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The belated and often irregular, Attie Award!!

September 28, 2009

attie_1x600Ok, so, there are lots of reasons I haven’t given an Attie this past week. I couldn’t find any worthy canidates, as it seems d-baggery has been kinda low this week. Plus, with OSU starting up school, it’s been a bit of a crazy week. So, not a lot of time to do research.

So, I think this is the time for a joint Attie award to christians and atheists both. I’m giving this week’s award to all of us for one simple reason: our obsession with celebrities.


What I mean is this, when a celebrity becomes a christian or outs themselves as an atheist, both sides throw a big party. Even worse, each side trots out this fact like it’s really a big damn deal and somehow is the final nail in the other side’s coffin. Then, we have to listen to said celebrity extol the versions of what they think, while all of us do a gigantic faceplant muttering, “Please shut up”.

Christians are really bad at this. When a celebrity becomes a Christian, we trot them out to do the Christian talk show realm and we get embarrassingly bad conversations. For the love of St. Thomas, St. Paul himself shut up for about ten years before he started his ministry. And, if Paul can do it, surely the likes of Kurt Cameron or any celebrity sports star can. Learn a little bit about the faith you are embracing before you open your mouth. We really don’t need you to kill more trees by writing insipid books that will wind up in the Barnes and Noble clearing rack. Even worse, by allowing these celebrities front row and center, we push them to the point of wrecking their own faith by prostituting them for Jesus.

But, Atheists are not immune to said disease. They have a whole website dedicated to the  idea. There are certainly some good ones on the list, but do you really want to trumpet that Angelina Jolie or (gag) Barry Manilow? Will he write the songs that make the whole world disbelieve? Doubtful.

So, here is to our celebrity obsession and how we think it leads credibility to our arguments, not realizing we are committing a huge logical fallacy, the appeal to authority. St. Thomas, release the hounds and gnaw on our celebrity obsession.

Wait, come to think of it, Mandy is supposed to be about Manilow’s dog. And we will know that dog is god spelled backwards. Stop sending us mixes messages Barry!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Peters permalink
    September 28, 2009 10:32 am

    My favorite is when someone says they like a band, like let’s say The Fray, and then immediately follow up in an excited tone, “They’re Christians!” Like somehow that would make their music better. In fact, when I hear, “They’re Christians,” I figure that their music will probably suck.

    To paraphrase the lead singer from Switchfoot, the Christian music genre is unfair because it’s the only genre that’s about the audience and not the music. That often discredits the music and puts an out-of-place label on it. For me, it also kind of puts it in the “preaching to the choir” category. This kind of stuff is why we Christians suck. 🙂

    Sorry if that’s a tangent, but I found it to be slightly related at least.

  2. September 28, 2009 10:42 am

    This is the exact reason I fear that Comfort & Cameron’s little “enhancement” of Darwin’s Origin of Species will appeal to people — because Kirk was once on a TV show and that makes him worth listening to.

  3. Johann permalink
    September 28, 2009 2:20 pm

    So, here is to our celebrity obsession and how we think it leads credibility to our arguments, not realizing we are committing a huge logical fallacy, the appeal to authority.

    That’s interesting, because I haven’t seen atheists do that. Not saying that we don’t, just that I don’t remember ever coming across an atheist appealing to the authority of a celebrity’s beliefs to make a case. Pretty much every mention I do recall focused on the publicity such views get and the way the resulting exposure makes it harder to dismiss atheists as just fringe nutcases and easier for other atheists to “come out”. As Hemant put it recently,

    It’s always nice to hear someone — anyone — come out publicly as an atheist. It makes it all the more acceptable for the next person to do it, too…

    The American obsession with celebrities is unfortunate, yes. But it does mean Daniel Radcliffe‘s atheism influences the public a lot more than mine does, and it would be silly not to recognize and use that as we struggle for recognition and respect.

  4. Ms. Crazy Pants permalink
    September 28, 2009 5:54 pm

    I quite agree. Really, I’d say America in general goes to a level of worship of those people. Just because someone is good at acting doesn’t mean they know a single other thing about anything else around them. On the other hand, when taught the lines to say by a political party, they certainly play up the part of a politician better than the politicians do, but that doesn’t make them a good candidate. I guess this is just proof that we really don’t need brains to survive.

  5. Andrew permalink
    September 28, 2009 7:31 pm

    It’s vitally important for atheists in America to have public visibility, because it is pretty much the only way to get past the hostile public attitudes.

    In surveys conducted for academic research, 40% of Americans answer “This group (atheists) does not at all agree with my vision of American society”. That’s vastly ahead of any other group (Muslims: 26%, homosexuals 23%, conservative christians 14%, recent immigrants 13%, etc.) I think I already posted the link for this study.

    Visibility is necessary to fix this.

  6. Fauxrs permalink
    September 29, 2009 11:25 am

    Americans in general do indeed have an overly developed love of celebreties to be sure. No arguing that, however I also have to agree with Johann’s comment.

    You rarely see Barry Manilow or Angela Jolie making the talk circuit rounds talking up atheism, fact is apart from the the few so-called militant atheists like Dawkins you see very few people talking up atheism and even then it usually comes up only when discussing evolution as if that was all there was to atheism.

  7. thomas2026 permalink*
    September 29, 2009 11:47 am

    Yeah, I know, I was just having a joke at Barry’s expense. I know, I know, easy target.

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