Nut, fringe pastor wants to set up registry of atheists

I need to give a hat tip to StandardBlogs reader Bob Becker for leading me to freethoughblogs.com, where poster Ed Brayton has noted that an online preacher named Mike Stahl of Living Water, an Internet church, wants to set up a national registry of atheists. (Read) Sigh, this is the kind of hate that emanates from the Christian Right that makes it very difficult to rebut charges of religious intolerance from critics of religion.

Stahl’s “church” has closed access to its site (frankly, that doesn’t seem too Christian) but Brayton has disclosed some of Stahl’s rants that were once available to all:

“Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a ( Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..

“This type of “National Registry” would merely be for information purposes . To inform the public of KNOWN ( i.e., self-admitted) atheists . For example , let’s say you live in Colorado Springs , Colorado , you could simply scroll down ( from the I-Net site /Blog ) I would have , to the State of Colorado , and then when you see “Colorado Springs” , you will see the names of all the self-admitted atheist(s) who live there ( e.g., if an atheist’s name happened to be “Phil Small” ) . The individual’s physical address , and other known personal information would NOT be disclosed ( though , perhaps a photo could be ).

“Now , many (especially the atheists ) , may ask “Why do this , what’s the purpose ?” Duhhh , Mr. Atheist , for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public ! I mean , in the City of Miramar , Florida , where I live , the population is approx. 109,000 . My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists ! Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism . Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s , in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our Christian friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be “feeding” Satan .

“Frankly , I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves ( unless of course , they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion , and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.’ ).”

I have a final word on this. My God, I hope, is keeping a list on acts of evil. If so, Pastor Sahl is certainly at the top of that list.

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29 Responses to Nut, fringe pastor wants to set up registry of atheists

  1. Chuck Jones says:

    This is exactly the kind of nonsense that makes the religious right look like a bunch of loons. It saddens me how many people call themselves Christian while living a life full of hate. I truly don’t understand how somebody can claim to be a follower of Christ and live a life in direct contradiction to his teachings.

  2. Owain says:

    It’s dumb, but I don’t see that it’s evil. If God punishes people for being dumb, we’re all doomed.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I find it unbelievable that anyone would classify Atheists with”convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads [or] radical Islamists”.
    REALLY?
    I’m not an Atheist; however, my understanding is the purpose of being an Atheist is to take off religious blinders in order to promote peace. Atheists are angry because humanity fights so much over Organized religion. I have never seen an Atheist ring my doorbell in order to preach Atheism, although they probably should in order to point out facts. Humanity is facing much larger issues which stem from organized religion, this is a prime example.

  4. Owain says:

    Well, as I see it, if Stahl is right, atheists will have their own day of reckoning, and will have to answer to God themselves, in which case Stahl shouldn’t bother worrying about it. I the atheists are right, it doesn’t matter, so Stahl shouldn’t bother worrying about it.

    Either way, Stahl should find better things to do with his time. Maybe he should spend more time praying for the atheists.

    I think Stahl is just as much a valid christian pastor as the nutjob who goes around the country protesting against homosexuality at soldier’s funerals. This isn’t about God, or religion. It’s about “LOOK AT ME”, using religion as an excuse. This has less to do with the Christian Right or evangelicals, and more to do with a pathetic individual crying for attention.

    Don’t give it to him.

  5. Lang says:

    I am an atheist. I have raised my children to be atheists. This silly crap is no big deal. With objective and critical thinking any atheist would see this registry as the nonstarter that it is.

  6. Stephen M. Cook says:

    Atheists?
    Their main problem is that they lack an active imagination.
    People suffering from from religion seemingly have no such problem.

  7. Steve says:

    This is a truly idiotic idea that will get no traction, except among true idiots. But the part that got my attention was this:

    Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism .

    What I find fascinating is that Stahl and his followers don’t see how this behavior is rude and annoying from the point of view of the atheist and I suspect they never will. I would love to see a National Do Not Proselytize list just like there’s a National Do Not Call list. That will never happen…but, oh, it’s nice to think about.

  8. J Hartwell says:

    Similar to a newspaper posting mug shots of people who have committed such heinous crimes as; intoxication, failure to appear, no proof of insurance, etc. Certainly serious enough offenses to warrant public humiliation.

    But I guess it helps the analytics look good for prospective online advertisers.

