Thursday, December 20, 2012

CNN Belief Blog Discovers the Confrontation vs Accomodation Debate


Most of you may have noticed that Dan Merica of CNN posted an article recently about how Christmastime brings to light divisions within the atheist movement about how to deal with religion.  Hemant Mehta beat me to this article and has already responded and I agree with much of what he says in his post. But the CNN post came on the heels of another article that I ran across from Psychology Today about atheist discrimination. I feel that the many topics brought to light in these articles are tied together and I have found it difficult to agree with any of the people, atheist or theist, who have chosen to speak on atheism as it relates to yuletide religiosity this year.

When I first read Dan Merica's post, I was slightly amused. Though he doesn't use this terminology, what he is really writing about is the ever-famous confrontation vs accommodation debate that has actually been going on in the atheist community for a years. Merica's post cites the words of two atheist activists, David Silverman and and Greg Epstein. These two are known for their seemingly diametrically opposed  views on how religion should be addressed. Silverman has a very forward, in-your-face style of criticizing religion, especially religion in the public square. Epstein, Harvard's Humanist chaplain, believes that religion itself doesn't need to be opposed, as believers and non-believers can peacefully work together. I have my sympathies and concerns about both of these views. Where my real criticism lies in in the confrontation vs accommodation debate itself. I do not deny that a debate exists. I understand that one can get judged very harshly for choosing one side or the other in different spheres of the atheist community. As with most dichotomies, however, confrontation vs accommodation is a false one.

I could easily write an entire post about this single point, but I will try to sum up my objections in the context of the "war on Christmas" issue. David Silverman and American Atheists make some good points in their rhetoric. Religion has long dominated the national conversation and has taken for granted its ability to trample over unbelievers. This is a problem that should certainly be addressed. The problem is that going on Fox News and arguing with Bill O'Reilly about nativity scenes doesn't do much to solve the problem. Putting obnoxious billboards up doesn't help either; it makes us look like jerks. Silverman has argued that putting signs up helps nonbelievers realize that they're not alone and that it's ok for them to come out and be proud. The problem is that the level of confrontational and poorly thought out vitriol that we see from American Atheists is not necessary for this aim. The Center for Inquiry put up billboards that simply said "you don't need God..." speaking directly to the nonbeliever and directing them to a website. While these billboards still resulted in controversy, it was clear that their intention was to show compassion for the atheists rather than to give the finger to the religious.

All of that being said, I am equally disillusioned with the accommodation "why can't we all get along?" camp. Greg Epstein mentions in the article some charity work that his group participated in with religious groups for the holidays. Such collaboration is all well and good and I have, with my own SSA group, worked with religious groups on events. The problem with noting the ability of the nonreligious and the religious to get along is that it misses the point entirely. Men can work with women, white people can work with black people, etc. This does not mean that one of each of those pairings is not underprivileged. I brought up the Psychology Today article about atheist discrimination for exactly this reason. We live in a society where it is perfectly acceptable (or at least, not negligible) for Mike Huckabee to twice blame the godless in our country for the horrendous  tragedy in Connecticut. When someone blames homosexuals for disasters, sensible citizens shake their heads and condemn the accuser for being discriminatory. How often do unfair blanket accusations against atheists illicit the same reaction? The US is far from the worst country to disbelieve, but it certainly is no paradise for us. Ignoring this fact and devoting our time to accommodation and coexistence doesn't make the situation better.

Allow me to speak in blunt terms: the "war on christmas" is hogwash. It's a made up conflict hyped by the likes of Fox News and helped along by atheists who feel the need to argue directly with the clowns on that network. We should not be using it as a jumping off point for drudging up the old aggression vs accommodation argument. We really need to move beyond that debate. As I see it, both sides are wrong. We all need to sit back, eat a holiday cookie and decide what actions we're going to take to really help strengthen the community of Atheists and secularists in the coming year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Atheism is Not Enough

Coughlan666 from YouTube once a video posted a video in which he read a poem he had written entitled "Atheism Is..." For a such a simple a straightforward piece, I always found it particularly powerful. The message was simple: Atheism is... Nothing. It is merely a lack of belief that has no direct effect on society or the individual. Paradoxically, this fact, in effect, makes atheism meaningful. With it comes the freedom from faith, which does have a marked effect on society and the individual.

