The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Sunday, November 29, 2009

British Comedian Pat Condell Is A Proud Aggressive Atheist Who Is The Very Model Of *Some* Modern Unitarian*Universalists. . .

Why does this YouTube video remind me of some of the intolerant aggressive "fundamentalist atheist" "Humanist" U*Us I have the misfortune to know? U*Us know the ones. . . The in-your-face aggressive atheists that former UUA President Rev. Dr. John A* Buehrens once got former Humanist U*U Dr. Rieux all riled up by "name-calling" them "obnoxious atheists" in his book 'My Chosen Faith' but for some inexplicable reason none-the-less allowed to be more than a little bit obnoxious, to say nothing of intolerant and aggressive, towards me and other God believing people.



Is it possible that British stand-up comedian Pat Condell is somehow trying to establish his credentials as yet another "obnoxious atheist" Unitarian*Universalist ministerial candidate that Rev. Ray Drennan and other intolerant and aggressive "fundamentalist atheist" "Humanist" U*U ministers would be only too happy to welcome into the *Fellowship* of Unitarian*Universalist ministers?

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Rieux said...

Hi, Robin. A couple of points:

1. I'm not familiar with any book called My Chosen Faith. John Buehrens has never written such a book, and I've never responded to one.

2. There is a different Buehrens (and Forrest Church) book called A Chosen Faith, and I have written a long review/rebuttal to that book. However, neither that book nor my review of it contains the phrase "obnoxious atheists." Indeed, I don't recall seeing the word "obnoxious" in the book or writing it in my review.

3. The following sentence has grammatical problems that obstruct its intended meaning, whatever that may be:

Dr. John A* Buehrens once got former Humanist U*U Dr. Rieux all riled up by "name-calling" them "obnoxious atheists" in his book 'My Chosen Faith' but for some inexplicable reason none-the-less allowed to be more than a little bit obnoxious, to say nothing of intolerant and aggressive, towards me and other God believing people.

What is the subject of the verb "allowed"? Are you saying that Buehrens has "allowed" that? Or that I have? Or (in the passive voice) that some atheists are "allowed" to be obnoxious, intolerant, aggressive, etc.? The lack of a subject for the clause leaves your meaning entirely ambiguous.

4. Presuming you mean that I have "allowed" atheists to be obnoxious, intolerant, and aggressive toward you and other theists, what are you referring to? When have I had the power to prevent any such behavior? I wasn't aware that it fell to me to allow or disallow atheist obnoxiousness, etc. (Especially since "obnoxious atheists," in so many words, is a concept I don't recall even commenting on.)

5. Pat Condell is making particular arguments about various ideas--kinds of intolerance, religious concepts, and so on--in the video clip you've embedded here. I take it you disagree with what he's saying, which is obviously not a problem; I don't agree with some of the things he says, either. (The over-emphasis of African-Americans' role in approving Proposition 8 in California, for example, is less than ideal.)

I suggest, however, that you explain why you disagree with Condell's points. You seem to be taking it as a given that what he is saying is unacceptable, but that doesn't seem self-evident. What's wrong with Condell's arguments?

Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:06:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

You're nit-picking as usual Dr. Rieux. If I wanted to nit-pick I might ask -

"Since when does a *couple* of points add up to at least five points?"

Does it *really* take two separate points to point out that I mistakenly referred to Rev. Dr. John Buehrens' and Rev. Forrest Church's book 'A Chosen Faith' as 'My Chosen Faith'? I could be mistaken Dr. Rieux but I seem to recall that your original nit-picking "review" of 'A Chosen Faith' did in fact accuse Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of referring to "obnoxious atheists" whether that description of atheists was in the book itself or from another source. So while I may be mistaken about the original source of that quote that you attributed to Rev. Dr. John Buehrens I am reasonably sure that you none-the-less accused him of referring to atheists as "obnoxious atheists" on your site. Unfortunately your original website is no longer available online so it is not easy to verify that. As I recall you complained about Rev. Buehrens making a blanket condemnation of all atheists with his "obnoxious atheists" description when he was quite obviously trying to separate the wheat from the chaff just as I do with qualifiers such as "fundamentalist" "militant" "dogmatic" or "aggressive" etc.

