"I hate to break it to you, babe
But I'm not drowning
There's no one here to save
Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?"King of Anything (2010) by Sara Bareilles
Looks like I have finally found my atheist anthem.
I had an MSN chat session in the not-too-distant past with a Christian med school colleague, and in that conversation, he sat his ass firmly on the high horse and tried to play the "holier-AND-wiser-than-thou" older guy "who-knows-stuff-you-don't". That wouldn't have worked even if he was older than I am but the fact being that he wasn't, it was an especially egregious example of the tactic. He wasn't the only person to have used such non-arguments against my position of atheism, but he struck me as the most tactless one - and he had the distinction of being the Christian who turned me, almost overnight, from a soft atheist who thinks that faith is harmless into a hardline, card-carrying "antitheist" who actively opposes religion and superstitions. I'm like a surprise mailbomb. You can never tell when I'll explode in your face.
In fact, you can actually guesstimate when that exchange took place by seeing when my posts about religion in this weblog turned abruptly from polite, non-offensive prattle to the "go shove your prophets and gods up your ass" versions.
Now forgive me for I would have to paraphrase the statements he made, but I suspect that my effort would actually be an improvement over his choice of wording. Hey, at least when I'm being an arrogant condescending jerk, I make no pretensions to being otherwise,
"Before discovering Christ, my life was meaningless. Now I have a purpose, and I am doing the Lord's work. What is the meaning of your life?"
To believe in something based on emotional appeal and simple-minded faith is the opposite of having an actual purpose, if you ask me. It's like standing at a crossroad and picking a direction at random because you have a hunch that that's the right way to Rome, and then letting that certainty sustain you as you drive on and on, not knowing how far it is you'll have to go before you arrive. Purpose? Meaning? Don't make me laugh.
And the "Lord's work" are always expressions of a believer's own biases supported by the biases of nomadic bronze age shepherds and people who thought that praying for a cure was the absolute bleeding edge of medical science. Oh, I see so much more of the ugliest sides of humanity in the Bible books, than I can see the grace of divinity. It's all about people desperately wanting a god to condone what they do, from discriminating against homosexuals down to killing an entire race and keeping their women for rape. I'll quote just that one verse because it's ample,
"And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee."Deuteronomy 20:13-14
Does this sound like the words of a moral, righteous, loving God? Or a wartime propaganda of a theocratic nation telling her soldiers that murder, pillage and rape is what God wants them to do so they shouldn't need to feel bad about it? Which is more likely? This is why I consider all Christians who believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God to be amoral sociopaths.
Anyway, he was not merely "witnessing" in the Christian sense of the word, no. He was also implying that my life is both meaningless and purposeless. That I am empty and lost, and in need of some external guidance. But I know precisely what I want to do in life, thank you very much. I have no need of squinting at patterns in ancient texts and waiting for a godly voice in my head to tell me what I should be doing.
"What you're going through is a phase. Every young person feels the need to rebel. Come to God - all you need to do is just open your heart to Him."
Why the fuck do so many Christians and other religious sects think that atheists are "defying" the Creator? That's a misconception and religious people need to know how offensive that sentiment is to atheists. We simply don't believe that God exists! No matter how many times you ask me to close my eyes and to try and invite Jesus into myself, I would only open my eyes feeling like an idiot each time.
If you showed me an abstract painting saying, 'This is beautiful! Look at it!' and all I can see are nonsensical squiggles; I would be lying if I answer, 'Yes, I see what you mean. It's beautiful'. You can make me look at that painting everyday but if all I can see is nonsense, that's what I'm going to think it is: nonsense. It's not that I am refusing to see it. I honestly CAN'T see it. To say that I am "rebelling" against the notion of its alleged beauty is stupid.
Is God okay with me lying and saying, 'Yes, I believe. I accept the Lord, Jesus Christ, as my saviour' when my logical faculty and all my sensibilities reject that notion? Will this save me from eternal torment in hellfire? I think not.
I understand that Christians believe a non-believers denial of Jesus to be a sin, punishable by everlasting torture - and this includes atheists, who are honestly incapable of believing in it. This is why a lot of Christians like to paint everyone else as being "rebellious" and "defiant" because that way, they'd feel less bad condoning what their God will do to these innocent people eventually.
What a fucking evil and stupid religion.
"So far in life, you have always felt self-sufficient and have not encountered any problem you can't solve. It might be different if your life is harder - when you realise that some things are simply out of your ability to fix them. It's in those times that you'll need God."
It's a variant of the "no atheists in foxholes" aphorism, and it is also highly, highly offensive to atheists. It implies that we are a cowardly and changeable lot. It suggests that we atheists are just "playtheists", and that we would all come around to Jesus once we face enough hardship. Or once we are stared down by the prospect of death.
Tell me, when has God solved anything for anyone - other than giving the false assurance that it's all in His plan and that it'll turn out for the best? What annoys me most is that the person who said the bold and bolded statement above thinks that I have not encountered any difficulties in life which are simply out of my control. Believe it or not, I have, and the ability to accept that fact is not exclusive to the faithful.
Also, it's just not true that there are no atheists in foxholes. Take the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, for example. Their motto? "Atheists in Foxholes." These are people who have gone through the most traumatic experiences a human can go through, coming under fire in trenches and seeing their comrades get blown to bits before their eyes. They went through all that with their atheism intact and some of them were actually religious to begin with but lost their faith on the battlefield. I'd like him to repeat what he said to me to these guys.
"Maybe one day when you're older, you'll change your mind about God."
Now, what he's really saying is that he's wise beyond his years and that I am just an immature kid. The subtext was obvious, and it's condescending and offensive beyond belief. I have since repeated this statement to a large number of other people - Christians and non-Christians alike - and they all invariably thought it was either a very arrogant or a very ignorant thing to say.
While no proselytiser is likely to ever achieve any success with me, this guy stood out as being astoundingly ineffectual and is probably responsible for actually causing a lot of people to turn away from Christianity - if only to distant themselves from catching whatever virus of stupid he caught from his religiousity.
Sometimes, I wonder how these people even get converts.
"You sound so innocent
All full of good intent
Swear you know best
But you expect me to
Jump up on board with you
And ride off into your delusional sunset"King of Anything (2010) by Sara Bareilles
Doesn't care much for abstract art,
k0k s3n w4i