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March 2, 2010

At Texas campus, atheists offer porn for Bibles

An atheist group asked students at the University of Texas, San Antonio, to trade in their Bibles for pornography.

KENS-TV in San Antonio reports that the activists set up a table on campus with a sign advertising "Trade in Holy Text 4 Porn" -- a deal they described as "Smut for Smut."

Some students gathered nearby to pray, KENS-TV reports.

After the event, the atheist group posted on their Twitter page, "Too often are we ignored this seems to get people to actually talk to us instead of ignore us."

The atheist group told KENS-TV it would donate its Bibles to local libraries.

http://www.kens5.com/news/local/Smut-for-smut-Bibles-for-porn-offer-draws-protesters-at-UTSA-85857462.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:59 PM | | Comments (49)
        

Comments

These students deserve applause and support. What a wonderfully delicious and appropriately sophomoric approach to sticking peoples noses in it.

Paper and ink is paper and ink... whatever you may get from that combination otherwise.

Does it bother anyone else that the first sentence of this article is not a sentence?

What happened to civil discourse? I give the students who were praying credit for not overturning the table and causing a scene.

Fantastic. By the way, the first sentence is too a sentence. I think that it

People who are earthly are carnal and cant understand spiritual matters. It isnt until one is saved that they can understand the Holy Spirit and listen to and benefit from it.

Why offer the bibles to libraries? Doesn't that just help to further Christianity?

I am a non-believer and yet I find this offensive. In our polarized society, we need to encourage dialogue and this certainly is NOT a very good approach. All this idiocy does is encourage an "us against them" situation. We non-believers often complain about being a marginalized group and this is a good way to keep us marginalized. Thanks a lot, Animal Housers. This is just what we don't need.

JerryM - Atheists are not about burning buy-bulls, we just want them placed in libraries where they belong, in the fantasy fiction section.

Louis - You are right I don't really see a stunt like this as getting atheist much positive attention or doing anything to encourage positive dialogue. All it really does is push moderate Christians closer to the ultra conservative evangelicals and widen the gap.

YAAAY ATHEISTS!! YAAAAY PORN!!!
Way to get publicity!!!

"Too often are we ignored this seems to get people to actually talk to us instead of ignore us"

This was the best solution they could come up with exchange a religion's sacred text for porn? Maybe LSE needs to re-evaluate that study on atheist IQ.

Thanks for backing me up, RavensFan. As an atheist (and I almost hate to use that word because of the negative connotation in today’s society), I find this kind of sophomoric behavior very counterproductive. I have seen a lot of this recently and I have to think that it is partially brought on by the writings of the so-called “New Atheists” - Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens. Sometimes I think that their polemics have done more harm than good. Yes, I have read their books and found some useful information; however, I also find them to be as obnoxious as the religious right. They are condescending and just downright rude to people of faith and I think this has further inflamed the “culture wars.” The behavior of these students and these writings have both succeeded in widening the gap as you say. It is certainly no way to “win friends and influence your uncles.” Man, I have wanted to use that great Bob Dylan line for years and finally have the opportunity (insert large grin here).

Anyone realize that the religious answers come from ironic name choices? Adam, please, make a fake name. I can't take you seriously when you seem to portray a fictional character.

Let's face it though, the atheists gave a good deal. Both books (bibles and porn in general) gave the same amount of literary merit in the trade. Equal parts story, sex, violence, and homosexuality.

Where does porn teach about helping the poor, turning the other cheek, humility and standing up for your beliefs? Unless porn has changed from when I was a kid I don't think any of that is there.

The commenters on the "offended" side of the aisle seem to be under the mistaken impression that the believers will even allow us on the stage of civil discourse. They consistently ignore logical arguments, so the only available option in most public situations is silly stunts like this. If they were willing to have civil, reasonable discussions, I'd be all for it, but that would run counter to their game plan.

As Doris Egan said, "Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. If they did, there would be no religious people"

Anonymous . . . I like cheek turning in my porn!

I've learned a lot about helping the poor, etc...and coincidentally, I learned the same amount from the bible that I learned from looking at porn, also known as nothing. If you need the bible to teach you these things, I wish you the best of luck.

