Keep up the good work!
I just finished reading the letters from your "anonymous" relative.
I think he's a little bit crazy to think that somehow your differing
opinion is somehow worse than everyone else's opinion. I too have
relatives that totally disagree, but we're still family. Hell, my
Mom is an Atheist and my Dad is a Christian. Anyway, also he's totally
wrong in his ideas about your site. When I was young and questioning
beliefs that were held by almost all the people I knew, I really
could've used the support that your site gives.
actuality, I'm 28 and still "need" your site in my daily life. I'm
a firefighter and I only know of two other atheists in our department...fun!..It's
great to have the ability (since the Internet) to find like minded
people out there, it just let's you know that you aren't so crazy.
Not only is "sitting across from loved ones with opposing
views" a "normal part of life", but it may be the key to avoiding
true Hate for strangers who have opposing views about things
which we have strong feelings.
Thanks for your
visit your website regularly and have read every single hate mail
page that you have posted. Sometimes I make it sort of a game (and
exercise) for myself to anticipate how you will reply to each hate
mailer before reading your response. After reading your latest one
addressed to your anonymous relative, I must commend you for completely
blowing me away. There have been shining moments when you've eloquently
expressed exactly what the rest of us are thinking, but can't nearly
match your wit, much less put into words. It seems that most of
us simply aren't equipped with the mental tools necessary to address
such an important issue. Or, we too easily get intimidated by the
seemingly righteous voices of those who have chosen to follow the
I've found your link from atheists.org, my mental arsenal has steadily
been growing more powerful to stand up to those who'd rather me
sit down and quietly accept their unchallenged and absurd thinking.
What a beautiful age we live in.
for the Jesus
Dress Up magnets (I bought my own, then my brother gave me one
for my birthday too!) and thanks again for what you do.
Subject: Your anonymous relative
...is very confused. The constant 'Life of Brian' observations. 'Hey, I'm down with poking fun at dogma! But I have a problem with you and your site! Oh dear my head hurts.'
"Understand where I am going with this???" No, we need a roadmap for your blinding flashes of social insight. Why are the stupidest people always the most condescending?
"Go back and watch The Life of Brian. (Comedy and social commentary both!)
Most people are weak and do not want to think for themselves. They want to blame others for their problems, and scapegoat people when they can."
"You really are disturbed!" ... "Some of your relatives stayed away because of YOU!!!"
I'd be prepared to bet heavily that this relative of yours didn't find LOB at all funny when they first saw it. The sort of person who charges in, all guns blazing, to take you to task for someone else's actions (and then back-tracks after being made to look like an unthinking idiot) strikes me not to be a person who would understand or enjoy such comment, but more likely to be one who would inspire it.
As always, thank you for your site Bob! I dunno why, but I most love reading letters from people who know you (the ones from your Pastor were
of your relatives stayed away because of YOU!!!
Subject: You really
last week I was back in the Midwest watching my nieces, nephews,
cousins and their kids setting off fireworks, fishing, swimming
and having fun times."
I really do not
know what to say. Some of your relatives stayed away because
Oh really? Who?
Are you one?
come across as a militant, attack, hate atheist.
It is none of our
business what you believe. It is yours. But when you act this
way in hiding, why would your family come around you knowing
how you really feel???? Some of your family may be gay. Do
they devote a website to making fun of heterosexuals???? Think
about it. You are really a tool of those that would corrupt
your message. Atheism is as old as religion. They go hand
in hand. But when someone references you and your "dress-up"
stuff, then uses your message to influence others to act "evil,"
then you are off track.
Atheism and atheists
come in all flavors. You come across as a militant, attack,
hate atheist. Can't just ignore the message of God. Can't
ignore the bearers. Can't ignore people that make a different
choice. You can't even accept that people that believe in
God could care less what you beleive. No, you feel compelled
to pillory, belittle, and criticise them.
I really question
your motivations here. Are you looking for attention??? Are
you looking for fame and notoriety??? What is it that you
You are a good
artist. You communicate well. You obviously have talent. I
wonder if you have thought this thing through. Do you want
to be associated with the "fringe." Is fame worth it???
To sum it up, I
don't care if you believe or not. I do not care about your
politics or your "worldview." I do wonder though why you would
subject everyone to your "attack" mentality and drive family
members away when you are present. It would be no different
than if one of your family had a website dedicated to hating
everyone that has lived in Colorado. Then this family member
comes to Grandma's house and makes nice. But, you have seen
their website, and now you do not want to be anywhere close
to the person for fear of making a scene.