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with Hassan in what has since been termed a "philosophy booty call". He was driving home from school and was plagued with the idea that atheism could be possibly be considered a religion. He asked me to prove him wrong. When I pointed out that atheism wasn't even a belief system, that is was just a single belief on a single issue, he told me that atheism seemed like more than that because of how his way of life changed upon rejecting religion. I believe his exact wording was "When I realized there was no god, I thought "hey, I can do shit now!"".

While this is probably a common reaction among newly deconverted atheists, I gave the statement some thought and realized what a troubling statement this actually was. One of the more common assertions we hear thrown at us from the religious camp is the notion that we're only "reject god" because we want to live our lives they way we see fit, without listening to the commands of a deity. Rightly, most of us find this notion insulting. We aren't nihilists a la Ivan Tergenev who wish to do away with the established fabric of society simply of the sake of doing so. Yet even I was thrilled at that prospect of not going to hell for having premarital sex, cursing the names of deities or believing blindly in the untestable. I have come to realize how easy it is, even for the supposedly rationally minded among us to fall into the trap of mistakenly thinking that atheism is permissive.

Even in the context of religion, it is not the belief in god that binds us to the deontological morality that permeates faith. The beliefs we have about the god in question are what permit or forbid certain actions. Take, for example, premarital sexual activity. Sex before marriage only becomes a sin if we believe that our god values virginity or "purity" before getting married. It does not come directly from the theism itself. If we were to examine a pagan belief system in which ritualistic sex was a part of the religious sacraments, premarital intercourse would no longer be condemned despite the fact that the practitioners of the religion would still, by definition, be theists.

Of course, most modern atheists reject not only the theistic belief but the entire religion. This is entirely rational considering the fact that, without theism, most western religions lose the premise on which all of their other beliefs rest. Even so, this does not mean that our atheism, or even our rejection of religion necessarily gives us permission to partake in behavior forbidden by the religion. There are many behaviors forbidden by religion that may be perfectly acceptable, this is true. But the reverse may also be true. The fact that religion X is wrong is not sufficient grounds to say that the things forbidden by religion X are permissible. If there were a good moral argument against all premarital sexual activity (I don't believe there is, but let's keep the examples consistent), that argument would be sound regardless of whether or not religion X forbids it and premarital sex could be termed immoral. What we need in addition to atheism is a comprehensive and constant philosophy that helps us determine how to live our lives and improve our society.

This is not the post in which I tell you exactly what this philosophy is, but it certainly need not be a rule based system of ethics as we find in Christianity. The problem comes when we discount philosophy entirely, mistaking it for the tiresome mumbo-jumbo used to rationalize belief in the supernatural. As non-religious atheists, we have released ourselves from the shackles of dogma, but emancipation is not the last step in our intellectual development. If we want to term ourselves enlightened, we need to remember to keep thinking. What atheism gives us is not the freedom to act, but rather the freedom to figure out how to act. Let's not forget that not having been given all the answers comes with the responsibility of having to find the answers ourselves. Next time a religious person asks you "where do you get your morality from?", make sure you can answer the question before you laugh at their ignorance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interfaith and the Complicated World of Tolerance

A lot has been said in our community lately about the newly released book by Chris Stedman entitled Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious. Stedman is an enthusiastic supporter of the interfaith movement. In his book, he posits that the aggressiveness of the New Atheist Movement is divisive and that modern atheists should make an effort to participate in interfaith activities in order to create a more peaceful coexistence between the religious and nonreligious communities. I have yet to read the book in its entirely, but excerpts have recently been released on Salon and The Friendly Atheist blog. Having read through these excerpts thoroughly then read them again, I find that my feelings on Stedman's opinions are very personal, very strong and very mixed.

The Good.

When I first read Salon's except from Faitheist, I reacted negatively. Upon thinking about the subject a bit more, I realized that Stedman's book is something that I have, in subtle ways, been calling for for a while now: a comprehensive and constructive criticism of the New Atheist Movement. I, of course, would be the first to bring to light my deep love and passion for my secular activism, but I cannot deny that our movement has problems. At the CFI Michigan Secular Summer Retreat, I distinctly remembered having an in depth conversation with a friend about the prevalence of staunch ideologists in the movement. We have plenty of members who are more interested in being dicks to people who disagree with them than they are in critical thinking. When Michael posted a series of videos on Youtube on this exact topic, the reaction he received was a barrage of anecdotes along the lines of "but I was convinced by a confrontational atheist!" from so-called rationalists who apparently forgot that anecdotal evidence is bad evidence. I always thought that "confrontation vs accommodation" was a false dichotomy: neither one is a particularly effective strategy in the big scheme of our goals as a movement.