" I learned the same amount from the bible that I learned from looking at porn, also known as nothing"
So you learned nothing hardly something I'd brag about.

The devil will find work for idle hands to do.

Once again atheists show that they know the bible better than Christians. Can anyone really deny the bible is full of smut after reading this page:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/vulgar.html

Once again atheist show they focus only on the most narrow selection of verses to try and attack a book they don't like.

Louis - Thank you for showing the courage to call out this "sophomoric behavior: as you called it for what it is. It's unfortunate that more of us believers and atheist simply can't agree to disagree on the subject and respect the other's right to live their life as they see fit. The same is true for the zealots on the religious right who feel the need to try and force Christianity down the throats of people. It never ceases to amaze me how many Christians seem to lack compassion and forget things like turn the other cheek, treat others as you want to be treated and other teachings of Christ. It would be nice if could learn to work together on things we can agree on rather than spend so much time arguing over things we will never agree on.

Anonymous - The Buy-Bull is a book of fairy-tales. It is fiction with a smattering of historical content, pushing an idea that cannot be shown to be true. Unless you can cough up this god invention in a demonstrable way, there is no way that the imperatives of people who subscribe to it as the word of a make-believe god should be allowed to have any affect on those not corrupted by such infantile beliefs.

Absolutely diabolical... what more can you do to demonstrate evil...

Looks like Shep wasn't the only one to learn nothing.

I see many more attempts nowadays in this country of gays, liberals and atheists making an attempt to force their issues on Christians and the public in general than the other way around. We need a Supreme Court decision as to whether someone can pass a law saying that a church has to recognize gay marriage or that a pastor cant preach against homosexuality. If these laws interfere with the church's practice of religion they seem unconstitutional to me. If they are declared unconstitutional then the church not only can refuse to recognize same sex marriages, they also wont have to hire homosexuals. Then guess what other places of employment may say, even though they arent a church? "We shouldnt have to hire homosexuals either." So keep on pushing your agendas. With the election in the fall and the next presidential election, you may just see a force pushing against you. And you may not like falling down. The worst fall will be when Christ returns.

FUCKING BRILLIANT

Clay said:
“I see many more attempts nowadays in this country of gays, liberals and atheists making an attempt to force their issues on Christians and the public in general than the other way around. We need a Supreme Court decision as to whether someone can pass a law saying that a church has to recognize gay marriage or that a pastor cant preach against homosexuality. If these laws interfere with the church's practice of religion they seem unconstitutional to me. If they are declared unconstitutional then the church not only can refuse to recognize same sex marriages, they also wont have to hire homosexuals.”

Clay, I don’t see it as forcing anything; however, we do have freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country, so of course, “gays, liberals, and atheists” have the freedom to express their views. Your concern re churches having to recognize gay marriage and lose the right to preach against homosexuality will NEVER happen. Yes, forcing the church to do anything against their will would be VERY un-constitutional so I think you worry for nothing.

AMEN, RavensFan, AMEN!

Clay,

And when your fantasy Christo-fascist government comes to power, will you be able to limit its power? Perhaps, using scripture as its guide, it will stone harlots and start removing "eyes for eyes." And ... just for giggles ... let's presume it takes on a Roman Catholic coloration. How will you feel if Protestants fall into disfavor with the monster you seem now to so adamantly wish for.

No thanks, Clay. I'll take my chances with the secular Government our founding fathers (in which the Constution protects all our liberties, even those of minorities) were wise enough to design for us.

The world already has more than enough Talibans

This just shows why atheists are so disregarded and disliked in America. Would these same people who probably think they are very 'bold' and 'brave' for mocking the Bible ever actually attack the one religion which TRULY threatens to annihilate our secular system in the US-Islam? I'd love to see atheist student groups go after a truly terrorist religion and see what happens to them. Salman Rushdie can attest to the fact that Islam means 'submission', and the Quran commands death for all those who insult it. Contrast his experiences to atheists who have insulted Christianity. How many atheists have been lynched or beheaded or blown up by Pat Robertson's followers?

