UNCW prof vows to destroy atheist student groups: "I seek power over the godless heathen dissident"

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115 Responses to “UNCW prof vows to destroy atheist student groups: "I seek power over the godless heathen dissident"”

  1. Noctuidae says:

    A Supreme Court decision forced a California state university Christian society to accept gays as members as a condition of receiving support from the school.

    They haven’t been barred from making a discriminatory group outside of the university, funded out of their own pocket (as far as I know, this is still perfectly legal in the USA, isn’t it?) Just from making one with resources financed by, presumably, a partly gay university population. Seems fair.

    Also: He says godless heathen like it’s a bad thing!

  2. loonquawl says:

    The author has jumped the shark long before. It is not satire, it is just ramblings – have a look at his other stuff: http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams

    Either the biggest body of satire yet, or just another Glenn Beck; Poe’s Law applies.

    • Anony Mouse says:

      Yeah, WTF is he on about? He writes like Michael David Crawford. I was reading the one where he tried and failed to substitute ‘blacks’ for ‘jews’ to highlight how awful that white house woman was. Only seems to lose track of where he was going with it all halfway through, and regardless, the analogy is completely fucked anyway.

  3. Anonymous says:

    he is not looking for a debate since he knows that he can’t defend his faith. nah!

  4. Anonymous says:

    He sounds like a swell guy *tongue in cheek*

  5. mgfarrelly says:

    As always, Groucho Marx has the right idea:

    “I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member.”

  6. Anonymous says:

    “bring it on!”

    satirically speaking of course

  7. Mark Crummett says:

    Just goes to show that conservatives have no sense of humor, even when they’re trying to be funny.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Urghng…

    An atheist MEETING? What exactly goes on at these meetings?

    As an atheist, I’m sick of being lumped in with the anti-religion crowed.

    What about a title for us who just don’t give a shit about religion?

  9. Ugly Canuck says:

    Precisely the tactics used by the Christians in the first stages of their destruction of the then-tolerant Roman paganism of antiquity.
    But precisely.

    Those not familiar with history are doomed to repeat it.

    Now the Christians seek to destroy the tolerant American systems of life which have been established with great difficulty over only the past century or two, again with their “never give them a moment’s peace” tactic.
    The same tactic used against marijuana users, too.

    Endless harassment of those you dislike,by any means possible.
    I have seen student groups shut down unpopular (in their eyes) political speakers using this tactic of “peaceful disruption”.
    Of course, once this tactic was used by opponents at their political rallies, against their speakers, their outrage at such conduct knew no bounds.

    How long before this Christian harassment ceases to be merely encouraged, and but legally approved, and then finally official, carried out by Officers of the State?
    After the Christians took over Rome, they were prosecuting the Pagans within a decade.
    And they seem to have never entirely lost that habit of intolerance, even to the present day.

    That lack of tolerance in un-American, IMHO, no matter what religion the intolerant claim they hold.

    • AirPillo says:

      I’d tend to think the root lies in the authoritarianism. Religion lends well to it because it draws clear sides, people know easily who is in their in-group, have clear authority structures and hierarchies, and have a very clear set of rules to enforce and use to rationalize behavior.

      The intolerant themes are so consistent because it’s a consistent trait of personalities that allow totalitarian rule. People who have such a strong desire to feel normal, be normal, that they stick rabidly to people like themselves and try to eliminate reminders of people who are different… those people strike right to the core of their phobia of being different themselves.

      They need to belong and they choose to belong to religion, and try to eradicate the traces of anything else but people like themselves.

      I think I see the same unhealthy behavior yoked to political parties, ethical causes, protest movements, etc.

      Any cause that can clearly draw lines and provide authority structures and rules will attract followers who will devotedly try to exterminate everything different… usually in cowardly methods seeking to pick off the easy targets from a position of superior numbers or striking at targets of opportunity.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Are you sure you are not confusing the reasons for nationalism’s attraction to people, with those of religion?
        For its first few centuries, Christian churches had very little hierarchical organization, at all.
        Born in resistance and opposition to ruling orthodoxy in the midst of a sprawling and diverse multi-national empire, Christianity can often be found historically to be fighting on the side of justice.
        No: religious people are not all totalitarians.
        It takes a peculiarly modern frame of mind to be any type of political totalitarian.
        And if one is religious, religion shall color ALL of your views to one extent or another: that can hardly qualify as a “totalitarian” mind-set, any more than holding that the laws of thermodynamics apply to all matter would so qualify.

        The question appears to be whether or not people will allow other people to make their own mistakes, or will their zeal for their religion lead them to dictate unto others what the “answers” are, by force.

        Not what people may be psychologically like “inside their heads”. This is about how people relate to other people: politics, not religion.
        Wh gets to say “Thou shalt….” and what can they do to you when you commit the crime of dis-obedience.

        Not about what any religion at all may “hold to be true”. Or why people should or shouldn’t believe.
        Becvause this is about behavior. Not belief.

