The Ugly Atheist

I want to begin this post by stating clearly and unequivocally  …

I most definitely do not believe in the Christian god — and I highly doubt the existence of any other type of god. However, to my thinking, this, in itself, does not give an individual (who has never met me) the right to label me an atheist based entirely on comments or thoughts I’ve expressed in public.

Yet people do … simply because I disagree with their perspectives on the god represented in the bible.

Further … while many of my blogger friends have openly stated they are atheists, many others have never made this claim. They are simply deconverts from the Christian religion. They may describe themselves as deists, anti-theists, gnostics, agnostics — or any other word they feel best fits their theological position. ( NOTE: None of these identifying titles hold the same meaning as atheist. Suggest you look them up if you disagree.)

Yet they too are branded as “atheist” simply because they disagree with a person who claims the title of Christian.

The incentive that finally moved me to write this post was the following comment recorded on a blog owned by a Christian:

Aetheism (sic) is the highest level of ignorance. Full of arguments. Carnal. Judgemental (sic) and believe that all and sundry should be dragged into mundane ways of thinking by philosophy, science, myths or ancient facts. It’s a pity.

IMO, the “pity” is the individual who wrote this.

Comments like this are (unfortunately) extremely common among believers. Any and all individuals who do not “profess Jesus” and/or who happen to see life from a non-religious perspective are “ATHEISTS!”

From a personal standpoint, I’ve found it difficult to understand why such anger exists within the hearts of those who claim to believe in a man who (is said to have) made the following comment in Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV):

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Even in the Hebrew Bible, there are similar words found in Leviticus 19:17-18 (ESV):

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall … love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Yet behind the cloak of anonymity — or simply because it’s not face-to-face conversation — believers apparently seem to feel they possess divine impunity and can strike out at any and all who disagree with their faith perspective. Even those who serve as their god’s ambassadors are guilty.

I’m well aware of the “Great Commission” given to Christians to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Matthew 16:15, KJV). But there is also another scripture they seem to often overlook which states: And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet (Matthew 10:14, ESV). It doesn’t say call them “atheists” or other derogatory names as you leave.

The diversity of human beliefs about life is immeasurable — primarily because we are each individuals with our own backgrounds and experiences. As has been repeated innumerable times … No Two People Are Alike. Thus, when it comes to religious matters, it would far better serve all of us to keep this in mind and cease and desist placing (often incorrect) labels on other people.

Christian Toys

Just read a new post entitled, “Atheist or Agnostic.” In it, the author offers some thoughts on worship (God or otherwise) and asks the question, “Is there any valid basis for worship?”

At the beginning of his post, however, he discusses the terms “atheist” and “agnostic” — and then defines himself as an “antitheist.” Although I’d heard the term before, I was interested in a definitive meaning. This is what I found at Rational Wiki:  Antitheism is a noncomparable term referring to the belief that theism and religion are not only very likely to be invalid and false, but that they are restricting, dangerous, primitive, and offer no unique benefits. 

On the same page that I found the definition was something Christopher Hitchens once said.  To some of you, it may be familiar, but I had not read it before (actually I haven’t read any of his works). He said it in response to an audience question during a public debate between he and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Audience member: My question to Christopher is; how you can justify wanting to take something away from people, that gives meaning to 95% of the American people, and replace it with something that gives meaning to just 5% of the American people?

Courtesy of

Christopher Hitchens: Hah! Well. What an incredibly stupid question. First, I’ve said repeatedly that this stuff cannot be taken away from people, it is their favourite toy and it will remain so, as Freud said with The Future of an Illusion, for as long as we’re afraid of death—which I think is likely to be quite a long time. Second—I hope I’ve made it clear that I’m perfectly happy for people to have these toys, and to play with them at home, and hug them to themselves and so on, and share them with other people who come around and play with their toys. So that’s absolutely fine. They are not to make me play with these toys. Ok? I will not. Play. With. The toys. Don’t bring the toys to my house. Don’t say my children must play with these toys. Don’t say my toys—might be a condom, here we go again—are not allowed by their toys. I’m not going to have any of that. Enough with clerical and religious bullying and intimidation! Is that finally clear? Have I got that acrossThank you!

(After reading this, I can see why so many non-believers like and quote Hitchens. 🙂 )

Anyway, what he says falls in line with my personal approach. Do your thing, Christians. I don’t agree with you or your beliefs but if they work for you, fine. I may offer alternate opinions/ideas for you to consider, but if you don’t accept them, that’s your prerogative.

By the same token, as Hitchens says, do not make me play with your toys. Long ago, I looked at your toys — and even purchased and played with them. But one day, I outgrew your toys … and I have NO desire to look at, touch, and/or play with them any longer. In fact, I got rid of them in the far, far distant past.

Probably one of the most annoying things about Christian toys is you find them laying about everywhere. Even when you try to get rid of them, they turn up again. Hopefully, someday in the not-too-distant future, believers will discover toys are for children. And it’s time to grow up.

Shout It Out! (Or Not)


This from an article on

Do you believe in God? How confident are you in your view? Let’s put your belief (or lack of it) to the test.

