I’ve taken Matt Nisbet’s blog on and off my feed aggregator several times. The most recent “off” time was when Nisbet banished all negative comments from his blog. More recently, a said “what the hell” and put him back on. I’m really glad I did, not because he’s started providing substantiative responses to criticism, but because he just made a really funny post. He explains that the image we need to cultivate of atheism is represented by a photo of a guy teaching a class outdoors at a summer camp, and the current, very bad image of atheism is represented by a photo of a guy kicking back with shirt unbuttoned to reveal a cheap t-shirt with a letter on it, and holding a teddy bear. If this all sounds bizarre, it helps to know that the second guy is PZ Myers, and the first guy is Not PZ Myers. When I saw these pictures, I just thought it was hilarious. Sure the other guy–DJ Grothe of the Center for Inquiry–looks better than PZ, but that’s mainly because the photos caught DJ working and PZ kicking back. You could easily get an opposite set of photos, making the technique so flimsy that I’m amazed at Nisbet. He sets himself up as a communication guru, but can’t produce a blog post without it being transparently giggle-worthy.
Oh, and the idea of the big evil threat being a guy with a teddy bear is pretty funny too.