"In-your-face aggressive atheists" are the subject of "allowed" as should be reasonably clear. UUA President Rev. Dr. John A* Buehrens allowed the intolerant and obnoxious "fundamentalist atheist" Humanist U*U minister Rev. Ray Drennan to be more than a little bit obnoxious, to say nothing of intolerant and aggressive, towards me and other God believing people, as you well know. Right Dr. Rieux?

So your *presumption* in point four out of two is just plain wrong. I was talking about how former UUA President Rev. Dr. John A for Asshat Buehrens allowed Rev. Ray Drennan to insult and defame me with complete impunity. You can read all about it here if you need to refresh your memory but I thought that you were already quite aware of the fact that Rev. Dr. John Buehrens' effectivelty condoned Rev. Ray Drennan's anti-religious intolerance and bigotry and even berated me for daring to complain about it during 'Sharing Joys and Concerns' one Sunday.

As far as British comediam Pat Condell goes this TEA blog post is not in fact about the validity of what he says, or lack thereof, but rather about his obviously in-your-face aggressive and obnoxious manner that is all too typical of the "bad attitude" of what I refer to as "fundamentalist atheists" and what I am reasonably sure you once accused Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of referring to as "obnoxious atheists" whether that quote came from 'A Chosen Faith' or some other source.

Monday, January 18, 2010 5:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Rieux said...

I will cheerfully concede that I used the word "couple" in a colloquial rather than a literal manner. I think, however, that your disinterest in a careful examination of what your antagonists have actually written speaks poorly of your interest in honest discussion. It is difficult to hold a meaningful debate when one's account of one's opponent is in fact a garbled, inaccurate straw man.

My review of A Chosen Faith is available on the Internet. You can read the review at http://dr-rieux.livejournal.com/5650.html . Also at that URL is a comment on my review by one "The Emerson Avenger." How can you claim not to have been aware that my review was available when you commented on it?

I am reasonably sure that you none-the-less accused [Buehrens] of referring to atheists as "obnoxious atheists" on your site.

As you can see for yourself, you are mistaken on this point. Wouldn't it make more sense to base criticisms of me, or Buehrens, on what we've actually written--rather than on your garbled memories of what we've written?

[Y]ou complained about Rev. Buehrens making a blanket condemnation of all atheists with his "obnoxious atheists" description when he was quite obviously trying to separate the wheat from the chaff....

Of course, he does nothing of the kind, as the book never identifies any variety of atheist who is acceptable in Buehrens' eyes. How can one "separate the wheat from the chaff" when one never drops the slightest hint that there exists such a thing as wheat?

Any disgusting insult directed at any group of people can always be represented as "separating the wheat from the chaff," and thus (allegedly) not bigoted, by someone willing to pretend that the speaker respects some other subcategory of the targeted group. But in many cases, as here, that's an argument from silence. As I have repeatedly documented, Buehrens' treatment of atheists is 100% demeaning and 0% respectful. To paraphrase Clara Peller, "Where's the wheat?"

"In-your-face aggressive atheists" are the subject of "allowed" as should be reasonably clear. President Rev. Dr. John A* Buehrens allowed the intolerant and obnoxious "fundamentalist atheist" Humanist U*U minister Rev. Ray Drennan to be more than a little bit obnoxious....

Um, what? If "In-your-face aggressive atheists" is the subject, then where does the second sentence quoted above come from? I think you mean that "Buehrens" is the subject of "allowed," and "atheists" are the object.

Again: when you garble things, it impedes discussion. Is that seriously hard to understand? There are at least three equally simple and plausible ways to "correct" your original sentence, and they mean three different things. Don't you think that's a problem?

Finally, you aren't interested in contesting "the validity of" anything Condell says (gee--I am); you merely wanted to express nebulous distaste for his and other atheists' "attitude"?

Okay. Well, then, your concern has been noted. I'm not sure that too many of us are all that interested in what members of a powerful and privileged majority think about the "attitude" of members of a roundly despised minority. We don't take marching orders from you.

....and what I am reasonably sure you once accused Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of referring to as "obnoxious atheists"....

