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Comments

Blackrose

Again...wonderful writing.loved the original as well and commented on it! Behind you 100%

thank you!
~arielle

Blackrose

One more thing. reading some of the comments "Christians" left you makes me ill. Personally if anyone had ever said some of those things to my boyfriend or one of my atheist/humanist/non-Christian friends (or even myself because i am not Christian). Especially the one who said that he wished your mom had had an abortion and to go to hell, i would probably beat them to within an inch of their life. I think yo responded to them very graciously, something these so called "Christians" need to learn. you go! again thank you!
You are a patriot and a citizen and no one has the right to tell you otherwise!

~arielle

brimster

Thank you, and "you go girl!"

I haven't 'accepted' atheism yet, nor do I practice any religion (semi atheist?). Your original blog has given me so much to read--I look forward to understanding the atheist perspective thanks to you.

The idea that the rest of your blogs/essays will be so eloquently written alone is making me want to pull an all-nighter, sit down and read everything linked and referred to!

Thank you again!
(writing from Turkey, Istanbul. Originally a Muslim)

Heather

I found my way here via a comment in an op-ed piece (http://preview.tinyurl.com/3dg6c3), that I found via Pharyngula (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/). And I must say, this post and the rant that led to it are dead on. Those are all the thinks that make me angry. I will be linking back to these, as well as following your links.

Great job! Really!

TurboFool

I didn't reply to your initial post as when I finished reading it (after Stumbling Upon it) I immediately followed the link to this one.

All I can say is that if you were straight and I weren't already in love and happily married, you'd so be getting a proposal for me. So the best I can do is continue to support the fight for you to be able to marry your girlfriend, and the fight for people like you and me to be allowed to live our lives with the beliefs (or lack thereof) that we hold without the religious majority imposing the writings in an ancient book upon us.

You're an inspiration, you're a wonderful writer, and you're marvelously and justifiably angry at just the right things. Your post has, indeed, been bookmarked by me to use when people ask me that very same question (as they inevitably do), and I'll probably end up linking to and talking about it in my blog if my 7-day-a-week work schedule gives me the time.

Thank you, thank you, attaboy, and thank you. You're amazing.

(oh, and I WILL be visiting the rest of your blog now. Your other topics of conversation intrigue me as well)

Shakeel D

I wound up on your blog through StumbleUpon...after perusing your site and reading it in much the way I read Wikipedia (see http://xkcd.com/214/) you just became the first website for which I have ever added an RSS subscription. I have resisted in the past because I didn't want to get distracted from doing something by having something to read all the time, but as you say, "So mostly, I'm writing. I'm a writer. That's what I do." And because you're a writer, you do a better job of expressing yourself than I could hope to, and maybe I could learn something.

Monika

I wasn't going to comment because all I had to say was "Attagirl" but since you are reading and appreciating the love I think I will!

Beautiful writing.

Thank you.

Sarah

Attaboy!
It's about all I have to say, but thank you. You make some really valid points that I've believed, but never put quite so well.

Jessica

Ah so many comments, and really... I almost don't want to overload you with more. But one part of your reply really got me, the bit about europe and the half atheist/agnostic cultures.

I have a lot of friends who live in other countries. We all came together because we're all artists. I've never, in my entire life, met a more wonderful group of people. We go to conventions together, we fly to each other's countries to visit. I've known most of them for 5+ years and I have to say... they're almost all atheist or agnostic. One or two follow a religion, but the main part of the group honestly doesn't give religion a second thought.

*chuckles* I actually had no idea what religion any of them were until I posted up a piece of artwork that got me rather flammed by several religious fanatics, and they came around to offer support. That's when it came out what religion everyone was, and I just had to think... wow. I've never been attacked by these people. They've never asked me what religion I was, never judged me on my opinions. They *don't care*. Hell one of them said where she comes from it's deeply personal, asking what someone's religion is, is kind of akin to asking them what color panties they're wearing. It's just not done and no one's business but your own.

The only place judgement and hate came from was from a deeply religious source who felt threatened and needed to attack.

And I just lost my train of thought, sorry about that. I think my point was going to be something to the effect of you don't need religion to be a decent human being, or treat other people like decent human beings. So I'll end this before I babble any more.

why

the image of you in a pirate suit makes you lose all possible validity.

JimboB

Greta,

I absolutely love your blog! These two particular entries are now on my favorites list. You have written more eloquently than I could ever imagine myself doing. For that, I thank you. Keep up the good work!!

