Atheist Debaptism

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Atheist Debaptism

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Atheists bond during 'de-baptism' Nonbelievers say they need to show their numbers

 

Sunday,  August 3, 2008 6:10 AMBy Sarah Pulliam 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Belief in God symbolically evaporated when more than a hundred atheists were "de-baptized" with a blow dryer yesterday.

Organizers of the event in Westerville, described as a "coming out party" for atheists, agnostics and humanists, served root beer and crackers with peanut butter and honey to top off the late afternoon ceremony.

"Do you agree that the magical potency of today's ceremony is exactly equal to the magical efficacy of ceremonial baptism with dihydrogen oxide, and do you agree that the power of all magical ceremonies is nonexistent?" Frank Zindler, president of American Atheists, said to launch the de-baptism.

www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/08/03/baptism.ART_ART_08-03-08_B4_61AU3UV.html


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Hehehe, that's kinda cute

Hehehe, that's kinda cute =^_^=

Stuff like this in invaluable in getting the general public used to the fact that ahiests exist. More than anything else, becoming part of the landscape will make atheism accepted.

Though there will no doubt be wingnuts who will claim this gives credence to the idea that atheism is just another religion. I doubt there will be much need to do more than roll eyes at them.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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I was at that event in Ohio

I was at that event in Ohio and participated in the debaptism.  I was hanging around the crowd getting authorizations signed from people to be included in my friends documentary when Kagin asked me to.  I would not have done so otherwise.  While it seems harmless and I agree with it's intent to raise awareness, the whole thing was a bit too ceremonial IMO.

I have the PDF of the full article that quote is pulled from... anyone can PM me if they'd like me to e-mail it.


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Sounds cool! There was an

Sounds cool! There was an idea on here a while back of doing a debaptism by pissing or spitting on a bible (and making a YouTube video of it. )

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debaptise

 

      The blow drying I like, fundies will get irritated by such debaptise cerimonials and I like irritating fundies.  Mattshizzle what you are promoting is far too inflamatory toward something we have no real belief in. It's better to laugh at the fundies then insult their institutions, even the ones who  belong in institutions.

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MattShizzle wrote:Sounds

MattShizzle wrote:

Sounds cool! There was an idea on here a while back of doing a debaptism by pissing or spitting on a bible (and making a YouTube video of it. )

hate to disappoint you matt, but there were no bodily fluids involved.  it did involve two guys in robes, a hairdryer, and crackers topped with peanut butter and honey though.  people also received a certificate.


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I don't see why an atheist

I don't see why an atheist would have a problem with being "too inflammatory. " Many theists think this site and the blasphemy challenge were too inflammatory. Even more thought that of some of the videos - notably David Mills cleaning dogshit with the Bible in his. Also PZ Myers desecrating a host. I see it as the more inflammatory the better.

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MattShizzle wrote:I don't

MattShizzle wrote:

I don't see why an atheist would have a problem with being "too inflammatory. " Many theists think this site and the blasphemy challenge were too inflammatory. Even more thought that of some of the videos - notably David Mills cleaning dog shit with the Bible in his. Also PZ Myers desecrating a host. I see it as the more inflammatory the better.

Matt, I think you're on the football field yet looking at a different yard line than some of us... I didn't see the Mills thing but people pick up dog shit all the time - hell it's a law in my county.  You could use a plastic bag from your last trip to target, a $20 bill, or even a page in the bible, sure.  The point being that words on that biblical page aren't anything more than the words on a page from Cinderella.  This was part of the point PZ was making with his great desecration.

However, some of the things you point out are just 'eww, gross.'  As an atheist, I would be offended of you whipped it out and urinated on the Bible.  Hell, Christians would be offended if you whipped it out and urinated on the sidewalk.  IIRC, one of the last times we jumped on you had something to do with defecating in a fountain.  That's just unsanitary and probably offensive to most everyone - especially the janitor.


