Friday, October 2, 2009

How did I celebrate my birthday? With blasphemy of course!

This past Wednesday (Sept. 30, 2009) Campus Atheists and Agnostics of IPFW joined groups around the country and globe in a celebration of the freedom of speech.

"But wait, if it's just about free speech then why call it blasphemy day? Why not free speech day?

Recently the world has seen a push to inhibit the freedom of speech in favor of protecting the name of deities and the 'religious sensibilities' of people. Ireland now has a law on the books prohibiting blasphemy and the UN recently passed a non-binding resolution declaring blasphemy a human rights violation.

According to blasphemy is simply
"impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things." You may be wondering how this could apply to you, saying to yourself "but Joel, I have great respect for God! I'd never blaspheme Him!" and while I'm sure you have great respect for your god what most people don't realize is that blasphemy applies to all gods. If you're a Christian your very existence is blasphemy against Allah and Muhammad because you don't think that Muhammad was the last true prophet of god! If you're Buddhist you may think that Jesus was a wise teacher, but you don't consider him God and to state as much is blasphemy against Christianity. Everyone of every religion blasphemes against all the other gods that they don't follow. Us atheists just blaspheme against one more god than you do ;) Therefore, one key thing to remember is that we're not just defending our right to speak freely about our lack of religion, but also the right of religious peoples to speak freely about their personal beliefs. And that boys and girls, is what blasphemy day is all about! Overall I think the day was an amazing success, I showed up early (6:30am... for those of you who don't know me I am NOT a morning person...) to set up the boards and our table. Of course I took the opportunity to set the mood for the day and be the first to write on the board... In hindsight, with as many internet forum references as wound up on there, I wish I'd had the foresight to add "first post in an epic thread"... Oh well, we all have our regrets ;) After a bit Rae (our treasurer pictured below being her characteristically fun self) and Chad (our president) showed up to help finish the set-up and watch the booth. I think the best part of the day was the fact that there was rarely fewer than 8 people milling around the board having impromptu discussions on the issues at hand, reading what had been written, commenting and in general having a great time. I remember at one point, as I was returning from buying 3 more poster-boards (having filled up the first 3) there were over 20 people hanging out in front of the boards and seeing that kind of response made all the work of building the board and keeping the event running all day so incredibly worthwhile... I'll say this, the responses we've gotten from our membership since Chad and I founded this group this semester has been truly heartening... We had some pretty interesting things written on the boards too, Everything from Voltaire quotes to "God rules suck my dick" and "#Admin has marked this thread for trolling#". I'll throw up some of the more interesting pictures I got of the board...

The most interesting part of this one IMHO is that when the gentleman wrote "God rules Suck my dick" both the phrases "fuck god" and "Christianity has too many definitions" were on the board... He apparently took more issue with the definitions of Christianity than the other phrase as that's the one he drew an arrow to...
This gentleman thought that our desire for the freedom to criticize his religion was somehow an attempt to persecute him and deny him his free speech... Seeing as how we gave him a forum to voice his opinion I call Logic Fail... He also tried to draw a connection between us and Christians getting killed for their faith in other countries... Yes, it's true that Christians get killed for their beliefs in certain parts of the world, but so do Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and atheists... again, logic fail...

The board at the end of the day...

Finally Chad and myself striking a goofy pose with the board 'o blasphemy before breaking it down and going home.

As the first big event for a group that started this semester I'd call Blasphemy Day a resounding success that surpassed all my expectations! We met many atheists who hadn't been previously aware of our group and our Facebook page membership has jumped by a dozen members since Wednesday!


  1. Blasphemy win! It was good to see all the crowds--especially since they weren't full of religious people hating on us.

  2. Blasphemy day was truly wonderful. My favorite pic is of you and chad giving thumbs up in front of the wall.

  3. Blasphemy day was truly wonderful. My favorite pic is of you and chad giving thumbs up in front of the wall.