Dear Fellow Atheists, Secular Humanists, Freethinkers and other Nontheists,
Why is it that we don’t see many Christian fundamentalists or Tea Partiers taking part in Occupy? Because of an alliance that began in the 70s. Back then, corporations wanted more of a voice and religious Americans needed more cash. The result was the “Moral Majority.” This 40-year alliance explains why religious right wingers, who claim to be moral and pro-family, vote with Tea Partiers against help for families and the working class – after all, we can’t afford all that and letting corporations off the hook in paying taxes.
Luckily the number of fed-up people has grown about as fast as a CEO’s annual bonus and we now have the power to cut the corporate influence that has infested our politics. Since six mega-corporations now control much of our prime time news flow (see Who Owns the Media?), mainstream media hasn’t been covering Occupy too accurately, to put it nicely.
And it’s not just FOX. The rest of corporate media minimizes the message by focusing on clashes, using words like “terrorism” and the “destruction and violence” that supposedly accompany “anticapitalist demonstrations.” With the Oakland fiasco, the networks covered the police brutality but played down the message. That night ABC first treated us to a story about Bernie Madoff’s wife. Only after did they show footage of tear gas flashing through a rose-colored fog, a symphony of yells, shouts, cries and screams in accompaniment. ABC punctuated its coverage by citing an unidentified poll showing the Movement’s “unpopularity.” A fact check, however, revealed the opposite – a thumbs up from the masses. The next day they completely ignored a meeting protesters had with Tea Party kingpin, John Boehner.
Other ways the anti-corporate message is diminished is by lowballing. Many local news channels claimed NYC had only a 1,500-2,000 protesters, while non-corporate news sources gave figures of over 20,000.
Local coverage mimics national coverage in painting this movement in unpalatable terms, utilizing words like “chaotic,” “anarchistic” and having “no common purpose.” I don’t know where the news crew was, but in the protest I took part in all one had to do is glance at the sea of signs to notice that the message was getting corporations to pay their share of taxes and take responsibility for the environment.
Then there’s unabashed neglect. A FAIR report noted that during the initial protests, only CNN briefly mentioned it. On his TV show (9/21/11), Keith Olberman said: “So five days … protesting corporate control of the economy, and you haven’t heard a word about it on the news?” He later remarked, “If that’s a Tea Party protest in front of Wall Street … it’s the lead story on every network newscast.”
Moral: Conservatives calling the media liberal is like Madoff calling his investors savvy. To get the whole story on the corporate social responsibility movement, supplement your news with independent news like AlterNet, truthout, OpEdNews, NPRor foreign news. Progressive non-corporate sources will also help you keep an eye on the Religious Right Wing and the Tea Partiers, or try People for the American Wayand the Center for Inquiry. For info on how your senators voted with respect to secular values, see the Secular Coalition’s Secular Scorecard.
Keep on protestin’
FAIR Activism Update: Some Breaks in the Blackout of Wall Street Protests
Whitewashing the Blackout of Occupy Wall Street
What if the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street? Corporate media skip anti-corporate protests
4 Polls That Show Occupy Wall Street is Just Getting Started
CNN’s Factcheck Failure on Occupy Wall Street
The above letter was sent to me by email and posted here with permission from Emily.
Dr. Jerry Coyne is drawing lots of internet attention because of the events that transpired around his debate on October 12 at the University of Kentucky. Coyne debated John Haught a Catholic from Georgetown University.
What makes this event special? Apparently both parties agreed to videotape the event well in advance of the event. However after the event Dr. Coyne receives a correspondence from Dr. John Rabel (Coordinator of the debate) that John Haught didn’t want the video to be released. They agreed to release it before the event and therefore Rabel obviously couldn’t honor this request. Well Dr. John Rabel of the Gaines Center for Humanities agreed to not allow posting of the video because they didn’t get permission from Haught in advance to post the video. Someone correct me if my timeline is wrong.
Well what was that? Previous videos in this series with John Haught have been posted, Dr. Coyne knows as he studied them to prepare for the event in which Haught apparently came off as unpolished. Did Haught think this appearance was so bad it was worth censoring? Why didn’t he know there would be an annoying internet backlash? Slews of e-mailers flooded Haught and Rabel with e-mail over the last few days with claims of cowardice. Legal action has been threatened against Dr. Jerry Coyne for antagonizing all of this.
Of course Haught and Rabel are fully to blame. Do atheists really come off to Christian leaders like they can just roll over us and we’ll shut up? Sorry Haught, we wont just go away. We all want to see the arguments that you and Coyne made. In fact, now we want to see it more. Before we wouldn’t have cared. You drew our attention to it. You drew our attention to it just like Kent Hovind did when he sent in false copyright claims against youtube atheists. If you wanted it to be something that would just go away, something that you didn’t become known for then it is you John Haught that should have slowly and quietly walked away and given Dr. Jerry Coyne his copy of the tape.
Kudos to you Dr. Jerry Coyne for not letting this issue die. Might I suggest everyone head over to Amazon and buy your excellent book “Why Evolution is True.”
If you decide to write Rabel or Haught please remember to be nice.
UPDATE: We now have reason to believe that the video will be released. Haught changed his tune after the internet backlash. We still await the video.
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We’ve restored the content on both the old Way of the Master watchdog site, and Ask The Atheist.
