Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pastor Mike Unwittingly Offers Help to the Atheist Community

Hey all!

Pastor Mike wants to register atheists like sex offenders. While I'm sure he meant to be offensive when he tried the "chicken" approach--(paraphrased summary): "Oh, you don't WANT to be registered? Are you ASHAMED of your atheism?"--the fact is, he's offering to do something that could really benefit the atheist community.

I'm not ashamed, I'm out. And if someone were to register atheists, he could only register those who are openly out as atheists, anyway; so, it's not any sort of actual threat, but a childish ploy to try and evoke an outraged response by comparing atheists to criminals.

When a person tries to emotionally manipulate me in such an obvious way, though, I tend to respond by laughing, pointing, mocking. However, in this case specifically, I think Mike's registry idea would be an awesome assist to the atheist community. I'd almost beg for one, and that's what I tried to post to his blog, but (1) it's invited members only, and I wasn't one. And (2) the article keeps being pulled down and moved to other sites. Due to this, the best I can do is point you to an article about it (further below), not directly to it, because any link to the original would only be moved by the time you try and hit it. However, here is what I tried to reply. If you would also like to see the International Atheist Directory become a reality, you can thank Pastor Mike personally with an e-mail (provided below). I recommend every atheist who is "out" on the globe send a "thank you." I'd like Mike to get 100,000 messages showing the atheist community's gratitude, and asking him when it will be up and if it will be publicly available or paid subscription only and searchable? My response:

Will there be an annual yearbook published? Like a directory? I'm an "out" atheist, and don't want to miss out. Is there a fee to be included? Thanks for your efforts! I've been trying to get a comprehensive list of atheists in the global community for years now, and have been doing it the hard way apparently--collecting them slowly over years on social networks. But if you're willing to do the leg work, that would be awesome. You rock, Pastor Mike! Please make the list publicly available, we get a lot of letters from atheists asking where they can meet other atheists in their area. A listing like you suggest would be a big help!

Here is a link to a blog about the original article, this at least will be a stable place to see most of the content:

You can send your inquiries about the upcoming International Atheist Directory to Pastor Mike Stahl at, if his e-mail account is still up and running. Someone gave me this address, and I Googled it, and it did lead back to his blog, which is now set to private. But I'm sure he would love as much feedback as possible from the atheist community--how else would we be able to send him our info for the Directory?



  1. Tracie are you on Google+? There are already over 2,000 registered atheists there, and that number is growing every day.

  2. Huh. An almost legitimate reason to invoke Godwin's Law. Who would have thunk of it?

  3. actually, i'm curating a list of atheists on google+. i've added some obviously out and vocal atheists already. i also ask if others want to be included.

    it's also possible for any atheist to add their own google profile to the list.

    check it out.

  4. Just to clarify (due to something that someone said on Facebook), I've tagged this article as "sarcasm." I do understand Pastor Mike's intent is to do all he can to make atheist names available for public harassment, and he's being utterly dishonest. He's targeted a disliked minority demographic and passively suggested they should have their contact data available--for the purpose of public harassment. I'm not going to beat around the bush. He doesn't have to come out and say "Harass these people," for it to be his obvious intent. And I don't condone what he's doing. Again, it's sarcasm. And just to make my "real" position clear. Thanks and carry on.

  5. Also, to add, I don't normally condone contacting a person or provide ID or contact data for a person. But in this case, beyond the obvious deserved irony of sending him a flood of response from atheists (basically turning tables on him), he posted this publicly--even though he later set it to private. We post publicly at our blog, and the public responds either at the blog or via e-mail or can call us. Mike blocked comments, blocked his blog (later), and has a published e-mail address for his position as pastor, which is the position under which he made these public comments. So, I have no problem asking people to contact him about what he said in his capacity as Pastor at his pastor e-mail address. Again, just to clarify, since I normally don't do the "send him a letter" thing. In this case I think it's totally fair.

  6. I just sent him my email, name, and twitter handle. I hope he does it, for the sake of non out atheists.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I believe that "Pastor Mike" should be beaten with twenty reeds until each one breaks, and then taken to the Forum by a Centurion before being beheaded in public for insulting the Roman Gods of the city.

    That's my *faith*, so nobody has a right to criticize me - least of all a lesser *Christian*, whom we all know should be thrown to the lions.

    Pax Vobiscum.

  9. The cheeky sod! After all those abusive priests.

  10. He calls himself a pastor, but that just means he runs a blog he calls an "I-Net Church".

    On his blog, before it was closed, he stated he was a security guard for a hospital, not a professional minister.

    That's right, no building, no parishioners, just a crazy guy with a blog.
    Move along, nothing to see here.

