Category Archives: Posts Worth Going Back and Reading

My Vagina is Destroying America or Love from Ron Paulians

Gross Comments from Around the Web!

The overall sentiment is that I am an idiot typical woman who takes money and support from unsuspecting, trampled upon men, an uninformed cunt, a mentally retarded liberal arts failure, a really ugly troll, I should either be raped or kill myself and I should definitely never reproduce.

Egregious Comments from My Site (with contact info!):

ashleylmillerhasapenis
purelovinsoul@hotmail.com
76.28.34.59

Guys, seriously this mental midget ashleyfmiller isn’t going to understand. Her points have no validity and is basically taking everything RP’s said and turning it on its ass with no rational, realistic, thought-provoking evidence. She is a troll, which is evident by her appearance as well as her “points”, if you can even call them that. We are wasting our time on our page. Ron Paul has 30 years of consistent service to us and she only has this tiny webpage designed to piss people off, so if you’re going to post, just post “Fuck you ashleylmiller” and be on your way. Spread Ron Paul’s message because he is the last hope for the American people, and anyone tha disagrees with that can eat shit. The part that upsets me the most is the people that most vehemently protest Ron Paul’s popularity will also reap the social and economic benefits Ron Paul will produce if he becomes president.

ashleylmillerhasapenis
purelovinsoul@hotmail.com
76.28.34.59

ashleyfmiller, you are a sad, pathetic excuse of a human being. Do the world a favor and get a hysterectomy so you can’t weaken the gene pool anymore than it is. You’ve taken every one of his points out of context and clearly have no fucking idea what you’re talking about. People like you RUIN this country and any real chance at change. He hasn’t violated his own philosophies, but sometimes I feel like someone should violate your civil liberties and lock you up for being a lying, hate mongering piece of scum that you are. Final note: you’re a cunt.

garvan
garvan@garvan.com
99.226.81.106
Submitted on 2011/12/12 at 9:49 am
Why do we support Ron Paul?

Because people like Ashley F. Miller are perfectly happy with the status quo.

But hey, I don’t have a vagina, so it’s not like I can get my rich banker boyfriends to pay my way through college like Ashley F. Miller.

Congrats Ashley F. Miller! Enjoy the payoff while you can.

The “basically youngish white men”, you denigrate tend to remember the treatment they get from the little “white girls” like you while you use shame and blame to turn us into slaves, just to sell yourselves up for a piece of one of the members of the 1%.

mari dejun
maridejun@gmail.com
84.134.109.185

full of shit – full of lies – fuck you ashley f. mliler.

GFRED
fastfreddy@gmail.com
98.73.61.29

I was going to watch some of your films to verify they suck but judging by your article I wont waste my time with a mike Moore disciple. You Hollywood guys and gals obviously dont realize that this is a republic not a democracy. we have a constitution which is the law and everything in this world is not free you have to take from one person to give to another and the mandate of that is a mix of socialism/communism the opposite of the “civil rights” that you advocate

chris
frat@gmail.com
98.73.61.29

Ashley F. Miller

Filmmaker, Writer, Editor and mental retard

Obama
dashajiba@gmail.com
71.59.13.26
ugly cunt. no guy would ever fuck you. you’re a 3/10 a best in your hideous picture. go kill yourself.

Gary
garyianhaynes@aol.com
78.42.173.93

Ashley F Miller!

Wow, you really are a piece of liberal shit !

Just do the world a favor and kill yourself.

Prophit.
aar104@gmail.com
75.227.134.107

in the name of Mike Mazzone

get raped

Taylor
taylor_2_u@yahoo.com
71.158.165.178

Why does anyone like a clueless c*nt? It’s not hard to understand. There are lots of clueless c*nts around, thus the disastrous state of this country. There’s not enough intelligence to make up for so many deluded, brainwashed idiots like you. You win – and everybody loses.

I’m Ugly!:

I can feel her cold dead eyed stare expanding throughout the multi-verse.

Let’s talk about the most important topic here.

That chick looks like a ginger version of Dobby the house elf from Harry Potter. I’d give her a drunk 5.5.

“I’d give her an [EXTREMELY] drunk 5.5”

Minor correction needed.

My Degree is Stupid:

“Ashley is currently getting her PhD in Mass Communication from USC, with a focus on social media and film.”

Enough said.

And what on earth can you do with a a PhD in Mass Comm?

Teach writing at some podunk community college somewhere in California, write critical articles about “Deconstructing Transgender Stereotypes in Scooby-Doo” and the like, and complain to your friends that no one will even look at your screenplay | novel | whatever until you have succeeded in driving all but your most similarly embittered friends away.

And what on earth can you do with a a PhD in Mass Comm?

Purchase a frame?

And what on earth can you do with a a PhD in Mass Comm?

Teach other liberal atheists how to generate propoganda?

My guess

What do you mean? She has an MFA from the FSU film school, which clearly makes her qualified to make judgments about political theory.

When the time comes you need not worry. Anglos will industrialize the slaughter to new found heights. That’s what amazes me the most about the multicult. They think the likes of Paul Krugman and Nancy Pelosi have tamed us. I suspect it will look like some old episode of the X Files with the monster just below the surface bursting through the thin veneer of the multicultic skin. Silly white girls with “PhDs in Mass Communication from USC, with a focus on social media and film” will wet themselves in terror and excitement… at least for a while. Latin women will be filled with admiration… at least for a while. Then everyone will want it to end… but it won’t.

Girls are cunts!

Whether she gets your completely rational response will depend on how she feels in the moment.

She’s a complete and total cunt whose main problems with Paul are the usual inaccurate tripe “he’s a racist fun die-nutbag”. Please, what bullshit.

It upsets her that a part of what she considers her dating pool doesn’t share her political catechism. It’s tough to date outside the faith.

by spreading your legs, you give implicit permission for a child to become dependent on you.

This blog posting would be more compelling if it didn’t read like some lit chick trying to come to grips with something O-so-hard-to-understand.

This is why it’s nearly impossible to have a conversation about politics with or give any real consideration to the political sentiment of, generously, unmarried women, probably more accurately – any women who aren’t all the way through menopause yet. It’s a shame they are allowed to vote, but that’s part of the death-spiral of the republic.

The delightful and scintillating commentary of local snowflakes excepted, of course.