        To what extent may one’s religion excuse one’s incivility or active hostility to others?
        That is the question…

  10. Anonymous says:

    As one who fully believes in God and the bible, I do not understand why the professor did not welcome those who are gay with open arms. After all Jesus set the example and would eat, drink and talk with people of all kinds. I think he is highly confused and a bad example of what the bible says we should do and how we should treat people.

  11. KafkainWater says:

    So, the guy wrote in his very next post about how the post was satire:
    http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2010/07/12/my_apology_to_the_damned

    This post should probably be amended.

    • Anony Mouse says:

      Yeah, I may be damned in the next life, but he’s fucking retarded now.

    • freshacconci says:

      Read #38: This isn’t satire. He tries to pass it off as satire, but it ain’t.

      • daneyul says:

        I’ve never seen a definition of satire that specifies it not be an exaggeration of already held beliefs–that it must only apply to exaggerated beliefs opposite to the satirist. I could be wrong here, but satire is a pretty broad category.

        • freshacconci says:

          So exaggeration is satire if the author claims it as such? I don’t think satire requires the author to have the absolute opposite viewpoint to the one being proposed, but an only slight exaggeration of an already extreme viewpoint is not satire in any definition I’m aware of.

          Swift didn’t believe in killing Irish babies as a means of population control, with the eating part being thrown in to rile people up and cover his tracks.

          • daneyul says:

            Hmmm…not sure I agree, but satire is very hard to lock a definition to. My gut feeling though is that -any- exaggeration, if done with the underlying purpose of making a political or societal criticism, can be considered satire.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Given that, what is the underlying social criticism communicated by this purported piece of “satire”?

          • freshacconci says:

            Okay, fair enough. Maybe we need to be talking in terms of good satire versus poor satire. He can call this satire and I can call bullshit on it.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            This is not satire, and crationism is not science.
            You may call it as you wish, but you’d be wrong to call, it satire, of any quality.

            I call it hate speech.

  12. adam hellbound says:

    Dag, yo. I think Prof. Adams might want to visit the psychology department on his lunch break someday.

  13. daneyul says:

    It is sometimes very hard to detect attempts at satire based on exaggeration in the writings of the far right–they just don’t have much elbow room to push their views into absurdity necessary for it to work since they’re already in that realm to begin with.

    But the title, and selected over the top bits — especially its ending with a call to next go after the blacks, women and Italians — does pretty clearly show it to be defensible as “satire”, effectively immunizing him against action based on its contents.

    It’s also pretty obviously a game plan he would love to see followed by the zealots out there. I see this a lot on the right– exaggerate, slightly for protection, all the while giving the true believers their marching orders.

    • Stooge says:

      daneyul, the far right says similar things about left-wing commentary. Perhaps you have more in common than you think.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Kobie, –I don’t think that question is any dumber than my wondering what they fill the pages of The Journal of Vacuum Science A and The Journal of Vacuum Science B with. Either way, that’s a whole lotta talking about nothin’.

  15. kip w says:

    This is the sort of ‘satire’ conservatives chuckle over: an invitation to bully someone, with some deniable element to point at for cover. “Hey, isn’t it obvious I was just kidding when I said we should torture XYZ with atom bombs? ‘Cuz we don’t really have atom bombs! You people have no sense of humor!” — a serious statement, tarted up with heavy-handed farce.

    It’s also a threat (as fred notes @103). He doesn’t like this ruling, and if it’s not repealed, well then, he’ll find some way to use it as a pretext for being obnoxious (which he also does without a pretext).

  16. Anonymous says:

    Alright fine, it’s satire, or parody, or a treatise or a screed or a fucking duck on a pogo stick. Whatever the author wants to call his article, it’s idiotic, and it demonstrates a total failure to understand the ruling. Whether it’s technically satire or not according to the ancient rules and customs of Jonathon Swift’s Ye Olde Satire Club has jack shit to do with anything.

    The student group was not barred from discriminating. They were barred from discriminating *while accepting public funds*. So this douchenozzle’s brilliant plan makes no sense whatsoever, and could be brought to an immediate and unceremonious halt simply by meeting off-campus.

    Gee Professor, you really got us.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As far as I see it, the ruling was rather fair. You cant keep someone out because of their political belief, the color of their skin, and other legally moderated positions of gender or whatever the local politicians decide makes you deserving of basic human rights. That said, any disruptive person can freely be kicked out on their behinds. Such a ruling doesn’t make it ok for ANYONE to show up and just be a jerk, only that you cant keep them out because you are “Worried that they will cause problems”

  18. Anonymous says:

    At some level even though he’s trying to come up with an absurd implementation of the SC rulling, the idea if full of FAIL. So long as they are not disruptive, Christians should be free to join Atheist/freethinker groups. Part of college is supposed to be getting along with others whose views and beliefs are different than yours. And if they’re disruptive… Well if gay activists started chanting “We’re here. We’re queer. Get over it,” at a Christian Fellowship meeting, they SHOULD be ejected. As to the idea that a group could be “taken over” by a majority whose views are immical to the founders: yes, it can happen. Then the founders are free to leave that organization and found the NEW TRUE believers club. It’s the sort of thing that happens occasionally, but people simply get tired of the process quickly.

