Smut

This week, Atheist Agenda’ s annual “Smut for Smut” campaign begins its sixth consecutive year of offering pornography for religious texts, including the Bible, Koran and The Book of Mormon.

Senior sociology major and President of Atheist Agenda, Carlos Morales said, “You need to poke people in order to get them to think about their own faith, the merits [or lack thereof] of their religion.”

Morales says that the event is intended to shake people out of their indoctrinated daze and force them to take a hard look at what they have been told to believe.

Continuing his justification, Morales explained how the Superman radio show was used in the 1950s to destroy the Ku Klux Klan. Stetson Kennedy, who leaked information to the producers of the show about the inner workings of the Klan. The producers, in turn, produced episode after episode where Superman destroyed the Klan.

“They mocked [the Klan] out of existence,” said Morales. “That’s exactly what we’re looking to do [with religion].”

Although Morales and the members of Atheist Agenda feel the event and its innate comparison of religious texts to pornography is justified, there are many others who find the event distasteful.

Some claim that the event is no more than a publicity stunt aimed at gaining media attention, a goal that the group did in fact achieve on a national level during last year’s event.

Surprisingly, the animosity directed towards the organization is not just limited to religious groups. On Facebook.com, there is a group called, “Atheists AGAINST Atheist Agenda.” Morales did not hesitate to admit that “most atheists hate us,” but went on to say that “they meet me and they stop hating us. Every time.”

Morales said that he feels the hostility stems from the Atheist Agenda’s head-on approach to combating organized religion, a unique approach for an atheist group to take.

“Tolerance is going to achieve very, very little when you want change. You don’t want to be tolerant of something evil.”

He goes on to clarify with an analogy, stating that he would never be tolerant of Nazi ideology, which, he argues, is comparable to ideas presented in the Bible or Koran.

Presented with this argument, Joel Valdez, a junior in political science and future seminary student, feels that a lot of the misunderstanding, as far as what Morales deems evil in religions, comes from not applying the texts to one’s life.

He believes that to truly judge a religion, you have to live it. He compares the situation to a scientist trying to explain advanced physics, when all he has studied is biology.

Valdez contends that because the scientist hasn’t applied himself fully to physics, he cannot truly understand it.

Valdez ends by tying it back to religion, saying, “I would apply myself to Islam before I would criticize it.”

Not surprisingly, past iterations of the event have brought significant negative attention to Atheist Agenda and its members. Last year, Smut for Smut resulted in multiple death threats, directed at both the organization and also at Morales.

During Atheist Agenda’s last meeting prior to the big event, Morales warned the members to, “watch out if anyone physically threatens you.” Being the target of the majority of the threats, Morales knows more than anyone how serious of an issue the threats can be.

When questioned about how anxious he is in regards to any danger this year, Morales hesitated for a moment before admitting that he was “a little” worried.

UTSA PD’s Chief of Police, Steve Barrera, addressed the issue of security for the event during a recent interview: “We [plan to] treat it like most special events. …What we do is get additional officers to monitor the crowds and just maintain a [police] presence.”

When asked about some kind of personal protection for members of Atheist Agenda while they are not at the event, Barrera dismissed it, simply reiterating that officers would be present throughout the actual event.

Even with the inherent danger involved with the event, Morales believes it is still worth it. “It really gets a lot of attention, as far as atheism goes. It allows us to get out a message.”

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