Sunday, January 31, 2010

148: Don't be That Atheist

Nehemiah 10-11
The people commended all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem. - Nehemiah 11:2

Another short day. And another day that's pretty much just a list (is it time for Job yet?).

The section starts out by saying they are making an agreement, and it lists all the people that will be putting their seal on it. In this agreement they promise not to do several "sinful" things, including intermarrying, buying things on the sabbath, give offerings, etc.

In chapter 11, the Israelites have to draw lots on who will go back to Jerusalem. The "exiles" of Jerusalem had become so accustom to their new homes outside of the city that they didn't want to go back. So much for the wonderful promised land.

Oh boy, we have a special day today. I'm going to hate on some atheists.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is starting a letter writing campaign, and a boycott of the US postal service for their use of Mother Teresa on stamps. Now, contrary to popular belief, Mother Teresa may not have been the wonderful person we're led to believe she was.

The FFRF is arguing that Mother Teresa is primarily remembered for being a Catholic nun, and not for being a humanitarian. This would violate the USPS' regulation against honoring "individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings". To defend their position, the FFRF is saying stupid things like this:
You can't really separate her being a nun and being a Roman Catholic from everything she did
Is the FFRF saying you can't be a humanitarian without being a Roman Catholic? I suppose atheist organizations are capable of doing mental gymnastics to support their less intelligent arguments as well. They're not done digging their grave yet:
There's this knee jerk response that everything she did was humanitarian
That "knee jerk" response would be a general public consensus. Therefore you can't really argue that she isn't remembered for being a humanitarian if you, yourself admit that most people immediately think of her as a humanitarian. Dear FFRF: You are being stupid.

You are leaving the door wide open for people to say stupid shit like this:
Mother Teresa was a woman universally beloved across the globe for her humanitarian efforts in India and around the world. Her work with the poor and the dying, the disabled and disadvantaged, with refugees, and so on earned her the Nobel Peace Prize (an honor that was actually earned, imagine that) in 1979. So when the United States Postal Service decided to honor her life with a commemorative stamp, most people were happy. But of course, since a Christian is being honored, a group of atheists are outrageously outraged and want the Post Office to cancel the stamp.
And, you know, as stupid as what that person just said is, you are being no less stupid. As an organization that's supposed to be representing a movement for intelligence, maybe you should start being a little more intelligent.

This is the final straw for me, the FFRF is totally ok with a stamp for REVEREND Martin Luther King Junior. Are you kidding me? There's a little thing called picking your battles. The FFRF has picked the wrong one.

I'm going to stop before I lose my atheist card.

(via Fox News)


  1. Good for you, as a card carrying Atheist, I can't stand the FFRF either. They do more harm then good.

  2. Hi, I just want to leave a brief comment that may lead you to a better understanding of Mother Teresa. First, she was not into healing and second, she had a "crisis of faith" for 40 years. She basically ran suffering camps where people went for salvation from suffering, to get only the prolongation of it. A quick perusal of Christopher Hitchens', "Missionary Position", Mother Teresa in theory and practice, might be enlightening. As for the second claim, you may be interested in the book, "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light", Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk. In this book of her personal correspondences, she writes on two separate occasions of being bereft of the divine spirit for approximately 40 years. Of course, I'm not claiming the Postal Service put that much thought into it, I'm sure they didn't. But as for being a Saint (I am an atheist), or Humanitarian, in fact, as anything short of deserving detestation I am in the FFRF camp. Let me be clear, she was the main tool (spokesperson) against contraception, for Africans with AIDS, people in her suffering camps were not allowed to do anything but suffer and she capitalized on that to collect for the missions of the Catholic Church. Millions of dollars, and those suffering camps were horrible huts in squalor, bugs, heat and death but she made millions for the church. Have you ever been to Calcutta? She does not deserve to be on a US stamp for any reason. Thanks.

  3. @Beachbum I'm not saying Mother Teresa was a good person, or that the USPS should make a stamp out of her. That's not even really the issue. The issue is whether it's against the USPS' rules to put her on a stamp. In my opinion: no.

    In fact, if the FFRF were arguing that she shouldn't be on a stamp, solely because she didn't deserve it, I might be more on their side. They are instead trying to use a rule that simply doesn't apply in this situation.

  4. She is only remembered for her "humanitarianism" because the RCC sent her to exploit poor Indians so they could exploit her "humanitarianism" for purposes of propaganda. No one would've known she was there (and she wouldn't have been) if it weren't for the RCC. She did it all for that god she wished to believe in so badly, not for the people she thought she was helping. She was a nun and did what nuns do... follow the orders of the Church. For her, "humanitarianism" was about being a good nun, no better than saving her vaginal innocence for Jesus' throbbing manhood.

    Even if (and that's a big "even if") it is a feeble attempt to use a petty loophole to keep an undeserving person from receiving an undeserved (and taxpayer funded) honor, it is still an attempt to keep an undeserving person from receiving an undeserved honor that I would have to pay for. How could you bitch about that?

    It sucks that the FFRF's approach is the best they could do, but most people wouldn't understand why she is undeserving and it is better than silently watching the USPS put that pitiful hag's face on stamps at my (our) expense.

  5. Oh, and the Rev. King, Jr. might have been a reverend, but he did what he did FOR HUMANITY, as opposed to the fucking Roman Catholic Church... That was a stupid comparison. In fact, it seems your argument is backwards... MLK,Jr. is deserving AND qualifies, where as, Ms. Teresa is not and doesn't.

  6. I don't know anything more about this story than what you've presented here, and in particular I don't know anything about this alleged postal "regulation against honoring 'individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings'." If there is such a regulation, then I have to agree with the FFRF, since Mother Teresa is remembered primarily as the head of a Roman Catholic organization. There's just no getting around it; her "principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings." This is far from the case with MLKJr, whose "principal achievements" were emphatically not "associated with religious undertakings." In fact they came from his work as a civil rights leader, not as a minister.

    Personally I don't care what the post office sticks on the stamps or whom they honor. Given a free choice I'll go with Homer Simpson over Mother Teresa any day, but so long as the bills and letters and orders get to their destinations, I'm happy.

  7. Without any consideration of the actual evidence for that mother, Teresa, being a Humanitarian - or not, I'm sure that the USPS will have no problem keeping within arbitrary rules and fully against conscience, so as to put a religious idiot on a stamp. I will stand with the FFRF and against that woman getting on any of my postage. But that's just me, being an obstinate atheist. Oh, I am a proud member of the FFRF and an ex-postal contractor, but I tried to keep that out of my opinion. And as such, I don't really disagree about the FFRF going too far on occasion, but that is their job, and I would rather they go too far, than not far enough.



Copyright © 2009, Page Info, Contact Me