Well, of course you don’t get why millions of conservative Americans support RP, Ashley. It’s because you’re a raging left-wing socialist, man-hating femmetard, reverse-racist, pro-distopian, overly-artsy-fartsy, overly-idealistic, anti-logical hollywood retard. Stop trying to understand the policies of Ron Paul, give your brain cells a rest and go back to your laweekly and your bong.

I feel the same way about child molesters that you feel about the unborn (they’re not really “human,” so please, by all means, waste the scumbags).

Stupid bitch. There’s only one good thing about the coming economic collapse and it’s that this type of clueless c*nt will be too busy staving off starvation to blather her inanities.

Anyhow, I read Ashley twice and still can not figure what she hates about RP… unless she just hates men.

Racist what?

It’s funny how the Jews always want to remind us of the Holocaust …

It’s absolutely absurd. The closest thing to a fascist in the room is the black guy with the big ears and funny name.

What’s she got against straight, white, single, young, non-religious men? Once again, the diversity crowd is all for diversity as long as it agrees with them. That must be why so many aesthetically challenged women buy into it. Gives them the opportunity to exclude people from the groups in the same fashion as they were excluded from the in groups in high school.

But, thee are reasons that Jews have been hated for hundreds of years, even though it is most likely just a subset of the Jewish population that is the cause of the hatred.

This open borders business is my biggest problem with libertarians. It is anti-nationalist and pro-globalist, like marxism and communism. I know libertarianism is the ‘in’ thing this year but it does not serve the interests of the white race which is more than just the top 1% country club set.

Non-whites don’t love and worship the jews like dumb whites do.

STUPIDHEAD!

you really can’t talk about the libertarian’s voting record, since no one will give them a chance to prove how they would vote.

Thank you for your article. Even though I think it is a load of inaccruate, fear-mongering, democratic tripe, I accept your RIGHT as a free-thinking American to express such ignorant views.

I hope you dig-in-your heels and vote for either Obomb-a or Newt World Order/Romney. That way once these candidates of your choice pass the NDAA, Patriot Act II and strip away your RIGHT to criticize anything about the government for fear of being labelled a terroritst, we shall all be spared your delirious rantings.

By the way, MOST doctors don’t believe in evolution. Probably because they can see the complexity of biological systems (that demands a designer), but aren’t a slave to research grants.

In reference to your commit……. “I’ve been trying to understand why smart people I know support Ron Paul and I just can’t get my head around it.”……well Ann Miller……..Maybe the reason you cant understand is simple ……YOUR NOT AS SMART AS YOUR SMART FRIENDS …….and psychological studies show that it is often difficult for people with greatly varied IQs to communicate………you said it your friends are smart and you cant understand them well said ann well said…….in the future listen to your “smart friends”

You should try reading a book before posting shit on the internet as if you actually know what you are talking about.

What a ridiculous article. Absolutely disgraceful, and it’s depressing to know that she is a human and has a brain and STILL is that stupid.

My vague and drunken point was that I’m pretty sure Ashley knows a lot more about Adam Lambert than she does Ron Paul.

The difference between people like her and the retarded is that the retarded don’t pretend that it is superior to be stupid.

I read that little pea brain’s screed, and the level of hypocrisy is amazing. She thinks Ron Paul is anti-science (because he has doubts about evolution) but she has a problem with Paul’s stance that life begins at conception. Seriously, how can one believe in evolution, yet deny when science says life begins?

Vague Death Threat

If logic and truth had any meaning, she wouldn’t be an atheist liberal. Only a piece of lead can have any impact on such a twisted, brainwashed brain.

TL;DR

It is clear to me that I missed the most important reason not to vote for Ron Paul: the people who are going to vote for Ron Paul.

Atheist vs Christian Billboard: Let’s Be Friends

Nearly a month ago, I introduced you to the Columbia Coalition of Reason, which had put up a billboard inviting local non-theists to contact us.  The reaction from Christians was predominantly negative, but we also received a lot of very positive responses from both non-believers and believers.

This week, a local church decided to put up a billboard in the same location in the digital rotation along with our billboard as a direct rebuttal.

This is fantastic.  One, it means we’re in the news again, and two, it means we’ve opened a dialogue with local people of faith.

Dustin Tucker, the guy who has coordinated the billboard effort, was interviewed by local TV station WLTX and spoke to how great it was that the opposing view was speaking up and expressed hope that the atheists would be able to do some sort of joint charity effort with Park Street Baptist Church, something that’s already in the works.

Unlike the responses to the previous news stories, the ones to this seem much more level and reasonable.  Here are my two favorites:

Wow…if the billboards can co-exist..perhaps the believers and non-believers will find a way to co-exist as well.

If one wants to see God look into the eyes of a child and you will see Innocent little angels. Those who choose not to believe live very empty lives.

I love kids, don’t get me wrong, but they are definitely demons.

If you’d like to know more about the billboards you can go over to Friendly Atheist, where the president of the Pastafarians at USC has done a nice write up, go listen to the podcast I did at A Matter of Doubt, or:

TUNE IN TONIGHT!  (Sunday, 12/18) at 8PM EST to Reason Podcast where someone from the group will be chatting about it live!

Podcast Part II: Winning the War of Attrition

After we completed the main hour of the podcast, we continued our conversation and the guys over at “A Matter of Doubt” have been kind enough to put it up as a bonus clip.  This is where we get into the things that I am most interested in, LGBT issues, argument, and humanism.  I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about occasionally in here, even.

Yes, I’m pretty vitriolic online, and I am willing to call people wrong and be kind of… we’ll go with “emphatic”.  Somewhat dogged.  Win the war of attrition.  But in person, in real life, in real interactions, people are worth more than ideas.  People deserve to be treated well, people deserve to be loved for who they are, they deserve to be accepted.  You can have any opinion you want about their beliefs, but at some point you have to be willing to say, you know, I disagree with you and that’s not the most important thing about you.  We’re all worthy, we’re all equal, we’re all human.  And that’s the foundation of equal rights, that’s the foundation of why we care about the LGBT issues, it’s the foundation of why we think atheists should be treated the same.  And at some point you have to be willing to stop arguing.

http://www.amatterofdoubt.com/?p=187

Why does anyone like Ron Paul?

I’ve been trying to understand why smart people I know support Ron Paul and I just can’t get my head around it.  I get the sense that maybe the Ron Paul People I know just don’t realize what Ron Paul’s all about. That or they just don’t care.

The Ron Paul People I know are almost all straight, single, relatively young, non-religious, white men. Available demographics suggest that this is an accurate picture; there are others in Ron Paul’s camp, but it’s basically youngish white men.