  19. knappa says:

    from his profile on townhall.com:

    Upon getting his doctorate in 1993, Adams, then an atheist and a Democrat, was hired by UNC-Wilmington to teach in the criminal justice program. A few years later, Adams abandoned his atheism and also became a Republican. …
    After his involvement in a well publicized free speech controversy in the wake of the 911 terror attacks, Adams became a vocal critic of the diversity movement in academia. After making appearances on shows like Hannity and Colmes, the O’Reilly Factor, and Scarborough Country, Adams was asked to write a column for Townhall.com.

    Looks like the guy mostly just hates himself circa 1993.

  20. Chloramphenicol says:

    At first I was going to say ‘w00t, that’s one of my servers’, but then I skipped around a bit on the townhall site and realized how far off to the right they are in general. It’s almost enough to make me walk over to their server rack and start pulling wires… Almost, but not. They have the right to their opinions, no matter how much we disagree with them, and they have the right to speak them.

    With regards to the actual article, well, I’m not completely sure the author is being satirical or not. I guess that’s the sign of really good satire? Or maybe it’s just the most artfully done troll since ‘Miracles’.

  21. surreality says:

    I’m inclined to agree to with Antinous on the matter; he may be exaggerating some things and claiming satire, but I’d say most of his sentiment is true. The Republican Club at my college likes to invite controversial speakers to rile people up, and this guy was one of them. Spent his entire speech talking about how poor Christians experience so much prejudice by rattling off examples. It was an anti-abortion speech; he said he used to be for abortion too, when he wanted to sleep with as many women as he could with no consequences. Ugh. Said he went to the Women’s Center (“don’t know why they need a Women’s Center since they do better in school” was meant to be a joke, I’m sure, but it wasn’t funny) and all of the counselors there were pro-choice. So they’re being prejudiced against pro-life people, because obviously it’d be very helpful for a pregnant, distressed college student to go for counseling and get told they should have the baby regardless.

    “Basically, a dick with a satirical argument is still a dick. And a dick point (from the UNCW prof, mind) made in the absurd is still a dick point.” Very much agreed.

  22. David says:

    Now that I’ve read the whole article, yes, it’s clearly satirical. You may disagree with the author, or think his other opinions are wrong, too, but he’s pretty up front and honest here about this being a joke. And I have to hand this much to him: “I do not seek robust debate. I seek power” is a pretty fair summing-up of the modern political ethos.

    The disruption/infiltration folks are mocking him for describing doesn’t take place on the meeting level, probably because it takes too much time. But conservative speakers and groups on campus are constantly subject to organized disruption of their events. I’ve held for a long time that the appropriate response to such incidents is for the conservative organizations to disrupt lefty speakers in kind, perhaps by standing up mid-speech, joining hands, and chanting, “This is what you do to us.”

  23. Anonymous says:

    Go to their bible studies and services and disrupt them. How is that worse?

  24. 0xdeadbeef says:

    A Singaporean women’s group called AWARE had pretty much exactly that happen

    That’s what this reminded me of.

    Assholes rationalize their behavior with the assumption that everyone else is like themselves. This guy is so afraid of people infiltrating and subverting Christian groups because it is exactly the kind of thing he wants right-wing Christians to do to every other kind of group.

  25. Ugly Canuck says:

    Oh another difference of the times: the early Christians had a remarkable effect on the Roman Legions: as more and more Christians opted for peace – ie no military service – the legions needed to recruit their strength by the greatly increased use of mercenary barbarians as soldiers.

    American “fundamentalist” Christians no longer seek to stymy their military, as the Roman Christians did.
    They do not seek to de-fund the US Armed Forces, for example.
    They seem to think that Christ if He were alive today would be giving speeches extolling the virtues of the Air Force.

    I wonder what it would have taken for Christ to preach a sermon as to the virtues of the Roman Legions: for this is close to what seems to be preached in some modern American Christian churches, only substituting the US Armed Forces in place of the said Roman Legions.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Oh, I forgot, history has provided an answer: Constantine the Great made all the Legions Christian, did he not?
      So sermons extolling their virtue must exist in great profusion….just none by Christ.
      Only those pronounced by the Commanders of the said Christian Legions, and their allies from time to time.

  26. donniebnyc says:

    After reading the Adams piece twice, as well as his follow up explanation of it, it really is hard to see it as satire. Aside from twice using “godless heathens” and the last bit about going after gays, blacks, feminists, and Italians, there is no evidence of the literary constructs needed to qualify as satire. Take those two bits out and calling the piece satire is patently absurd. And, as has been stated here before, he obviously holds the opinions he expresses therefore negating the satire defense by definition. Does anyone really believe that he would be shocked, shocked if someone took his “satire” as a call to arms?

    What’s really funny, though, is his defense piece. It basically amounts to saying you stupid atheists are too stupid to understand my satire. And nowhere in it does he say that anyone who believed he was serious and followed up on his suggestion would be equally stupid.