The thing I appreciate about Stedman's book is that he calls our status quo into question. Though he may go too far in the eyes of our staunchest activists, there is something to be learned from his recognition that religion is nuanced and should not be blatantly condemned without first understanding it. He also attempts to remind us that people more than the sum of their ideas. When we debate, we need to remember to attack ideology, not the people involved.

All of that being said, there is far more in Stedman's arguments that I find objectionable.

The Bad.

On our university's campus, we have a large and powerful interfaith group. Its members frequently reach out to our Secular Student Alliance and all of them appear to be good, well-meaning people. The problem is that, more often then not, the collaboration of our groups has resulted in the bumping of heads. A couple of our members attended an interfaith dinner and friends of mine from both groups reported feeling alienated by the other. When a representative from the interfaith group attended one of our moderated debates, he complained to us that even that was "too aggressive". "Tolerance" is a goal that I want to be able to support, but I simply do not believe that the religious and nonreligious communities can carry on as if nothing is wrong between us. There is a deep divide between us and it is unfair to blame the atheists for the hostility and alienation that we feel. There are a few basic facts that we need to remember when considering relations between the religious and nonreligious communities:

Atheism and Religious Belief are Very Different
Atheism is not a religion. It's not even a belief system. It is not the opposite of religion; it is the opposite of theism. As such, atheists often have surprisingly little in common with the religious as far as the nature of their beliefs, especially if the atheists have rejected the faith traditions completely. At the aforementioned interfaith dinner that some of my SSA attended, one of the topics of discussion was the idea that all religions have holiday traditions that allow them to spend time with loved ones and family. The interfaith people were miffed that the atheists didn't appreciate the topic. "Why couldn't they just talk about secular traditions that they might have as atheists?", one of my friends in interfaith asked. It's bothersome to me that the interfaith group, who claim to advocate tolerance, will only attempt to understand our atheists if we become more like them. It's easy to be tolerant of people who are just like you, but if we want to bridge to division between the religious and nonreligious, the religious need to understand that atheists are not religious, they have no desire to be religious and they may think about the world in a very different way.

Some "Confrontational" Push Back is Necessary
Male homosexuals are not generally as flamboyant and provocative as they appear in Gay Pride demonstrations. I've heard it said open displays of gay pride are equivalent to the "pushing of beliefs onto everyone else" that we see from the conservative subset that persecutes homosexuals. This assertion is not even close to being true. In the past, when homosexuals were silent, they were terribly oppressed. Pride parades and protests are push back; they are defiant reactions to the oppressors, insisting that gay people be accepted by society. Atheists today find themselves in a similar situation. On the friendly atheist, we find this except from Stedman's book:
"The increasingly vocal and vitriolic subset of the atheist community has made my work of persuading people to abandon their negative preconceptions of atheists a lot more difficult [...] This is the opposite of what I and others are trying to accomplish, and it frustrates me that some atheists enable and perpetuate the widespread mistrust of atheists."
Stedman seems to have forgotten that mistrust and oppression of atheists existed long before the Movement. That's the reason we have a movement in the first place. If anything, life for atheists has improved in recent years and, in fact, irreligion is on the rise in the west. It is only in times and places where atheists are silent that they are oppressed. This doesn't mean that all atheists should be dicks, it simply means that we cannot pretend that the religious and nonreligious are playing on a level field. Sometimes we have to be loud. Society fails to accept us completely. That's a problem with society, not with our community.

Our Movement IS Tolerant
There are no prerequisites for "membership" in our movement accept for a lack of belief in a deity. For all this talk about our movement being "divisive", we bring together people from all walks of life and all backgrounds. We are black, white, male, female, gay, straight, monogamous, polyamorous, young, old, book-learned scholars, autodidacts and beyond. There is surprisingly little judgment within the movement itself of various people. There are occasional problems with racism, sexism, etc. but as soon as these problems come to light, there are people who speak out and take steps to fix them. Our community makes an effort to be accessible and inclusive. I have yet to see this to the same extent in any religious community.

