How Not to Write to an Atheist

Some people take advantage of the anonymity of the internet to send nasty e-mail. Usually I ignore them completely or write something pleasant back to them. Particularly silly examples I like to post anyway. I stress that these letters are few and far between, and most letters in disagreement with my site are well-composed and friendly.

On 19 April, Christina wrote:

It seems unfortunate that you have "missed" in your lengthy commentary. I do not believe journalism is your forte. Additionally, you obviously are young and entered public schools after prayer was abolished, since you have no respect for the "sacred" or yourself. I find it difficult to believe that your high intelligence allowed you to stoop so low as to place your "opinion" (if that's what you call it) on an internet site for the whole world to muse.

By the "scriptures" you quote, and your intellectual understanding thereof, you display yourself as a law defying inhabitant. Even in this world (as we know it), there are laws and if you break them, you experience the consequences (or should the government make an exception just for you?). Your critique of the referenced verses were the teaching of abiding by laws and experiencing consequences. Obviously a lesson you did not understand nor took the time to ponder.

Since I am well aware of your intelligence (as you so explicitly explained), I can only attribute your missive as poor education and lack of reading comprehension.

On 19 April I wrote:

It would be advisable that you do not make sweeping generalizations about me without backing them up.

How do you figure that I have no respect for the "sacred" or for myself? What is your definition of "sacred"? Does it have to be the same for everyone?

And what, pray tell, is wrong with putting my opinion on a web site? Do you write to the other thousands of people who have opinions on their web sites? What does placing my opinion on the web have to do with my intelligence?

What makes you think that I am a law defying citizen? I've a feeling you're talking about the verses I quoted in my look at that theme park. Is there only one way to interpret them? No. Is your interpretation right? Nobody knows. However, it should be obvious to you that interpretations can be slanted greatly depending on faith.

As for a poor education or lack of reading comprehension, I notice that the content of your criticism would lead to the same conclusion. If you write me again, please back up your accusations, do not assume anything about me, and do not attack my character.

Thank you,

On 22 April Christina wrote:

Dear Meretricula:

Seems I may have hit a cord with you. You seem to think you can criticize and yet you do not take criticism well. Touchy, touchy aren't you.

The word sacred as defined by American Heritage is "dedicated to or set apart for worship. Make or declare holy." It does not refer to religion or lack thereof. If you want for others to take you seriously, then you must respect their beliefs as you so desperately want them to believe yours. You lose your self respect when you begin believing that you are the only one with the "right" opinion. You additionally portray yourself as a person with an "attitude".

The only problem I see with your placing your opinion on a web site is the fact that, I happened to be looking for the particular theme park you so viciously attacked, not to find the site, but to find your criticism. So misleading for those who might just be interested in what it might have to offer. And might I ask, who do you think you are to attempt to destroy a business? Do you write the same hate filled web pages about say, Coca Cola or cigarette companies? I think not, I think you just picked the category of religion. Have you done any criticisms on churches, synagogues or religious schools?

Are you a "Hate Crimes" fan? Should everyone who is interested in any particular religious activity seek your wisdom first? Are you a god of some sort? If you have only critiqued this particular park, and not Disney or Universal or maybe even Bush Gardens, I would classify you in the hate crimes activist category.

As for your self respect (or lack thereof) do you also have a video camera that you photograph yourself naked and display that on the net also? You put your opinion out there and you must have realized that you would receive e-mail from those who refused to just give in to your way of thinking. So, my dear lost critic, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

At least my name appears on my e-mail and yours does not. If you must hide behind a pseudo, you must also lack the ability to stand up for what you really believe (if you even know what that might be). Then again, looking at your screen name leads me to believe that you might be attempting to gain your wisdom from reading the tea leaves, which really would explain everything. By the way, tea bags is two words.

I have answered your . . . queries below.


On 23 April I wrote:

I'm sorry, I must not have spoken calmly enough or with the right degree of comprehension. I'm not bothered by criticism of my site. What I am bothered by are personal attacks to my character. You do not know me, and they are unfounded. If you continue to throw immature tantrums instead of having intelligent debates, I haven't the time to waste anymore.

Look, your criticism is unfounded, you can't back up your arguements and your logic is unclear. I'm sorry that someone who is so deeply involved in Christianity can make such nasty comments. There's nothing mean about my site, only critical. It would appear that you, my dear, are the touchy one. To single out a site and attack the web mistress viciously because you do not agree with it is a waste of both of our time to begin with. To waste your time being mean is sad and doesn't reflect well upon your religion and yourself.

Fortunately, the majority of Christians I've met are nice and intelligent people who can debate well without stooping to personal attacks. If you should ever take the time to comprehend my site, I would suggest that you especially read my debate between myself and a reader (Lynn). Lynn, a Lutheran, knew how to debate so you might pick up a few pointers. Also you might want to read my reader comments page. I put ALL of my comments in there, and you will find that you are in the minority. And how sad it is for you to call me a fan of hate crimes and suggest that I put naked pictures of myself on the internet. You have in a sense described yourself as a hateful person who can't stand anyone who believes differently than yourself. All you've done is cut down someone you don't even know. Have you any idea how that reflects on yourself? I've had enough support from theists and atheists to know that my site is not what you make it out to be. The last time I checked with theist friends, your god does not give brownie points for hate.

And as if your attacks on myself and my site are not enough, you find it necessary to insult my name. (I hope this makes you feel warm and fuzzy). I don't hide behind my name. I'm a private person. As a grammar lesson, know that when used as a last name, Teabags is one word (do I really have to tell you that?). As a lit. lesson, of course I know who Samuel Clemens is. You assume that I know nothing about what I write, but you are very wrong.

Anyway, thanks for writing. I like feedback about my site, grounded in reality or not. It's been interesting, but I get bored with name-calling. A little hint though, if you ever debate an atheist, it's bad logic to accuse atheists of not being atheists and instead suggest that they're afraid of a deity or are looking for the right path. Bottom line you must never forget: atheists don't believe in a deity in the first place, therefore it's impossible for us to be afraid of one.

Meretricula Teabags

Well, there's no really nice way to put it: this person does not know what she's talking about. Christina wrote a last e-mail with another barrage of rude comments. I didn't write back because I haven't the time. But in the letter, she finally unravelled for me the mystery of exactly why she was attacking me: She's a business person, writing from nothing else but from a business person's standpoint. "My religion, whether Christian, atheist or agnostic played no roll in my criticism of your web site." Um...
So as it turned out, I'm evil for not criticizing Disneyland ("or were you in favor of the gay tones?") or Busch Gardens ("or do you agree with their open consumption of beer?"). Strictly from a business person's view? Notice that in the first e-mail there was absolutely no reference to business, only religion. This woman believed that because of my criticism of The Holy Land Experience, I was trying to bring the business down and probably the entire religion in one swell foop. I know I'm a damn good writer, but I'm not going to bring down a business or a religion. I've no right to tell people what kinds of businesses they should run or how they should worship, but I've got the right to voice my opinion. In fact, if Christina had reviewed any more of the article, she would have noticed that the biggest critic of the park is the Jewish Defense League, some members of which protested outside of the park on its opening day. Do you suppose she wrote to them with the same tone and vagueness? Or perhaps I'm fair game because I'm an atheist. Anyway the best part of that last e-mail was accusing me of not knowing who Samuel Clemens is (a quote of his appears as the signature in my e-mail). Either way, it was hateful mail and a fine example of how you should NOT write to me.

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