  11. In all seriousness -- and acknowledging that Tracie is joking -- it's all fun and games to joke around that we are trying to be public atheists anyway, so publicity is a good thing. But compare the situation to making a list of abortion doctors. They aren't bad people, they aren't sex offenders, they aren't trying to hide what they do for a living, and their business is probably slightly better if more people know that they exist.

    Nevertheless, when there are fundamentalists who hate abortion doctors and call them a blight on society, and THEY start building public lists of abortion providers "as a public service," that's no laughing matter.

  12. My email:

    Pastor Mike,

    I really love your idea of having an atheist directory. It can be hard to meet other atheists, as we don't have gathering places like religious people do. I really appreciate you putting this together for us.

    How do I get added?

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or if you have any questions.

    Thanks again!
    Alex Prather

    P.S. Maybe when you are done with the atheist registry, you could make some for other groups. I bet gays would like it too!

  13. My email to the good Pastor:

    Dear Pastor Mike,

    First off, I would just like to thank you for proposing the comprehensive atheist directory! As an atheist, I believe it would be an enormous help to me in finding other like minded individuals with whom I could engage in cheerful conversation! Now, living in New York City, I normally have no trouble at all finding other non-believers but I tend to travel quite a bit. A directory such as the one you have suggested would make it extremely easy for me to find friends in other cites and towns (especially down in the mean old south!)

    I do have to ask: will it cost any money to have my name registered? If so, how much? I personally feel it should be a free service as that would encourage a greater number of applicants, but I also understand if it needs to be a pay to play type situation. Hey, a guys gotta eat, right?

    I understand you're probably a very busy pastor, what with all the judging and condemning you have to do, but I would greatly appreciate a response on this matter. If you cannot respond to me personally, would it be extremely difficult to post a more detailed outline of your idea somewhere on the web?

    Thank you for your time and unending enthusiasm!



  14. My email was shorter and not worth reposting, but since it hasn't bounced back, he must still be getting 'em.

  15. Sorry, but I am not going to bother e-mailing this tool.

    There is indeed a great value to a Harvey Milk style out campaign. We should not allow the opposition to define what we are to the general public, nor let them own the word atheist to tack on extra propaganda.

    Mike here seems to just be frustrated that he cannot properly persecute people because it is difficult to identify them. I suspect that if we used his definition for what an atheist is, his list will be a short one indeed.

    Satan never seems to return my calls on what to do next, so I don’t think I would qualify.

  16. One section of this pathetic no-hoper's drooling idiocy amused me especially. This (emphasis added):

    My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists ! Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism . Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s...

    Silly rabbit. Haven't you heard why Pharoah's heart was hardened? It's because God hardened it. Check Exodus 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:8, as well as Joshua 11:20.

    Maybe that's why we piss the poor fool off. We know more about his magical fairy book than he does.

  17. I must admit, I was angry when I first saw his blog, and I posted about it on my Facebook page. It is curious and sort of funny however, that he has now made his blog private (the Google cache isn't available either). If he really thought that what he was doing was morally correct (with god on his side, etc), wouldn't he have stood his ground, rallied supporters, or something?

  18. Courage and integrity as opposed to sniveling cowardice from a fundie bigot, Mike? That would be truly unusual, you must admit.

  19. If it's a worldwide thing, I wouldn't mind being registered at all myself. I have nothing to hide.

  20. @Martin - Yes, you do have a point there.

  21. Tracie, you are my hero!

    It's nice to see they fundies feel threatened.

  22. OMG. What a bunch of chuckles for these letters you guys are submitting. So funny!!! I hope it goes right up his ass like a hot poker! Sorry we didn't get all outraged and scared, as I guess we were supposed to? But you're only stupid enough to laugh at. :D

    And yes, Russell, I agree. That's why I posted the clarifications under the blog--to let people know that I understand his point is to foster harassment--and that's just a dick move.

    But I'm sure he thrives on every angry letter he gets, thinking how easy it was to upset everyone. For every laughing letter, I just don't see him getting the same satisfaction. When you're trying to scare people or make them angry, and they just find you to be a funny little man, I think it takes the wind right out of your pompous sails.

  23. I would really like to receive a weekly newsletter on "whats up" with the atheist community. I wouldnt, however, like to receive a lot of spam with "You must seek salvation blablabla". I already delete a lot of this junk as it is... cheers from Brazil

  24. Subject: Atheist Registry

    Dear Mr. Stahl:

    Count me in! What information do you need from me? Is there a fee to be listed? (I'm just a student and can't afford very much.) I'm glad someone is really putting together the effort to create a directory to help us unite our community. Will this be an on-line registry only, or will there be copies I can buy? I know some of my other atheists friends will really like a copy, too. Will it only be a national directory, or international too?

    I'm assuming you an atheist yourself? I can't find your Facebook page anymore, so I'm not certain. I was really hoping we could be Facebook Friends.