I think it's also prudent to point out that some atheists don't want to collaborate with the religious. I know people who have been abused by their religious families and abandoned by their religious loved ones. They have felt hurt and alone and want nothing to do with the belief systems that drove them to be treated badly. Whether or not these sentiments are rational is a separate issue: the fact is that they are present and we need to be empathetic to them. I plan on reading Stedman's book in it's entirety, but speaking now as an atheist activist, I am not ready to jump onto the interfaith bandwagon. From what I've seen, it lacks the qualities that would allow it to make society better for the atheist. As far as society goes, we still have a lot of improvement to do.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Day I Learned That Dawkins is a Human Being

I am the only person in the world who has a photo of Richard Dawkins with a dog's head in his crotch. I'm fairly certain of this fact. In the home office of a University of Michigan professor, while all of the professor's friends and colleagues sipped wine in the living room and chatted about the state of education, the famed Richard Dawkins was greeted by a well-groomed standard poodle named Lucy. He pulled a cell phone out of his pants pocket and said "I want to take a picture of Lucy!" The clearly camera shy dog ignored Richard and went about his business sniffing me down.

It was kind of a surreal moment for me because I had just finished policing a line of hundreds of people all aching for just a moment with the celebrity scientist. That moment with Lucy the poodle was first time I had ever seen Richard Dawkins ignored. I later got to see him showing around the flashy tie his wife had apparently made him, slam a book about a creation museum down on the coffee table exclaiming "this is what pisses me off!" and eventually blending into the small crowd of college professors.

I remembered Andrei, one of the characters from Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and how he idolizes Napoleon. After a near-death experience on the battlefield, Andrei is surprised to find that, when he finally comes face-to-face with his hero, Napoleon is but a human. I wouldn't say that I had a near death experience, but I definitely hadn't been having the easiest week. I had in the same day witnessed a young woman being hit head-on by a pickup truck in the middle of the city and was followed and felt up at a crosswalk. Combined with my recent experiences in inner-city Detroit, these things made me go into my work at the Dawkins event with a different mindset than I expected to. This time last year, I was with the same people volunteering at the same event. I was starstruck by the presence of the scientist who convinced me to love biology. This time, I my interest was aroused by the ordinary person that I had the unique opportunity to spend time with.

In this movement, we want to be enlightenment leaders. Sometimes, even we fall into old patterns. We put our leaders on pedestals when we agree with them and damn them when we don't. We forget that we are all just humans. We forget that being human is not only a negative quality. It's the human element that makes this movement worth being a part of.

I walked home alone that night after the Dawkins talk. I wasn't floating the way I was last year after seeing Dawkins. I was thankful. I was thankful because I realized that everyone who was with me at the Dawkins event last year was with me that day, only something was very different about that day's event. Last year, I did not know the people I was working with. This year, I was happy to call them my friends. It's a feeling we tend to take for granted. At the moment I recognized it, there was nothing more I could possibly ask for.

Our SSA, October 2011, with Richard Dawkins

1 year later

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SSA Stories: A Debate!

A little over a week ago, our Secular Student Alliance sponsored our first big event of the year: a debate between Eddie Tabash and Frank Turek! I was very busy running around taking still photos and video, so I absorbed very little of the actual debate. Judging from the feedback I received, mostly from friends and SSA members, people seemed to think that both Eddie and Frank had distinct strengths and weaknesses. The consensus seemed to be that Eddie offered better content, but Frank was more accessible and charismatic. Even so, our SSA members seemed happy with the outcome of the debate. I did not get to speak at length with attendees from New Life Church, but I assume, judging from the occasional rounds of applause the Frank received throughout the debate from his followers, that they were also pleased.

There appears to be a segment of our community that just doesn't like debate. I've heard that it's too confrontational, it doesn't accomplish anything, etc. At some point, I'd like to experiment with another medium, like a panel discussion. I do think that people find debates entertaining though. We atheist activists have heard most of these debates play out multiple times, but a lot of people haven't. One of my friends who was raised atheist actually told me after last year's debate, "I didn't think I'd get anything out of it, but I actually learned a lot." She went on to attend last week's debate as well.