  9. Erick says:

    If Mr. Stahl were a more notable person of consequence, then I think this would be a story of some kind. There are plenty of “nut-jobs” out there, and many of them have internet access. Beyond that, Mr. Stahl has no real influence in the world, so this issue in inconsequential.

    • Bob Becker says:

      I would generally agree… except that Florida minister who scheduled a Koran burning seemed to have an impact in the real world [much of it overseas] out of all proportion to the minuscule size of his congregation. And, secondly, the polling seems to indicate that Americans in general trust atheists as a group less than they do nearly any other group in the land, lawyers and congressmen included. And the same polls indicate that more Americans look upon atheism, by itself, as a disqualification for election to public office than they look upon any other non-criminal characteristic. Given that, I’m not quite as confident as you seem to be that the Rev. Stahl’s lumping atheists with ” convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists ” as people decent Americans should be suspicious of, possibly afraid of, and should be able to keep track of will fail to find sympathetic listeners beyond his own group.

      I hope I’m wrong about that, but I’m not confident that I am.

      • Owain says:

        “…except that Florida minister who scheduled a Koran burning seemed to have an impact in the real world [much of it overseas] out of all proportion to the minuscule size of his congregation.”

        I don’t think the size of the congregation was the determining factor in that story. People can do all sorts of obnoxious things with Christian, Jewish, or most any other faith’s artifacts or beliefs, and the world heaves a collective yawn, yet if someone draws a cartoon that someone, somewhere, feels is an insult to Islam, expect riots and beheadings to ensue.

        This is hijacking of the news cycle by reason of insanity, in my opinion. The only news value in it should not be the preacher burning the Koran, or the cartoon, or whatever. That is minor. The emphasis should be placed on the insane reaction some Muslims have in response to trivial provocations.

        That never seems to happen.

    • Bob Becker says:

      In re: the suggestion that the minister who associates atheists with child molesters etc. is an inconsequential crank not worth much worry, I came across the following headline on the webpage of an Orthodox Rabbi:

      A Plea to Atheists: Pedophilia Is Next On the Slippery Slope; Let Us Turn Back Before It Is Too Late

      The link to his webpage article is here: http://www.algemeiner.com/2011/08/29/a-plea-to-atheists-pedophilia-is-next-on-the-slippery-slope-let-us-turn-back-before-it-is-too-late/

      As for him being an inconsequential crank, I noted that he’s significant enough for Fox News to bring him on to discuss falling support for President Obama among Jews. The link to his Fox News interview is on his webpage, top right.

  10. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    Bob Becker needs to be on the list; he argues against the bible and Jesus Christ constantly. Read a few of his comments before posting things like this.
    Nut, fringe pastor… Nice introduction; Ever heard the story of a 14 year old who met God and Jesus and used crystals, seer stones and special glasses to translate words from Golden Plates telling us of submarines traveling underwater as whales 10,000 miles from Nimrod (Babylon) to the Americas where Adam Ondi Ammon (Garden of Eden) was really located?

  11. Bob Becker says:

    \Than never seems to happen.\

    Oh, I think it happened in the Danish cartoons incident. There was much condemnation in western nations of the resulting violence, and Muslim attempts to silence free speech regarding Mohammed in the west. That condemnation came from private groups [e.g. PEN], from individuals and from governments. You may have a case to make on other incidents, but not I think on that one.

    Nor in the case of the fatwah calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, which also drew a lot of condemnation in the west, again from private groups, from governments, and from individuals.

    The Danish cartoons incident led, let’s remember, to some newspapers and magazines in the US, including college newspapers, reprinting the Danish cartoons to establish that violent religious fanatics would not dictate to the American press what it could and could not print. And it led to \Draw Mohammed Day,\ now I think in its third year, mostly on blogs, inviting people to \draw Mohammed\ in defiance of the Muslim prohibition against creating images of the prophet. Many hundreds respond.

    • Bob Becker says:

      The above posted as a reply to Owain above. Somehow ended up as another entry, not a reply. Sorry.

    • Owain says:

      I had the Danish cartoon incident in mind when I used that example. There was indeed a lot of pushback on that, but there was also a lot of capitulation as well, such as the Cartoon Network censoring the South Park satire on the subject.