They do not consider themselves to be Democrats or Republicans. Some of them hate the idea of rules, many of them hate the idea of having their money taken away in taxes, but none of them are stupid or without the resources to learn more about their candidate. And none seem to care about any of Ron Paul’s policies outside of cutting spending, regulations, and taxes.

Every Ron Paul Person I know comes out of the woodwork any time anything negative is said about the guy, no matter how true the statement and no matter how much that individual disagrees with Ron Paul’s position or behavior. I get the sense that libertarians are so excited to have someone on the national stage that they don’t want to see anything problematic with the guy, but he’s transparently a bad deal.

So, why are these people supporting a crazy, racist Christian fundamentalist?

Why People Love Ron Paul:

  1. He believes in reduced military spending
  2. Less taxes, less rules, less government
  3. He wants to end the “War on Drugs”
  4. He is “philosophically consistent”

That last one seems to be big — people seem to think that Ron Paul offers a coherent philosophy to deal with politics and that’s why they like him.

He’s very consistent on the whole taxes idea — he wants to get rid of the income tax, which apparently makes us all the property of the government, and his voting record shows this.  I can see the appeal, even if I totally disagree.

Ron Paul is Anti-Free Market:

But if we take this libertarian personal freedom thing to its logical conclusion, Paul would also be all for open borders and a completely open labor markets, right?  Yeah, but not so much — he’s very anti open borders.

The toughest part of showing any compassion or tolerance to the illegal immigrants … is the tremendous encouragement it gives for more immigrants to come illegally and avoid the wait and the bureaucracy.

So, bureaucracy good when it keeps the brown people out? Taxing the insanely rich is slavery! Letting foreign people work in America should be illegal!

He voted for building a fence on the Mexican border, reporting illegal aliens who go to hospitals, and for banning student visas from “terrorist nations”.  He’s all about reducing the military and allowing the free market, except when it comes to this for some reason.

Oh, it’s also great that he wants to get rid of the fed, I love this. You know who made the fed what it is today? A guy named Alan Greenspan. You know, Alan Greenspan, the most famous and powerful libertarian ever to work in the US government. He was a disciple of Ayn Rand and was part of the inner circle of her cult. Alan Greenspan almost single-handedly caused this recession. By all means, let’s fix the fed, but let us also acknowledge it was a libertarian that got us here!

Ron Paul Doesn’t Support Minorities:

He thinks the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you know that whole equality thing, was a violation of people’s rights and wouldn’t have forced anyone to lift the Jim Crow laws. He called MLKJr day “hate whitey day”.  According to Ron Paul supporters, this is OK because he wants to legalize drugs and end the death penalty, both of which would disproportionately go to help black men.

I don’t even want to go into all of the sketchy things that he’s said, I’ll just offer you this link and be done with it.  Suffice to say, the guy’s said some unkind things about minorities.

On top of this, he wants English to be the official language of the US and thinks government shouldn’t offer services in any other language.  How’s that for federal bureaucratic overhead?

A lot of people respect his position on gay marriage, which is that it shouldn’t be the federal government’s business even though he personally is opposed to it. It may not be the federal government’s business, but he’s certainly voted to enshrine homophobic behavior in federal law. He voted against including “sexual orientation” as a protected class in ENDA, meaning he thinks it’s OK to fire people for being gay, and he voted to ban gay adoptions in DC.

Ron Paul is Against Church/State Separation:

Ron Paul has a 17% rating with the AU, meaning he almost never votes in favor of a bill that would be promoting the separation of church and state.

The guy is crazy fundamentalist, no lie. It informs most of his political positions, including right to life stuff that I’ll address in a minute. But it also includes something that maybe some of my libertarian friends agree with. Ron Paul is one of the few politicians in DC willing to say anything negative about Zionism or Israel, and I know a lot of libertarians think that we shouldn’t be Israel’s protector anymore. But do you know why he doesn’t support Israel?

Despite the fact that many Fundies, known as Premillenialists, support Israel because their end-time theology tells them that it is necessary for the return of Jesus, Christian Reconstructionists like Paul have a different view, basically that the Israeli government isn’t the right one for the end of days and the right sort of Christians are now the chosen people of Revelations.

“I think of the Israeli government as different than what I read about in the Bible. I mean, the Israeli government doesn’t happen to be reflecting God’s views. Some of them are atheist, and their form of government is not what I would support… And there are some people who interpret the chosen people as not being so narrowly defined as only the Jews — that maybe there’s a broader definition of that.”

He and Sarah Palin can get into a fight over whose Christian end of days attitude towards Israel is the right one!

He often gets accused of being anti-Semitic because he’s anti-Zionism, and he may well be, but his position on Israel is all about religion. He’s generally isolationist anyway, so it works with the rest of his shtick.

And, while his faith isn’t his number one talking point, he sure does have a statement of faith on his website and includes a reference to it in his debates.

And, despite the fact that he thinks the education department should be dismantled, he also thinks that public funds should pay for private Christian educations and supports a constitutional amendment in favor of school prayer.  Again, not a libertarian stance at all.

Ron Paul is Rabidly Anti-Choice and Anti-Science:

This goes hand in hand with the crazy religious stuff, it’s all related.

This man, who is a doctor, does not believe in evolution.

This man, who is a doctor, believes that life begins at conception.

He has a somewhat complex view on abortion in that he believes that it, like murder, should be tried and controlled at the state level, not the federal one. That said, he has voted repeatedly for national bills that promote the pro-life cause and introduced a bill that would say that life begins at conception.

He voted not to authorize embryonic stem cell research multiple times. He has a 0% by NARAL, meaning he votes 100% against abortion rights. He voted yes on the Stupak Amendment to prevent health insurance companies from offering abortion coverage. Voted to prevent funding from going to schools that make the morning after pill available and to provide funding for abstinence only education.

He cosponsored a bill to take funds from a needy family benefit program to go to support non-governmental groups that counsel people not to have abortions.

Again, how is this not federal interference?

Ron Paul Helps Billionaires Not the Poor

This section, I know, is where a lot of libertarians are going to agree with his votes, but I have to say I think they don’t reflect well on him.

He is completely against environmental regulation and trying to find alternative energy sources.  Despite his claims that he’d rather have unions control the market than a minimum wage, he voted for legalizing union busting more than once.  Despite his supposed belief in the free market, he voted to ban shareholders from weighing in on executives’ compensation.  Extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, expanded them, and undermined Social Security by changing the standards.

