Sunday, September 8, 2013

Jaclyn becomes an atheist

I posted a video of Jaclyn Glenn about a week ago, her "coming out" as a liberal. But I didn't realize at the time - not until I was just idly browsing her other videos (hey, I was eating lunch!) - that she's pretty much a brand-new atheist.

Just a year and a half ago, she posted this video as a Christian, if a very liberal one:

But five months later, she's become an agnostic - and one who is tired of the whole debate on religion. Can't we all just get along?

She's definitely not going to be posting about religion anymore! "I'm done talking about religion. I'm bored with it. I'm moving on with my life."

Well, just five months after that, it's "Message to Christians: BACK THE F*CK OFF!" I had to laugh. Not only is Jaclyn still posting about religion, she's mincing no words. In fact, she's even been taking on Ray Comfort in recent videos.

OK, I do think this is funny, but it's inspiring, too. Like the vast majority of us, Jaclyn was raised a Christian. She even attended Catholic schools.

As with many young people, it was the Catholic Church stance on social issues which turned her off. But she didn't abandon Christianity, not then. After all, it's easy enough to find a Christian church which will agree with you, pretty much whatever you want to believe.

And in decades past, that would have probably been the end of it. She would have settled in quite happily as a liberal Christian.

But now we've got the Internet. Now, we atheists are coming out of the closet. And we've got a good argument, if I do say so myself.

Agnosticism is the next obvious step. Of course, you can be an agnostic and an atheist (I am). They're not mutually exclusive. Sure, no one can know for sure (the agnostic position), but atheism is about belief. Does it make sense to believe without good evidence?

If you don't believe in Islam or Hinduism without good evidence, why would you make an exception for Christianity? If you don't believe in leprechauns or werewolves, because there's no good evidence that they exist, why would you make an exception for gods, angels, or demons?

Not everyone makes it this far, because it's hard. It's hard for most people to reject what they've been taught all their life, especially when you really, really want to believe it. (And who really wants to die?) It takes courage, and it takes intellectual honesty.

Not everyone is willing to accept... reality. But this kind of deconversion is happening more and more often these days. So I thought this was kind of inspiring. Don't you agree?


Gregg Garthright said...

The last video is hilarious!

Her videos have evolved - she's a very good performer in the later ones.

WCG said...

Yes, I thought so, too. She's a lot better in her later videos.

Ray said...

Yes I agree that she is brave to stand up in the face of the bigotry and hatred against atheists.

Mike said...

Jaclyn's a cool dude, and we always need more atheist voices out there.

Anonymous said...

Jaclyn Rocks! She is smart, informative, entertaining and pretty good looking I would say =)

Anonymous said...

The last sentence of the 2nd to last paragraph has an error. It should be "takes intellectual honesty" not "take".

WCG said...

Correction made. Thank-you. And my thanks to everyone for the comments.

Anonymous said...

In all honesty I do find Jacklyn's videos funny and in a sense is a shows bigotry as well against Christians. Hey all is fair in love and war.


WCG said...

Thanks for the comment, Anonymous. But note that it's not bigotry to disagree with someone. By definition, I think that all Christians are wrong (just as they think I'm wrong), but that's not bigotry on either side.

Even making fun of their beliefs would not be bigotry. If I refused to vote for a Christian or to employ a Christian, or if I accused them all of being dumb, that would be bigotry. But I don't think that Jaclyn Glenn does that.

Many Christians complain about bigotry when we just disagree with them. Well, they're used to being treated with kid gloves, at least here in America, so criticism comes as a shock.

Even laughing at Christian beliefs isn't bigotry. It might be rude, but it's not bigotry. I think we have to be very clear about these things - clear on both sides (careful not to be bigoted, but also careful not to label as bigoted attacks on Christian beliefs).

Balianianaian said...

Doesn't this all but reveal her hypocrisy?

WCG said...

How so, Balianianaian? I don't know what you mean. Please explain.

RickCleek II said...

