May 09, 2011

Draw a Gnu Atheist Day

No date announced here yet, but for Gnu Atheists, Gnu Anti-Religionists, etc., who love Draw Muhammad Day, etc., this could be a nice bit of turnabout.

It's true, free speech is precious, but, like anything else, it can become a dogwhistle, a shibboleth or what have you. And, at that point, you're close to a new fundamentalism.

Noting the just-passed 300th anniversary of David Hume's birth, I wonder if this, namely the "PR image" of self-declared French philosophy atheists such as d'Holbach, as much as any fear of the Brtish crown and government, was why Hume never used the word "atheist" about himself.

That said, maybe I'll start by Photoshopping PZ Myers' face onto a squid being eaten for dinner by Benedict XVI.

Or, anally sexed by Benedict XVI, or crucified by him.

Or, given the "gnu vs. accommodationist" dust-ups, if Ratzi the Nazi sodomizing PZ weren't it, how about PZ fellating Chris Mooney? AND Jerry Coyne doing the same to Josh Rosenau?

Better yet ... if I could lay my hands on a clip, maybe some videoshopping.

Like of PZ giving Ken Ham a big hug. Or George W. Bush.

Anyway, this idea is intended as a deliberate spoof, and a sarcastic one, of Draw Muhammad Day

And, as I said on my Draw Muhammad post, "cui bono"? To what benefit is the Draw Muhammad Day?

Does it, in and of itself, actually bolster free speech that much? Probably not much more than Justice Holmes' famous dictum about yelling fire in a crowded theater. What would probably help more is writing the U.S. and UN embassies of relatively moderate Islamic-majority countries, encouraging them to be more supportive of free speech, countries such as, say Jordan or Turkey.

Does it benefit more liberal-minded Muslims? Of course not. Especially in countries of some openness in the Muslim world, by painting a picture of yet more Americans tarring all Muslims with the same brush, it backfires, and potentially hurts them. That said, the majority of Gnu ringleaders, or "cadre formers," if you're P.Z. Myers (his post on the Mooney-Lindsey interview), prefer to lump the masses of believers of any religion with the most regressive elements within them.

Does it actually do anything vis-a-vis fundamentalist Muslim leaders? Of course not. It won't get them to suddenly "repent" of violence, narrow-mindedness, misogyny or other actual or alleged defects.

Does it benefit atheism or secular humanism in general? Absolutely not, and especially not in those countries I just mentioned.

Draw Muhammad Day is like using a shotgun instead of a rifle. Of course, for PZ, Jerry Coyne, et al, seem to like confrontation for confrontation's sake. Like ... Lenin! Another "cadre former" was he, after all.

That said, per the comment of Aquaria, I'm treating a somewhat childish original idea and an even more often and largely childish leadership cadre ("that word ... stop saying that word!" — Monty Python/Holy Grail/Knights Who Say Nee riff) with a somewhat childishly oriented version of sarcasm. Because that's about what it deserves.

Also per Aquaria's comment, no, the Gnus may not have started Draw Muhammad Day. BUT ... like ducks to water, like confrontationalists for confrontation's sake, I think it's been a thing many of them like pushing.

That said, is every Gnu that bad? No, I know that.

But, Gnus who readily have a "connectionist" mindset, "moderate" Gnus, are probably about as common as "moderate" mullahs on Iran's Supreme Council.


Anonymous said...

"Anybody else want in?"

Apparently not.

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey I'm interested.

Gadfly said...

Glendon, fire away ... I'll post a link of what you do. Maybe the Fourth of July would be a good date.

William said...

Turnabout fail. Gnu atheists don't object to being drawn.

Gadfly said...

Oh, William, I could think of something maddening enough, I'm sure.

If Ratzi the Nazi sodomizing PZ weren't it, how about PZ fellating Chris Mooney? AND Jerry Coyne doing the same to Josh Rosenau?

Aquaria said...

What's the point?

I take it you're wanting to do this because PZ and Coyne have issued death threats to people who draw pictures of Darwin or Richard Dawkins, and urged others to do the same. They've tried to kill people over something so stupid.

Oh wait. They haven't done any of that.

The Draw Mohammed Day--which didn't even start with PZ or Coyne or the rest--is not about giving offense. It's about protesting the deluded insanity of wanting to kill people for drawing a damned picture.

Draw your silly picture if you like. PZ and Coyne won't care, which makes whatever silly point you're trying to make moot. It won't even be funny, because it's just so pointless it's pathetic.

From your comments at Brayton's place, I thought you were smarter than that.

Gadfly said...

Aquaria .... Draw Muhammad Day is like using a shotgun instead of a rifle. Of course, for PZ, Jerry, et al, all versions of and adherents Xianity get lumped together as quasi-fundy, so, all versions of Islam and adherents to it similarly get lumped together.

On my Draw Muhammad Day post, I stress the point "cui bono." Who benefits? And, no, really, nobody benefits ... not free speech, not moderate Muslims, not atheism.

That said, given that PZ himself has said he wants to form "cadres" (in his post about the Mooney-Lindsey interview) it doesn't surprise me that he's not about being smart himself, but rather ...

confrontational for confrontation's sake.

True that Gnus didn't start Draw Muhammad, but in general, they have no problem, IMO, with ignoring the "cui bono" question.

Martin said...

No idea if you are right about the motives of Gnu-Atheists, but you are definitely wrong about the nature of art. A piece of art is not a turd which you fling at people you don't like. However, you have correctly hinted that it can be a vehicle for expressing otherwise hidden homo-erotic fantasies, or any other difficult or interesting idea you may wish to encapsulate. Think of art more as something which people are drawn to. If no one wants to look at your art, you haven't acheived diddly squat. So a real acheivement would be to create a piece about your chosen Prophet which lives upon its own merits.

There is a real benefit in disabusing Islamists from the notion that they can spread their ideas through violence. Fair enough if this doesn't interest you and you have some other target. Disabuse yourself of the notion that good ideas are spread by weaponry and, who knows, you might even create something worth looking at.

Gadfly said...

Martin, *I* don't feel that way about art. However, in the Draw Muhammad Day, I have the distinct impression that many Gnu Atheists *do* feel that way.

That is another reason I'm skewering the idea.

Also, just as PZ Myers et al lump members of the semi-unitarian United Church of Christ with the fundamentalist Church of Christ, so do they, with "Draw Muhammad Day," lump Salafaist fundamentalists with peaceful Sufi mystics.

Yet another reason for skewering the idea.