ELBSeattle

This is a very important and healing bit of writing. I so fully support you in claiming what is good, clean, healthy anger. There is a vast and vastly incorrect belief that anger is bad, wrong and unhealthy. I learned a while ago that anger is no more bad or unhealthy than fire is. Fire burns down buildings. But is fire bad? No - it is how fire is used or misused that does harm or good. The fire that heats a home can be the same fire that burns it down. And yet no one is marching around with picket signs condemning fire. Same with anger. Anger, clearly defined and taken responsibility for, is a very powerful and potentially constructive emotion. I think you have done something very powerful and constructive with your anger. Huzzah!

snakechic

I'm one of those people who read blogs sometimes but hardly ever post a comment...
Good work! Love your blog...
I think its funny that you fell into the trap of feeling like you have to justify your feelings to some of your readers?
Fuck em'...
Its their judgement - their problem and shows more about their internal self than they think.

I find its curious that a person 'judges' the feelings of others.... but as you know, the believer has no compulsion to justify or question their own......(especially if they are called 'spiritual' feelings)

Btw...
I'm referring to this bit particularly...
Quotes...


"Wow, you're an angry person. That's bad.

Um....

Actually, I'm not a very angry person. Not most of the time. Generally speaking, I'm a very happy person. ............... And I think my anger over those things is valid. I spent 4,650 words explaining why I think my anger is valid -- and why I think anger in general over injustice and mistreatment is not only valid but useful and necessary. I'm not going to explain it again here."


You are not a bad person for expressing 'anger' - all feelings are 'valid' to the person feeling them. There are no 'good' or 'bad' feelings imo - there is only the judgement.

Jules

I don't usually post "Well done", but you said to, so

Well Done!

I read your angry post, and was deeply impressed with the passion and clarity - those are a very rare pair together, and your ability to put together such a strong and coherent argument alone proves you're in charge of your anger and not the other way around.

I'll certainly be bookmarking your post to direct questioning religious folk too, and I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts and, hopefully, a book or two :)

Lauren

I wasn't going to comment, but you say you appreciate every "attaboy", so just wanted to add mine. I liked the article.

Vlad

I read your "Angry" blog with great interest. I hope you'll have nothing against me rubbing bits and pieces of it at the noses of some religiots I come in contact with. Please keep up the good work, you are doing great!

Best regards,
Vlad

SomeGuy

Your last name is Christina?

Oh, the irony!

millinniummany3j

I tried to make this comment different to all the others, have you given any thought to tidying up your own backyard first before going on the warpath against religion? What do you do about the militents, the antitheists, the Darwin Bedfords, the Madeline Murry O'Haires of the world?

Rallie

thanks for posting that follow up, it cleared up my questions...the only thing I would like to add is that it is not, in fact, illegal for you to marry your girlfriend in this country. Perhaps in your state, but it is not a federal law. You can always move to California, it's nicer here anyway!!!

A Buddhist

Uh... The Buddha is not a god, and we all get ticked off every time someone says that he is... Well, I do anyways...

The Buddha was just a man trying to find happiness in the best way possible. Which to him was avoiding either end of the wealth-o-meter and stay the middle ground.

NervousAboutAngels

I just want to thank you for being a courageous atheist voice. Reading your words underscores the fact that someone else out there is just as reasonably fucking angry. Without that reassurance from time to time one can start to wonder if their anger is really justified. Thanks for the reassurance and intelligent observations.

Heidi

Wow. I've been following links all over the site, my ADD and I bouncing back and forth between various posts. And just... *hug* Thanks.

BTW, yesterday in Massachusetts, our State Senate approved a bill that would allow out-of-state gay couples to marry here. The bill goes to the House next, and is expected to pass there, as well.

Governor Patrick has said publicly that he will proudly sign the bill when it gets to him. It expected to be law by the end of the month. So you can come here next month and get married if you'd like. :-) It's a pretty nice step against the bonds of religious hatred, I think.

Dan

My major complaint is that you and your arguments are boring. Your rants fall to the ground like debris from some red neck's pickup truck.

The problem with you atheists is that you keep talking about how inspirational it is to be free from religion (=fundamentalist Christianity), but you offer none of the goods. Where is the beauty of atheism? If you want respect then why don't you take your place in the food banks, nursing homes, orphanages and prisons of this world along side at least some of the people you implicitly label as fucked up idiots who don't deserve to live. The people who have needs in those places don't give a shit who is there to help, provided they have something to offer.

The christian idea is that what we offer is something called a self, and that the act is a sacrifice. The problems of the world will be healed this way, not by diatribes that generalize unfairly and construct nothing.

Get a life.