    If on the other hand, he had said he welcomed the Supreme Court decision because it gave him the legal ability to infiltrate and destroy opposing groups, and that this was the best way to further Christian beliefs and turn the heathens to the light, I might be inclined to see it as satire.

  27. foobar says:

    I don’t see the issue. The law allows the school to bar them from discriminating based on race, sex, orientation, et cetera.

    It does not bar them from expelling disruptive or violent people.

    So, if the Christian trolls are respectful and polite members of the atheist groups, both benefit. If they’re disruptive and speak out of turn, they can be dealt with just as a non Christian who was disruptive could be.

  28. Ugly Canuck says:

    If I start referring to American Christians as “The Disruptors”: that’s satire.

    Maybe there’s an unrecognized environmental problem leading to all the religious non-sense…I hope they live long and prosper, whatever may be the case.

    OT I see MR Polanski is a free man.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Every time I try to go to the Daylight Atheists website, nothing follows through. Wonder if some righteous “Narrow-Minded Bastard-for-Jesus” is messing with his IP connection

  30. Dave Hustava says:

    I really enjoy assholes like this guy. The “Foundation for Individual Rights in Education”, eh? That is…Individual rights for people who agree with me. But none for those who already had them, and were exercising them by NOT agreeing with me. What a fucking clod.

  31. ill lich says:

    Is it real satire, or just masquerading as satire in order to sneak the sinister idea into the brains of militant Christians?

  32. failix says:

    I understand why some refuse to call this article satire. It’s closer to inappropriate sarcasm than to anything else. If it is satire it definitely fails at being good. However it’s certainly an attempt at reductio ad absurdum.

    • Anonymous says:

      “I understand why some refuse to call this article satire. It’s closer to inappropriate sarcasm than to anything else. If it is satire it definitely fails at being good.”

      It fails at being good because it belies hatred and loathing, not because they’re simply bad at comedy or dull-witted.

  33. Camp Freddie says:

    Poe’s law in full effect.

  34. tdberg says:

    Somewhat disturbing that someone who merely managed to occupy space in a PhD program and now labors in relative obscurity at a c-list university can gain so much attention with such a clumsy and ham-handed rant.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What a Christ asshole.

  36. jennybean42 says:

    I feel it bears repeating:

    “Christ, what an asshole!”

  37. jere7my says:

    Here’s what it’s like: imagine Dan Savage wrote a column about DADT that included something like, “Thank you, conservative America, for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell! Now I and all my gay brethren can ogle your sons in the showers, get off on their soapy pert asses, and they won’t even know! They won’t even be able to complain!” Whether or not Dan actually would get off on seeing military boys in the shower — quite possibly he would, but I don’t want to speak for him — would be irrelevant to the satirical nature of the column. He’s clearly not really going to join the military just so he can see naked boys in the shower, nor is he going to encourage sexual harassment of servicemen. But I’m sure conservative America would cry something like, “OMG, teh gays want to ogle our brave boys in (and out of) uniform!” And we faithful liberals would say, “Oh for Pete’s sake, it was obviously satire — he’s exaggerating his own views to show an unintended consequence of short-sighted legislation.” And on and ever on.

    We’re always ready to attribute the worst motivations to our political enemies. That says something about the enemies, sure — they make it far too easy to do — but it also says something about us.

    • sapere_aude says:

      @jere7my: Hear! Hear! Well said. You hit the nail on the head.

      It’s a bit ironic that all of the folks who are attacking this guy for what he wrote are actually proving the point he was trying to make: If fundamentalists were to propose infiltrating and hijacking campus atheist groups, people would (quite reasonably) object in the strongest possible terms. Yet the SCOTUS ruling opens the door to this very thing. If groups are not permitted to exclude those who don’t share the group’s core values — the values that define what the group is all about and why it exists — then freedom of association is essentially meaningless. I kinda see the guy’s point. What’s to stop left-wingers from infiltrating and taking over the campus chapter of the Young Republicans? What’s to stop misogynistic men from hijacking the campus feminist club? Does it really make sense to say that a group has to welcome people who are hostile to the group itself, and are only there to cause trouble?

      On the other hand, I also see the Supreme Court’s point: People have the right to privately form groups that exclude people who don’t share their values; but states have no obligation to sponsor those groups. Therefore, state colleges and universities have no obligation to support campus clubs and organizations that have a policy of excluding some members of the campus community (though students are still free to form private, exclusive clubs that are not officially sponsored by the school). So, while I fully understand why someone might find the court’s ruling objectionable, I think they probably made the right call.

      However, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of a state college or university sponsoring a campus club that is explicitly religious, or anti-religious, in nature. That would seem to violate the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment. Should there even be a campus Christian club or a campus atheist club, sponsored by the school? I don’t think so. (And I’m not even convinced that colleges and universities ought to officially sponsor groups that have an explicit political agenda, either.) If students want to freely associate with people who share their beliefs and values, and to exclude those who don’t, let them form their own private groups without official school sponsorship.

