I've been away from the blog machine for some time, but I had to make some comments on this video below.
Sometimes I am really annoyed when people stick to their talking points and don't actually answer the interview questions — though, the interviewer wasn't really asking a lot of questions but was instead making statements looking for a response. As Ed Brayton describes it, she was "using the 'some people say (insert something idiotic and crazy)' technique."
The first incident was when she said, "Some Christians might argue that, because such groups are in high schools, you're sort of indoctrinating young people in a time when it is not proper because they are not old enough to really handle questions like that." Jesse actually had a good response pointing out that, first, they're not actively recruiting students; those who want to join come to them, and, second, there are often Christian groups at these schools, too. I myself would have wanted to be more brutal about that...
...I mean, seriously?!? Even if it were true that atheists were out to indoctrinate children, has anyone ever heard of a church that doesn't allow in children because "they are not old enough to really handle questions like that"? If there are any, I'd bet there are damn few. And I really hate that sort of hypocrisy. I had a Christian acquaintance from a few years back that accused me of wanting to convert people to my worldview...or some shit like that. Of course, she made it out to be a bad thing that I should feel ashamed about. Yet, did she share these same concerns about Christian missionaries? Probably not (though I would have expected her to lie and claim otherwise if I would have cornered her on this).
All this is about is Christians being upset that they are getting some competition. And they are losing ground to that competition rather quickly.
It should also be expected that when Christians are essentially called out on their hypocrisy and they don't deny this, they then have to try to find some justification for why it is OK for churches to indoctrinate children. This reporter does just that in her second try when she says, "They say that's dangerous because most religions...help people in their life; it's not a bad thing." Again, Jesse actually responds quite well. He directly avoids addressing the reporter's comments about religion being a good thing and instead focuses on the positives of secular groups.
The truth, though, is that religion, overall, is a bad thing. Sure, it has it's positives. And that is, of course, what defenders of religion like to focus on. But it has lots of negatives. On that, the defenders of religion try to blame it on bad people misrepresenting religion. I fucking hate that bullshit, too.
Still, way to go, Jesse, for not taking the bait!