Tina

It's the position that the Christian/ Judaic/ Muslim God is about as probable as Zeus or Thor... and that if you're a non-believer in those gods, it makes sense to be a non-believer in Jehovah/ Yahweh/ Allah, too. And Buddha, and the Hindu gods, and the Wicca Goddess. Just while we're at it.

I, for one, believe in all of them. To wit, all religions and spiritual beliefs are imperfect attempts to understand a universal truth that may be impossible to actually attain, much like the speed of light.

Ps: This post, and the post that spawned it, are both entirely made of awesomeness.

Chris Walker

All of your "rants" or religios pieces are well written and I think are excellent food for thought, not because I believe the same way, but because you add credibility to your ideas by mentioning the other side and accepting the fact nobody KNOWS 100% for sure...nobody.

Feel free to post my comment, even contact me --

I pride myself on being somewhat articulate and level-headed, but I too get miffed over these topics
such ignorance and blatant denial only adds to the other side's cause.

Thank You
Chris Walker

Yes Im in mensa (mensa76 - N. Texas), and I will be the 1st to admit I know nothing -- the only thing Im sure of is I'm not smart enough to know the answers.

SH

Hello, I know that your post is a year old, but i'm curious as to why you feel the need to get married with your partner..
If you are don't believe in God, there is no sense for you to ask about marriage. Marriage is based on God's principles of man and woman together binded by the law (society) and therefore the law has applied God's principle.

SO, in asking for the law to be change is like asking God himself to acknowledge the binding of you and your partner. Since you have no intend of satisfying God, there is no need to abide that hence no need to have marriage.

If you truly love each other, I don't think it needs to be justified by law? You can have your own set of celebrations.

That is my feedback from a Christian's point of view. And to be honest, I don't hate "queers" and once upon a time I may have been also atheist. And I'm sure once upon a time, every single person on earth was atheist. But until the time has come for you to realize why everyone saw a God, it will be hard to explain.

Hope you got read my comment :)

asdf

"God is a hypothesis supported by experience..."

- From what experience(s) do you derive this conclusion? What I typically hear from believers is a massive jump in logic. ex) "my cancer is in remission...thanks for answering my prayers God". Even if the person would admit that the medical treatment they received had "a lot" to due with their recovery, they'll STILL jump to the conclusion that some invisible being had some play in it. Why? Is it not simple enough to conclude that the recovery was due to the medical treatments?

April

I couldn't have said it better.

No, really. I couldn't have. You did such a remarkable job, I will certainly be one of those who will be bookmarking your site to share with others. I got here thanks to a MySpace bulletin post by TPO (thanks, man!), and I must say it's the best read I've had in quite some time. You expressed so many things that I feel, and obviously so many of us atheists do. You got right to the heart of things and tore right through them, and most importantly, you showed some of us without your eloquence a way to explain our anger and why it's not a bad thing.

There were other comments I'd wanted to make, some replies to people who've commented on this post. I'll try to keep them very short. (And probably shorter than you might think, since I've forgotten some of them. *laugh*)

While I've liked the "If atheism is a religion, then..." suggestions, my personal favorite will probably always remain: If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color. (Not collecting stamps is another really good example, though.)

To "annoDomini", what was said about the interpretations readings and chapter/verse has to do with the fact that 1) there are so many different denominations of the Christian religion because people read the words differently, so I think Greta's statement holds that it can be read practically any which way, and 2) the entire comment has to do with the fact that if you bring up your verse(s) that say(s) "Christianity is the one true religion", then you'll have other religions, such as Islam, which will have their verse(s) which will say the very same thing about their religion.

Also to annoDomini, it's incorrect to say that if we're "honest" with ourselves then we'd see that atheism, while not strictly a religion, is an "understanding" of what (G)od is, and "specifically, the belief that God is not." This is only true for a specific chunk of atheists. You compare us time and again to the religious in your post, and while I understand, and perhaps even agree to a small degree, with some of the similarities, I'd chalk those up to the fact that we're human, and as such we often interpret things differently; this is unrelated to said religion or lack thereof. At any rate, those who have no belief in deities (and the like) aren't necessarily of the brand who would tell you that there are no gods. (Now me, I'd tell you that with the evidence given, there aren't any deities, but that if evidence came about that could, I don't know, actually be tested, I'd give it a serious look, just like I do with most things.)

Anyway, Greta, thank you so much for your post. I can't adequately describe just how wonderful I found it. I will do my best to keep up with your future blogs, and perhaps peruse your older posts. Keep up the superb work!

April

While I'm here, and while I realize that the person to whom I'm responding did so some time ago, I felt the need to reply to "millinniummany3j" who asked: "What do you do about the militents, the antitheists, the Darwin Bedfords, the Madeline Murry O'Haires of the world?"