Voted against the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act to feed children and voted against a measure to ensure children had health insurance.Voted yes on a measure to prevent federally funded laborers to be paid the prevailing wage of the area, so that people making less than a living wage could be reduced even further into poverty!

Ron Paul is a Hypocrite

He is completely inconsistent, not just philosophically as a libertarian, but also on very specific issues like federal funding to local areas.  Which brings us to his response to Katrina.  You’d think someone who was so waffley about his own philosophical convictions when it comes to women’s rights and immigrants would be willing to waffle a little to save lives, after all he’s all sanctity of life, right?

Is bailing out people that chose to live on the coastline a proper function of the federal government?

But at least his congressional district in Texas doesn’t rely on tons of federal funding, right? Oh, no, it’s one of the top in Texas. Federal government using money to save people’s lives is apparently not OK, but him earmarking funds for his district is cool. More important than Katrina victims? Removing a sunken ship from a harbor and sending a few million dollars to Texan shrimp fishermen.

Ron Paul is a Little Nuts

But of course, my favorite part about Ron Paul is that he thinks the executive branch shouldn’t have very much power. The problem with that is that if you elect Ron Paul, he can’t do anything without violating his own philosophy because he would be the executive branch of the federal government.  Ron Paul just doesn’t make sense for anyone.

He thinks we should go back to the gold standard, which I think is pretty crazy, but that’s hardly the only place he goes a bit weird. On The Daily Show he said the following, I guess suggesting that he’s for regulations after he’s against them:

The regulations are much tougher in a free market, because you cannot commit fraud, you cannot steal, you cannot hurt people, and the failure has come that government wouldn’t enforce this. In the Industrial Revolution there was a collusion and you could pollute and they got away with it. But in a true free market in a libertarian society you can’t do that. You have to be responsible. So the regulations would be tougher.

And then there’s this:

I’ve been told not to talk, but these stooges don’t scare me. Threats or no threats, I’ve laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. The federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS (my training as a physician helps me see through this one.) The Bohemian Grove–perverted, pagan playground of the powerful. Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress’s Mr. New Money. The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.

If people know this about Ron Paul and still want to vote for him, that’s obviously their choice, but I can’t help but feel like the only way you could vote for him would be in ignorance or denial of these facts.

A Matter of Doubt Podcast: Starring Yours Truly

Unrelated Photo!

A local very cool podcast about atheism and all things philosophy had me on to talk about atheist activism and the SC billboard campaign.  It’s got my deconversion story, horror of childhood religion, and limited occurrences of me going “um, like”.  If you’re into podcasts, you should give it a listen!  I have my super sexy horrible cold voice and everything.

http://www.amatterofdoubt.com/?p=174

Why Miley Cyrus is Cooler Than You Think: The Progressive South

What I was supposed to be when I grew up

When people meet me, even here in South Carolina, they almost always are surprised to learn that I am from the South.  I don’t have much of a Southern accent and I am not demure or interested in playing dumb.  There is, unfortunately, a prejudice that exists, even in the South itself, against people who are Southern.  There is an assumption that everyone here is stupid, poorly educated, and a redneck.

It’s not that the South hasn’t come by its reputation honestly.  There are Bible Thumpers, Tea Partiers, Second Amendment Freaks, and an education system that is more broken than not.  There are rural areas that don’t even seem like America to anyone who has lived near a town, and the problems and poverty that come with that.  But, while a Democrat may never win the state of South Carolina, 40% of the population votes for a Democrat.  You may be able to paint the South itself with a broad brush, but you lose a lot of you also paint individuals from the South with that same brush.

I have struggled over the years with embracing that I am from South Carolina, but I really am about as Southern as it gets.  I was a debutante, I was sent to cotillons when I was growing up.  My father hunts and fishes and collects rifles, my mother worked for Lee Atwater and George HW Bush.  When I was young, I spent most of my days with my babysitter/nanny who lived in a trailer park and we watched NASCAR, drank Mountain Dew, and occasionally I missed my nap and watched The Bold and the Beautiful.  The first time I ever got on a plane was to go see Graceland.

Before my breast reduction and dying my hair red, I think I could have pulled this off

And, even more embarrassingly, the thing I most wanted to be when I grew up was a country music singer.  I’ve never lost my love of singing or a (not so) secret desire to be a rock star, but I did lose my fondness for country music over the years.  But yes, there was a time when my favorite song was “Achy Breaky Heart” and I dreamed of being Dolly Parton.

I suspect many people reading this would think that this was a major handicap, something that I had to overcome to be the erudite, snarky, witty, and progressive person that I am today, but I think it was actually completely necessary for me to get here.  I only wish that I was better at embracing it and not being embarrassed by it.  In an attempt to embrace being Southern, I’m offering a paean for Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus is a lot cooler than most people realize.  I’ll be the first to admit that her devotion to her faith is not something that particularly appeals to me, but the fact that she is Southern Baptist and still open-minded is something we should be celebrating.  And I confess that her music isn’t exactly my thing, as most of the teen music I like was written by people now in their sixties.  But the really cool thing about Miley Cyrus is that she’s a bona-fide red-state American who depends on red-state Americans for her career and she hasn’t let that stop her from speaking out against what she perceives as injustice.

The only tattoo I'd consider getting

She is a vocal supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights.  This past May, she bashed both Urban Outfitters and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum for being anti-gay.  She is so in favor of gay rights that she got it tattooed on her body — an equal sign for “equal love” on her ring finger.  And when someone disagreed with her stance on Twitter, she posted, “Where does it say in the bible to judge others? Oh right. It doesn’t. GOD is the only judge honey.”  Hell yes!

She fights in favor of reasonable body images for women. When people try to shame her for her weight, she says that her accusers are part of the reason there are so many women with eating disorders and states quite clearly that she has no intention of buying into it.  “I love MYSELF & if you could say the same… I don’t wanna be shaped like a girl I LOVE being shaped like a WOMAN & trust me ladies your man won’t mind either.”  That’s a feminist message about body acceptance, and an important one for the age group that she appeals to.

It’s easy to look at Billy Ray flag waving for Republican candidates, how very Southern they are, how vocally Christian they are, and assume that they are stereotypical, uninformed conservatives.  They are not.  Her grandfather, Kentucky Colonel Ron Cyrus, was a Democrat and a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives for 21 years and he was the secretary-treasurer for the AFL-CIO.  It turns out that Southerners have a wide range of political beliefs.