      • Anonymous says:

        It seems very weird that Conservatives, who in theory (being opposed to Big Brother government) should fully understand the difference between law and individual unregulated behavior, are equating a law that prohibits discrimination with the abhorrent behavior that could result from bad actors taking advantage of the prohibition of discrimination in government-funded groups.

        On the other hand, this is the religious part of the Conservative movement, which has always been much more in favor of legislating behavior. They like their Big Brother in the sky, or at least who they imagine him to be, and seek to serve as enforcers.

  38. Anonymous says:

    “[...]I seek power[...]”

    Well, shoot, son, there’s your problem right there. Get yourself back to your Bible and see what God had a tendency to do to those who had power and used it to twist others.

    In Christian Love, Mary Sue.

  39. TomDArch says:

    Ha! Satire about right-wing religious fundamentalists at a University campus breaking up progressive student groups. That’s hysterical! Just wait until it’s translated into Farsi, there will be lots of guffawing all over University campuses in Iran. So funny!

    They’ll totally find the humor in that, because, uh, well, they’ve taken this approach to the obvious, inevitable conclusion and, uh, the fundamentalists beat progressive students and faculty to death… ha ha?

  40. slk says:

    well that’s kind of a d**k-move, mikey. haven’t religious fundamentalists caused enough damage in the world already?

  41. juca5056 says:

    Why is this clown still employed?

  42. Anonymous says:

    At least he’s not being sneaky about it.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Have you heard that Jonathan Swift once proposed eating Irish babies as a means of reducing poverty? If you think Adams’s column, entitled “An Immodest Proposal,” is morally depraved, you will, no doubt, be horrified by Swift’s “Modest Proposal.”

    (In other words, you might need to check your satire sensors…they might be on the blink.)

  44. Lucifer says:

    And Jesus preached “go forth and be annoying in the name of the Lord.” sez right there in the good book…

  45. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I’m mostly disappointed that nobody has worked the word ‘fulminate’ into this story.

    • futbol789 says:

      Nations of all sort involved here: rumination, fulmination…maybe even some exsanguination later.

      Break break

      Jere7emy

      And as far as heavy handed bombastic talk goes, didn’t we already destroy a Rev for that? But, if they’re the white side of evangelical Christians lambasting satirically, and inappropriately, from a position of authority, well that’s just mighty white of the good prof, isn’t it?

      Mockingly suggesting he’ll turn his warriors on gays when the original grievance is that Christian groups can’t deny non-believers isn’t really a joke. You aren’t exactly starting from a reasonable stable point of view when you argue your private religious group subsisting on public money should be exempt from the laws governing other private groups subsisting on public money. Jesus, take up a donation and throw the lenders out. That’s in the book, isn’t it? It should be a lot easier than starting a satirical holy war.

      • jere7my says:

        You aren’t exactly starting from a reasonable stable point of view when you argue your private religious group subsisting on public money should be exempt from the laws governing other private groups subsisting on public money.

        Again, I don’t agree with the guy, but that’s the opposite of his point: he’s demonstrating that the decision does affect all groups equally — Christian or secular humanist or feminist or what-have-you — and showing us how open to abuse (he thinks) that is. The fact that he is framing himself, rather gleefully, as the potential abuser doesn’t alter his message: that the ruling could have consequences for liberal groups as well as the conservative groups it was ostensibly targeting, because it grants what he sees as abuseable power to the majority.

        Yes, Christian groups can raise their own money, but he would probably argue (equally gleefully) that the decision unfairly targets all minority organizations, by forcing them to become self-funding if they want to protect themselves from the majority, while majority organizations can enjoy university funding without worrying about being overrun.

        His unstated assumption is that minority groups (specifically conservative Christian groups) are in fact in constant danger from insidious infiltrators who want to bring them down, and there he’s smoking the wa-wa sauce. But the point of reductio ad absurdam is indeed to get to the absurd.

        • futbol789 says:

          “His unstated assumption is that minority groups (specifically conservative Christian groups) are in fact in constant danger from insidious infiltrators who want to bring them down, and there he’s smoking the wa-wa sauce. But the point of reductio ad absurdam is indeed to get to the absurd.”

          Well, in response to the first, I’m not arguing that you agree with him. Just to clarify, as that may not have come across.

          yes, he is smoking wa wa sauce. He quite nicely reduces it to the absurd in the ruling. But, he starts from the assumption that there are a sort of real world 4chan kids running around seeing to infiltrate and subvert gatherings of like minded individuals.

          His argument comes down to the idea that it’s better not to regulate membership because open door laws destroy groups. And just because he’s take a satirical tact doesn’t mean his point didn’t start out in ridiculous territory.

          Plenty of real world examples support the necessity for these laws. There are very few examples of real live agents of CHAOS seeking to quietly infiltrate and well cause chaos.

          I understand the argument that the ruling affects all groups. But, frankly, the only ones that tend to get upset about this are the ones that would like to protect themselves from the dangers of nonbelievers through a legal exemption.