Her old Videos were she asks people not to hate or bully her or other Religious people. Now she constantly attacks all Religions THAT IS hypocrisy by definition. I don't have an issue with her or that she's an atheist, I'm a deist. But as I state below she is quite capable of making videos on other topics, in my opinion shes making these type of videos for the money by mocking people. I'm 30 now and was brought up Christian form childhood, now that I'm not religious I don't go around attacking them. This seems to be an American problem I might add because this kind of visceral hatred seems to stem from there. I can understand people wanted to vent their anger at the Church for "brainwashing" them, but they are going to have to get over it and just let Religious people do want they want; Christians ain't going to go away any time soon.

WCG said...

Hate? Bully? You can attack beliefs without hating people, and certainly without bullying them. And who's not letting "religious people do what they want"? Unless, of course, it's to force everyone else to obey?

I don't get it, Rick. Why should Christians get a free pass? All other beliefs can be criticized, so why not that one?

This is a free country. You can believe as you wish, worship - or not - as you wish, speak as you wish, and gather with like-minded people as you wish. But where in that is there a requirement that you be immune from criticism? And note that Christians themselves certainly aren't held to that standard! (Nor should they be.)

Not all Christians deserve to be mocked, but some do. And it's not as though Jaclyn Glenn is picketing churches or going door to door mocking people. If you don't like her videos, don't watch them. (This blog probably isn't for you, either, then!)

I can't speak for Jaclyn, but I'm not angry at Christian churches for 'brainwashing' me, because they never did. I never had any bad experiences in church, though I don't ever remember believing that stuff.

And like Jaclyn, I'm sure, most of my friends and relatives are Christian. I think they're wrong, but I certainly don't hate them. And I see no sign that she does, either.

I do hate what some Christians - some - have done and are trying to do to my country. I do hate the bigotry of many Christians. (And no, it's not bigotry to disagree with people. I have absolutely zero problem with the fact that Christians disagree with me.) And I very much dislike faith-based thinking in general.

I take it you're not an American? Well, maybe you're not aware of what goes on here. But either way, why in the world should Jaclyn Glenn stop making atheist videos (as you imply she should)? Yes, I'm sure she's capable of making other types of videos, but what's wrong with what she's doing?

Incidentally, I'm not sure I've known any deists, so I'm curious. Do you have any evidence to back up your beliefs? If you have time, I'd be interested to hear exactly what you believe and why.

Thanks for the comment!

RickCleek II said...

I don't mean to come across as aggressive of that I hate Jaclyn I just think she is being hypocritical. I'm form Northern Ireland so Religion is everywhere over here Protestants and Catholics have been killing each other over here with bombs and bullets for the past fifty years. But for the most part people just get along, I personally know Atheists and very Religious people and they do not behave in the same way Americas do; they just don't talk about it. The visceral animosity I see coming from both sides is something I'v never seen before in my life even over here were the hatred between the two communities is almost tangible, with the murder and death that Religion can bring. I watch these hate filled videos and it makes me have contempt for both sides, as it shows people just can't get along with each other. I also blame the way Americans are brought up to see things as blacks and white, winner and loser, republican and democrat, conservative and liberal. It makes no sense to me in the slightest.

As far as deism is concerned I just believe in a "God" that created the Universe, that's about it. I'm not Religious and don't go to Church but I have a belief in the existence of a Creator. I most certainly do not believe that the Earth is 6000 Years old and neither do ANY of the Christians over here that I've talked to, including ordained ministers. So that must be an American thing as well. In the end nobody knows; its arbitrary. If I sounded irritated yesterday it's because I was in a bad mood mostly because I hate this Planet and most of the people on it :-P.

WCG said...

Heh, heh. Yeah, I know the feeling. :) Don't worry about it, Rick, and don't worry about disagreeing with me. I enjoy intelligent commenters who don't necessarily see things my way.

I think you've got the wrong idea about America, though - at least, in general. The vast majority of people I know are Christian, and that's been the case my whole life. But rarely does the subject of religion come up, even when they know I'm an atheist. We get along just fine.

When I was a kid, I didn't know a single person who wasn't a Christian - at least, as far as I knew. Certainly, no one ever expressed the slightest doubt about the existence of 'God'. But it seemed to make absolutely no difference which church you went to - Catholic or Protestant, or which sect of Protestant, none of that mattered.