Search my review (linked above) and glance at http://bit.ly/4tYWzG : you are "reasonably sure" of something that isn't true. I submit that that suggests you're mistaken about a few other related matters, as well.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 5:10:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:I think, however, that your disinterest in a careful examination of what your antagonists have actually written speaks poorly of your interest in honest discussion.

Sorry Rieux but there is no "disinterest" in a careful examination of what you or anyone else has written in this matter. There is an *inability* to do so because your *original* website no longer exists and it is therefore impossible for me to verrify what you said on it. It is true that you later created a LiveJournal blog which reproduced some of your ortiginal website but by no means all of its and you may well have changed parts of it.

:It is difficult to hold a meaningful debate when one's account of one's opponent is in fact a garbled, inaccurate straw man.

Sorry Dr. Rieux but I have a very clear recollection of you accusing Rev. Dr. John Buehrens as having referred to atheists as "obnoxious atheists" on your *original* website which no longer exists. If the qualifying adjective was not "obnoxious" it was a very similar word. You are the one who then misinterpreted his words, or knowingly and willfully misrepresented what you accused him of saying, by pretending that he was suggesting that all atheists are obnoxious when in fact he was talking about a subset of atheists just as I do when I use the term "fundamentalist atheists".

:How can you claim not to have been aware that my review was available when you commented on it?

Where did I claim not to have been aware that your review was available Rieux? I said your *original* website was no longer available. I am perfectly aware that you made a new LiveJournal blog later that reproduced *some* but by no means *all* of the material that was on your website.

:As you can see for yourself, you are mistaken on this point.

Really Rieux? Where can I see your original website?

:Wouldn't it make more sense to base criticisms of me, or Buehrens, on what we've actually written--rather than on your garbled memories of what we've written?

My memory is far from garbled Dr. Rieux. You accused Rev. Dr. Buehrens of referring to atheists as "obnoxious atheists" or something very similar to that.

:Of course, he does nothing of the kind, as the book never identifies any variety of atheist who is acceptable in Buehrens' eyes.

I don't have a review copy of 'A Chosen Faith' to verify that statement Dr. Rieux. Care to send me one?

:How can one "separate the wheat from the chaff" when one never drops the slightest hint that there exists such a thing as wheat?

Again that is an allegation aka unsubstantiated rumor that I cannot verify since I do not have a copy of 'A Chosen Faith' available to read. I have however found a limited preview in Google Books and will read some of it to see what Buehrens says about atheists in it.

:Any disgusting insult directed at any group of people can always be represented as "separating the wheat from the chaff," and thus (allegedly) not bigoted, by someone willing to pretend that the speaker respects some other subcategory of the targeted group.

Give me a break Dr. Rieux. Referring to athiests who are in fact obnoxious as "obnoxious atheists" is hardly a "disgusting insult" directed at all atheists whether. Ditto for terms like "aggressive atheists" "militant atheists" "dogmatic atheists" "fundamentalist atheists" or even "Atheist Supremacists". All of these terms refer to a subset or subsets of atheists and by no means tar the whole group with any "disgusting insult". Heck I know of moderate atheists (oh dear what a "disgusting insult") who use some of those terms themselves to separate themselves from their more militant, dogmatic, and indeed quite obnoxious brethren.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:03:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:But in many cases, as here, that's an argument from silence. As I have repeatedly documented, Buehrens' treatment of atheists is 100% demeaning and 0% respectful.

Have you *really* demonstrated that Dr. Rieux? It seems to me that Rev. Dr. John Buehrens covered the remarkable obnoxious "fundamentaklist atheist" Rev. Ray Drennan's hypocritical U*U ass when I complained about his intolerant and abusive and indeed "in your face" obnoxious attack on me. If Buehrens had so little respect for atheists why didn't he nail "obnoxious atheist" Rev. Ray Drennan to the wall when he had an opportunity to do so?

:To paraphrase Clara Peller, "Where's the wheat?"

Well I hate to have to say so Dr. Rieux but as far as your beef with Buehrens goes I sometimes have to ask, "Where's the beef?" I am not saying that you are completely off base about him, but at times you seem to be grasping at rather flimsy straws to support your argument that Rev. Dr. John Buehrens has it in for all atheists.