Get my drift???
I wish you the
best of luck. I hope that your journey in life goes well.
I think though that you might be making a mistake that may
be hard to correct.
PS I used the email
ID to get your attention so you would read it.
First off, let
me start by saying that I am not a "hate atheist." Sometimes
I can be a "bothered atheist." And I have been known to be
an "irritated atheist" when I'm at my angriest. But hate?
Are there really family members who think that I hate them?
I'm questioning beliefs. Sometimes I get frustrated with what
I consider ignorance, but it's never hate. In fact, I hope
that I'm an example of how attacking ideas is the necessary
and valuable alternative to hate. What "acts of evil" do you
believe I inspire?
If there are relatives
who actually avoided visiting their family members because
of me, well then that's just silly. They should know me well
enough to know that I do not make scenes at family functions,
and if they think that they wouldn't be able to help but make
a scene at such a gathering then it's not me who's got the
problem. It is no different than shaking hands with someone
who believes you're going to hell for being a non Christian.
People have been doing that for a long while and have never
had any problems being polite for three hours out of every
year without starting a brawl. It's called "being an adult."
I promise not to bring the topic to the table, but I am also
completely open to discuss it at any length with anybody,
privately or publicly.
Tell me this, would
you honestly be offended if we had a gay relative who made
fun of heterosexuals? Is there a heterosexual jab that could
reduce you to tears? I feel that you've presented the perfect
example here. This example shows how necessary it is to be
able to laugh at one's self in matters that you are confident
in. By the way, my site is also an ongoing joke on myself
as well. Do you see that?
For someone who
doesn't care about what I believe and feels that it's none
of their business you sure got to my site in a hurry for that
update. You read that page about my 4th of July the day I
posted it. If someone I was related to was the host of a Coloradoan
hate site you would never catch me at that site, ever! I would
avoid it at all cost, and at family gatherings I would simply
shake that relative's hand fully aware that he hated me for
the 13 years I lived in Colorado... and I wouldn't give a
Oh, who am I kidding...
I'd love to see such a site, and I'd be star struck by whoever
created it. The last thing I'd worry about is if it was personal
against me, especially if that relative also had Coloradoan
loved ones who he cared for deeply.
Do you think that
religion is above criticism and scrutiny? I do not have the
option of simply ignoring religion. A majority of my life
was spent in it and I am surrounded by it in my daily life
with family, friends, government, and my own brain. My motivation
behind it all is to tell the truth. I want to live this one
life that I've got to the fullest, and the best way I know
to do this is through expressing my thoughts and beliefs with
my writing and art skills. I also recognize how lucky I am
to be able to earn a living while doing this, and the tiny
amount of fame I've received is only bonus.
It is important
to me that you let me post these letters. I want to make it
clear that I do not hate people because of their religious
beliefs, and I want other family members who might be reading
this to see that I am willing to discuss it with anyone.
It's a shame that
I've got family who doesn't give me the benefit of the doubt
in this matter. Please try to see the humor in it, don't take
yourself too seriously and show me the parts of my site you
think reveal hate so that I can explain myself.
Thank you for contacting
me about this.
just wouldn't be comfortable knowing that you are sitting
there at the table, feeling smug in your self-satisfaction
that you feel you are right, and I am wrong.
Subject: Quit using
the disturbed, such negative overtones!
Well, as I see
it, the hate part really comes in when I saw the "Unholy
Alliance of Catholic School Girls." I get the impression
that you might be doing your version of a Monty Python skit.
Unfortunately, there are those out there that would latch
onto this and emulate your actions.
See, your problem
(if I may say so) is that you are smart and sarcastic. That
is great. Unfortunately, most people are "average" or lower.
In other words, "SPRINGER!!!" Understand where I am going
with this??? Watch a "wrestling" match, or NASCAR and you
will see what I mean. Example, your hate mail always ends
up threatening you. Jesus is gonna do this, or God is gonna
do that to you. Really reminds me of Monty Python. "Oh Lord,
you who are so big, and so, well, magnificent." etc, etc,
etc. Do you see the mentality you are dealing with??? When
you take a forceful stand and make it so glaring, people become
Your email (on
the site) shows me that you are either looked up to as a role
model, or that you are villified as a "devil." I know that
you are just another traveller in life, and some other people
may also be able to discern this, but "Joe Sixpack" isn't
able to distinguish.