From the video

The inspiration for this post was a video in support of the Occupy movement that she posted this week on YouTube, as part of her celebration of her 19th birthday.  Most of the response among my friends on Facebook has been shock and a little bit of poking fun at her music and at the irony that she, of all people, was the big musician to support the Occupy movement.  But actually, it is not ironic and, if you’ve followed her, it is not surprising.  It is, however, marvelous.

Their surprise I can understand, not everyone is as obsessed with LGBT activism as I am, but it is when people dismiss her entirely that I get upset.  There is an article in the National Post that made my blood boil.  The writer describes Miley’s birthday party, which apparently included a unicorn, and then goes on to discuss the Occupy video:

At the very least, it seems Cyrus is interested in showing a more socially conscious side of herself now that she’s entered the twilight years of tween stardom. Like many people, 19 or otherwise, Cyrus has apparently been following the Occupy movement, and together with Rock Mafia (the production team helmed Cyrus hits including 7 Things and Can’t Be Tamed), she Tweeted a link to a video montage featuring footage of Occupy protesters around the world. Titled “Don’t Give Up – It’s a Liberty Walk,” a remix of the pop star’s 2010 track Liberty Walk features in the video, which Cyrus posted to YouTube with the following message: “This is Dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in.”

This, we can only assume, includes unicorns.

That may be the most dismissive thing I have ever read.  I’m not going to go into a rant about how wrong it is to dismiss people for being young and female, because I might explode, but that’s exactly what’s going on here.  “Oh, she’s interested in politics and unicorns, how sweet.”

Why not?

Miley Cyrus is now a player in progressive politics, not because she is a politician, but because she has a voice that is heard by millions.  This young woman isn’t part of the “Hollywood Elite” — she is from “Real America” and her fans are all from “Real America” too — she is an ambassador to the red states.  But because she is young and because she sings pop and because she is from the South, many people are tempted to dismiss her out of hand.  Her conservative critics are wise enough to be afraid that her influence will lead young Christians away from the intolerant values of their parents, perhaps we should be wise enough to be very grateful to have her on our side.  Embrace her or not, she has influence with the people progressives have the hardest time reaching.

Maybe being from the South isn’t a handicap, maybe it makes our progressive voices that much stronger.

Columbia Coalition of Reason: Love Mail Part I

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some of the thankful e-mails and comments we’ve gotten on the billboard. I’ll be honest, more than one of them made me tear up. There really are people out there who think their non-belief means that they have to be isolated. And now they don’t.

FROM CHRISTIANS

1. “I am a Christian; I belive in God and the bible, grew up in Church etc. I am not perfect and I do sin quite frequently. We as Christians believe we are forgiven and are entitled to believe what we choose just as everyone else is; there is freedom of religion and freedom of speech in place to protect everyone and their beliefs.”

2. “As a believer, I’ve got no problem with this sign; would be a fitting message to have on a church sign. One of our greatest responsibilities is to reach out to non-believers “where they live” and to welcome them to God’s love. IMHO, believers that have a problem with this perhaps need to (1) make sure their own faith is sound and (2) make sure they are loving their neighbors as themselves”

3. The South can be a pretty tough place for anyone struggling with or thinking through their beliefs. And for the record, the Pastafarians I’ve got to know are some really kind and enjoyable people. — a believer in Jesus

4. I am a conservative Christian and I have no problem with it. Don’t even see it as a story worth writing about in the newspaper. If they want to spend their money on billboards, that’s perfectly fine even if I personally think it’s a poor use of their money when it could be used for additional charity donations. But that’s up to them.5. I am a christian and I do respect anyones right to believe what ever they choose. I do not try to push anything on anyone nor do I judge anyone for their beliefs. This country is in a real mess and it’s going to take ALL of us to get it back on the right track. Let’s start thinking about how we can work together, put the right people in the right places, get the job market back, the wellfare line down and get this country back to being the greatest place in the world to live.

6. I believe in God also but I believe in their right to keep that sign up. This is still America despite what you think. I wish I could afford to help them put up a sign across from your house LOL

THANK YOUS/WE GET ITS

7. “It’s amazing to see the “peace-loving” Christians get so upset about this. It’s not an attack on you… I don’t see how you can reasonably think it is. The message is not even directed at you, so why do you care? Do you get upset at messages offering support to people with mental illnesses too, even if the message doesn’t apply to you? What’s so wrong with atheists reaching out to each other for support? What’s really sad is that such support is even necessary. If Christians respected others’ beliefs the way they expect theirs to be respected, it wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, when atheists admit their non-belief it is often met with personal attacks and sometimes ostracization from friends and families. It’s a horrible way to treat people. Why can’t we all just get along? If the billboard directly attacked you or your belief, then you’d have every right to be outraged… but read it again… it’s NOT attacking you.”

8. I don’t see how this is such a big deal. The reality is that there are people who believe what you might, and there are others who don’t. The sign is intentionally unoffensive. It doesn’t say, “There is no God”. Nor does it insult my belief in Jesus. It just says, ” [hey,] don’t believe in God? [Well we’re here if you want to talk about it]”. And thats fine with me.

9. Thank you for being there. I have suffered the consequences of being an Atheist in South Carolina, including unlawful discrimination more than once.

10. Very happy to see these bill boards up in Cola! It is about time someone stood up for reason! To the people who say, “What does it hurt to believe if it keeps you from burning in ****?” or words to that effect: What if you are believing in the wrong god, or what if you belief about the god you believe in is the wrong one? How do you know that you won’t be the one burning in ****? To the people who say, “Why do you have to push your belief on us?” I say: We aren’t pushing anything. We are letting other unbelievers know that we are here and that it is OK to be non-theist, even in the South. To those who say, “Why do atheists care about something they don’t believe in?” I say: Because we are ridiculed for not believing, we fear for our jobs if it becomes known that we don’t believe, we see the wrongs that have been done in the name of religion in the past and in this day and age.

11. Even if there’s no God, humans are pretty awesome, in general. I’d rather see us united by our common morals than divided by our personal religions.

12. The vast majority of atheists (such as myself) were christians, muslims, jews, hindus, or in some way religious before. Because of the incredible stigma of losing friends, families, and relationships as an atheist, many people go along with it for a period of time, even indefinitely.Many of my fellow skeptics have been ejected from their homes and families; my own parents fear for my eternal safety and point this out.