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shelleymtjoy wrote:I was at

shelleymtjoy wrote:

I was at that event in Ohio and participated in the debaptism.  I was hanging around the crowd getting authorizations signed from people to be included in my friends documentary when Kagin asked me to.  I would not have done so otherwise.  While it seems harmless and I agree with it's intent to raise awareness, the whole thing was a bit too ceremonial IMO.

I have the PDF of the full article that quote is pulled from... anyone can PM me if they'd like me to e-mail it.

Have you ever heard the line "I'm not going to dignify that question with a responce."  Well, that's what the whole idea of debaptism sounds and feels like to me.  Christians, mormons, jews, wiccans, muslims, hindus etc can do all the ceremonies they want.  It's just a little song and dance.  Responding as though it's anything more is nothing more than dignifying it.

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thingy wrote:Have you ever

thingy wrote:

Have you ever heard the line "I'm not going to dignify that question with a responce."  Well, that's what the whole idea of debaptism sounds and feels like to me.  Christians, mormons, jews, wiccans, muslims, hindus etc can do all the ceremonies they want.  It's just a little song and dance.  Responding as though it's anything more is nothing more than dignifying it.

Did you note in the article:

Quote:

"Do you agree that the magical potency of today's ceremony is exactly equal to the magical efficacy of ceremonial baptism with dihydrogen oxide, and do you agree that the power of all magical ceremonies is nonexistent?" Frank Zindler, president of American Atheists, said to launch the de-baptism.


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I have no doubts that this

I have no doubts that this event was organised with the goal of poking fun at religious ceremonies, but I also have no doubts many who didn't attend, and possibly some who did, may not see it that way.

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thingy wrote:I have no

thingy wrote:

I have no doubts that this event was organised with the goal of poking fun at religious ceremonies, but I also have no doubts many who didn't attend, and possibly some who did, may not see it that way.

agreed!  like i said, it was a bit too ceremonial... it didn't affect me to have my hair re-styled that day but i had some concerns about the ceremonial presentation to theists looking in as well as (as you just pointed out) some atheists who may see it differently.

[edit: i did ask a few people that day about the intent for the debatism.  the answer?  a way to encourage atheists to come out - as in 'out' as atheists, not 'out' as in showing up for the event.]


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I agree with JillSwift, it

I agree with JillSwift, it was kind of cute. However, baptism is just another silly ceremony christians perform as if their magic water has some spiritual cleansing property. It's JUST WATER people LOL. I wish I had been able to attend though, I think it might have been fun just hanging with a bunch of other fellow atheists for a change.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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Cali_Athiest2 wrote:I agree

Cali_Athiest2 wrote:

I agree with JillSwift, it was kind of cute. However, baptism is just another silly ceremony christians perform as if their magic water has some spiritual cleansing property. It's JUST WATER people LOL. I wish I had been able to attend though, I think it might have been fun just hanging with a bunch of other fellow atheists for a change.

It raises some questions, though.

1. Is there a necessity for ritual?

2. Should a ritual be based on a reaction?

3. What do rituals do, and can we, knowing what we now know, utilize them effectively?


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magilum wrote:Cali_Athiest2

magilum wrote:

Cali_Athiest2 wrote:

I agree with JillSwift, it was kind of cute. However, baptism is just another silly ceremony christians perform as if their magic water has some spiritual cleansing property. It's JUST WATER people LOL. I wish I had been able to attend though, I think it might have been fun just hanging with a bunch of other fellow atheists for a change.

It raises some questions, though.

1. Is there a necessity for ritual?

2. Should a ritual be based on a reaction?

3. What do rituals do, and can we, knowing what we now know, utilize them effectively?

I believe rituals serve a purpose in many aspects of our lives, but what is the purpose of a baptism anyways? Rituals, if nothing else build bonds in organizational or societal groups. When I was a christian I had always assumed that being baptised was required because without one you still weren't really saved. After 20 years it makes sense that it's only water. There is no magical properties in the process so what makes it a required ritual in the first place?

