Illinois Family Institute Vs. The Friendly Atheist
The Illinois Family Institute has written an incredibly inane post in which they flail ineffectually at Hemant Mehta, who you may know as The Friendly Atheist. It doesn’t take much to get a group like the IFI after you, but the charges they’re levelling at him are particularly ludicrous:
- He pointed out a double standard in freedom of speech laws to do with religious speech generally getting a free pass. (Note that he was not calling for religious speech to be banned.)
- One of his commentors said positive things about polyamorous relationships. Yes, that’s one of his commentors. He also reposted something that somebody on a forum wrote, again in favor of polyamory. (For the record, I’m all for polyamory too. I have no idea why it’s regarded the way it is.)
- He directed his readers to Dan Savage’s column.
- He’s an atheist.
- He’s an atheist who’s also a maths teacher.
You’ll probably notice that only one of these is about something he actually wrote himself. Apparently the IFI has never heard the phrase ‘grasping at straws’.
With Mehta’s imaginary sins accounted for, they move on to this little gem:
It’s astonishing to me that a teacher, someone who is supposed to be a role model for students, would ever recommend that anyone visit Dan Savage’s offensive column.
Some parents fail to understand the adolescent mind: they fail to understand that teens are often predisposed to affirm the ideas of adults whom they find cool or personable or funny or iconoclastic.
Attention, IFI: You are so far out of touch that at this point you’d need a space shuttle to find your way back. Teenagers do not think their maths teachers are cool – especially if those maths teachers don’t bring up anything iconoclastic or subversive in the classroom.
But honestly, who would you rather have teaching your children – an intelligent, dedicated man like Hemant Mehta, or one of the prejudiced dingbats from the IFI?