I didn’t post earlier because I’m having a kind of sour day, mainly because I opened the newspaper to find this lovely letter to the editor:

Non-theists are ‘little more than a club of whiny brats’
Publication Date: 09/28/200

To the Society of Non-Theists:

All right guys, so apparently it is rude and bad for a man to come here and share his opinions with others who wish to listen. Oh, but I thought this was America, not North Korea.

And also, taunting said man with open mockeries of his beliefs is how you attempt to argue his opinions? I thought this was a college, not a kindergarten. You all seem like little more than a club of whiny brats merely exploiting the trend that in today’s “cool” society, it’s perfectly acceptable to prosecute and heckle Christians. Oh, you think I’m full of crap, and that you guys somehow acceptably embody non-theism and encourage tolerance amongst all peoples without merely harassing any single group? Why don’t you go pull your pirate and spaghetti bit in front of the Islamic Center all day (they are theistic, after all), and see how many people won’t see you all as bigoted assholes?

I’m all for open, equal debate, but the way your group goes about things is very childish and more anti-Christian than non-theist.

Josh Phillips

Junior in the College of Science

Sigh. I could write a book in reply to this, but yet again, I am limited to 300 words. I’d love to elaborate here, but I’m frantically studying for my Physics exam (electromagnetism is magic, MAGIC I tell you!) so here’s the letter I sent in reply:

Josh Phillips: First, I want to clarify that the quote of me saying Brother Jed was disrespectful so the Society of Non-Theists could be rude too wasn’t a misquote: it was a complete fabrication. I didn’t even talk to the reporter about Brother Jed, nor would I say something so immature. We had our Pastafarian Preaching planned for that day before knowing Brother Jed was coming. Furthermore, we never stopped Brother Jed from speaking – we fully support free speech, which is why we can talk too.

Now that that’s out of the way…Josh, I think you need to look up the meaning of “satire.” We were trying to look as silly as possible because that is exactly how fire and brimstone street preachers like Brother Jed look. One of our goals was to show that waving signs and yelling isn’t the proper place for civil discourse about religion. That’s why we preached the Flying Spaghetti Monster rather than atheism. The vast majority of our events are civil discussions or lectures on theism and atheism. However, it’s impossible to communicate with someone whose beliefs are based on emotion. Faith, by definition, is not based on evidence. We can present rational arguments until we turn blue, but that doesn’t matter to many theists.

As for your Christian persecution complex… You live in a country where you’re privileged that your religion enjoys the majority status. Someone disagreeing with Christianity isn’t discrimination. If Hindus made national laws outlawing eating beef, or Muslims changed our motto to “In Allah We Trust,” we’d be protesting them just as much. If you want to understand persecution, ask a Christian in China, a Bahá’ís in Iran, a Muslim in America, Hindus in Kashmir, Jews all over the world…I think having your feelings hurt will pale in comparison.

Not sure if mine will be printed – haven’t gotten a phone call yet. Apparently many other members sent in a response letter, though, so hopefully some reason will get into our student newspaper. Ironic how this happened right after one of my friends, who is a Christian, told Christians who claim persecution to stop their whining.