Although they think they are smart, the atheists who read my columns constantly write with remarks showing their lack of comprehension of my arguments. Although they think they are tolerant, these atheists constantly offer me unsolicited moral advice. Although they think they are relevant, they constantly write to me with remarks not addressing the issues raised in the columns they hate but can’t stop reading.
I guess I’m trying to say that I’m sick of hearing from the Dumb Atheist Moralist Not Engaging Debate. These people are otherwise known as my DAMNED readers. Bryan (last name deleted to spare him from embarrassment) is one of those DAMNED readers I’m talking about. He’s got me so frustrated I’m ending my sentences with prepositions.
Recently, Bryan read my column “An Immodest Proposal” and got angry. Then, he wrote the following email to my Department Chairman and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences where I teach. Here’s what Bryan had to say:
“I understand having a political viewpoint, but (“An Immodest Proposal”) is not just advocating, but stating the intention to marginalize and harass your own students based on religious preference out of some misplaced sense of spite. How is that even remotely acceptable behavior for a Professor?”
Like the typical DAMNED reader, Bryan did not sign his email. But, thankfully, he registered his private email address using his actual name. So the words “Bryan (last name deleted to spare him from embarrassment)” appeared in my inbox right next to the subject line, which simply said “inappropriate.”
Bryan thought my column was inappropriate. But, in my opinion, it was his response that was inappropriate. I say that for at least three distinct reasons:
1. It was dumb. The first column I wrote for TownHall.com was a satire about bringing NAMBLA to campus as a part of our university’s diversity mission. The column was a satire making fun of the notion of multi-culturalism, diversity, and moral relativism. One Christian reader did not understand the column and wrote to me saying it was “inappropriate.” In well over 600 columns, this remains the lone instance of a Christian not understanding the satirical nature of one of my columns.
By contrast, I received dozens of emails last week from atheists who did not understand that “An Immodest Proposal” was satire. It really wasn’t hard to figure out. Justice Ginsberg wrote a Supreme Court opinion supporting a university policy that forbade a Christian group from including a belief statement in their constitution – one which would have limited membership to people who are, well, actually Christians.