I’m currently looking for people that are writing articles, have written articles, or are willing to write articles exposing Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort, Todd Friehl and any of the other loons that work with the Way of the Master organization. That site had been taken down quite some time ago, and is now available here: Way of the Master Watchdog
The OLD Ask The Atheist site is now in archive format only attached to our site as a subdomain: http://asktheatheist.rationalresponders.com
You can log in to both of the above sites to post a comment with your RRS login and password.
If you’re interested in being a thorn in the side of the WOTM team (seriously it’s easy, it just takes a little time and energy) please let me know. The best way to let me know is to read a few of the posts on the Way of the Master Watchdog and get a vibe of what we were trying to achieve, and to submit a story to me that you think is worthy of posting. I’m currently in need of a few good stories involving Ray Comforts destruction of “The Origin of Species.” So if you’re interested in coming up with a post or two per month about the current whereabouts of the con-men at Way of the Master, let me know.
Oh… and if you want to check out the current form of Ask the Atheist it’s available here.
I must’ve heard the words “an atheist can do no good” hundreds of times in the last few years. It must be so hard to imagine how atheists can do good without the upstanding moral code imparted to us in the Bible or the Quran. Sure I wouldn’t sell my daughter into slavery, or kill a man simply for being gay, but I can do other good things instead.
I’m proud to donate clothes to Goodwill and give money to charity. But I take a bigger sense of pride in atheist volunteers which was created to unite and showcase acts of goodness by the men in black who apparently can do no good. Well the door to that argument is being shut more and more everyday as atheists aren’t as scared as they once were to show their face (we have religion to thank for our original fear). We used to do acts of kindness simply because we liked doing acts of kindness. But after being accused so often of being no-do-gooders some of us decided to show off what we’ve been doing all our lives while letting others know we don’t believe in a god. We believe good deeds are the work of men. If good deeds are the works of god, well certainly bad deeds are as well.
I’m particularly excited about the recent developments in Austin with Texas American Atheist President Joe Zamecki at the helm. He and his crew have been hitting the streets to hand out supply packages to the homeless. Some interesting video has been shot along the way. It’s interesting to hear how often the homeless use the name Jesus or God in a positive manner while receiving free goods from a non-believer. You’ll have to check it out for yourself. Details of the Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless are here.
Thanks Joe, you’re a blessing from your mom and dad!
He’s won the Christian of the day award twice, so I thought it was important to show the other side of him, the bad days if you will.
At what point can we stop worrying about this? Christians, get a grip, please. Cory Tuchulski (you know him from this blog debate, which we are still waiting for him to continue) from Josiah Concept Ministries (tm?) has recently posted a blog echoing Jimmy Akin (another Christian who cannot think beyond what sermons were preached at him) in demanding PZ be fired. I’m ashamed of Cory, because I know he is not generally like most Christians out there, and I have grown to respect him as a person.
Cory I ask you; you do realize that he stuck a nail through an actual wafer right? That you believe there is any real significance to this is appalling Cory. It’s a piece of flat bread. The symbolism may shock you, it may stir up images of the passion from the Gospel narratives (fictions), but it has no actual meaning beyond what you interpret in it. Calling for his resignation over stabbing a wafer is using poor judgment, since Christians not only eat the wafer, but digest it, and we all know where it eventually comes out…
Here is what I think. Perhaps all Christians who eat the wafer on Sunday at church are also committing a horrendous act! They should all be fired! Curse those wafer-eating jerks! After all, PZ was only replacing tooth enamel with steel. The act of crucifixion (stauros – to pierce) is still happening in both instances. PZ throwing the wafer in the trash is much more humane (if such deluded concepts such as transubstantiation were real) than having enzymes break down the food, travel through your digestive track, along with all your other food wastes, and be crapped out in a toilet bowl while you read the most recent addition of Catholic Weekly, or Readers Digest, or I Don’t Believe in Atheists, or whatever other reading material is befitting a place next to the ‘shitter’ (and believe me Hedges’ book belongs in the can, not just next to it).
What would Jesus do? (If he were a turd, that is) Does Jesus stop being transubstantiated in your bowels? Is it right when he hits the toilet water filled with all that bacteria? Have you even thought this through all the way? What happens when you have diarrhea? All of these are pertinent questions. Unless, of course, it is just a wafer. Cory, this is not a thing you should be promoting, not you. Not any Christian. Not any sane, logical, sensible person. It’s a bloody (figuratively) wafer. It is not worth death threats, job resignations, or hoopla.
And how can you say he is a “poor representative of the university?” This isn’t Liberty U, where delusions are sold along side the false idea that you can have “informed faith.” He works for a liberal arts school, where science and reason are the starting foundations – to a higher education (not a faith-based one). If anything, Myers has demonstrated (once more) how he is the perfect representative for a school who puts science first, rather than Christian ignorance. You should take notes, not throw paper airplanes from the back of the class.
So, Cory, can we be done with all this ranting and raving, being on a tirade and kicking dirt in a huff and remember that the world (where reason and science work) outside of your delusions (which you have been spoon fed since mental recognition) does not hold to the same ideals that you do, where defacing a wafer is a crime where a person needs to be kicked to the curb where the economy is already in a bad place thanks to one of your own (Christian) kind. (Who uses the same poor logic and thinking skills)
To our friend PZ, keep doin that voodoo that you do so well.