Should a ritual be based on a reaction? Well, most rituals are probably based on an action such as native american rain dances, rubbing a lottery ticket for luck whatever, so many are based on actions and not reactions. Either way ritual based on reactions are often just as irrational as ones based on actions.

By we are you referring to atheists or humans as a whole? Like I said, rituals are great for building bonds and maybe providing a little comfort in some ways. I read a book a long time ago in a business class about the use of rituals in business. I may have to dig it out and reread it now.

It makes me wonder how human psychology and rituals link to obsessive compulsive behavior.

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I love it, and MattShizzel's

I love it, and MattShizzle's in your face atheistic passion too .... most all the ways to eliminating idol worship comes from serious caring. 

Kind, nice guy me even cusses !   Working on that road to a world wide atheistic view, so we could all say, "yup, me god as you !" .... and to laugh by better understanding our old dumb ways ....

    Good luck humanity ....


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:I love

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

I love it, and MattShizzle's in your face atheistic passion too .... most all the ways to eliminating idol worship comes from serious caring. 

Kind, nice guy me even cusses !   Working on that road to a world wide atheistic view, so we could all say, "yup, me god as you !" .... and to laugh by better understanding our old dumb ways ....

    Good luck humanity ....

The point I was trying to make to Matt though is that it may be about being "in your face" but let's still maintain a semblance of sanitation.  I'm not offended about public defecation because of the exposed ass cheeks.  Nor am I offended by the words "shit" or "crap."  I'm offended because our waste products should be disposed of in a manner that is more conducive to public health.


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magilum wrote:It raises some

magilum wrote:

It raises some questions, though.

1. Is there a necessity for ritual?

2. Should a ritual be based on a reaction?

3. What do rituals do, and can we, knowing what we now know, utilize them effectively?

As conveyed to me at the event, the Organizers viewed this as a way to build community among atheists.  The reaction there would be for people to feel like "wow - I'm not the only one."  To that extent I think it may have been somewhat effective.  A large group participated and while there was a moment while only one person was having their hair done, it was, for the most part, a group ceremony.

As far as debaptism goes in terms of expressing my feelings towards the original baptism I received as a child though I would be content to simply toss my certificate of baptism in the recycle bin.


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Yeah my joy .... to joking

Yeah my joy .... to joking Matt, "don't do that!" 


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inflammatories

I have to say I don't agree AT ALL with being "in your face" or "inflammatory" about atheism.  Sam Harris himself made a good point at the 2007 AAI Convention when he said that we atheists are using too blunt of instruments in dealing with religious folks.  We are frightening them, scaring them, and playing exactly into their stereotypes of what an atheist is: an angry, spiteful, hateful, scumbag who only wants death and destruction.   How can we expect them to see otherwise if that's all we are showing them?  How can we expect to change the tides in our favor when we are not being good citizens and positively contributing to society?   

Like it or not, if you ever expect to win superstitous people over to reason, you have to lead by example.  By GOOD example.  Work hard to be a fine upstanding atheist.  We should never give any religious person an opportunity to point at us and say, "Just as I thought!  Look at those evil atheists who are inconsiderate, disrespectful, disgusting, and not good people."

That is the LAST thing we want.  So no, don't piss or spit on bibles and don't be the jackass that makes the rest of us look bad.  It's not "cool" or "funny" to be hateful.  It will only drive people away from atheism, as they will NOT sympathize with you if you are doing something nasty.   And why should they? 

I run an atheist group in Wisconsin, and we do charity work regularly to show that it is entirely possible to be good and faithless at the same time.  When we do our highway cleanups, people slow down and wave and tell us we're doing a good job!  When we donate food to shelters they say 'thank you so much!'  We want people to realize that humans don't need gods to be good.  We are capable of doing good and being good, and being positive, kind, and happy all on our own.   Because there is no god to take care of us, we have to take care of ourselves and each other.

I'm not being an unrealistic Polyanna--try it for yourself and see.

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