      There was also a story about Yale University Press that caved and wouldn’t print the cartoons in a book they published on the controversy. http://www.slate.com/id/2225504/

      I suppose stories like these tend to stick in my mind, and I suppose CN and Yale University Press were actually justified in their actions. When you face the very real threat of getting your head or your employee’s heads sawed off with a dull knife, it’s hard to take a stand on what you think is a very important principle.

      Even so, in all stories such as these, the story was “Cartoon Network Censors South Park”, or “Yale University Press Surrenders”, when the REAL story should always be INSANE ISLAMIC WHACK JOBS THREATEN HORRIFIC ACTIONS FOR STUPID REASONS.

      There is something fundamentally wrong with Islam, in my opinion, when actions like these can be justified by anyone.

      • Bob Becker says:

        I think the cowardly Yale U. Press matter [and it was cowardly, particularly for a U. press] was an exception to the general response of the western press, and that’s why it caught everyone’s eye. It’s sad when any university knuckles under to a hecklers’ veto. It’s inexcusable when a University Press does it.

        Can’t argue with you about CN, which on South Park has made outrageous [and outrageously funny] ridicule of religion in general and specific religions in particular its stock in trade for years. Pulling its punches on Mohammed was craven, plain and simple.

        • Lang says:

          If you watch South Park Season 5 episode 3 you will see the cartoon image of Mohammed along with Joe Smith too. When season 14 episode 5 came along it was really just a silly idea to censor Mohammed as his likeness had already been used in a previous South Park episode.

          • Bob Becker says:

            But season 5 occurred before the Danish cartoon matter, season 14 after. By the time 14 rolled around, people had already died in the rioting by frenzied Muslim zealots determined on revenge and punishment of anyone, however remotely, connected in the mobs’ eyes with the Danish printings. Makes a difference. And makes the eliding of Mohammed’s image from that season’s show a knuckling under to terrorist threats. They shouldn’t have done it. I expected more and better from them.

            They seem to handle things like this better in England. The morning after Muslim terrorists set off bombs in two subway cars and on a commuter bus, Londoners were out packing the same trains and buses. We tend to cringe for a while and hole up it seems, which in a certain sense is letting the terrorists win. Don’t know if it’s the legacy of the London experience in the Blitz or their long experience with Irish terrorist bombers, but they seem to take threats more in stride than we do, and to refuse to let their lives be disrupted more than absolutely necessary by fear of them.

            It’d have been inspiring to see the South Pass gang run a show with two Mahommeds just to make it clear that hell and a whole lot more was going to freeze over before the producers in particular [and Americans in general] permitted Muslim terrorists to dictate what can appear on TV here and what can not. As it would have been inspiring to have Yale U. Press not only print the Danish cartoons in a book about them, but put one on the cover for the same reasons.

            But they didn’t.

      • Ben pales says:

        Owain knows what South Park is??? Will wonders never cease. Fox News must of done a story on the show once.

    • Owain says:

      The beat goes on regarding the Danish cartoons. The US is now officially working to restrict your freedom of speech when it comes to discussing Islam.
      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/276021/administration-takes-islamophobia-nina-shea

      It’s a longish article, but the following quote follows the recent discussion here:
      “…“the publication of offensive cartoons of the Prophet six years ago that sparked outrage across the Muslim world, the publicity around the film Fitna and the more recent Qur’an burnings” — Ihsanoglu was emphatic that “no one has the right to insult another for their beliefs or to incite hatred and prejudice” and that “freedom of expression has to be exercised with responsibility.”

      And we thought that controversy was done and over. Hardly. Muslims are still chafing over the loss of the Andalusia in Spain 500 years ago. What is six years compared to that grudge? http://www.realclearreligion.com/index_files/0db2f7288040c27183681eed6a3841ee-215.php

      • Bob Becker says:

        Owain, I read the article. It seems you have not. The US is not now “officially working to restrict your freedom of speech” when it comes to discussing Iran or Islam in general. As the article reports, but you seem to have ignored, the US scored a significant victory at the UN when it led efforts to remove from a UN Human Rights policy a prohibition against insulting or criticizing faiths. The US in short insisted on defending free speech, and it fought UN attempts to endorse a human rights standard limiting it. As the article reports, and you do not.

        With respect to the attempt to counter “Islamaphobia” please note as the article does this from Sec. of State Clinton: “In making the announcement, Clinton was firm in asserting that the U.S. does not want to see speech restrictions: “The resolution calls upon states to ‘counter offensive expression through education, interfaith dialogue, and public debate . . . but not to criminalize speech unless there is an incitement to imminent violence.’”