:Um, what? If "In-your-face aggressive atheists" is the subject, then where does the second sentence quoted above come from? I think you mean that "Buehrens" is the subject of "allowed," and "atheists" are the object.

Whatever. It is also possible that I accidentally dropped specific mention of Rev. Ray Drennan from that sentence. It works very well if I say -

Dr. John A* Buehrens once got former Humanist U*U Dr. Rieux all riled up by "name-calling" them "obnoxious atheists" in his book 'My Chosen Faith' but for some inexplicable reason none-the-less allowed Rev. Ray Drennan to be more than a little bit obnoxious, to say nothing of intolerant and aggressive, towards me and other God believing people.

No?

I do make typos and other errors and sometimes fail to catch them before publishing comments and even after rereading the comment.

:Again: when you garble things, it impedes discussion. Is that seriously hard to understand?

Nope but "obnoxious atheists" is hardly "garbled" it is just two words and I stand by my recollection of you accusing Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of using that term, or a very similar one, to describe atheists on your *original* website.

:There are at least three equally simple and plausible ways to "correct" your original sentence, and they mean three different things. Don't you think that's a problem?

Not really Dr. Rieux. I think that most people can figure out from the overall context pretty much what I *meant* to say.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:06:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Finally, you aren't interested in contesting "the validity of" anything Condell says (gee--I am); you merely wanted to express nebulous distaste for his and other atheists' "attitude"?

There is nothing nebulous about my distaste for Pat Condell's and other obnoxious atheists' "bad attitude" Dr. Rieux. But yes, I was not so much arguing against what he said as the obnoxious and aggressive "in your face" manner of *how* he said it, which is all too typical of what I call "fundamentalist atherists". Inj fact parts of this YouTube video remind me very much of how Rev. Ray Drennan behaved during his intolerant and abusive attack on me in November bof 1995.

:Okay. Well, then, your concern has been noted. I'm not sure that too many of us are all that interested in what members of a powerful and privileged majority think about the "attitude" of members of a roundly despised minority. We don't take marching orders from you.

I don't despise atheists nor do most of the people I know. I have atheist friends and family members and we get along just fine. It's just the obnoxious and intolerant fundamentalist atheists that I have a probklem with and I expect that this holds true for many other God believing people in America, Canada and Europe etc.

:Search my review (linked above) and glance at http://bit.ly/4tYWzG : you are "reasonably sure" of something that isn't true.

One more time Dr. Rieux I am talking about something that I read on your *original* website which had a lot more material than was reproduced on your LiveJournal blog months if not years after your original website went down. I am reasonably sure that you accused Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of characterizing ALL atheists as "obnoxious" and I am *very* sure that if the qualifying adjective was not "obnoxious" it was a very similar word. This is entirely consistent with your argument that Rev. Dr. John Buehrens is an anti-atheist bigot.

:I submit that that suggests you're mistaken about a few other related matters, as well.

And I submit that the whole reason that you are denying having used the term "obnoxious atheists" is an attempt to discredit me. Looks like your parting shot here pretty much proves *that* little theory of mine Dr, Rieux. Try again. In most cases I can link directly to hard evidence supporting my arguments, except where it has been "memory holed" or otherwise removed from the internet as is the case with your original website. No?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:06:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Could you please provide me with the URL of your original website Dr. Rieux? I may be able to use it to find where you accused Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of characterizing atheists as "obnoxious atheists" or a similar term. I would also ask you to open your saved files of your original wesbite, assuming that you still have them available, and search them for the word "obnoxious". If you fail to find the qualifying adjective "obnoxious" immediately prior to the words atheist or atheists then I would ask you to run a search on the words "atheist" and "atheists" to see what other qualifying adjective(s) Rev. Dr. John Buehrens may have used immediately prior to those words according to your allegations. As I said, I stand by my recollection of you accusing Rev. Dr. John Buehrens describing atheists as "obnoxious atheists" on your original website but, even if that memory is not 100% accurate I am ***very*** sure that in the past you did accuse Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of labeling atheists as "_________ atheists" with the blank being very similar to "obnoxious" in either its spelling or its meaning or both. So please do assist me in my free and responsible search for what you actually accused Rev. Dr. John Buehrens of saying whethet it actually was "obnoxious atheists" or a very similar term.