Hi Louis. I wasnt saying that gays, liberals and atheists dont have a right to express their point of view. I was just saying that they are more outspoken about it in my opinion. Also, if you dont think that churches have to worry about having a pastor arrested for preaching against homosexuality, fine. You may want to write to those who propose such bills across our nation and tell them not to pass them however. Also, I think that the bill passed in D.C. already does restrict the Catholic church from practicing their religion. What D.C. is saying is that it cant tell a church to give health care for same sex married couples when they are working in the church realm, but if it crosses over to the public sector then the churches have to provide health care equally for all married couples due to the law in D.C. I think that this restricts the church from practicing their religion. The employees are still church employees. If the church has to provide health care for same sex married couples then they have to recognize same sex marriages for all their employees who happen to work in the public realm. If those employees also attend the church then the church cant tell them that same sex marriage and therefore homosexuality is wrong at least as far as providing health care goes. If they cant tell them and they have to appear as approving of it, then it interferes with the practice of their religion. So when you say that it will never happen, it already has. The gay agenda wants to go a lot farther than this also. Look at the comment above by Jacko. So if it goes the other way with the elections it is long overdue in my opinion and we need to pray about it. Thanks.

Clay,

The Catholic Church is entirely free to "practice its religion." If it chooses to function in the public arena, it must abide by public law, that's all. In this case, it chose to deny spousal benefits to all its married employees, rather than make those benefits availavle to all lawfully wedded couples in its employ (as the law would have required).

Clay said: “Hi Louis. I wasnt saying that gays, liberals and atheists dont have a right to express their point of view. I was just saying that they are more outspoken about it in my opinion.”

Yes, I do agree that many secular people are very outspoken. Perhaps it is because we have been marginalized in our own society. For instance, in 1987 when George W. Bush was campaigning he said: “I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” Another astounding example was a finding by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. It was revealed in their survey that most Americans would vote for a gay person for ANY public office before they would vote for an atheist. Many people of faith argue that without God there can be no morality which I find to be a disrespectful way of judging others. We do have freedom of religion in our country but that includes freedom FROM religion if one so chooses.

Then you said: “Also, if you dont think that churches have to worry about having a pastor arrested for preaching against homosexuality, fine. You may want to write to those who propose such bills across our nation and tell them not to pass them however.”

Here I have to assume that you must be speaking of so-called “hate laws.” There has been some confusion surrounding this; however, this legislation was signed into law making it a federal crime to ASSAULT an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. One thing it does NOT do is criminalize speech based on controversial racial or religious beliefs. The religious community is not affected by this whatsoever. Any pastor can preach on any sabbath their beliefs about homosexuality without fear. They simply cannot attack someone physically.

You said: “Also, I think that the bill passed in D.C. already does restrict the Catholic church from practicing their religion. What D.C. is saying is that it cant tell a church to give health care for same sex married couples when they are working in the church realm, but if it crosses over to the public sector then the churches have to provide health care equally for all married couples due to the law in D.C. I think that this restricts the church from practicing their religion. The employees are still church employees. If the church has to provide health care for same sex married couples then they have to recognize same sex marriages for all their employees who happen to work in the public realm. If those employees also attend the church then the church cant tell them that same sex marriage and therefore homosexuality is wrong at least as far as providing health care goes. If they cant tell them and they have to appear as approving of it, then it interferes with the practice of their religion. So when you say that it will never happen, it already has.”

Clay, according to my understanding of this issue, a Catholic Hospital cannot accept public funding (our tax dollars) and THEN discriminate against the gay population being treated. This is a long-standing law that prevents discrimination in any manner when federal money is being used. If the Catholic Church wants to discriminate, then they can - if they simply stop taking federal monies. This also applies to hiring practices. Traditionally, Catholic Hospitals and Catholic Charities have hired only Catholics and this is fine as long as they do not take federal funds; however, the Church can’t have it both ways. They can accept federal money and then must follow federal non-discrimination laws or they can refuse federal money and continue with past practice. I do not view this as interfering with the practice of the Catholic faith, it is about following federal anti-discrimination laws.