The parallel is similar to coming out as gay. People have incredibly unreasonable prejudices in the US, and especially here in the south, about what being atheistic is. It causes irrational reactions in the vast majority of cases, since religion is principally an irrational belief: when confronted with the possibility of being wrong, people react. Hence people may need a ‘nudge’ to come out about it, as well as to realize they are not alone in this; that there is support.

13. Interesting… The message is no more threatening than if the Orthodox Jews put up a sign saying “Don’t believe in Jesus of Nazareth as your savior” “your not alone”…. Yet THIS provokes ugly comments from “loving Christians” ??? Maybe it is time to go back and read your bible a bit more in-depth…. There is room for “Non-Theists” just as much as there is room for Buddhists, Baha’i, Muslim, Wiccan, etc… theologies. Put your “Christian” beliefs into practice… “Love Thy Neighbor” doesn’t mean exclusively those who think just like you.

14. The point is…we are reaching out to those who do not believe. If you believe that is fine, we are not looking to hurt your feelings, nor are we trying to “recruit” you. If you want the fundamental rights of this country to be upheld you must allow a voice to all. To tell someone they have no right to voice their opinion you are denying them their right to free speech. You do not see profanity or derogatory language on this billboard, but in the minds of some they see a little spark of truth. Perhaps this is what bothers you about this ad.

15. I can’t belie this is up in SC? I don’t see it being up long due to complaints
I am an atheist so its nice to see. But a lot of people don’t seem to understand how some don’t believe in “god”

16. Great finally something good comes to Columbia! love it!

17. I just wanted to send a quick note and say Thank You for posting the billboard in Columbia. I have been a Columbia resident for the past 7 years and this is the first billboard of this kind I have seen. It’s nice to see there are others of like-mind in our city. I can’t imagine the backlash the billboard will receive but hopefully it will be allowed to remain up for as long as designated. Nice to know that I am not alone in my beliefs in Columbia SC

18. YEAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Telling people your a non-thiest is a little like coming out of the closet, the response seems to be the same!? This billboard gives me hope!
Thanks you soooooooooooooo much.
How can I get more information on this organization?

19. I just wanted to write and say thank you for the billboards placed in Columbia. I have long felt “alone” in my beliefs, and it is nice to know there is a community of like-minded thinkers here. It seems religious zealots are increasingly “in your face” with their “message”, so I’m so happy to have an organization like yours unabashedly putting an alternative view out there for all to see. Please sign me up if you have a newsletter, and again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

20. I truly appreciate what you guys are doing with the billboards across Columbia. What I find most commendable is that the message comes across as compassionate. Unfortunately, many of the people in this state react in such an emotional way that they cannot see the TRUE message from you. For many years, I was involved very deeply in church. I had so many questions about things said in the bible that were very confusing or contradictory that no one was willing or able to answer. I did what any intellectually inquisitive person would do. I researched and read beyond the bible. I no longer attend church but I have not yet expressed to my extended family my new beliefs (or lack of). So, I appreciate your message and courage. I found during my time in church that most of those on the pews used god to cover up their ugly natures and to justify their judgmental attitudes and manipulative personalities.

All I can say is don’t dwell on the negativity, continue to focus on the support of like minded people who feel ostracized by the many hypocritical and judgmental people of our state.

21. I live in Greenville, SC. Unfortunately, I also work in the shadow of Bob Jones University. I’ve had my Darwin fish and car vandalised so often I no longer boast my proud atheism on my car. (Just my reddit sticker.) I’m glad to see that in this sea of delusion that is SC, there are a few that fight the good fight.Keep up the good work!

Also, if you get bored, head over to r/atheists on reddit. Great stuff, to keep us from losing hope in humanity. We’ve been having a pledge drive for Doctors without Borders. So far we’ve raised over $66,000 and our goal is $75,000 by the end of the year.

22. Just a quick thank you for investing in these billboards. I deeply appreciate it.

23. I know you guys have been getting a lot of flak for the billboard that you just put up- I just finished reading some of the hate mail you received, and it’s pretty disturbing stuff. I thought I’d break the trend, though, and thank you all for doing the right thing and standing up for what you believe in. It takes a bit of nerve to put up a billboard like that in South Carolina (Columbia, of all places), but I’m glad you did. We definitely aren’t alone out there, and it’s heartening to see somebody making that fact known.

24. I’m not from your area, but I saw pictures of your billboards online recently. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for braving the inevitable wave of hate mail and insults and death threats to reassure people like me that we’re not alone in a country that, at times, seems like it thinks we aren’t even people. While I’ve discovered resources on my own, I realize in many areas they aren’t very obvious or necessarily available for people that are too afraid to talk about their views. I’ve spent most of my life in rural, socially conservative areas where most everyone is a devout Christian. It’s scary sometimes to think about how people would react if you told them that you simply don’t believe in a god. Sometimes even being told right to your face things like “Atheists have no morals and shouldn’t be allowed in this country.”

So once again, thank you for what you are doing, and don’t stop fighting the stereotypes and misconceptions.

A LITTLE SNARK

25. In the name of god, please have someone translate what in the world you are saying. god does not hate periods or halfway readable English.

Columbia Coalition of Reason Hate Mail: Part I

I still don't understand how people are offended by this

We sent out a press release this morning about the billboard, and by the afternoon we’d had coverage on some local websites and by tonight we’d had interviews on local TV.

The comments on the news sites have been pretty negative, but the people actually contacting us have been very positive and grateful.  I’ve collected some of the angry comments from our e-mail and the news sites to share with you.  Everything is copy & pasted with no editing for grammar, spelling, or logic.

We are hoping to do dramatic readings of some of these.  I’ve numbered them so that you can easily comment on which ones are your favorites.

PASCAL’S WAGER

1. “To all atheists: If as a Christian I’m right …. then you lose. If you’re right … then you still lose. Good luck with those odds.”

2. “I would much rather live my life believing that there is one true God and find out later that there isn’t, than to live my life as if there isn’t, only to find out later that there is! I guess we’ll all find out for ourselves on judgement day. As for me, I know in my heart that Jesus died for my salvation and for the salvation of all sinners, and that one day I’ll join Him in heaven with the rest of the believers. Heaven or Hell is your choice… I’ll take the high road, thank you…”

ATHEISTS ARE ALONE

3. “Don’t Believe in God? You are not alone.” Unless you look at the really big picture and realize you are. Completely. Alone.”

