So I can already tell..
So I think I can already tell where the Blasphemy Challenge has its opposition. I watched the coverage by WSLS in VA on Youtube and there it was.
The coverage is going to portray atheists as a majority (haha) and the religious that are offended as victims. I even went so far as to email the anchorwoman who covers this, and what I got back was really interesting.
This was the first email I sent her, I apologize about the formatting.
From: (my email)
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 10:22 PM
To: Hatcher, Angela M.
Subject: About Challenging the Blasphemy
Dear Ms. Hatcher,
My name is (my name), and I am a sophomore at (my school) in (city). I saw the report you did on WSLS about the
Blasphemy Challenge, and I take issue with the coverage that it was
given in a few different ways.
I got the impression from your report that the Blasphemy Challenge was
widespread, and that these Christian teens who were responding to it
were victims and vastly outnumbered. From my experience, this is not
the case at all. In fact, atheists are a minority in this country
while Christians make up a large majority. There is no one to defend
here for the Christian teens and the man that started
www.challengeblasphemy.com, there are hundreds of millions of
Christians who share their beliefs all over the country. The idea
behind the Rational Response Squad's idea is to unite a group that
thinks a certain way behind an idea that they (we) all agree on.
It is much harder to find an atheist in this country than it is to
find a Christian, and I think the tone of your report intimated
Also, the assumption that the people who were Challenging the
Blasphemy had pure intentions and full understanding of what they were
doing, while the "Blasphemy Challengers"
were presumed to be doing the act out of misunderstanding or ignorance
was another problem I had. It's interesting how the Blasphemy
Challenge itself got no airtime on your program, but a group that is
opposed to it gets a segment and an interview.
I just thought it was important for me to email you to tell you this:
I cannot account for everyone, but when I take the Blasphemy
Challenge, I will not take it because I am lonely, because I am
misguided, or because I get a free DVD. I will take it because I do
not believe in a god or any variation on it. I had spent 12 years
pretending to believe in God because that's what my parents, Rabbi,
and Catholic High School told me was right. But through thorough
self-searching and countless hours of reading, I've come to the
conclusion that belief in God is not for me.
Normally that would be enough. Before September 11, religion was
mostly something that people kept to themselves and private, and I, as an atheist, have no problem with religion in someone's heart. The trouble I have with it is when it becomes legislated, when it becomes
tax-free, when it changes the FDA's rulings, and the lack of it makes
someone completely unelectable in the United States. Too many people
are afraid to admit that they do not believe in a deity, and many
don't because they are scared of public and private retribution. They might lose their jobs, they might alienate friends and family, and they might even be threatened with violence!
So please, do not belittle this honest attempt at making our minority voice heard. This isn't a cry for help, it's more of a refusal to keep silent about what we think.
Thank you for your time and patience. I'd love to hear what you
think, my email address is (my email address).
Have a great weekend!
--(my name) '09
On Thu, 25 Jan 2007 22:45:44 -0500
Actually Mr. (my name), you are mistaken when you write, "It's interesting
how the Blasphemy Challenge itself got no airtime on your program, but
a group that is opposed to it gets a segment and an interview.". This
story was a follow up to a story we did on the Blasphemy Challenge
itself. You probably wouldn't know that since you're not in our
It's not hard to find an atheist. I've been getting plenty of emails
from them. All of which also misquote what we've said on the news.
You want to know what I think. It's not my place to tell you. I'm a
journalist. What I think, feel or believe isn't what makes air.
Thank you for your email.
From: (my email)
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:38 PM
To: Hatcher, Angela M.
Subject: Re: About Challenging the Blasphemy
Dear Ms. Hatcher,
I apologize then, you're right, I'm not in your viewing area and I
shouldn't have assumed it didn't make it on the air before this. I
should have done the research and seen the original story, which I just
did. I actually liked it a lot.
I can't defend anyone misquoting what was said on the news, but do you
think that the reason you're getting emails from atheists from all over
isn't that there are so many of them, but because people like Richard
Dawkins and the Rational Response Squad are giving them the confidence,
and the internet gives them the means, to gather together and express
And maybe it's because I don't know too much about journalism that I
don't understand, but should I assume that nothing a reporter says, or
the way that they say it, has anything to do with what they personally
I don't mean to pester, I'm just inquisitive. Let me know if I'm
bothering you, and I'll stop.
And this was the final thing I got from her:
I do not engage in debate, about any topic, with viewers and you're not
even a viewer. Please stop emailing me.
So there it is. This is what we're fighting. They're going to portray us as lonely, weak, ignorant, in need of saving, basically. And we're the majority, and we're elitist and oppressive. Christian teens are just fighting back against a rising trend, etc. What can we do about this?
If all else fails, if all turns to dust, set sail on a ship built from trust.