"Goths", such as the Columbine shooting. There are kids out
there that are emotionally and intellectually "weak" that
either have emulated, or tried, those horrible actions. These
kids get screwed with in school because they are nerds, play
D&D or Magic, and kinda become outcasts. Next thing ya know,
BOOM, hit list and a gun in the locker. Unfortunately, IMHO,
I see your site as appealing to emotionaly immature teens
that may not be able to make good choices in life. If they
start acting out as your site suggests, and they live in Podunkville,
they are going to screw themselves royally. It is great, healthy,
and necessary to question authority. Your methods though,
may be interpreted as "extreme?"
you have every right, as you know, to do what you are doing.
But I wanted you to think about the possible consequences.
I really wouldn't confront you or make a scene in public,
but I just wouldn't be comfortable knowing that you are sitting
there at the table, feeling smug in your self-satisfaction
that you feel you are right, and I am wrong. Why isn't possible
that we both could be right?? My construct of God allows me
to discuss this with you. Some "Christians" would like to
crucify you, not discuss!!! Who is correct???? I, and my God,
do not allow me to judge you and seek vengence. Others are
not so simple to please. I am sure you have seen the beheading
videos of Daniel Pearl. If you have'nt, you should. He was
Jewish. The terrorists beheaded him so that he couldn't go
to heaven!!! By the same token, there are those that worship
the Devil and sacrifice in his name.
Feel free to answer
these wuestions if you like. And as to checking your website,
I do occasionally. At first I was pissed off and thought,
"what a jack-off." But that really isn't healthy, nor Christian,
even if there is no God. So, are you going to your Mom and
Dad's anniversary party??? If you are, maybe we could come
to a gentlemans agreement by then to keep our respective opinions
to ourselves??? (In public)
I do not mind if
you post these letters, but let us remain annonymous to the
outside world. Psycho's do read your site. (Of course not
your fault, but.... you know the web!)
think that you do not really hate anyone at all.
debate??? Or parley???
Oh, and one last
thing, I do not think you hate anyone of your family. I also
think that you do not really hate anyone at all. I would label
you as a pacifist. The "hate" really falls under what is now
commonly referred to as a "hate" crime. Acting out against
a specific group because of their beliefs. I would call dressing
up "girls" as Catholic School Girls, and going into a church
to take pictures as very disrespectful to what other people
to choose to believe. Ie "hate" As in gay-bashing, minority-bashing,
It sounds like
you've come around a bit since "You really are disturbed!!!"
and "Family missed their holiday because of you!!!"
I have to admit
that I don't understand why you'd be uncomfortable sitting
accross from a family member who feels that they are right
and you are wrong. Isn't that the situation we find ourselves
in regularly? Conservative republican relatives sitting accross
from liberal democrat relatives? Christians and Catholics?
Feminists and chauvinists? Broncos and Packers? Even racists
and politically correct-ists. Sitting accross from loved ones
with opposing views is a normal part of life. I'm bothered
that your initial reaction to this problem was to blame me.
teens are going to act out whether or not my site exists.
I know first hand that many of these "outcasts" have found
solace and peace of mind in my writings and art. They finally
get to see like minded people in a world that seems utterly
brainwashed by the idea of "God." They also get to see that
you can believe in something else and still live life (This
is something they are not being told by their teachers, parents
I have to admit
that I would have never gone into that church if those girls
hadn't run in there first, but I must also state that I don't
respect religion much. There's just as much disrespect coming
from them directed at other beliefs. I feel that as long as
it isn't violent or dishonest, protest is acceptable and even
A kid does not
walk away from my site with the urge to shoot up their school.
That behavior comes from feeling helpless and worthless. My
site is not only lessons in how to defend your beliefs without
violence, but it also shows them that they're not alone, and
that laughing at it is a better medicine. I'd also like to
think that it shows how "normal" people are just as fucked
up as everybody else, if not more so.
I am planning on
attending my parent's 50th despite those who find it uncomfortable
being near to someone who has questioned their religious beliefs.
I will keep these
posted letters anonymous. Hell, I still have no idea who you
are anyhow. Thank you again for discussing this with me directly.