Well, you know what we do? We acknowledge that people are people and that it isn't always religion or lack thereof that causes a person to behave in unacceptable or unpleasant ways. You say "militants" as if we're the only ones who have those types one might call "militant". Militant Christians have been around for quite some time longer than any who might be in our ranks. It's not a characteristic of the religion, necessarily, but of people. (Please note the "necessarily" there.)

In regards to Bedford... well, I do see a lot of vitriolic ideas on atheists.net, but y'know... some of them read more of a mocking manner than true hatred. Extreme satire, perhaps? *shrug* Again it seems to be a sign that he's human, just like everyone else. :)

To "Dan", I find it preposterous that you tell us to join in the food banks (et al). Do you know why? Because WE DO. Good grief! Do you really expect to see a gigantic percentage of us there when we're a minority? Moreover, do you expect us to ANNOUNCE to everyone that we're atheist? Some of us out there are extremely uncomfortable being around that many religious people or that much religion (like me, for one) and so choose to donate money or items as opposed to time? Personally I think you're obnoxiously ignorant of the whole subject.

And finally, to "SH": your comment is all about how marriage comes straight from the Bible, etc., etc. I beg to differ. There were unions long before that one word came into being. And for that matter, the word marriage, when I refer to the Online Etymology Dictionary, shows me that "marry" and "marriage" weren't used until 1297, quite a long time after the Bible was written. So from where does the idea that marriage is a man and a woman (totally neglecting polygamy, of course) come? Not only that, but if we're going to contest the name of the union and claim it's religiously-based, then states should no longer be allowed to give out marriage certificates, since the government should be secular (as per our Constitution). Otherwise, we keep the name as it is, a secular concept on that level (hey, kind of like "Christmas" has become... how coincidental *awe*) and churches can continue to marry whom they please and discriminate as they choose. I've not heard anyone claim that churches will have to marry people they wouldn't choose to. Besides, it's a matter of rights. If you don't get that... I'm not really sure what to say to you. *boggle*

SingularBlue

Sic 'em, Christina! :D

juliat

This queer former Catholic/ current Unitarian/ soon to be a minister's partner gives you a big thumbs up for both blogs. Anger can be a powerful tool - thank you for using it wisely.

TonyAgee

You're a class act Greta, keep up the great work! I especially enjoyed your comment that we are required to know the bible better than most xians, in order to keep them straight on it. So true.
The observation has been made, that religiosity is inversely proportional to level of education. I think its worth making the observation that for me, my belief in the value of religion dropped sharply with my increased knowledge of the Bible. What a nasty book. How willfully ignorant to believe that it's literal truth!
You keep telling it your way, and I'll tell it mine, and with some luck perhaps we'll succeed in raising some consciousness.

Chris

Great posts. This and the last.

A Mere Servant of God

As a Christian, I have read your posts.
I do not agree with everything you've said.
I do, however, agree with many things.
You have raised many good points.
Good job not being hypocritical or intoloerant.
Now, I'm going to try and do the same.


RebeccaF

"Marriage is based on God's principles of man and woman together binded by the law (society) and therefore the law has applied God's principle."

Marriage is *not* a religious institution anymore. You should really educate yourself on what *legal* privileges come with marriage these days. Then maybe you'll understand why homosexuals/Atheists want to be married.

No one ever said anything about wanting to be married in church.

Bee

Hear, hear!

Sophie

You put it really well. It's really nice to see that irreligious folk have good representation in the blog sphere. You also handled the responses really well. I probably would have gotten pretty irritated at some of them and maybe responded a bit too harshly in the reply post.

The only thing I feel I need to bring up is this: It can be very confusing to use the word Atheist to refer to one who does not possess a religion (instead of simply one who lacks a deity of any kind). Because there are religions out there that do not in any way have a god/goddess/deity. Those religions would be atheistic religions.

LeVayan Satanism is a secularized, metaphor driven atheistic religion. Etherism is not only an atheistic religion but considers worshiping any being to be morally abhorrent. Certain variants of Taoism and Buddhism are both atheistic.

So just felt I ought to bring that up as a member of an atheistic religion (Etherism specifically).

Jenni

You write: "It simply isn't the case that atheists are 100% convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is no God. I've never once met an atheist who thought that way."

Well here I am, nice to meet you. I'm a 30 something mom who loves her dogs and likes to swim. And I'm 100% convinced that "god" is the stupidest idea ever and absolutely not real. I'm not sure what evidence such a stupid idea might take to convince me but I'm certain it will never be found. Science works. It helps us cure disease and live life easier. Science is real. God is such a stupid idea that if people didn't inculcate it at such a young age no one would be able to buy that line of crap.