          Overturning openness laws’ application to private religious groups because some knucklehead might execute a hostile takeover is just baseless pandering. And is rooted in the sort of politics that contributed a need for the laws in the first place.

          Another way to say it: many of these groups are based on tearing down barriers. And this law supports that. His is a response grounded in the idea that walls aren’t so bad.

          Basically, a dick with a satirical argument is still a dick. And a dick point (from the UNCW prof, mind) made in the absurd is still a dick point.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s wonderful – more minds exposed to critical thinking and engaged in questioning that which they are taught never to question. Bring them on.

    You can give me a classroom full of Christian evangelical students who have to pretend to give a damn any time.

    At the very least, I’ll sow some doubt, and likely set some on a path that will eventually release them from their intellectual prisons.

    • AirPillo says:

      You seem to assume the disruption of atheist groups won’t entail sitting in on them, plugging ears, and loudly going “LALALALALALALA!”

      It doesn’t look like they are being told to participate, it looks like they are being told to show up and disrupt and break up the meetings.

      It will be kind of odd though if people pay attention:
      *Christian groups told not to exclude gays.
      *Conservative leader gets pissy and tries to exact vengeance on gays, by targeting atheists, most of whom are not even gay.

      Incidentally this kind of open cowardice, targeting easy targets even when it’s dishonorable or for demonstrably false motivations, is also one of the distinguishing traits of the Authoritarian Follower personality type.

      • AirPillo says:

        Gah, forgot to finish my thought:

        One of the most common characteristics of strong authoritarian follower personalities… is that the more doubt you sow, the more evidence you give them that they’re wrong, the more desperately they believe they are right. Proof that they are wrong convinces them they they are right. It’s the most fucked up personality type ever and it’s going to be the bulk of these “warriors”.

        Give them doubt, prove they are wrong, and you galvanize them against you and fan the flames of each and every one of them with that personality type.

        They’re creatures of loyalty and emotion, not logic. You just egg them on trying to teach them lessons, they only allow their chosen leaders to teach them.

  47. IWood says:

    Hey, I want power over the godless heathen dissidents! That’d be awesome. I’d make them bring me pizza, their women (and more attractive males), and their iPads.

  48. RustyTrawler says:

    The column in question is clearly satire. Poorly executed and vitriolic, to be sure, but not meant to be taken literally.

    • jere7my says:

      Well said, Rusty. This is obvious satire — the column is called “An Immodest Proposal,” for Pete’s sake, and ends with “After we get rid of the heathens we’ll turn our weapon on the gays, the blacks, and the feminists. We might even go after the Italians, too.” Heavy-handed and bombastic he may be, but his point is that the decision opens minority organizations of every stripe to organized domination by the majority — that is, if a small feminist organization can’t specify in its charter that its members and leaders must be women, or sympathetic to women’s causes, then a hundred frat boys could start coming to meetings, form a voting bloc, and wreak havoc for kicks. I have no idea whether he’s right, not being a lawyer, but he’s trying to point out through reductio ad absurdam argument the end result of a legal decision, not seriously threatening to invade the local chapter of secular humanists.

      • Anonymous says:

        The vast majority of student groups on that campus (indeed, all but one) have always had an all-comers rule. Have any of them ever been disrupted? Have there, indeed, been any problems of the sort at all?

        No, there haven’t. If the feminist group wants to disallow men at their meetings, or in their hierarchy, then they are free too, they just can’t get money from the school to do so.

        It’s a bogus argument. Because in reality, it’s claiming a problem that nobody has actually ever had. If they want to illustrate that it is really a problem, they’ll have to do so themselves. Which makes it tantamount to blackmail. ‘If you don’t let us discriminate against gay people, we’ll ruin all your student unions.’

        -fred

      • tobergill says:

        Except that the court didn’t say that you couldn’t discriminate, just that you couldn’t discriminate and simultaneously benefit from levies on the general population.

      • Fex says:

        …if a small feminist organization can’t specify in its charter that its members and leaders must be women, or sympathetic to women’s causes, then a hundred frat boys could start coming to meetings, form a voting bloc, and wreak havoc for kicks.

        Funny you should mention. A Singaporean women’s group called AWARE had pretty much exactly that happen, except instead of frat boys it was a bunch of (wait for it) christian fundamentalists, who had decided that AWARE was being ‘pro-homosexuality’ (by offering neutral/supportive advice and information). They staged a takeover of the membership, ousted the management, fired employees, changed locks, the works.

        This link provides a basic overview, but there’s far more to the story than is there, or than I understand.

    • Eltanin Antenna says:

      Poe’s Law.

      • RustyTrawler says:

        It’s not Poe’s Law. That refers to misunderstanding someone like Stephen Colbert who parodies a right-wing blowhard.

        You’re thinking of Poe’s Corollary, in which a conservative says something so outrageous that it is misinterpreted as parody, even though it was meant to be sincere.

