Face of the new atheism
January 17, 2010
Craigslist is most famous for its free advertisements, including for adult services and for housing – and it also has a series of active message boards catering to all different interests. One of those is religion: there is an atheist forum, but no Christian forum. For a few years an impromptu, but unofficial “Celebrate Jesus” forum for prayer requests had served the small Christian community. However, if you visit the prayer forum today, it is over-run by atheists.
Looking through the history, it is possible to piece together what happened. At first a personal request for prayer would meet atheist abuse. For example, to someone experiencing muscle pain, and wanting to go to the doctor:
you’re self-obsessed, uneducated, and you have absolutely NO insight… Pain? You want to know what pain is, you stupid cunt?
There was a lot of this low level stuff, and that is pretty standard for the Internet. Soon, though all Christians posts were “flagged”. Whole pages of Christian posts simply went missing, with only atheist comments left. Sexually suggestive images accompanied increasing volumes of abuse. It becoming more and more extreme, suggesting that the regular members should commit kill themselves or that they were were paedophiles. Handles were created to impersonate regular Christians. They even impersonated me, even though I was almost never there.
One lovely woman whose ex-husband recently died, was impersonated as saying:
CELEBRATE SCREWING CORPSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or the same woman:
Help me! please! I am maries vagina. I need sex like crazy. She deprives me of it constantly
By this this time there was far more spam than Christian posts, so that when a Christian did post, they got a response like this:
josheb isa self-proclaimed alcoholic & sociopath. total gdamn dishonest, manipulative, aggressive, dickwiping, schmoozy, sack of shit… am i glad i don’t have to deal with people like that in the real world, it is why guns were invented.
Unfortunately that is not exactly an isolated example. Even after Christians no longer went to the forum (the prayer forum secretly moved to a different location), spam and abusive posting continued for several months – posting to the silent void. Needless to say there isn’t a rational argument in sight.
To me, this is the face of “new” atheism. They are encouraged by people like Dawkins and Harris not only to despise Christianity, but also to disrespect Christians. It is a sad situation: to spend all day, every single day, for month after month, posting abuse on the Internet. What a bad deal they offer, and what a bad deal they took: To replace love of your neighbour for the abuse of atheism.
Photo: Lawrence OP