A is for Atheist

I like to say that like Cookie Monster says, “C is for cookie!” Heh.

Hello friends, and welcome to another post about atheism. It’s been an exciting week for me, atheist-wise. I’ve had some good discussions about atheism and they have gotten my grey matter in a tizzy. I love it when that happens.

It has also gotten me to be more proactive in my atheism. For the most part, I consider myself fairly well-educated, but with all things in life, there is always room to learn more and this is my vow to myself: to arm myself with more knowledge…not just in an atheistic sense, but in all aspects of life.

Anyway, I digress.

I follow a lot of fellow atheists on Twitter and one of them wrote this and it made me nod my in agreement. I may have also enthusiastically fist-pumped, as well:

“Believers often treat the existence of God a simple fact and are shocked and indignant when asked to justify their claim of his existence.”

Right on, brother. Right the fuck on.

In my experiences with believers, they are so quick to become defensive when someone like me makes them answer why they believe. It’s like I’m insulting them, and that’s not the case at all. I’m just curious why you think they way you do. I’m not trying to be an ass about it, either. I’m not trying to convert you to atheism, or insult your intelligence or any of that nonsense. I want you to think about it for a second. To think why you believe. Most times, it’s answered with “because that’s what I was taught. It’s what I learned growing up. I was raised a Christian.”

Well…so was I. For twenty years, to be exact, Christianity was commonplace for me. I didn’t have any reason to doubt God because why would I? My parents raised me on the Christian faith, and they are my parents and my parents wouldn’t lead me astray would they? No, they wouldn’t because parents know all.

Or so we think.

Our parents are also human. Shocking revelation, I know. They really don’t know everything about the world as we are certain they do when we were children. But then we see them become vulnerable and make mistakes and maybe, just maybe, they don’t know everything after all.

Take my father, for example. There were several periods in his life where he admitted to questioning the existence of God. There were times where I remember when my older brother and I didn’t have to go to Sunday school or church because Dad thought it was pointless and unnecessary. As kids, this was good news because that meant we could sleep in Sundays, which was always awesome. Then, Dad returned to his belief in God and that meant we did, too.

Looking back at those times, I’m often confused as to what caused the waxing and waning of his faith. I may be making an assumption here, but the last return to the flock was due to the untimely death of my stepmother. In a time where he was vulnerable and lost, he found comfort in the notion that many Christians believe: “when we die and go to Heaven, we will be reunited with all of our loved ones and live together in eternity.”

As a man who just lost his wife, holding on to this belief is probably comforting to him. And as Christians know, the only way to get in to Heaven is having faith, so now my father has immersed himself into the God delusion one more time.

It’s tricky for me dealing with my dad sometimes. We do not discuss religion. He asked me once why I don’t go to church anymore and I didn’t know what to say to him.

“Because, Dad. Your religion is false. There is no God. You’re fooling yourself,’ just doesn’t seem like the wisest response to him. He is my father still and I’m fairly certain he would have no qualms about grounding me even though I’m 30-years-old and haven’t lived under the same roof as him for almost 12 years.

Plus, I’m not going to deny my father the idea he’s going to see his wife again. For me to come in with my atheist guns a-blazing during a tragic point in my dad’s life is immoral of me to do, even though, in my personal opinion, he’s not letting himself properly grieve by entertaining the notion that death has no certainty, that there is life after death, when in actuality’s sake, death is final. There is no afterlife, there is no Heaven where all your dead loved ones are chilling out, waiting for you to join them. It’s harsh. It’s kind of mean. And to me, it’s the truth.

Now, on to something that always bothers me, and perhaps this is all my fault, but whatever. Whenever I post something on Facebook regarding atheism, my theist friends immediately hound me and post comments. Now, I know, I know…if I didn’t want them to comment, I shouldn’t post this stuff, but still. It irks my cookie. I don’t do that to them whenever they post biblical crap on their pages. I keep my comments to myself because my mommy told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, to keep my fucking mouth shut.

Why is it acceptable for theists to make inflammatory comments on atheist opinions, but if an atheist comments on their beliefs, we’re the bad guys and are “trolling” them, wanting to pick a fight? Just today, again via Twitter, someone posted this and a guy, who I can only assume has suffered major head trauma replied to him:

I’ll avoid the obvious smartass reply and point out his glaring grammatical error by using the wrong form of the word “to,” even though I just did, but really? Not only did this guy find it necessary to respond, but he did so with a threat of violence. I’m’ fairly certain he is doing Christianity wrong. In fact, I know he is. I admit to letting curiosity get the better of me and I wanted to read more of his tweets and was not in the least bit surprised to find more hateful bullshit, gay bashing, and grammar errors.

I realize my asking you about your belief in God gets you on the defensive, but to lash out with hate and violence is never cool. Ever. Shame on him for not only coming off as a huge prick, but an uneducated prick at that.

Now, hold on, theists. I know you’re saying, “we’re not all like that!” And I know this, too. Most, if not all of my friends who are Christians do not behave as poorly as our friend up above here does. I realize this. But sadly, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch. Ignorant assholes like that ruin it for the rest of you because I’m finding more and more people like him than I am people like my theist friends, and I hate to admit it, but even some of my friends are awful dick-ish to me when it comes to the theological discussions.

My goal isn’t to sit here and insult believers, and I hope theist goals aren’t to insult me, as well.

After all, your beliefs aren’t what makes you a better person, your behavior does.

Peace, friends.


One comment

  1. Thomas Pluck · March 5, 2012

    I find attacking someone’s beliefs will get you hated. It’s simple enough to say “I’m not religious,” and be done with it. When you extend that to “I am not religious, and you are stupid if you are,” you are proselytizing like an evangelical who says you’re going to hell if you aren’t religious.
    Of course, we have reason on our side, but reason is hardly well regarded these days.

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