        But Poe’s Corollary doesn’t apply here. This is, as pointed out earlier, a reductio ad absurdum argument. Just because the writer is a right-wing dipshit doesn’t mean we can’t take a deep breath and try to follow the logic, even though we disagree.

  49. Anonymous says:

    When I read that this guy is a professor, I was worried. Then I read that he is a professor of ‘criminal justice’. I am no longer worried.

  50. MythicalMe says:

    Game on, Prof. Adams

    Every atheist group that I have ever been involved with has welcomed everyone. The thing is that Christians almost never come back because atheists welcome debate and will destroy an argument that isn’t well thought out. That leaves bible-thumpers with a dilemma as the the Bible can’t be used as a reliable source document.

  51. John Lupien says:

    Power over other people? How mind-numbingly
    under-ambitious!

    If your god is so great, why limit yourself
    to such obviously irrelevant irreverents?

    Time for some smiting! We haven’t had any
    good smiting since Katrina. Surely your
    omnipotent deity could come up with something
    more disruptive than having your minions attend
    a meeting! How about a tornado in the meeting
    hall? A meteorite in the shorts?

    // ^^^ weak attempt at satire ^^^
    // ^^^^ in case you didn’t notice!

  52. Anonymous says:

    Just to be nitpicky, the title should be UNCW (UNC Wilmington), not UNC (UNC Chapel Hill).

  53. genglefins says:

    Thank you for changing the title of this post from UNC to UNCW. There’s a huge difference between the two! I’m an alum of UNC (Chapel Hill), but I have also spent plenty of time at UNC Wilmington, and it is a very conservative campus, so seeing this headline surprised me in the least.

  54. BengArp says:

    That’s not exactly an accurate description of the article the professor wrote. He was making an attempt at satire, a sad attempt, but an attempt none the less. The article was titled “An Immodest Proposal” and ends with “After we get rid of the heathens we’ll turn our weapon on the gays, the blacks, and the feminists. We might even go after the Italians, too.”

    I don’t agree with his viewpoint. I’m a devout atheist and I think it’s pretty absurd to argue that his civil rights are being violated because his groups can’t violate civil rights, but this post is a bit misleading.

  55. flawedprefect says:

    Agreed with MythicalMe – I say let the come. We non-religious folk can also be welcoming, undiscriminating and friendly. If they try and subvert that, they’ll just end up looking like jerks, lose friends and alienate people.

  56. Anonymous says:

    How do you convince a person who’s decided there is no God that there is one? It can’t be done, and he’s a fool for trying.

    • teapot says:

      How do you convince a person who’s decided there is no God that there is one? It can’t be done, and he’s a fool for trying.

      Might need to check yer pronouns there, godboy. I don’t like fairytales, but I do remember them sometimes…. Matthew 7:1, I believe it is…

      Judgement it is for you then.

  57. Antinous / Moderator says:

    He was making an attempt at satire

    It undercuts the satiric tone when your modest proposal has an ad for a Glenn Beck book and an opportunity to support Arizona’s new immigration law on the page. Swift didn’t actually do business with cannibals.

    • jere7my says:

      He’s a columnist for townhall.com, Antinous. He probably doesn’t have any more control over the ads than you do here.

      I mean, he’s obviously a conservative jerk. He wrote a book called Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts “Womyn” On Campus. But going after his ads seems like the wrong tack, after all the times I’ve seen folks here disavow the ads.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        We at least try to avoid having ads that are offensive to our readership. It doesn’t always work, but when we get reports of Scientology ads, we do try to get rid of them. If you write a ‘satire’ about godless heathens on a site that has ads for people who regularly fulminate about godless heathens…… If it walks like a duck.

  58. JoshP says:

    @34 Kobie
    If you’re interested in what atheists talk about, I’ll risk mod censure and pimp a great podcast, ‘The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.’ It’s the cast of the New England Skeptical Society.
    As far as culture jamming the fundies? I live so far in the southern U.S. bible belt that congregations spontaneously form around abandoned objects, like cars or the odd cardboard box.
    But softcore porn pisses them off, also D&D, heavy metal. Umm, reading,… refusing to admit that you weren’t born right the first time, etc. Apply these basic forms and watch the hilarity ensue.
    “Have a Blessed Day!”

  59. Daneel says:

    Christ, what an asshole!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Ummmm so what? Believers should be allowed in an atheist group. Let the debate rage. All you have to do is reply in kind. Have atheists join christian groups and go to bible studies and let loose. ‘Disruption’ goes both ways. Freedom of speech means your enemies get to talk. On public universities, I’m sorry, everything should be open. Don’t kill your enemy, engage them!

    Atheists are supposed to be better people than believers. I think they are. Encouraging believers to join while putting into the corner of denying atheists admission to their groups would show the way. ‘AND THEY WILL KNOW WE ARE NOT CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE’…..

  61. Anonymous says:

    Why is a California state university using tax dollars to subsidize a Christian group in the first place?

  62. Anonymous says:

    UNC Wilmington != UNC (the commonly accepted abbreviation for UNC Chapel Hill). They are VERY different institutions.

