Atheists Break Out New Ritual Tool: The Blow-Dryer

Kagin said that many people have undergone de-baptism."Many have taken it as somewhat of a joke, but some have found it truly, if you will, a spiritually cleansing experience," he said.

Kagin has said he doesn't particularly care who he's offending with his actions, and that he is acting completely within his rights. "You can mock anything you want because you have the right to," he said. "Humor is humor and what types of humor are you going to outlaw?" he said.

He conceded that although it may not be good manners to continually take a mocking stance toward religion, "in many cases, it is the only real response."

Kagin said he thought some people might get overly offended by his poking fun at religion. "If someone is so secure in their faith, why are they the least bit concerned about some little atheist mocking them?" he asked. "I think the reason they are worried and concerned is the very deep fear that if everyone doesn't believe it, maybe it isn't so."

For Kagin, this struggle between godless and god-fearing hits very close to home: his son, Steve Kagin, is a fundamentalist minister in Kansas.

He founded Camp Quest, a secular summer camp for young nonbelievers, many of whom, he says, have been harrassed or hounded for their lack of faith.

And then there's this interesting twist. His own son, Steve Kagin, is a fundamentalist minister in Kansas.

Kagin said that his son claims to have a personal revelation in Jesus Christ. "I am totally unable to say that's not true," he said. "There are examples all through history of quite sane people who have had such experiences. I don't think it is but I'm not going to say it isn't."

Kagin: 'As Much Merit as the Original Baptism'

When asked if he is pained by their opposing views on this issue, Kagin chuckled. "Oh, one wonders where they went wrong," he said. He and his son, Steven, have an excellent relationship, Kagin said, but they do have their limits.

"We just understand there are certain things we really can't, at this point, talk about," he said.

"I don't lose much sleep over [it] because everyone has the right to do what they want to do within the law," he said. "That's what I believe in."

As Cambridge completed her de-baptism, she expressed no qualms about how it might be perceived. "Sometimes you've got to have shock value," she said. "There's some times where you just have to shock people into getting attention and from there, they ask questions... And maybe they learn a bit."

Kagin said that he saw the conflict between atheists and believers as America's religious civil war. He said bad manners are a reasonable weapon in that war, but he said it was unlikely that atheists would emerge as the victors.

"Atheists have no chance whatsoever of prevailing in a direct confrontation with believers," he said. "There are far too many [believers]."

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