I liked that, and still do. But in recent decades, after the Republican Party deliberately wooed white racists with their 'Southern strategy,' right-wing Christianity started to have serious political implications. Well, it probably always did in some parts of the country, but it's really overt these days.

If you're interested, I commented about this in the first two posts of my Non-Belief series. The first is about my childhood experiences, and the second is about why I decided I had to be open about my atheism - no, not just open, but to actually attack faith-based thinking.

Yet I do that in places like this blog, where people can read it if they wish, but only if they wish. I find that very, very few Christians actually want to discuss this stuff, and never for long. You'd might be surprised (I was) at how many Christians have told me that they didn't care if their beliefs were true, because they wanted to believe them anyway!

Well, I care whether or not my beliefs are true. And I see a great deal of damage being done, in America and worldwide, by faith-based thinking. It's not just religion, but if you're going to believe one thing by faith, it seems to become easier to believe everything by faith.

So, for both reasons, I don't apologize for being an atheist activist. I get along fine with Christians. I just disagree with them. I don't get angry when they disagree with me, so I don't see why the reverse should be true. Do you?

I do make fun of crazy beliefs, and of the loons who believe that stuff, here in this blog. That's not very polite, admittedly, but I think that humor is an excellent tactic. And I treat people I meet with respect. Public figures,... well, they're fair game. But I'd still be respectful if they commented here, for example.

BTW, I understand what deism means. I was just wondering why you believed it. Is it just because you were raised to believe in a god? I assume you don't have any evidence that a god exists (if I do understand deism), so what makes that seem like a rational thing to believe?

As I say, I've never known any deists - not that I know of, at least. And religious belief has always fascinated me (mostly, I suspect, because I have a hard time understanding it).

Anonymous said...

She's just another liberal dumbass with an opinion!

WCG said...

What an insightful, well-reasoned, brilliantly constructed argument, Anonymous! Clearly, you've given this a lot of thought. You must be so proud of yourself.

And then, to make it anonymously - on the Internet. Oh, such courage! Such a bold move in standing up for what you believe! It's really quite inspiring. LOL

Anonymous said...

I see nothing educational regarding many of her videos. They are just entertainment at best. Many of her arguments are also weak. Such as there are times when she makes response videos to others, where she doesn't actually respond to what they are actually saying and just uses talking points made by other atheists before her. She doesn't seem to acknowledge that most christians in the world do accept an old earth, evolution, and big bang. They just believe that these events were the work of an intelligent designer.

WCG said...

Thanks for the comment. To your credit, it's more rational than the last anonymous comment here, but I'm afraid it's also extremely vague.

"Many of her arguments are also weak"? How can I reply to that without knowing which arguments, specifically?

And of course she uses the same talking points as other atheists. Why wouldn't she, if they're valid? (If you don't think they're valid, then please tell me which talking points you're referring to and why you think they're wrong.)

Do most Christians in the world accept an old Earth, evolution, and the Big Bang? That's good, if it's true, but... why wouldn't they? Religion is the only reason why rational people wouldn't accept those things. That's because it's faith-based, not evidence-based.

Anyway, if you want to make some specific claims yourself, I'd be glad to respond. (Maybe you could tell me why you think it's reasonable to believe in an intelligent designer?) Sorry, but I can't really say much in reply when you talk in such vague terms.

Matt said...

Her courage and intellectual honesty give me hope. Not somethng I see often. I wish more could do the same.

Matt said...

To me the value of her videos are not in the strength of her arguments. Her value is the presence of atheism, antitheism, liberalism etc. she brings to pop culture. We need cultural shift and the views she shares to become popular. Leave the arguments to others.

WCG said...

That's a good point, Matt. That's one of the reasons I love Tim Minchin, David Mitchell, Ricky Gervais,... among other atheist comedians.

And on the other side is... Bibleman! :) How could we lose?

Of course, the atheist comedians I mentioned are all British, as is that irreligious TV show. Bibleman is pure American. But in the age of the internet, such distinctions are much less important than they used to be, I think.