Oh and you might want to apologize to me for saying -

"I think, however, that your disinterest in a careful examination of what your antagonists have actually written speaks poorly of your interest in honest discussion."

I am almost always very interested in a careful examination of what my antagonists or opponents have actually written or said as should be clear from most of the posts on this blog and most of what I have written elsewhere on the internet.

Thursday, January 21, 2010 11:28:00 am  
Anonymous Rieux said...

Goodness--a quadruple reply, huh?

First: are you seriously accusing me of deleting the word "obnoxious" from my review of A Chosen Faith? Why in the world would I do that? Isn't it more plausible that you simply misremembered what you read?

Second, I promise: the LJ copy of my review is exactly the same as the "original" review on my "original" Infidelity website. I did not change a word. (Also, every word I wrote about Buehrens on Infidelity has since been transferred over to my LJ. Every single word.)

I find it befuddling that you're holding doggedly to a months- (if not years-) old memory of your own rather than the actual text you can read right now. I haven't changed anything. Isn't an ordinary memory failure more plausible than a (bizarre and pointless) cover-up?

Infidelity no longer exists, ever since my cousin forgot to pay the web-hosting bill. It's gone. That's why I moved all of the important content over to LJ. I haven't deleted anything.


And I submit that the whole reason that you are denying having used the term "obnoxious atheists" is an attempt to discredit me.

Again--goodness, any discrediting is something you're doing to yourself. You claimed I said something I've never said. If you think that doesn't make you look bad, then I guess you have nothing to worry (or complain!) about.


Next--no, I'm not going to apologize, because in multiple ways you are directly refusing to address the things your opponents have actually said. You gesticulate at something about the word "obnoxious," rather than the things I wrote in my actual review. You feel justified in attacking my reading of ACF, but you see no need to offer any actual examination of my argument and evidence whatsoever. (No, it is not my responsibility to send you a book so that you can figure out whether your attacks have any basis in fact. Generally the idea is to find substantive grounds before attacking.) And you complain about Condell's "bad attitude," rather than addressing the substance of his arguments. Again, I think all that reflects poorly on you. You evidently disagree, so I guess we're all good.


As for Condell's attitude, as I said, minorities like mine don't typically ask majorities like yours what is the proper attitude for us to take toward your ideas. We keep our own counsel on such questions. As a result, it's not clear what moral force your complaint can have. Condell has the right to whatever "attitude" he prefers, and criticisms like yours are part of a very longstanding tradition of marginalizing and silencing minorities by constructing rules of decorum under which it is not acceptable for us to say who we are or what we believe. On behalf of myself and thousands of other atheists, we don't much care whether you like our "attitude." We believe our approach is justified, and we're not terribly interested in being critiqued by folks who can't be bothered to address the actual substance of what we say.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 5:51:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Goodness--a quadruple reply, huh?

Blogger has a character limit on comments Dr. Rieux.

:First: are you seriously accusing me of deleting the word "obnoxious" from my review of A Chosen Faith?

Are you seriously accusing me of seriously accusing you deleting the word "obnoxious" from your review of 'A Chosen Faith' Rieux? How many times do I have to say that my source for the "obnoxious atheists" quote attributed to UUA President John Buehrens was your much older and now defunct original website which had quite a bit more material on it than your review on your LJ blog. You are either have a very poor understanding of the English language or you are being disingenuous Dr. Rieux. Nowhere here have I accused you of deleting anything from your review.

:Why in the world would I do that?

Well even though I did not actually accuse you of doing that you *might* do something like that to hide evidence that I was right. Unitarian Universalist minsiters delete whole blog posts and/or comments to hide evidence of foolish things that they said in the past. Why would you be above doing such a thing? Especially if your intent is to try to discredit me as would appear to be the case?

:Isn't it more plausible that you simply misremembered what you read?

Didn't I already clearly say that I may have somewhat misremembered what you wrote and ask you to review the files of your old website to see what adjectives similar to "obnoxious", either in spelling or meaning or both, you may have attributed Buehrens? Is it not possible that you might have misquoted Buehrens yourself?

