What follows is a comment that I left on the MSN forums in response to this question: "Do you believe in spiritual apparitions?" It was a forum topic associated with this news item:
My initial comment and Mr. Lawrence's "rebuttal" and my response are presented for your entertainment. I feel this is the appropriate way to respond to anyone of this character. Enjoy...
wow, AmericanAntitheist, if you have such a problem with people of faith practicing their rights, using their freedom of speech and so on than you should shut up also, you are getting angry with a group of people who DONT CARE what you say about them or let alone what YOU think they should do, If you choose not to believe fine, but seriously we live in a world of diversity, of multiple different races, and faiths, who cares...who cares...move on with your life just as the billions of believer will also without your petty misinterpretations of what you think they believe..you dont understand and by your post you dont care to, so whats the point. your peeing in the wind.
I have absolutely no problem with Christian demagogues spouting their laughable madness from every rooftop. But they should be prepared to be laughed at for the ridiculously ignorant louts they are. My suggestion is not that you be "shut up" so to speak. I think that the proper response to such a blatant and willfull ignorance as yours and your like is ridicule. Something which I will be glad to heap on anyone so moronic as to propose that the vast litany of simply preposterous claims held in the Bible is the ultimate truth.
And the reason I care is because all the believers of this farce of a creed are making claims to truth, claims that they seek to force on the rest of us with political power. And the standard of their belief is not evidence but the mouldy scribbles of some bronze age tribal leaders. The bible couldn't even get pi right. How could it have anything revealing to say about the universe? And yet these proponents of mindless devotion to an anachronistic faith would seek to influence the lives and decisions of every living man and woman on this earth.
Whether they be Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Jews, Protestants, or even Scientologists, the main principle of faith is to believe without thinking. And the result when that is married to political power is evident whenever we look at news from the Middle East or listen to the rantings of psychopaths like Falwell or Graham or Robertson.
Sure, say what you like. Believe what you like. Just be prepared to be laughed at. There is nothing which makes religion more respectable than any other form of discourse. If you say something ridiculous, be prepared to be ridiculed. And there is no religious claim which is not laughable when compared to the vast body of scientific knowledge which we have at our disposal. Religion is as plausible as alchemy or astrology and should be rendered as impotent in the influence of our beliefs as carnival fortune tellers and the horoscopes are today.
My interest is not in changing your mind. I think you would need some serious therapy to do that. My interest is in working away the veneer of impenetrability that religion has built up over the years. It deserves to be as accountable for its propositions as any scientist is accountable for his claims. If a scientist proposes a new idea, he must battle with the entire scientific community, most of whom want to see him fail, in order to win acceptance.
And yet all someone has to do is have the letters "Rev." in front of their name and they can spout racism and fascism with impunity. If they are challenged they cry, "oh, you can't oppress me...it's a matter of faith." Well, faith be damned. If you can't support what you claim to be true then be prepared to be laughed out of the room. It's what you deserve.