by: Dan Hettmannsperger III
“You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” -Anne Lamott, American novelist and non-fiction writer.
I’ve been on the internet in one form or another now for more than two decades. That’s right, I’m old enough to remember when AOL was cool (sigh). The war of ideas that started in ancient Greece found its way here, and the casualties have been high. I’m not talking about a literal body count, but the opposition has always been brutal and doesn’t mind dirty pool. Let’s not forget that Christians used to routinely burn people like us without a second thought as a spectator sport. It’s an ugly business fighting the true believers after all God is on their side. Fortunately we have a far superior ally: TRUTH.
But lets start with a few facts. Back in 2003 I was an admin at a site calledChristianburner.com. CB.com was a simple atheist forum where people gathered in the thousands to hash out the Bible, theology, and other assorted lies and cons connected with the whole God-franchise. For years, it was my favorite site. Things began to get ugly when we started getting death threats, which always seemed to emanate from places like Mississippi and rural Alabama. We always posted the threats as proof of the barbarism of the opposition, and we just kept on voicing our views with Facts and Logic…something the Christians were never very strong on as we all know. Then one day I tried to log in and found that it was impossible. The home page was there, but that was all, and it wouldn’t let anyone log in. I contacted the site manager who informed me that the HTML has been corrupted by a virus and that the site was thrashed for good. One of the fanatics we’d banned contacted him, taking credit for this singular act of vandalism…and this has now become part of a pattern I’ve observed.
I joined Facebook in 2010 and have seen what is in effect an Undeclared Cyberwar going on between atheists/agnostics and Christians. Christians will target a Facebook page they dislike for whatever reason and will attack it en masse with bogus complaints until Facebook finally takes it down. Many of my own friends inform me this is far more common than ever gets noticed in the media. There is no way to count the number of pages, forums and profiles that Christians have destroyed, but we can be certain the number is high. This is really a form of soft-terrorism as I see it, and we must all stand resolutely against it.
Christians have made it pretty clear that if they can’t win the argument with ideas (which they can’t) then they’ll do whatever it takes to silence the opposition even if it means destroying their access to an audience, discrediting them with lies or intimidating them with the kind of low brow bullying that I had hoped we’d all outgrown by high school. Just after I published my last blog about the Bill Nye vs Ken Ham debate, I found my account attacked several dozen times with false reports. The page I ran for science fiction fans, The 37th Realm of Existence, unpublished and lost after the trolls hit it repeatedly as a means of getting to me. Another Christian made a degrading meme out of my own profile photo with an unflattering allusion to my orientation, which happens to be bisexual, that has found its way into a half a dozen forums that I know of and doubtless more that I don’t. I’ve received insults, death-threats, and harassment. But, guess what? I’m not going anywhere…no matter what they say or what they do they won’t silence me or those who stand up for what is right and true. The 21st Century has seen unprecedented progress for Reason, Social Justice and Equality. Those who would drag us back thrash against a tide that they can’t possibly hope to match and never will. And let me be crystal clear here so that there is no misunderstanding: I would never suggest or support that such methods should ever be employed against them. We are above such tactics and always were. Only those about to lose ever feel a need to move the goal posts.
My goal remains the same: to break the bones of this world’s ignorance once and for all. Who’s with me?