Brad Hirschfield is a grumpy old man sitting back shaking his head at nasty atheists being naughty.

Apparently, a skeptic group had an event where they tour up pages from the bible photocopies of pages from the bible. Great, reminds me of the great cracker abuse of 2007, only less controversial. Suffice it to say, I’m all for this kind of activism. We need to get over the idea that ideas and symbols can be sacred and beyond reproach.

In the article entitled When Atheism Turns Ugly, Hirschfield manages to be patronizing, castigating, and offended all at once, or as Regretsy would put it butthurt. Without any irony or an iota of self awareness, Rabbi Hirschfield claims that “Fanatical atheism is no worse and no better than fanatical religion, though it may be more bitterly ironic.” Ooh good one there Brad.

No what’s bitterly ironic, is that a Jewish man fails to recognize an oppressed minority when he sees one. Oppression can come in many forms, and calls to sit down and shut up are historically used to silence your opposition. While I will not compare the plight of atheists today with the discrimination relentlessly leveled against the Jewish people in the past. I will say that in much of this country, its still hard to be outspoken and an atheist in public without risking some kind of reprisal.

While the tired old arguments about “fanatical atheism” apply to this article, Mr. Hirschfield’s pompous attempts to put himself somehow above it all, are even more obnoxious. The end of his article calls on religion to be more humble and fanatical atheists to not be so fanatical. His conclusion?

Oh wait, if that happened, we wouldn’t have culture wars. Difference and disagreement? To be sure. But the kind of ugly street theater that was played out in Huntington Beach, no.

What does he think disagreement and difference look like?

Disagreement doesn’t mean not offending anyone. If you hold contrary opinions, there’s someone who will always take it personally and be offended… as Hirschfield demonstrates.

The gay rights movement has put up with this shit for years, too, “Why can’t they just do it in the privacy of their own homes?” “I don’t want to hear about that;”  “Don’t ask, don’t tell;” etc. But it wasn’t until gay people started to become public about the lives, that any positive change happened at all. That’s why pride parades exist, to promote solidarity, to gain strength from numbers, and to have a public presence so you can’t be stifled.

It pisses me off when assholes like Hirschfield try and hand down judgement on activists without addressing a single one of their points. The bible is full of hateful stuff, that was the point of the protest. The Rabbi ignores that in preference of calling for humility and while showing none of his own. Mr. Hirschfield needs to grow a thicker skin, and stop wining about how “ugly” we atheists are. The bible is a book, it deserves no more respect than any other.

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