    Thank you in advance for any information on how to access this registry. And also thank you so much for helping us create a resource to build a strong atheist community. It is really a much needed effort!

    Your friend in atheism,
    Ms. Addison Ling

  25. I talked another friend into writing "Pastor Mike". He's praising Mike for his interfaith goodwill, and he's asking if he can include coupons and discounts for atheists if Stahl prints up an atheist registry.

  26. My email to him:

    Hello Pastor Mike!

    I have read on a number of blogs that you intend on cataloging a global list of atheist. What a great idea! Do you have any idea how hard it is for us non-believers to find other non-believers? A registry such as yours would be an invaluable tool for us. Thank you so much for spearheading this initiative. By all means, please add me to the list, and I would love to be included in your mailing list once you've finished. I can't wait to meet up with all of my heathen brothers and sisters in my area. Just think of how much more effective we can be in spreading our message of logic, reason, and rationality once we can all contact each other effectively. And it's all thanks to your generous donation of your time and resources. We all owe you a debt of gratitude for taking on a project of this scope.

    Gene Mille

  27. On of my friends said the email was closed and bouncing email back. But I sent a second email, and it hasn't been rejected or bounced back yet:

    "I've gotten several local businesses interested in the Atheist Registry. I think I can get them to include coupons and discounts for atheists if you print a registry. How much will ad space cost if you publish it in book form? This could really be the motivating factor we need to form a local, grass-roots Atheist Organization in my home town!

    Thank you in advance for your dedication and hard work,
    Ms. Addison Ling"

  28. Nevertheless, when there are fundamentalists who hate abortion doctors and call them a blight on society, and THEY start building public lists of abortion providers "as a public service," that's no laughing matter.

    This. It's like the difference between a membership list compiled by a synagogue and a list of jews made by a group of neo-nazis.
    Same list, same people, very different purposes.

  29. "It's like the difference between a membership list compiled by a synagogue and a list of jews made by a group of neo-nazis.
    Same list, same people, very different purposes."

    This is the main reason that the idea seems very unappealing to me.

  30. My email:

    Dear Pastor Mike,

    I am thrilled to hear that you have decided on a plan to register atheists nationally and (hopefully) internationally. As you are a Christian you may not be aware of this, but it can be very difficult for atheists to meet each other for a meaningful relationship away from the Christian god. Many atheists find it nearly impossible to date a religious person for any more than a casual few times in bed, because their beliefs just make it impossible to agree on long-term things, such as the way to raise a child, or even where and under what conditions to have a wedding.

    So I have a suggestion. Can you add marital status and some full-body photos to your registry? Maybe a mechanism for sending winks to the godless goddesses? People could also indicate whether they're looking for godless marriage (gay or straight), some no-strings-attached sex, or for a person to join them and their existing partner in a 3-way. This would be a great help to the atheist community, and we'd appreciate it greatly.

    Keep up the good work, Pastor!

  31. I went ahead and sunk to their level and invoked Godwin's law with my email to the pastor:

    "thanks pastor Mike!
    A directory is just what we need to keep atheists in touch with each other! This could really help planning all of our events! I'm surprised no one's thought of it before (except Hitler of course, I guess your great minds think alike!)


  32. True...but that shouldn't stop the Atheist..

  33. @Alex, Tim, and anyone else who e-mailed him, you know he's posting our e-mail addresses on his site right? He's so pathetic it's funny. I've yet to get any harassment thus far, just an apology from one of his readers (which went out to multiple addresses). Probably not the response he was hoping for :)

  34. Has anyone had any luck getting an invite to the blog? I want to see if he really is posting our info? And if he is what is my inbox still empty? With mabus gone I need some new spam.

  35. In a humorous attempt to get him to open back up and influenced by my love of zombies, this was my last email to Pastor Mike.
    Heya Mike, it's Michael , from the office down the hall Good to see you buddy, how've you been? Thing have been okay for me except that I'm a zombie now I really wish you'd let us in I think I speak for all of us when I say I understand Why you folks might hesitate to submit to our demand But here's an FYI: you're all be zombies too All we want to do is eat your brains We're not unreasonable, I mean, no one's gonna eat your eyes All we want to do is eat your brains We're at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise If you open up the door We'll all come inside and eat your brains.
    now of course I'm not a zombie, they lack the nessacary hand dexterity to type.
    But the quoted song is true I'm that we really do just want to read your blog and comment on it. You have caught our collective attention. If you keep the crazy up this new block of readers will stay. You never know you might convert one of us, if you would just let us come inside.

  36. Wheee, I love Rhetorical Jujitsu!
    I too have emailed him, suggesting he make the International Atheist Registry, truly international and have a European section.

    If I was designing it, I would also cross reference according to geographic location, first language and political affiliation.
    We could start a world revolution:
    Largest World Ethical Communities, Christians 1.6million; muslims 1.2million; atheists 2.5million; budhists... etc.

