Irony lost on local Atheists

(Bay News 9) — Atheists in Polk County symbolically scrubbed away at a major highway leading into the county Saturday.

The were removing a blessing placed there a year ago by a group of religious leaders.

Brooms, mops and water hoses in hand, the atheists gathered at the roadside.

“We come in peace .. now that’s normally what aliens say when they visit a new planet, but we’re not aliens, we’re atheists!” Humanists of Florida director Mark Palmer shouted to the group along Highway 98.

Representatives from various atheist groups in the area scrubbed the road at the Pasco-Polk county line. They were figuratively removing holy oil that had been put on the road last year by a group of area religious leaders.


Richard Geringswald said his group had been blessing the county line.

“And praying for that entryway in to the city, that God would protect us from evildoers, mainly the drug crowd, that they would be dissuaded to come in to the county,” Geringswald said.

But Humanists of Florida members don’t see it that way. They say it makes them feel unwelcome.

“It sends a very bad signal to everyone in Polk County, and (anyone) who travels through Polk county who doesn’t happen to be Christian,” Palmer said, “This event is not about atheist rights; this is about welcoming everybody into Polk county.”

So they took their “unholy water” and washed the road.

I must say, Atheist activist groups are the most delicate demographic I have ever encountered.  Everything even remotely religious done in public is enough to make them do the most petty acts of retaliation.  Symbolically washing off already absent annointing oil off a road from a local Christian group is just the latest.  Seriously?  Because a Christian group poured oil on a road and prayed for God’s protection for their county means non-Christians are not welcome?  Talk about sensitive!

But I have to ask the obvious question: if symbolically pouring oil on the street by Christians implies non-Christians are unwelcome in Polk county; does symbolically scrubbing it off a year later with brooms and “unholy water” imply non-Atheists are unwelcome?  I think the comparison is directly parallel.

Truly the irony is lost on the Humanists of Florida.


  1. Irony? You mean that their stated purpose to discriminate against non-Christians and atheists especially is “lost” on atheists. Actually, I think we got the message loud and clear. They tried to block atheists out with their ‘oil’ so atheists rubbed their oil out. Fair play.
    “If they will not submit to God’s way of living, then the prayer is to have them incarcerated or removed from the county.”
    I don’t think there’s anything “delicate” about objecting to a call to be incarcerated for not living as a Christian, or more specifically as one group’s kind of Christian.

    Here’s a bit of background on the issue:

    • from an activist forum, hmm. I suppose you’d accept accounts from religious activist forums as gospel too, right? That’s why I cited a reputable news source, and could have cited ABCnews as well. But from the reputable source, the organizer of the “anointing” said it was for protection from evil doers and ne’er do wells. Like I said, atheist activists find dog-whistle terms everywhere. Now if you can source a reputable report that the group anointed the road to keep non-Christians out of the county, I’ll listen. But not from a community of atheist activists on a discussion forum with no public reputation to care about who are overly sensitive.

    • And remember, this incident is a year after the oiling, how offended could they have resolution been. Looks like they were looking for a publicity stunt to offend Christians with.

  2. tErRaNcEh says:

    People just seeking attention, John. That’s all it’s about.

  3. Marshall Art says:

    Not only are they trying to clean what no longer exists physically (the oil used a year ago), but they are trying to clean what they do not believe exists spiritually. If God does not exist, then His blessings (assuming He grants them) do not exist, either. Kinda makes it all a pointless exercise. Atheists are a confused bunch.

  4. From Ravi Zacharias:
    First, secularization generally held that religious ideas, institutions, and interpretations have lost their social significance. People liked the idea of a secular society and a secular government. But in terms of moral values and ethics, they never checked into the internal assumptions of secularization that made it wide open to almost any view on any subject. Beginning in the 1960s, the moods of secularization ultimately led to society’s loss of shame.

    Next is pluralization, which sounds like a practical and worthy idea; and in many ways, it is. In pluralism you have a competing number of worldviews that are available, and no worldview is dominant. But smuggled in with pluralization was the absolutization of relativism. The only thing we could be sure of was that all moral choices were relative and there was no point of reference to right and wrong. This resulted in the death of reason.

    Last is privatization, which is an accommodation to the religiously minded. If secularization and pluralization were going to hold sway, what does society do with the large number of people who are spiritually minded?

    Being spiritually minded was okay as long as people kept their spiritual beliefs private and did not bring them into the public arena. The irony of this was the fact secularization — which had its assumptions on absolutes and anything of the metaphysical nature — was allowed into the public place. In fact, its very trust was to bring it into the public place. But anyone who believed in a spiritual Essence, an Ultimate Reality, and the fact there were transcendent absolutes that needed to be adhered to was told to keep those beliefs private. That ultimately paved the way for the loss of meaning.

    These three moods — secularization, pluralization, and privatization — brought about loss of shame, loss of reason, and loss of meaning. How was this authoritatively pontificated in the social strain? This is when philosophy stepped in, the moralizers against morality came in, and political correctness came in. These gave society some parameters that allowed it to expel the moralizing from outside the secular realm.

    So the atheist’s religious faith leads him to feel no shame at holding to more than one completely contradictory ultimate realities, while at the same time he demands those who believe the Truth to keep quiet and stay out of the public forum. The religion of the atheists’ will accept no competition to their own proselytizing. They call themselves “free thinkers” because, in actuality, they feel free to think outside the bounds of reason.

  5. travis1325 says:

    If the Christians are placing faith in their prayers and oil that God will keep away evildoers, who, exactly, are the atheists placing faith in that their actions will revert the prayer? In order to believe the power of God will make atheists unwelcome then they are saying a being they do not believe in holds sway over them. It actually shows they have some kind of belief in the power of God if they have to go against the church to revert its power. Silly.

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