It's Was The Atheist
In The Foxhole
Who Where Praying Loudest

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <>
To: "BernardJ.hahn"
Subject: Re: Positive Atheism, Cliff's Columns
Date: February 13, 2004 12:28 PM

To our readers:

What is it about the religion of the Twelve Step movement that turns so many of its adherents, both willing and conscripted, into the most consistently unthinking, the most consistently hostile, the most consistently arrogant, the most consistently self-flattering group to write to the Positive Atheism project?

What is it about the religion of the Twelve Step movement that leads its followers (who write to our Forum) to seemingly recoil from anything even remotely resembling the truth? In other words, how can one group be so consistently wrong about so many of the things upon which they pontificate?

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Dear BernardJ.hahn:

Some people who laugh at our name would laugh at any name we might have created. These people make no pretense about the fact that they are bigots.

Other people laugh at our name simply because they think they can convince us that a word such as positive can have but a single meaning -- what they want it to mean -- rather than the 23 different meanings we counted in Encarta World Dictionary. These people are dishonest bigots, tending also to blame others for their own self-inflicted troubles.

Both people can change, but it is not our burden to try to change them or to even encourage them to change. Our role is both to support atheists in their quest to be seen as normal members of society and to encourage atheists to change their behavior to this end (if necessary).

The "joke" has been on the atheists for too long. It's time to shout "enough!" to the bigotry and abject greed of the Christians and the Twelve Steppers. Of the religious groups that we've dealt with in the past 16 years (half of that time being in the form of this web site), no other groups have displayed the degree of greed and arrogance that we have encountered from the members of these two groups who have contacted us. With Christians, there are many exceptions, though they constitute a minority; with Steppers, this experience of ours is almost without exception.

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I assume you meant to write, "How come your so-called organization is not growing? You have nothing to offer, that's why."

If so, then I offer this in reply:

Nothing to offer?

Our "hits" statistics show otherwise and they have been doing this for several years. Twice we have been "nudged" off of this or that server, it turning out that our meager web site accounted for one-third to one-half of the web host's total traffic.

Our ranking on Google and on Netscape, the only two search references that we've bothered to pay attention to, continues, on both ends, to outrank all other web entities of this nature. All this while, for the past two years straight, I've been too ill to do much of anything around here. Positive Atheism's growth as a web site, in terms of pages of material posted, has come to a standstill. And yet we remain one of the most popular atheistic web sites online. I don't think web sites that "have nothing to offer" can accomplish a goal such as this.

For the past three years, our e-mail Inbox has never dipped below 300 incoming pieces of mail. For the past year or so, it has not dipped below 350 e-mails. This year (due in part to this virus, but even that speaks volumes), our e-mail traffic maxes out at a "comfortable" 3,400 pieces of e-mail per day.

Apparently somebody is getting something from the Positive Atheism web site. In fact, a lot of somebodys are getting a lot of whatever it is they're looking for when they come here.

And calling the publisher of Positive Atheism Magazine "an organization" is akin to calling BernardJ.hahn "an Alcoholics Anonymous group."

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I assume you meant to write, "Even AA can outgrow your organization."

If so, then I still have one more question:

Do you suppose that the initials "AA" mean only one thing, or that they mean only one thing to me?

If so, then I offer this in reply:

AA? I assume you don't mean or our associates, the American Atheists. They may be bigger than we are, but our web site often enjoys a higher level of traffic than theirs does, so in this sense, I wouldn't know what you mean by "outgrow." Thus, I doubt you are referring to American Atheists when you say "AA."

And you certainly don't mean the type of battery or the grade of eggs or even the shoe size. Your ability to string words together one after the other shows that you can't be one of the Academy of Aphasia people, despite your pathetic attempts to make a complete sentence out of those strings of words. The seeming Authorized Absence of English skills makes your familiarity with formal education doubtful, so you can't be talking about the Associate in Arts or Associate in Accounting degrees. Along those lines, chances are that you're oblivious to how African-Americans or Asian-Africans fare in the Affirmative Action hiring plan at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum.

I don't think that you're the Administrative Associate of any Advertising Agency, an Acquisition Agent for American Airlines, or an Administrative Assistant for the Anaheim Angels (or their Athletic Association). You certainly aren't an Anesthesiologist's Assistant for the Alzheimer's Association, the Assistant Administrator of an Assembly Area at Alcoa Aluminum, or even an Airman Apprentice in the Australian Army.

You could be threatening me with Aggravated Assault for refusing to shout, "Allah Akhbar" (Arabic for "God is Great!"). Could it be that you feel this way due to an Anal Aneurysm?

Perhaps it's time to say "Adiós Amigo" to this whole subject (before the Average Audience accuses me of Acronym Abuse).

I will therefore assume by your self-centered arrogance that you're just another Alcoholics Anonymous member who is too hung up on the pursuit of Absolute Abstinence and is thus in need of a little Attitude Adjustment. This is clearly shown by the fact that you've written to our Forum solely for the purpose of harassing us. Like all who do this, your sense of self-worth appears to be derived from "Stepping" on others who have actually made something of their lives. (That is, after all, what the Twelve "Steps" are about, isn't it?)

