As Politely As Possible: No, I’m Sorry, You Are Not An Atheist
Posted Thursday, 21 December 2006, 7:22 pm
There’s been a ‘resurgence’ of atheism in recent years. You’ll find people who call themselves atheists prattling on and on all over the net. ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ is a popular meme. Bitching about the creationists (not much argument from me on that score).
The problem is, these people—for the most part—are not atheists. They’re misusing the term. An atheist is someone who doesn’t have God. God isn’t a part of their life. They grill a burger just like anyone else, they sleep like anyone else, they just don’t care about God—it’s not something that matters to them. Atheists are fine by me. You live your life, I’ll live mine. Groovy.
But that’s not what this resurgence is. It’s not atheism, it’s antitheism. Yes, it’s merely three more letters added in there, but it far more accurately describes the current mindset, which is one of being against God. Against the idea of God. In most cases, really hating the notions of God and religion. And I don’t mean ‘hate’ in the sense of "shoot, I hate country music" (words that have passed my lips more than once). I don’t really *hate* country music, I just don’t care for it, so I avoid listening to it. The antitheists HATE God and religion, and they are all too happy to bitch and piss and moan endlessly about how much they hate it, and bitch and piss and moan about how religion is always being "forced upon them". Which is just so much wanking nonsense. Oh sure, there’s lots of ‘religious’ people who won’t stop telling people (who didn’t ask) that they’re going to go to hell if they don’t take Jesus into their heart. Sure, they’re annoying. But gosh, I just don’t answer the door when they knock. I’m not being held down, having my eyelids retracted, and forced to watch "The Ten Commandments" or "The Passion of the Christ" on an endless loop. In this country, my country, the United States, 99.9995% of the time, there’s no ‘force’ involved. Change the damned channel. Don’t open the door. Close the tab on that religious site (how did it get opened i wonder?). Don’t go to the church that’s not of your choice. We have freedom of religion, and freedom from religion in this country, and it’s so incredibly free, I think people have lost all sense of proportion. Yeah, there’s nitwits who want to force science teachers to teach creationism. I think it’s dumb. Genesis is a myth (not in the idiomatic ‘bad’ sense of one, that is). Stories of how the universe came to be are a part of virtually every culture that’s ever existed. There’s nothing in Genesis that defines a day as 86,400 seconds. Maybe those seven days were "God Days", like measuring a dog’s age – one day being the equivalent of our contemporary billion years. Who knows? Who cares?
One of the most absurd examples of this genuine hatred for God/people who believe in God—while falsely packaging it as simple atheism—is this jackass:
I realize this was for a comedy program. He does a delightful turn at being sarcastic and sardonic, about how he doesn’t care what your religion is, that his only concern – his only concern – is that the Mormons knock on his door early on weekends. So what does he do? I’m reluctant to describe it, it’s so ironically offensive, but….He goes around early on a Saturday and bangs on people’s doors to tell them about atheism and ‘Darwinism’. Ha ha ha. What a clueless twit! So—a certain religious sect—apparently either in Australia or New Zealand, as that seems the source of the clip—annoys people by knocking on their doors early on Saturday. Here in my part of the US, it’s mostly Jehovah’s Witnesses who do this. But—think about it. He’s bothered because Joe Mormon annoys him. So what does he do? He goes and bothers people—people other than Joe Mormon who bothered him—in just the same way that he’s being bothered. In all likelyhood, many of them who aren’t Mormons, and who may have tied-one-on the night before, and who possibly don’t give a shit about Darwin or God. This guy’s frothing vitriol so completely consumes him, he presumes that he’s somehow ‘getting even’ with Joe Mormon by bothering Bob Couldn’t-Give-A-Rat’s-Ass, Where’s-My-Latest-MotorTrend-magazine. Brilliant! How better to show people that you’re not an atheist, you’re an antitheist zealot!
That one however doesn’t truly do justice to the antitheist mentality.
I’m reluctant to give the guy the free press, but frankly, he’s so disturbingly creepy in his delivery, and so overtly filled with seething hatred for those who aren’t like him, what the heck. Wanna see what a full-blown antitheist is? Watch on:
(Regrettably, the fellow whose video used to be here closed his youtube account, taking his videos with him)
If you think that’s atheism, then you’re badly in need of a dictionary, and a sense of proportion.
Am I an atheist? No. But what you could call me is an atheist-by-proxy. I ‘believe in’ God. But frankly, I’d just as soon pick lint from my navel while watching Mary Tyler Moore Show reruns than give the slightest care for whether or not someone else believes in God. You don’t care about God—you’re an atheist? Rock on my brother! You’re a Catholic who rejects the anglicized mass in preference for the Latin mass? Rock on my sister!
But when you go around denouncing people who believe in God, hating people who believe in God, and in general acting like a self-centered jackass because other people have beliefs different from you—while using a term that very specifically means that you don’t care about God—then I’ll gladly call you on it, and point out that not only are you being an ignorant, self-centered jackass, you’re as much of a charlatan as Robert Tilton—
—only twice as childish and half as funny. And comporting yourself with as much zealotry as those whom you deign to hate so much.
Come on, antitheists—be proud of what you are! Stop referring to yourselves with that wimpy, non-committal ‘atheist’ label. What are you afraid of, being struck down by God? Show your true colors, so the real atheists don’t have to suffer the additional stigmatization.
Irony of that last intended.