4. “No, if you do not believe in God you are not alone. But you soon will be.”

5. “You’re not alone” are the atheists suicidal? depressed? I’m sure they are, i would be too if i were an atheist. let’s pray that they open their hearts and minds to God

MAKE SENSE?

6. “That true God. I was surprise why to say can’t believe God?! They people already know God is true in the Heaven. I believe GOD in Heaven! I never say that unbeliever God before. Should to be change post Believe God, and not say Godless period!”

7. “Madalyn Murray O’Hair, killed by one of her own followers and employees was the most widely known and hated of all Atheists. She, one of her sons, and grand-daughter were killed in a robbery gone bad committed by one whom she trusted. Her surviving son William J. Murray is the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., active on issues related to aiding Christians in Islamic and Communist nations. She felt so strongly about his becoming a Christian she had this to say about him. “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess, I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human forgiveness.” WOW! What a way for a mother to treat her own child over a difference of religious opinion in a country where we have a right to practice or not practice our religion freely. Way to go Atheists!”

8. What does the year 2011 mean?….. It means the age of JESUS. And he is coming back. Believe it or not.

YOU RUIN CHRISTMAS

9. “My question to the atheists and agnostics, what is the real purpose of the billboards during one of the most holiest times for Christian and Jews? Where were you in June?”

10. “”We’re your friends…” really? Friends don’t slam your beliefs during your holiest of months. If you’re our friends why not put the billboard up in June? The answer is because you enjoy slamming Christians. Give me a break. You have the right to do whatever you want, but have some class and put your signs up during another time.”

YOU GO TO HELL, YOU GOT TO HELL AND YOU DIE

11. “I THINK WE SHOULD PUT UP A SIGN RIGHT NEXT TO THAT ONE THAT SAYS “GOING TO ****? YOU ARE NOT ALONE” I WOULD DONATE. THE ONLY REASON US CHRISTIANS “PUSH” OUR BELIEFS ON ANYONE IS BECAUSE WE READ IN OUR BIBLES THAT JESUS CHRIST COMMANDS WE SHARE THE NEWS “SO THAT NONE MAY PERISH”. I SHARE JESUS BECAUSE I GENUINELY FEEL SORRY FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT KNOW HIM. TO KNOW JESUS IS TO KNOW PEACE”

12. “They might as well spend all their money on silly billboards…they can take it (to ****) with them…”

13. “The time will come when we can so OH WE TOLD YOU SO!! You say non Christians maybe be sitting by us in church-nah I don’t think so”

14. “**** is getting HOTTER as we speak! For those who don’t want to believe, that is your choice, but don’t beg for mercy on your day of Judgement!”

15. “People of all religious beliefs and backgrounds, remember one thing please. When it’s all over and you find that you were wrong, it’s TOO late then to make a change. So, be sure that what or who you believe in or don’t believe in is the right way to go, cause you only get one shot. I know where I’m going. Maybe I’ll see you there. If not, say hello to Hitler and Bin Laden for me, OK!”

16. “WIS/TV… Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, said “Such non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them.” /////////////////////////////​/////////////////////////////​////////////////// In a related story—it’s reasonable to say that what the Coalition doesn’t know, as well Is…if they stay their course—they’ll find their community—a very hot place known as…**** !!!”

17. “Atheists cease to exist once they die. They then become believers. Dont believe in God? I’m sure your boss will let you work for Christmas.”

HELL... hellooooo

MUSLIMS

18. “why don’t they do this campaign in countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia, i bet those atheists feel even more lonely! American Christians don’t force their religion on people,they, just like the CoR, like to get The Word out, but what you do with it, its up to the individual. The USA still has religious freedom last i checked.”

19.

(We need one about not believing in Allah. - An Allah coloring book. - You can get an Allah coloring book with Dealchicken coupons. - The Allah Christmas Book. Allah delivers guns and bombs to all the little future terrorist. - My personal favorite...Allah lights the menorah coloring book.)

SO ANGRY

20. “I believe in Him and I also believe I’ll boycott any advertisers that use Lamar billboards.”

21. “stupid tards why would you be sitting next to us in church if your not a believer ? i think you plan backfired instead of spreading your non existent belief in god anyone who quiestions gods existence will inevitably come to the conclusion there is a god.not offended, all things work to the glory of god.”

22. “This article made me sick and so do half of you posters. That’s what is wrong with the world today. You should be ashamed. I choose to praise God and if you choose not to, then that is your problem”

23. Its funny these people don’t believe in God but they use the money that says “In God We Trust”. Since you don’t believe in God try living without the money that has His name on it.

CRAZY

24. GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY!!! MAKE THEM TAKE THEM DOWN!!! SOMEONE CLIMB UP AND PAINT OVER THE DON’T! THEN IT WILL BE A GREAT SIGN!!

25. For those who dont believe will be the ones who when the time comes will be demanding to be let into the Ark when the world does come to an end. For the way of life is through Jesus Christ and for the way to Death is those who choose not to believe.

26. do believe in God: so people need to watch out what the put on a sign. boy if my sister get hold of this she will be calling on God to take it down:

27. Why is it important that you tell the world you don’t believe? This is the work of Satan, you better believe it. I am sadden by this display.

28. I just want to let you know I am very offended about your billboards. Why can you all put this up and we cannot have billboards with God’s name in it for the good? I really feel this is not fair. Just remember God is watching you.

LONG FORM

29.

Just read on your home page in which you wrote “people who don’t believe in a god or gods can be decent citizens…” Gods? Most people (around here) believe in just one God. I think when you wrote “gods” you were being patronizing, no?

I used to be agnostic, so I understand where you are coming from. But I was a little offended by the “gods” reference. You are making fun! Look, Christians and religious folk used to really annoy the crap out of me, especially being the pragmatist that I am. But I think in the end I was more jealous that people could “let go” and accept something that was contrary to rational thought. They were more open-minded than I was and that really got under my skin. So I would make snyde comments like “do you believe in fairies too!” But really, I was just jealous that others could accept something that I could not.

I’m not going to preach. But from one former atheist/agnostic to another, I’d like you to consider one question. This is the question that ultimately helped me to become more open minded in my search for “what is?” No laughing, this is serious stuff and I want you to do your research and really, really ponder it…like for a year or more. Here goes: Why do atoms attract? (and, no, the answer is not “because God tells them to”, lol….or IS it) Remember: question everything, and let your intelligence set you free.