        The Ihsanoglu mentioned in what you quote is not a US official, and please note [as the story does, but you do not] that the US has opposed consistently his organization’s attempt to have criticism or disrespect of religion banned by UN standards. That Muslim theocracies like Saudi Arabia would like to see criticism of Islam banned [just as some American Christian extremists would like to see anti-blasphemy laws here.] The administration has consistently opposed such here and abroad and at the UN and is committed to doing so.

        There is no evidence otherwise in the article other than right-wing speculation. I presume if the National Review had any evidence… any at all… that the Obama administration was in fact “now officially working to restrict your freedom of speech when it comes to discussing Islam,” it would have included it in the article. It included none, but was honest enough to include Clinton’s statement [quoted above] and others indicating that the Administration was not backing off one iota from its intention to preserve free speech on this and all other items for Americans, and to extend those rights where possible to others.

        • Owain says:

          The difference between you and I, Bob, is that when Hillary Clinton says, “…the U.S. does not want to see speech restrictions…”, you actually believe her.

          That’s cute. I bet you liked her “Reset” button with the Russians that actually translated to “Overload”. Google ‘US Russian relations sour’ to see how well that’s going for us so far.

          I think we’ll have to wait to see how this plays out. I’m not optomistic.

        • Owain says:

          Further analysis from a legal/international law point of view is not encouraging, despite Hillary’s assurances.
          http://volokh.com/2009/10/01/is-the-obama-administration-supporting-calls-to-suppress-supposed-hate-speech/

          • Bob Becker says:

            I see you still have offered no evidence to support your claim that the administration is now “officially” working to limit American free speech rights regarding Islam. Not surprising, since there seems to be none. Not even the National Review could find any.

            What evidence there is suggests in fact the opposite of what you claim: the US worked successfully at the UN to remove the ban on blasphemy from the rights declaration. I’d have thought you’d have approved of that, but it seems blind partisanship prevents you from supporting the Administration’s actions even when you claim to share the same ends, and we agree those ends [preserving and protecting free speech rights] serve American interests. Sad, really.

            And now, caught making claims for which you have no evidence, you’re changing the subject.

          • Owain says:

            The thrust of the NRO article was that IN SPITE OF assurances to the contrary that support for this move to combat ‘Islamophobia’ will not result in limiting free speech for Americans, their partner in this effort, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), who’s spokesman I quoted, do not share that view.

            This is the view of the OIC with respect to freedom of speech:
            “I would like to reiterate on this day the OIC’s staunch commitment to the principles of the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press, not merely as fundamental human rights in the broadest sense of the term, but, just as importantly, as noble values and inalienable universal principles so long as they do not breach the freedom of others or dent their right to their beliefs and cultural ideals.”
            http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-does-freedom-of-press-mean-to-oic.html#readfurther

            Excuse me, but my reading of the 1st Amendment doesn’t include restrictions regarding ‘denting’ somone elses ideals.

            If the Obama Administration wants to make me believe they won’t be infringing on our free speech, they should have partnered with someone other than the OIC.

        • Owain says:

          Now why do I reflexively distrust things this administration says?

          Oh, I don’t know…
          They told us Obamacare wouldn’t cover illegal aliens.
          http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2009/08/obamacare-wont-cover-illegal-immigrants-yes-it-will-says-congressi

          They told us under Obamacare, we could keep our insurance/doctor
          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432304576371252181401600.html

          Death panels? What death panels?
          http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/letters/obamacare_nightmare_return_of_death_msOrVCn0EpSNgQbxV2zRZK

          Is Guantanamo closed? Are we out of Iraq/Afghanistan? Were there really shovel-ready jobs? Are there no lobbyists in the Obama administration as promised? Is this really the Most Transparent Administration Evah?

          Forgive me for not taking their word for it.

  12. Chris says:

    I guess he would like us to wear little yellow Unicorns like a fascist state did 60 years ago . The founding fathers must be turning in their graves .

  13. Zion Wordsmith says:

    You are undoughtely at the Top of my list [Sister Madeleen O'Haire].
    “Good Hair Day”!!! As the “Cross-Winds Blow”.
    As the Testements proclaim…”Aversion in All Things”.
    If we were all Perfect, We couldn’t mature in Understanding.
    Everything Else…Literal Heirse’!
    Regards.

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