Then you say: “The gay agenda wants to go a lot farther than this also. Look at the comment above by Jacko. So if it goes the other way with the elections it is long overdue in my opinion and we need to pray about it. Thanks.”

Please, don’t judge everyone by the actions of a few. I also find Jacko’s remark objectionable. Finally – what is the so-called “gay agenda?” I have looked and looked and I can’t find one written anywhere. Is it to have equal rights? If so, then I support it. “All men are created equal.”

Christians have a way of making enemies: maintain a heartbeat.
Yes, Christians have been, and will continue to be, rediculed
just because they are Christians. So yes, it is an
us versus them mentality.

Secular historians have accounted for events cited in the bible,
so to regard it as fiction is like saying two people witnessed an
event, but you're only listening to one person's version.

If a parent warns the child not to touch a hot stove,
the child has the option to consider the warning before taking
any action. However, the parental warning was out of concern
for the child. If the child touches the hot stove, the child cannot
blame the parent for the outcome. If the child was smart enough to know
that a hot stove has fire and/or smoke, then in the absence of those
things the child might risk touching the stove. On the other hand
when the child gets burned because it was an electric stove, the
child was still warned. This is where logic failed the child.
Where logic fails is where faith starts. This may account for the
statement "Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people.
If they did, there would be no religious people".

Evangelizing by Christians (yes, there are exceptions)
is also born out of concern. Non-believers certainly have the option
not to believe. If non-believers decide to believe, great. If they
decide not to, then they made their own choice. However, as believers
it is encumbent upon us to tell non-believers so they can make the choice.
If we believers are wrong, then we are wrong. If we are right, then
the God we serve (whether or not our God is recognized by others)
will take action.

And we cant be wrong about witnessing to others if the bible tells us to do so. The thing is, people who arent saved cant usually discern spiritual matters. The Holy Spirit wont enter their bodies to help them unless they make a commitment. The other guy can completely take over if he is allowed. Thanks.

If an argument is made that the bible belongs in the fantasy section, then the argument should also be made for any other religious text as well as pornography. On that same note, science and logic-ism might also be labeled fantasy, or more accurately as science-fiction. All literature no matter one's belief in merit are fiction. They offer opinion and at the core have goals driven beyond their surfaces. We pretend with fact or fiction. Beliefs are only our own structuring, so that we can think that we can make sense of our surroundings. The wonderful things created by/with science can usually find their roots in both science fiction and fantasy. Pornography is an easy idea. Its a smack in the face, a shocker, and points out the animal instincts of our species. Pornography would easily start a debate or get a rise out of someone, but it wouldn't be based on what most people (a or theist) would believe to be a valid point.

As usual, the comments from christians, and even a few Atheists, miss the point completely.

The wholly babble contains a lot of smut (and violence, and upholds slavery, and belittles and suppresses women). The students were asking people to trade smut for smut to make this point because so few people ever bother to read the damn book. Getting them to consider this idea is what opens the dialogue to learning about it.

Yes, I have read it, cover to cover and then some, and have studied the evolution of the different bibles over the centuries as well. It's a fascinating story about a truly awful collection of mostly fairy tales. There are only a few pieces of nonfiction woven into the stories but, much like the Iliad and the Odessy, that hardly makes it historical.

The only reason this gets christian panties in a bunch is that modern porn has nice, glossy pictures in it as well.

OH, DAMN! That gives me a great idea! We need to make an illustrated bible showing just exactly what it contains with all the sex and violence clearly featured in the glossy pictures. Who wants to contribute to start a fund for this project so I can start on it soon?

And you guys say that their little "sophomoric stunt" doesn't provide discourse and dialogue...Look at us...here we all are voicing our oppinions (divided as they are) on the words in, and merits of the bible. It seems to me that these atheists did just what they (and most of you) wanted them to. And some college kids got some free porn out of it too. Seems like everyone should be happy...

"The devil will find work for idle hands to do."

Praying Hands - My hands are rarely idle, when watching porn.


Move to a serious note. Perfection cannot create imperfection. To create us for his glory, as is stated in many sermons, is to be vain. If we were created, it was for the amusement of a being in the higher plane of reality. No loving Father would create a species, knowing that we would destroy each other in the worst ways.

