoduck costume for halloween.






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Dan sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

Dear Brian,
I was brought up as a beleiving christian. I began to lose my faith after much study, and questions that went unanswered by my parents and fellow church members. Specifically numbers chapter 31 with the slaughter of the Midianites. You see, I was taught that it was the holy spirit that governs my moral compass... I could not reconcile why my conscience would tell me that it was wrong, and yet god's word says it's ok. If these two beings are one in the same, I knew there shouldn't be any conflict at all. This is when I realized what Machiavelli meant when he said, "you can do anything in the name of god (paraphrazed)".

I just wanted to thank you for your hard work and dedication. It was people like yourself that helped me to better understand, and articulate the doubts I was having as I became an adult.

My relationship with my family is not what it was, but at least I am being honest with myself and them. At least I can justify my world view.

Best wishes, keep up the good work.

 

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Just want to say thanks for all the time and money you spend fighting the good fight. I have been keeping up with your website for years. You are part of the reason I realized I was atheist. Keep doing good work....and know that it does make a difference.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Yes, Brian I am very familiar with your work from the RRS to the Blasphemy challenge. You seem to have a knack for finding the sweet spot and exploiting it. Keep up the good work." - Darrel Ray ED.D. 

 

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Thank you for your reply. I would also like you to know that you have been a positive example in my life an in my becoming more active in my atheism over the last 5-6 years. If I can ever offer any help to your cause or that of any others please let me know. Thanks again for everything that you do for the Atheist cause and rational people everywhere. - Nate Herrmann

 

Jameson Sawyer wrote:

 ‎"Clarity and education is the best gift you can give on this day full of sharing.".. I so love that [movie. And all it cost me to get my copy was my 'immortal soul'.. wasn't using it anyway. And as a postscript to this story.. that movie was one of the tools I used to help guide my mother down the path to her own enlightenment. So Brian.. I guess THAT was your Christmyth present to me. And it's just the right size! Smiling

 

Ryan James Coddington wrote:

I will not bore you with a long drawn out message as I'm sure you receive a ton. Instead, I'd rather just like to give you a very quick thank you for all the reasonable, intelligent, scientific creatures of this planet and more then likely the universe. What you do is stellar and someday I hope to educate the masses in a way that you do Brian. TYVM for your dedication to this struggle of facts vs fictions.

Ryan

 

Ginny Forbes wrote:

Thank you, Brian. I am one who left religion behind as a result of just by accident one day coming across an atheist vs theists debate on Yahoo. Then I went to the IIDB , and Rational Response, and I can definitely say that were all atheists to take the attitude of William Daniel, there would be a lot less atheists. And I would be still in the land of the delusional, and that makes me shudder at the thought! Thanks, Brian!

 

Novelist Glenn Kleier wrote:

I like the way you Freethink, Brian.