  37. Reading about these Christian antics from here Europe is always amusing (and maybe a bit frightening). Here in my country atheism is the norm, the default position (something like 85% of the population here being atheists/secular), being a believing Christian being the abnormality. You don't *have* to "search for atheists in your community" here. Go to a random person on the street and there's a very big chance that he's an atheist (although usually not an activist, just someone who doesn't care about religion).

    An "atheist registry" would make little sense here. What? Are you going to list something like 85% of the entire population?

  38. Fille de la Lune, which website is Pastor Mike posting our emails on? His Facebook page is shut down, and so is his former church website.

    I want to see my name in print!

    I'm jealous, my email went through, but I haven't had any response at all.

  39. >I've yet to get any harassment thus far, just an apology from one of his readers...

    This warmed my heart! Good! It just goes to show that there is a point on the spectrum where a theist can become so crazy they're even crazy to other theists.

  40. If you register watch out for the inquisition cops.

  41. You know, it's well enough for my home address to be registered, but what about when I'm at work (it's not a surprise to anyone in my office). or on the subway quietly (some might say furtively) listening to Atheist podcasts. How will god-fearing people know in order to protect themselves? Well, here's an idea - Maybe someone could design a symbol that atheists could wear when out in public. Hey, maybe it could be stitched on for easy visibility.

  42. Its just me, or someone else, think that this guy will use that list, to show how america is losing the battle with the devil?

    Or iam being paranoid here?

  43. It looks like "Pastor" Mike has had enough. There is a notice up on his blog saying he is sending all "threatening" emails to the authorities and he is "consulting an attorney about possible civil action."

  44. Oh boy, he turned into crazy lawsuit guy! Somebody put him on the phone with Leonard J. Crabs immediately!

  45. I'd love to know what he thinks anyone has done that has been actionable. The poor, silly fool has simply learned a harsh life lesson: act foolish in public, and people will laugh at you. Time to grow up, Pastor. Past time.

  46. I hope that Tracie and Matt talk about the Gay Shield on the show this Sunday. It worked again!!! Initially, people thought Hurricane Irene was over-hyped. That was because the media focused on the media center of the world, New York city which someone went pretty much unscathed. As the week went by, the media became of the devastation both north and south of NYC. Why was NYC spared? It has to be the gay shield. And it is apparent that the strength of the Gay Shield grows exponentially. There are many more gays and gay neighborhoods in NYC. Plus you have the power of the Stonewall Inn. The Gay Shield in NYC was so strong that it protected not only the gays, but the entire NYC area.

  47. Well, since I can't see everything he's received, he may have gotten threats. I can honestly say, however, that TAE encouraged no threatening letters. We encouraged notes of thanks and good, clean fun--to an address he made public and used at his blog, where he posted the ridiculous article (then linked it to people on Facebook, like an idiot, advertising his dumbassery further). So, if he has gotten any real threats of harm, I wouldn't condone that, and if they're actionable, then let the writers beware. But glad to say nobody at TAE ever asked or encouraged anyone to send him any threats or hate mail. We took the high road of humor! ;)

  48. Then again, these are people who think that disagreeing with them is persecution.

    He probably somehow managed to translate "Thanks for helping us out" as a threat.

  49. There may have been threats, but really, it doesn't matter. This isn't about whatever threat there may or may not have been made.

    Rather, this is another case of christian martyr complex. He has realized that he's getting his ass kicked (figuratively, that is) and he has no counter, so he does what christians do best: crying "Help, help, I'm being repressed!"

  50. Lukas: I can't argue that I have seen as well my share of "pulling a Yomin"--where the Christian writes his atheist-hate post; the atheists rebut with how stupid it is; the Christian responds by trying to "sick" their fellow Christians onto the atheists; and the atheists respond by making it even more public. The Christians see the reality of it, for the most part, and tell the idiot themselves he's being stupid; and that's when the lone wingnut has his official meltdown.

    It really is a common M.O. I can't deny it. But we've been getting letters all week about it--from people not even realizing we've posted here about it. So, I know other sources are putting this story out. Whether he's getting ugly mail or how much or how scary, who knows? I just know it's nothing to do with TAE. And I'm so happy to be able to say that.

  51. Attention seeking behavior that receives contingent attention will always be more likely to occur. Unfortunately, based on these behavioral principles, this Pastor will be more likely to do these types of things.

  52. The problem is not the registry but the audience. Pastor Mike is deliberately trying to hook up someone who wants to kill atheists with known atheists. He knows what would come of such a registry. He wants to see us murdered.

  53. Can we also get a national registry for tabletop RPG-players?

    Its a bitch to find people for my Pathfinder campaign...

  54. Lets not only limiting to registration. What about an Atheists label on their forehead???


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