Allow me to establish my position. I do not believe in god. Neither do I believe in Buddha. Nor do I believe in Thor, Odin, or Frigg. I do not believe in the Big Bang, or that our universe was created by other dimensions wavering and merging (to which I have seen a theory presented).

These people do not seek to understand the origin of the universe. They think they already know it, and each of these can be logically or scientifically proven wrong.

The search for the ultimate answers by anyone seriously making the search, presupposes that the answers may never be fully known. It is the search that makes us Human. Religion is an end to the search, that relegates Humanity to the same level as the lower animals, who neither search, nor need to understand.

The scientific approach gains a level of understanding that increases and can be amended, even discarded, when new information challenges what was previously understood to be true. Religion is a blind inflexible dead-end that stands on absolutist rubbish, compiled by our less than intellectual superstitious ancestors and then, over time, institutionalized to serve its own selfish interests.

Robert - Unless you are making science your religion then they aren't mutually exclusive. Contrary to your opinion religion helps separate us from the lower animals. It’s where concepts like compassion, respect, self sacrifice, humility, controlling ones instinctual behavior come from. The scientific approach can answer a great many questions over time but it will never be able to give you what you desire the most. Proof that all of us religionist as you call us are wrong. You can preach all you like what you believe religion is and to those who lack the open mindedness to look beyond what they can see, hear, smell and taste might even agree with you. One question what exactly did your post have to do with exchanging bibles for porn?

ravensfan - It is porn that differentiates us from the lower animals. My dog worships me like a god, so religion has more to do with blind animal unquestioning faith than the more illustrative symbolism found in porn. Porn is real, gods are false. Which one can you produce and substantiate?

Robert - Porn actually brings you closer to the lower animals. Its very purpose is to trigger base instinctual behavior. Intelligent life is usually able to control impulses not give in to them. So you’re saying your dog prays to you and has worship services for you? That's some dog. I've owned several and never had one that loyal. Maybe you have some pictures of your dog's worship services. We've already covered the fallacy with your argument your not being able to have God proven to your satisfaction means God doesn't exist. Don’t worry my friend you will get that proof you seek some day.

ravensfan - It is your use of the "Eternal Retribution" card everytime you are backed against the wall over the improbability of your institutionalized delusional beliefs being real, that is the actual measure of your intellectual (or lack thereof) development. You are just another Clay, who is not willing (like he is) to give up all pretenses of being anything but a nut case.

Robert – I’m not the one lashing out at others with abusive personal attacks and making the ridiculous assertions like my dog worships me as a god, or stating its porn that differentiates us from the lower animals. It was not my intention to play any ”Eternal Retribution" card. It’s simply promise that one day you will get that proof and substantiation you keep demanding. As for being cornered if it makes you feel better to think that it’s no skin off my back.

Watching porn is way more fun than reading the bible.
Sign me up!

The Buy-Bull is full of porn. Gen. 4:17, 26, Gen.9:20-25, Gen. 20:12, Gen.12:11-19, Gen. 20:2-18, Gen. 16:4, Gen. 17:10-14, Lev. 12:3, Gen. 19:1-8, Gen. 19:30-38, Gen. 29:23-30, Gen. 34:1-9, Gen.35:22, Gen . 49:3,4, Gen.38:7-9, Gen. 38:13-27, Num . 31:17,18,32,35,40, Rev. 17:1-5,15,16, 2Kings 18:27, Isa. 36: 12, Mal.2:3, Ezek. 4:12, Rev. 17:2, Isa.13:16, 2Sam. 12:11,Deut. 21:10-14, Deut. 25:5-10, Judg. 16:1-3, Judg. 16:4-6, 16-21, .and a lot more, but I'm out of time at the moment.

To the termites, their queen is God.

It is also true that we will all know whether on not the fairy tales are true, one day. But as your consciousness fades to eternal darkness, with no punishment or reward awaiting you, you wont have to hear my "told you so" speech.
Fill your time with your brainwashing drivel. I'm planning on raiding a hotel and making my way to UT.

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About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.
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