I mean, if AA is an "anonymous" organization whose Twelve Traditions compel the organization be the cultural equivalent of an innocuous background noise, then why do you assume that both I and our readers are familiar with what you mean when you use the abbreviation "AA"?

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Ah, but I have a question:

What does flattering yourself like this accomplish?

Alcoholics Anonymous grows because of its horde of uncompensated propagandists who are given access to a captive audience of impaired people. These unpaid recruiters, working literally on the threat of death ("Work the Steps or DIE!"), indoctrinate their captive audiences with a false doctrine that many people, restricted from the means of researching the truth of the matter, think they must accept or die physically. Others are mandated to attend regular indoctrination sessions by courts of law under penalty of imprisonment, the loss of employment, the loss of child custody, the loss of disability compensation for which they otherwise qualify, and other "offers" that the victim simply "cannot refuse." (Ahem!) Ah, but I have covered this extensively in my "Recovery Watch" section and I refer you to it if truth is what you're looking for (rather than simply to abuse somebody you don't even know).

As for outgrowing our "organization," first "we" are not an organization; I am but a single individual. "We" is a common style of self-reference used by publications when pronouncing the editorial policy of said publication. (Of course you saw the little box on our FAQ page which lists all the people involved in this project before you shot your mouth off like that!)

Secondly, who said anything about growing? You did, of course! Here you castigating us (me) for failing to meet your expectations.

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I assume this is a question, rather than the incomplete statement that it appears to be when the sentence structure is taken at face value.

If so, then I offer this in reply:

I've never been in a foxhole. I've met many atheists who have and have watched several atheists march boldly toward their own demise without caving in to the indoctrination of fear that they received when they were way too young to have developed the skills to resist that indoctrination.

By the way, when is the last time you saw an atheist in a foxhole?

Have you ever seen an atheist in a foxhole?

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I assume you meant to write, "It was the atheist in the foxhole who was praying the loudest when the bullets were flying everywhere."

If so, then I offer this in reply:

Were you there?

Did you see this with your own eyes? hear it with your own ears?

Or did some lying preacher tell you this, some wannabe Sky Pilot, 4F, who himself wasn't there, either?

How did you know that the person you thought was an atheist was, in fact, an atheist and not simply an immature sourpuss just trying to get attention?

How do you know that this one atheist you (allegedly) saw in the foxhole was the only atheist in the foxhole you (reportedly) were in?

How does your (alleged) experience with this (one and only one) atheist give you enough certainty regarding the nature of all atheists to make the above wholesale and sweeping judgement against all atheists -- to the point where you boldly make this prediction about ME without ever having met me?

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I've got news for youse: Very few atheists will tell others that they are atheists. Only a handful of people are stupid enough to do this, and I'm not one of them (yes, I keep quiet about my own atheism in my private life).

Do you know why this is? Do you know why the vast majority of atheists will go ahead and let a person be wrong in his assumption that they're atheists?

We are afraid of Evangelical Christians and certain other theists. We've watched what Evangelicals and Roman Catholics and Muslims and Jews (and Wiccans and neo-Agnostics and even unthinking atheists) do to those of us who have called ourselves atheists, and we are afraid that this will happen to us as well -- if we openly admit that we are atheists.

We are not afraid of death, because we know better than to believe that yarn about the Christian Hell. (Bwa-ha-ha-ha-haaa!)

We are not afraid of death, but we are afraid of bigoted Christians.

We have discovered that Christians are among the most consistently intolerant groups of people in existence today. Muslims run a close second, failing to exceed the Christians only by being smaller in number.

Many of us have also learned not to say anything bad about Alcoholics Anonymous, though every word of what we say be true.

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I assume you meant to write, "Get real, asshole!"

If so, then I offer this in reply:

This proves that you are not looking for truth. Rather, you seek only to hurl abuse and spew forth hatred. The case against you even speaking in truthfulness becomes quite compelling by this one act of yours.

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I can't make sense of this one at all.

It sounds like you're saying that I am so terribly afraid of being cast into the Christian Hell that instead of repenting, thus guaranteeing myself the real-life equivalent of a "Get Out Of Hell Free Card," I instead remain an atheist, thus ensuring that I will sizzle, pop, fry, and be roasted alive in the Flames of Everlasting Mercy prepared by Jesus and His Angels.

I find it hard to imagine even you being stupid enough to say something like that!

If you are, in fact, threatening me with an eternity of "wailing and gnashing of teeth" for not going along with what you say, then I rest our case regarding both your moral vacancy as well as your intellectual ineptitude.

The need to coerce or threaten your ideological opponents with physical violence demonstrates that you are yourself clearly aware of the vacancy of your position. You don't even trust what you're telling me might be self-evident, but must rather instill fear in order to coerce me to agree with your ideology.

No wonder we long ago banned Twelve Steppers from writing to our Forum. I tried it just this once, wondering if perhaps I'd been too hasty. Oh, well, nobody's perfect!

Have a nice life. I sincerely hope that you find something that makes you happy.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Eight-and-one-half years of service to
          people with no reason to believe

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