We weren't able to count how many people attended the debate, but I was quite happy with the turn-out. What would I recommend to groups interested in organizing an event like this?

Firstly, start planning early. We had about four weeks to prepare for the event. Originally, we wanted to bring in Matt Dillahunty, but he wasn't available at the time. We were very fortunate that the Center for Inquiry stepped up and offered to send Eddie our way. If they hadn't helped, this event might not have happened. If I could do it over, I would have tried to get started on such things a couple months in advance.

On a related note, expect and be prepared for little problems. I was really worried that we wouldn't have a debate format worked out by the time the debate happened because we kept having to make changes. We almost didn't have enough people from our group to usher/volunteer at the event. I was actually a bit frustrated by the time it was all over. I'm really glad I had so much support from my officers and from our partners at New Life Church. It takes dedication to plan a big event like this because there's no way to know what's going to happen. Making sure you're ready to work your tail off is the best you can do.

Make sure to promote the heck out of your event. If you don't have a significantly large audience, you will be disappointed, especially considering all the work you will have put into organizing it. I discovered that events like this debate are a great way to connect with the larger freethought community. We worked on the event with Center for Inquiry, but we also had representatives from Michigan Atheists and Mid-Michigan Atheists and Humanists in attendance. I always feel so happy when I can see leaders of various groups together. We spend way too much time working against each other, whether we intend to or not.

Lastly, check your equipment. I am still fighting the technical issues I was having with my camera at the debate. There were some oversights that I am definitely not going to have the next time (e.g., having a significantly large card in my camera).

I have to be honest, organizing this event was hard. On the other hand, it was worth the work. I hope everyone got something out the debate. I know I did.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SSA Stories: Send An Atheist to Church

At the Michigan Secular Student Alliance, we divide our activities into three general categories: social, charity and activism. Our social activities include a variety of things from discussion to bowling to house parties and so we generally have as many of them as we can fit in. Charity and Activism activities, we try to do about once a month. For September, we decided to combine our charity and activism into a creative activity suggested by the National SSA: Send and Atheist to Church.

Send an Atheist to Church is a fundraising activity first tried by Purdue University's Secular Organization. We modified their format slightly in order to accommodate our needs. Originally, we wanted to table for a week on one of the main  drags with two jars, each representing a church. People would put their donations into the jar of their choice and, at the end of the week, the church represented by the most lucrative jar would be attended by willing members of our group. Proceeds would go to our Light the Night Team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

 Unfortunately, only one Church, Bethlehem United Church of Christ,  wanted to participate in the charity. Deviating from the initial plan, we only had one jar on the table and we decided that donations would determine the number of atheists attending church rather than the choice of church. For every $20 we raised, another godless heathen would attend the Sunday service.

Total, we raised about $272 from the tabling alone.

Overall, I would call this a very successful event for us. I did make some observations as the week went on:

- Send an Atheist to Church is a tricky premise for a charity. Whether or not it works depends on a combination of A. the ideological makeup of the campus and B. the sense of humor of the people who see the table. The University of Michigan tends to be a fairly liberal campus and even the religious students tend to be very "live and let live" about atheists. We actually got people who would throw a dollar in the jar and say "I like the cause, but you don't have to go to church!!"

I found that it was generally more effective to get people's attention using the "Send an Atheist to Church" sign, then focus on the charity itself. People tended to be much more willing to give to the cause of curing cancer than they were to the cause of converting atheists.

I talked to Hassan from the Wayne State SSA later in the day after going to Church and he told me that when his group tried Send an Atheist to Church, it didn't work. I think the trick is just knowing your campus and executing events based on its culture and nuances.

- Atheists are very reluctant to go to church. This seems like an obvious point, but I think that if I could go back in time, I would have made sure I had a solid base of people to were definitely willing to go to church before arranging the event. I was really worried that we wouldn't have enough people when Sunday came. It turned out fine in the end, but I think I should have taken this fact more into account.

- Tabling is not a passive activity. I can't say this enough. People often feel awkward about just coming up to your table and asking what your group/charity is about. Tablers can't be shy; they have to call people out and get the attention of passers by without being too obnoxious. To be honest, I think that next time, I'd like to organize a team of people to run this event in which the same people who tabled would be the ones going to church. I think it would have made more people feel connected to the event and to each other because they would have put a lot of work into it.