Read aloud the following statements. Don’t just think about them or mutter them to yourself – shout them out:

I dare God to make my life miserable.
I dare God to make my home catch fire.
I dare God to turn all of my friends against me.

If you found it easy, then you think of yourself as a true atheist with the courage of your convictions (Richard Dawkins would be proud). But, admit it – didn’t saying these things still make you feel just a little bit uneasy? A study conducted at the University of Helsinki found that reading these statements caused even avowed atheists to sweat just as much as religious people (literally – they were having their sweat levels monitored).

If you can’t do it, you’re either a confirmed believer or someone whose head says they’re an atheist but whose heart can’t quite accept it. Or maybe you’re just superstitious and think that talking about something bad makes it more likely to happen.

Try reading out equivalent statements that don’t mention God (for instance: “I dare all of my friends to turn against me”). The atheists in the Helsinki study found these statements stressful but still less so than the versions that did mention God.

“It’s days like this … “

Starbucks Red Holiday Cups

“I might be a Christian, but it’s days like this I pray to be Atheist. I wish my people had the empathy, intelligence and levelheadedness of most non-believers I know. The world would be a much happier and peaceful place — matter of fact, if those of us who believe in Christ acted more like those who don’t, it would almost create Heaven on Earth. (ok, that might be a stretch… but it sure would be something to behold)

You see the thing about most Atheists is, they see this as their one and only shot. (espresso pun intended) It’s something about this ideology that creates a mindset to live a life, which those of us looking in, appears more Christlike than those of us that are just doing the least we can get away with down here. Yet still make it through those pearly gates.

We deny science, we are destroying this planet, we mock what we do not understand, we as a religion are the creators of war and famine, we stand over everyone else and shame them for their disbelief or different belief, and we are never HERE… we are not living in the “right now.” We are always thinking “when will we finally get out of this place?” The “rapture” and “afterlife” failsafes are not serving us.

It’s like your high school teacher telling the class, “don’t worry if you almost fail the midterm, just make sure you get a passing “D” and I’ll give you an “A” on the final even if you skip school on the last day of class.” I swear to God it baffles me that I am even a Christian. But I am, I can’t explain it, and I don’t feel the need to. But I am also grateful I have a brain that allows for critical thinking… one that says “this might be it.” So take a note from the Atheists’ playbook and live your life like it is. Isn’t that what Christ would ask of us anyway?

Or would he be pissed at the red cups at Starbucks?

– k. neven, senior staff writer for American News X


Job and the Big Bad Guy

In this post by Siriusbizinus, there was reference to another blog where the writer seems to ridicule what he considers the atheist’s take on the story of Job. I barely skimmed the other blog posting, but it did get me to thinking about the story of Job and how (mostly Fundamental) Christians believe that “Satan” played such an important role in what happened to Job.

If you’ve read my book, you know I don’t believe in the existence of “Satan.” So how then do I explain what happened to Job?

From my book (Chapter 5):

In the prologue of Job’s book, we are told that “Satan” joined some angels (heavenly beings) for a meeting with God (Job 1:6). Surprisingly, it seemed to be a fairly friendly encounter – certainly not what you would expect if this was the Big Bad Guy! It took only a little investigation to discover why. The word used here is exactly the same as the examples cited previously; that is, ha-satan. In fact, there is a footnote in nearly every English Bible that indicates the more literal translation is “accuser.”


However, this still didn’t explain why God allowed ha-satan to wreak havoc on Job’s life. With a little more delving, I learned that this particular “accuser” had a special function in God’s divine court. It was his job to “go to and fro on the earth” and look for any signs of disloyalty among humans and then report on them to his Supervisor. Elaine Pagels (The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics) describes him as a “roving intelligence agent.”  Several other sources call him “God’s prosecuting attorney.” The important thing to note is that it was not his job to stir up trouble, just to report on it. He worked for God, not against God.

During this particular heavenly meeting, the adversary speculates about Job’s dedication and commitment. He points out that it’s easy to be faithful when someone lives such a charmed life. God disagrees, but decides to allow the accuser to test Job. Important note: the “Satan” in this story is not an independent agent. He is a member of God’s heavenly court and must have God’s permission before he can do anything.

Job is an interesting story and one that many scholars believe is nothing more than a type of folk tale (parable, fable, allegory) written to assure the Israelites living during the terrible times of the Exile that God remained faithful. Fundamental Christians, on the other hand, prefer to see the story quite differently. For them, the story is totally true with Job as a prototype of Jesus (the “Man of Sorrows”) and “Satan” as the supernatural Big Bad Guy harassing a faithful man of God.

Added note: I did see one thing on the other blog that stood out. The blogger wrote (referencing theologian John Gill, 1697-1771):

Satan, although an angelic being, is fallen, sinful, reprobate and so had “no proper business there …”

Of course, my natural question is where in the bible does it say — and don’t reference “Lucifer” in Isaiah because you would be wrong (a posting for another time) – that Satan is a fallen, sinful, and reprobate angelic being?