November 24, 2014

The Danielle delusion

American Atheists, the secular organization founded in 1963 by the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair, wants you to believe that God is a delusion.

They also want you to believe that their Public Relations Director is a woman.

David Muscato, AA's PR director, made an announcement via the Friendly Atheist blog that he is henceforth to be known as "Danielle": "I’m coming out publicly today as a transgender woman."

Not all at once, of course:

While I have identified internally as a woman for a long time, for now, I will be presenting more-or-less as a man; that is, I will continue to wear mostly traditional men’s clothing, speak in my natural lower voice, and so on.

Nonetheless:

The only real difference for now is that, going forward, I prefer to be called Danielle instead of Dave, and I prefer the use of feminine personal pronouns (she/her rather than he/him).

Behold "Danielle":

["Danielle" Muscato]

An adage from Abraham Lincoln comes to mind, about what happens when you call a calf's tail a leg.

The irony is especially thick when you consider that Muscato is an officer of a rationalist organization, and makes his announcement with the support of his superiors. American Atheists' statement of aims and purposes says:

Atheism may be defined as the mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a life-style and ethical outlook verifiable by experience and scientific method, independent of all arbitrary assumptions of authority and creeds.

I can't speak for everyone, but my experience (viz. my observation of the above photograph) affirms that Muscato is, indeed, a dude. I wonder what the scientific method might tell me about Muscato's maleness or femaleness—say, by administering a a DNA test. Finally, the comments to his Friendly Atheist post consist almost entirely of well-wishers, apparently unreservedly accepting Muscato's pronouncement solely on his authority.

Atheists assert that belief in God is unwarranted given the lack of evidence for his existence. Then they turn around and assert that a woman named Danielle exists, denying all evidence to the contrary. Mark Twain's schoolboy said, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." Well, thanks to David/Danielle, we now know who makes that leap of faith.