Another part of this event that was excellent was the Church we went to. Bethlehem United Church of Christ was very warm and welcomed us enthusiastically. I was given the opportunity to speak in front of the congregation about our fundraiser and they were all thoroughly amused. They even gave us free food and discussion afterwards. I hope that, if the need or opportunity arises, we get to work with them again.

That being said, it was a long week, but I am proud of the work we did. My only hope is that the rest of members, especially the new ones, feel the same.

Friday, September 7, 2012

SSA Stories: Tabling and Our First Meeting

I haven't been blogging in a while. To be honest, I'm trying to avoid all the drama. Yes, I have opinions on Atheism+, but I really don't think that the discussion going on about it has been very useful.

My goal for the time being is to focus on my work with the SSA. No matter what happens on the internet, the real life community and real life activism are the most important parts of the movement. Yesterday was Festifall, an event on campus in which all of the big student groups table and flyer on the main drag to promote their organizations. The SSA got well over 100 new people signed up for the mailing list and 80 people attended our first meeting later that night. That was over double the amount of people we had last year.

Our topic this week was deconversion. I've always found that the "how we lost our religion" stories are a good way for a bunch of godless heathens to bond. When I walked into the meeting room and saw what amounted to an entire lecture hall of people in front of me, I was worried that there would be too many people present to create an inviting atmosphere. I was wrong.

Lots of people volunteered to get up in front and share their experiences and soon enough, a large number of people were laughing and interacting casually with the speakers and with each other. Many people came up to me afterwards and told me how excited they were to be in the group because they were really looking forward to having a secular family. I think this nearly universal desire was what allowed the meeting to be successful, even with a surprisingly large number.

I learned a lot about tabling yesterday. We did a really good job of tabling and I think that also contributed to our successful meeting. The most important thing we did at the table was to talk to people. We actually reached out to people walking past, even just to say "hi". This made it harder to ignore us. Meanwhile, we had some other members walking around handing out flyers to passers by in the larger are around us. Tabling is not a passive activity at all. 

...Free candy also helps attract attention.

Monday, August 13, 2012

First the Duggars, Now the Bates

I ran across an interesting bit of news in the course of my morning browse of the internet and I thought I'd throw it out there.

Apparently, the Bates family of Tennessee will be launching a new reality TV show that premiers today on TLC.

The Bates are a fundamentalist Christian family with 19 children who stepped into the spotlight because of their lifelong friendship with the ever-popular Duggar clan. The Duggars themselves began their path to popularity with a documentary entitled  "14 Children and Pregnant Again!" , which eventually evolved into the long-running reality show that we know today as "19 Kids and Counting".

As their websites suggest, both the Bates and Duggar families subscribe to a Christian doctrine that forbids any kind of birth control, including the rhythm method. They also incorporate other practices from the extreme end of Christian fundamentalism including homeschooling, "courtship" rather than dating, submission of the women to their fathers and husbands and trips to Ken Ham's creation museum. Collectively, these beliefs and practices are called "Quiverfull" by outsiders. This name comes from the Psalm 127:3-5 verses:

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate"

It goes without saying that I am very critical of most of the beliefs espoused by Quiverfull Christians, including the Duggars and the Bates. I think that ultimately, there is one fact we need to remember while watching "19 Kids and Counting" and the Bates' new show: it doesn't matter how "Christian" these families are, the shows are still reality television. In YouTube comment sections of videos of these shows, I often see comments like this (ignore the awful grammar, it's YouTube):

It's very easy to believe watching the show that this family is nearly perfect, always happy and that they remain steadfast and strong, even in struggle. Unfortunately, the truth about many Quiverfull families is not so ideal.

I would like to point my atheist friends to No Longer Quivering, a website dedicated to supporting and telling the stories of real women who lived and escaped the Quiverfull lifestyle. There is also an excellent interview with the site's creator, Vyckie Garrison, on the Godless Bitches podcast. Predictably, the Quiverfull movement is not the slice of paradise portrayed by the Duggars.

That being said, I'll probably check out the "United Bates of America" TV show if only for the facepalms that it will inevitably result in. It just depresses me that this is a form of Christianity that is gaining popularity and interest. For this reason, we should keep it on our radar.