:Second, I promise: the LJ copy of my review is exactly the same as the "original" review on my "original" Infidelity website. I did not change a word.

That may be so Rieux but there was quite a bit more material dealing with Buehrens alleged antipathy towards atheists on your original Infidelity website. I definitely saw you attributing the term "obnoxious atheists" or a similar term to President Buehrens regardless of whether or not that alleged quote came from 'A Chosen Faith'.

:(Also, every word I wrote about Buehrens on Infidelity has since been transferred over to my LJ. Every single word.)

I find that hard to believe Dr. Rieux. In fact I think that I can prove you wrong on that point. . .

:I find it befuddling that you're holding doggedly to a months- (if not years-) old memory of your own rather than the actual text you can read right now.

Really? You never read George Orwell's '1984' Rieux? Please don't insult everyone's intelligence by suggesting that you could not have edited the version of your review of 'A Chosen Faith' that was posted to your LiveJournal blog months, if not years, after your Infidelity site went down. Come to think of it, the very name of that defunct website of yours doesn't exactly inspire confidence that you would act in good faith Rieux. . . Right?

:I haven't changed anything. Isn't an ordinary memory failure more plausible than a (bizarre and pointless) cover-up?

But your "cover-up", if there is one, is by no means pointless. You have clearly tried to cast doubt on the reliability of my memory here in an effort to discredit me much more generally. I did not actually accuse you of changing anything I only suggested that the original quote was no longer available on the internet as a result of your site going down.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:29:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Infidelity no longer exists, ever since my cousin forgot to pay the web-hosting bill. It's gone.

I figured something like that happened Rieux but my point is that the original material that I read there, including the "obnoxious atheists" quote or very similar quote, is *gone*.

:That's why I moved all of the important content over to LJ. I haven't deleted anything.

Maybe the quote I am referring to was amongst the "less than important" material that you chose not to tranfer Rieux. There is no question that you did not repost the quote I was referring to. As I recall there was quite a biot more material on your original infidelity site than is currently posted to your LJ blog.

:Again--goodness, any discrediting is something you're doing to yourself. You claimed I said something I've never said.

Not necessarily Rieux. That is the claim you are making in an attempt to discredit me and you acknowledge that the original Infidelity website no longer exists. I did ask you to go through the files to look for that quote or a similar one but it seems that you chose not to for some reason. . .

:If you think that doesn't make you look bad, then I guess you have nothing to worry (or complain!) about.

You're too funny Rieux I am perfectly aware that your claim that you never attributed the term "obnoxious atheists" to President Buehrens makes me look bad. I expect that is precisely why you are making that claim. OTOH Much of what you say makes you look bad, even a good chunk of what you are posting here. Your proclivity to misrepresent what people are actually saying is as evident in your comments here as on your Infifelity website or your LiveJournal blog. You have already made a good number of highly misleading or outright false statements in your comments here.

:Next--no, I'm not going to apologize, because in multiple ways you are directly refusing to address the things your opponents have actually said.

Actually that is what you are doing Rieux. Whatever the adjective was, "obnoxious" or otherwise, Rev. Dr. John Buehrens used it to describe a particular type of atheists and did not in fact tar all atheists with the same brush as you either stupidly or quite disingenuously suggested on your original Infidelity website if not your LiveJournal blog, to say nothing of elsewhere on the internet.

:You gesticulate at something about the word "obnoxious," rather than the things I wrote in my actual review.

One more time Rieux I am talking about something that I read on your original Infidelity website, not the more recently published "review" of 'A Chosen Faith' even if that "review" really is identical to what was previously published there was other material published that you did not republish. The quote I saw was obviously amongst the material that you chose not to republish, unless of course you did in fact alter what you republished.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:30:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:You feel justified in attacking my reading of ACF, but you see no need to offer any actual examination of my argument and evidence whatsoever.

Where is your *evidence* that you never quoted Rev. Dr. John Buehrens as using the term "obnoxious atheists" Rieux? I am very justifiably criticizing your dubious (mis)interpretation, if not knowing and willful misrepresentation, of certain parts of 'A Chosen Faith' with good reason Rieux.