  63. M says:

    Oh, no. Imagine the new, more powerful alliance that will be created when they realize what they both have in common: religious intolerance.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Yet another example of Conservatives filling themselves with hatred under the pretense of “being funny”. They just don’t get satire, unless he honestly believes his POV is stupid, which he doesn’t if he’s a TownHall columnist.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Christ, what an asshole.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I agree with previous posters. This is clearly satire, though heavy-handed. He gets to the point in the last paragraph:

    “In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito observed that the Martinez majority has provided public universities with “a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups.” Alito is right as usual. After we get rid of the heathens we’ll turn our weapon on the gays, the blacks, and the feminists. We might even go after the Italians, too.”

  67. Anonymous says:

    “I can just imagine what would happen if I tried to turn freethinkers on campus into militant disruptors of other organizations: their faculty advisors would descend on me in fury.”

    Uh, hasn’t PZ Myers basically done this already by encouraging his readers to steal Eucharist wafers so he can desecrate them? Except that wasn’t a joke.

    • Crosius says:

      PZ wrote that article in response to a school parish that had physically assaulted a (non-believing) student for pocketing a wafer (given to him by a minister at the mass) instead of eating it or giving it back. The student was subsequently the target of death threats and attempts at expulsion.

      “Desecrating” a cracker is less morally objectionable than the actions which preceded that act (physical assault, attempts to expel, death threats).

      In the case of this article, it’s someone railing against a just decision. Not a parallel situation.

  68. teapot says:

    Whats the best way to make yourself look like an bumbling, out-of-touch turd?

    Use the word heathen.

  69. Snowtred says:

    Yeah… The tone of this BB article doesn’t point out the obvious satire in the original article.

    Imagine this story, but with absolutely every role reversed. Pro-religion ruling, atheist prof writing his own “Immodest Proposal”. You’d be laughing at the ignorant posters on BoingBoingReligion.net right now who didn’t get the joke. He even has a follow-up column pointing it out as satire a week later.

    I hate to make this accusation, but Cory, did you just read the impassioned Daylight Atheism article, and not the original source? I think the Minnesota professor linked above made the same mistake.

  70. Kobie says:

    Dumb question perhaps, but what on earth do people talk about at atheist meetings?

  71. Patiofarmer says:

    This is why I love God but hate religion.

  72. Daemon says:

    What was the name of the rule about how it’s impossible to tell the difference between real fundamentalists and really insane satires thereof?

    • sapere_aude says:

      @Daemon: Poe’s Law ( http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe )

      Technically, this is not an example of Poe’s Law, because the author was not trying to satirize fundamentalism per se. Nonetheless, it is clearly a related phenomenon. In this case, however, the question is not whether this is a genuine expression of fundamentalist belief or a parody of fundamentalist belief. Clearly, the author (a conservative Christian) is not trying to parody fundamentalism. Rather, the question is whether the author’s “immodest proposal” is meant to be a sincere expression of what he plans to do, or is meant to be a hyperbolic, reductio ad absurdum critique of the sort of thing that could potentially happen as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

      Personally, I think it’s the latter. (Whether the article qualifies as genuine “satire” in the literary sense is irrelevant. In my view, the author’s point was to ridicule the SCOTUS ruling by pointing out how it could be exploited. I don’t think he was sincerely calling for fundamentalists to actually exploit the court ruling in this way.) But, given the track record of fundamentalists expressing these sorts of extremist ideas and pulling stunts very similar to what the author was proposing, I can understand why some people might think he was being sincere.

      Perhaps we need a new corollary to Poe’s Law stating that: “It is impossible for fundamentalists to use hyperbole without someone taking them seriously.”

    • Crosius says:

      That’s called a “POE”

  73. Anonymous says:

    It’s people like this that give other Christians a bad name. Honestly, I don’t think acting like this would be condoned by GIt’s people like this that give other Christians a bad name. Honestly, I don’t think acting like this would be condoned by God.

  74. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Swift’s Modest Proposal qualifies as satire because, as befits irony, what he suggests is the opposite of what he believes and intends.

    Mike Adams’ Modest Proposal is not satire because what he suggests is what he believes and intends. Winking at the audience while slightly exaggerating your political views is not satire; it’s just a ruse to deflect criticism. One which has apparently worked quite well on some of BB’s readers.

  75. RainyRat says:

    Re: the satire/not satire thing: It’s a way of saying all the unpleasant things that he really wants to, but also leaving himself a get-out clause when some fundamentalist idiot starts trouble in a college atheist group; he can just say “well, I was obviously being satirical! Just look at the title! It’s not my fault that they took it seriously!” Jack Thompson tried the same thing with his “modest videogame proposal”, then tried to weasel out of paying when someone took him up on it.

  76. Anonymous says:

    This kind of “satire” is what we called in college, “ha ha, only serious.”

    • Cranefly says:

      This kind of “satire” is what we called in college, “ha ha, only serious.”

      I always heard it as, “kidding on the square.”

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