I can assure you that we are not making fun of religious people, nor do we intend to seem patronizing. The simple fact of the matter is that there are, in fact, people in this very community who believe in multiple gods. Both Wiccans and Hindus live in the greater Columbia area. We apologize if you felt offended.

As for your question, atoms are attracted to each other through Van Der Waal’s forces, electronegativity, and ionic or covalent bonding. As an archaeologist, I cannot speak definitively on inter-atomic forces and subatomic particle interaction, but there are plenty of physicists among us who would be happy to discuss the finer points of the theoretical physics should you ever feel inclined to attend a meeting or event advertised on our home page.

I thank you for taking the time to write and express your concerns to us directly, and I hope that my answer has proven satisfactory.

Sincerely,

Dustin Tucker
CoR Coordinator

Really? Hindus have multiple gods? They seem so nice, but that’s just crazy.

And thanks for the invite to your activities, but I’ve spent many hours participating in these types of discussions and the answers are always the same. But Justin, in your search for reason and understanding I don’t want you to forget about gravity. Its a big deal. That two objects are pulled together without a single physical, detectable thing binding them is quite the conundrum. Many physicist and scientist believe that there must be something there pulling these particles and objects together. However, this missing something is not detectable on our level or by our limited senses. Many believe it exists on a different plane or dimension all together. But it must exist. Otherwise, these objects are being pulled together by magic, and that’s not reasonable. Nonetheless, these things or invisible “forces” are well beyond our scope and certainly beyond our natural senses.

In reality, we are limited to only what we can see, hear, feel, touch and smell. To me, its incomprehensible to imagine what lies out there that we have no ability to know about or even comprehend because of our physical and sensual limitations. Science and reason are not equipped to tell us. Nor are they equipped to tell us they “don’t know” as that kind of defeats their purpose. Yet, the more we uncover, the more lucid it becomes that there is much more out there that we do not understand, including those things that we are unable to perceive. It could be anything. There is no denying this, it is simply a reasonable conclusion. Of course, what you do with that conclusion is up to you.

PALATE CLEANSER

30. “I am a Christian; I belive in God and the bible, grew up in Church etc. I am not perfect and I do sin quite frequently. We as Christians believe we are forgiven and are entitled to believe what we choose just as everyone else is; there is freedom of religion and freedom of speech in place to protect everyone and their beliefs.”

My Talk about Emotions in Rhetoric

I gave a “sermon” at the UU in Columbia at the end of September and they’ve gotten around to putting it up on their website. If anyone is interested in listening to me talk about rhetoric, emotions, and Prop 8… here’s yet another opportunity!

UUCC-sermons-2011-Q3-Jul-Sep – UUCC-2011-09-25 – eSnips.

It looked exactly like this except nothing said TAM

Why “In God We Trust” is a Problem

¡Delicioso!

During the Spanish Inquisition, Catholics would find Jews by looking to see who ate pork.  They’d offer pork to people they suspected of being Jewish, and if they refused to eat it, they were arrested.  Because in the 1400s the only real Spaniard was a Catholic Spaniard.  There was a holy war aimed at getting rid of the unwanted.

There was a holy war in the United States, too, in the 1950s.  There was a man named Joe McCarthy and he waged a holy war against the atheists.  “Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity,” Joe McCarthy, 1950.

At the start, let me make clear that in my opinion no special credit is due those of us who are making an all-out fight against this Godless force-a force which seeks to destroy all the honesty and decency that every Protestant, Jew and Catholic has been taught at his mother’s knee. It is a task for which we can claim no special credit for doing. It is one which we are obligated to perform. It is one of the tasks for which we were brought into this world-for which we were born. If we fail to use all the powers of mind and body which God gave us, then I am sure our mothers, wherever they are tonight, may well sorrow for the day of our birth…

Jesus wants me to further my political career by being a jerk

Government officials were put on trial, torn apart for anything that seemed vaguely related to atheism, communism, homosexuality, or not quite being patriotic enough.  Many lost their careers and were unable to find work, some were wrongfully imprisoned on laws that were later overturned as unconstitutional — often on the basis of incredibly flimsy evidence and accusations from people with personal motives.

Perhaps you remember HUAC, the House Un-American Activities Committee, which created lists of people who weren’t considered American enough — American in this case meaning Christian Non-Commies.  Over 300 artists were boycotted by Hollywood after being put on HUAC’s blacklist and only 10% of them were able to rebuild careers.  HUAC did local witch-hunts to ferret out people they didn’t like, making sure communities could shun them as Un-American.  Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible”, about the Salem Witch Trials, was inspired by the way HUAC treated people.  It was truly a witch-hunt and the offenders were Godless.

It is thanks to McCarthyism and HUAC that the phrase “Under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 and the phrase “In God We Trust” was adopted as the national motto in 1956, over the previous, all-inclusive motto “E Pluribus Unum” — Out of Many, One.  Before the 1950s, the national motto said that the nation was stronger thanks to the many different kinds of people who made up the country; after the 1950s, the national motto said that the nation was stronger because of a Christian God.

To be clear, God was added to the Pledge and as a motto in the 1950s not because of a strong devotion to religion but out of a desire to find and punish atheists.

The House has just overwhelmingly reaffirmed the phrase “In God We Trust” as the national motto.  A completely unnecessary move as George W. Bush signed a law in 2002 reaffirming it as the national motto, along with reaffirming “under God” in the pledge.  Congress reaffirmed it as the national motto 5 years ago.  2 years ago, the phrase was added to the Capitol visitor center.  And this ridiculous vote in the middle of economic crisis that Congress has repeatedly failed to address effectively?  OK, so Congress likes God, now can they please get around to liking their constituents?

Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job

What drives me crazy is the refusal of the American people and the political establishment to recognize that the so-called tradition of God as part of these things only dates back to the 50s.  Everyone seems to think that they were established at the beginning of the country, not as part of a witch-hunt.  And they additionally refuse to recognize that not only is it conflating church and state, it is also endorsing the behavior of McCarthy and HUAC.  SCOTUS on this issue:

It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise. – Aronow v. United States, 1970

It has everything to do with establishing atheists as a second-class group of citizens and tacitly endorsing McCarthy’s persecution of those he called “Godless”.  If the government is not embarrassed by the blatant disregard of the Establishment Clause, it could at least show the good sense to be embarrassed by Joseph McCarthy.