:(No, it is not my responsibility to send you a book so that you can figure out whether your attacks have any basis in fact.

I am innocent of misquoting you until *proven* guilty Dr. Rieux. For all I know the book actually does contain the phrase "obnoxious atheists" in it or a very similar description of atheists. Even if it does not it is entirely possibly that you misquoted or misrepresented Rev. Buehrens' words on your original Infidelity website. No?

:Generally the idea is to find substantive grounds before attacking.) And you complain about Condell's "bad attitude," rather than addressing the substance of his arguments. Again, I think all that reflects poorly on you.

Not really Rieux. Someone can have perfectly legitimate arguments but present them in a manner that is aggressive, obnoxious, in-your-face rude etc. I think Pat Condell's *attitude* reflects badly on him.

:You evidently disagree, so I guess we're all good.

See above.

:As for Condell's attitude, as I said, minorities like mine don't typically ask majorities like yours what is the proper attitude for us to take toward your ideas. We keep our own counsel on such questions. As a result, it's not clear what moral force your complaint can have. Condell has the right to whatever "attitude" he prefers, and criticisms like yours are part of a very longstanding tradition of marginalizing and silencing minorities by constructing rules of decorum under which it is not acceptable for us to say who we are or what we believe.

Wrong Rieux. Most ironically U*Us are quite famous for and quite adept ar playing *that* kind of game. . . I seem to recall Montreal Unitarians misusing and abusing the UUA's 'Disruptive Behavior Policy' to marginalize and silence me by constructing "rules of decorum" under which I could not so much as place a legitimate letter of grievance in a Unitarian Church of Montreal Board Member's internal mailbox without this being construed as 'Disruptve Behavior' and being expelled from the "church" for six months. I seem to recall being permanently banned from ALL UUA email lists because "rules of decorum" prohibited naming the names of "less than excellent" U*U ministers who deserved criticism, or otherwise openly criticizing U*Us who fully deserved some criticism.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:32:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:On behalf of myself and thousands of other atheists, we don't much care whether you like our "attitude."

So now you are speaking on behalf of "thousands of other atheists" Dr. Rieux? I will graciously grant you that because there are indeed some thousands of aggressive, intolerant, in-your-face-rude "obnoxious atheists" out there in the world, however I fully expect that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, more moderate and tolerant atheists not only actually do care about whether or not God believing people like the "bad attitude" of aggressive "obnoxious atheists" but don't much care for it themselves. . . I dare say that I have seen moderate atheists describing people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as "fundamentalist atheists" in order to disassociate themselves from the more militant species of atheist.

:We believe our approach is justified, and we're not terribly interested in being critiqued by folks who can't be bothered to address the actual substance of what we say.

Well I actually do address the actual substance of what aggressive "fundamentalist atheists" say quite regularly Dr. Rieux. I have certainly addressed the actual substance of what Rev. Ray Drennan said about me and other people and I address the substance of some of the intolarant and just plain idiotic thing that Richard Dawkins has said. I have addressed the substance of what P.Z. Myers has said to the point of being banned from posting comments to his Pharyngula blog. . . Quite the honor that. No? Sometimes I even fully agree with the substance of what a famous fundamentalist atheist has said if it happens to be truthful. For instance I agree with how Christopher Hitchens put "liberal Christian" U*U minister Rev. Marilyn Sewell in her place recently -

Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is a generally fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make any distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?

Hitchens: I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

Touché. . .

Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:33:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

So one more time Rieux. How about quickly going through ALL the saved files of your Infidelity website to see just what qualifying adjective you quoted Rev. Dr. John Buehrens as applying to the word atheists. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Right? If you do so I am very confident that you will either find that I am right about the "obnoxious atheists" quote, or that you critiqued a very similar quote which you attributed to Buehrens. So do come back here and either admit that you did in fact critique Rev. Buehrens for using the term "obnoxious atheists" but failed to republish that critique or that you critiqued him for using a similar phrase to describe atheists and apparently failed to republish that critique as well. . . I have a very good memory for such things Rieux. Much better than you think.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:42:00 pm  

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