The Blasphemy Challenge is, in essence, a sophomoric stunt, that has no more rationality to it than any other attention-grabbing ploy of the Internet Age.
However, it’s astounding how threatened the goddies feel. By targeting, to a certain extent, the world’s computer-savvy youth, the Rational Response Squad has gotten the priestly caste and their minions screaming holy hell. In a January 30 “Nightline” segment of its “Faith Matters”—get it?—series, the news program interviewed the Squad’s Brian “Sapient” and Kelly NoLastName, who presented themselves as martyrs for the godless. They revealed that they’ve received death e-threats and other faith-inducing messages. They were even menaced on camera by Paul de Vries, a divinity scholar (an oxymoron, if there ever was one), and president of the evangelical New York Divinity School, who wondered if they were not setting themselves up for “eternal trouble.” Sounds like a great name for an atheist rock band.
John Berman, the idiot who interviewed Brian and Kelly, asked no penetrating questions, and deservedly received no better than glib answers. Unfortunately, the quality of the give-and-take made the whole project look like nothing other than high-tech collegiate antics, only slightly more sophisticated than the toga party in “Animal House.” Still, in a brief summary of the piece, Cynthia McFadden, the host of “Nightline,” did mention that 9% of Americans openly identify themselves as atheists. She made no estimate of the numbers who are closeted unbelievers, but, as we all suspect, there must be plenty of them out there. Perhaps even someone associated with—gasp!—“Nightline.”
Last night, I spent about two hours watching YouTube videos of people denying god, and, while I still think the challenge seems like a fraternity prank, I did find myself chuckling in irreligious glee at the inventiveness of the “damned.” People sang, danced, created cartoons, and did little comedy routines while denouncing the ridiculous. In the course of my YouTubing, I stumbled across two satiric Netcoms, “God, Inc.” and "Mr. Deity,” both of which also brought joy to my non-soul.
In the unholy spirit of fun, I feel I must take part in the RRS’s endeavor. Although my world views are evolved far out of the stone age, my computer, alas, is not. So since I have access neither to video nor audio equipment, I’m limited to this blog in which to state:
I DENY THE EXISTENCE OF ALL GODS AND SUPERNATURAL BEINGS AND, OF COURSE, THE HOLY SPIRIT.
But you knew that about me already, didn't you?