Kyle

I know this post is old but I got redirected to it (the original "Atheists and Anger" actually, but let's not split hairs). I just wanted to say that as a writer and an atheist I really appreciated everything you said, with one major criticism:

I personally get angry when atheists decide to rant about religious things that make them angry, especially when they're talking about Christianity in America, and they don't immediately think of circumcision, which you didn't mention at all. You mentioned female genital mutilation, something that happens in other countries and which is illegal in every U.S. state EVEN FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES. Unfortunately, the same protection is not extended to those of us with a penis. I will live with the scars of my circumcision, both physical and emotional, for the rest of my life, all because my rights to my own body were not recognized or protected, primarily due to Christian attachment to the practice of circumcision and repressive Christian attitudes towards sex.

Shanya Almafeta

I've got another question for your "FAQ": Why haven't you written a book yet?

Kenneth Polit

Greta, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love your mind. I'm a recently self-outed atheist, but I'm trying not to be angry(at least towards things I have no control over). Anger really does serve a function, and I'm happy that you were able to articulate it so well.

Cody

I just wanted to say thank you. After reading the original rant, and your response to the comments, I'm so glad I came across this blog. I've been on the fence between athiesm and christianity for many years now, not able to accept either one entirely and never finding the facts I considered important enough to make an imformed decision, just hate from both sides at both sides. This however was nothing of the sort and while I was raised christian for the first half of my life, I've always saw these problems(well most of them anyway)and always chalked it up to "they're not reading it right." Not until now have I thought about the idea as a whole and not until now has someone shown me that, or that I was completely wrong to think just because I supposedly had it right, that it was okay. So once again I say Thank You.

You've definitely played a huge role in my personal battle with the topic and I will definitely be using your post to share that with line of reasoning with others. Keep it up, the world could use many more like you. :)

Eric Isaac

I know I am barking up the wrong tree, but, I would marry you if I even felt remotely interested in getting married. Great Blog!

Richard Duda

LOL! {That's a good thing.} Just read your ENTIRE rant about being angry, (Call me a dittohead, but I loved the argument. Thanks.) and the pre-packaged answers to the comments, and this bit just killed me:

[COMMENT:] "You wouldn't be so angry if you just accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior."

[YOUR RESPONSE:] "Now you're definitely trying to piss me off.

{ROFLMAO. They just never GET IT, do they?}

"Okay. First of all, see above re: me not being angry all the time. And re: occasional anger being a healthy part of life.

[Here's the REASONED part that I like, in addition to the righteous indignation.]

"Second: Do you honestly think I've never heard this before? Do you think that, in my 45+ years on this planet, and my 2+ years of being an atheist blogger, that nobody before has ever said to me, "Everything in your life would improve if you just accepted Jesus Christ as your person savior"? "

[My response:] Get ready to laugh. My response was, "AMEN, sister!"

;-)

Stephanie

Amazing post and reply. I'm a Christian and I'm not here to tell you that it's a few bad apples. Most of what you've brought up makes me angry too.

jhm

The part that gets me about the anger atheist calumny, is that you would never in a million years get letters like those on the page I've linked to from atheists to the deluded community, yet this is only a sample of the deluge received, and only a month's worth at that; this is a regular feature of the monthly "Freethought Today."

http://www.ffrf.org/publications/freethought-today/articles/sharing-the-crank-mail-september-2010/

O, and attaboy.

Kevin_burns

Just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed - and agreed with - both this and your original post on the subject.

As an occasionally "angry atheist" I'll be sure to keep these posts in my back pocket when I get the "why are you so angry?" question next time.

Mark Powell

I am sure you have heard this before, but the same can be said about being an angry just about anything NOT main-stream religious. My wife and I are (mainly) happy pagans. Yes, I know, it makes little or no scientific sense, but screw it, I believe what I believe, and I have my reasons, not that I am going to go over them here. You have your reasons for how you live your life too, and they are just as valid, just as true. I agree with everything you wrote both in the original blog and this reply, but still believe what I believe. I applaud your courage to keep your view of the universe and not cow-tow to the massive forces the major religions press down on "unbelievers". Anyone who does stand up against them has a perfect right, even a necessity to be angry, and I am as angry as you, and for 99% of the same reasons. I am not sure if atheists got burned, hung, pressed and drowned like pagans did, or those so accused, but the modern christians, muslims, jews etc seem to be wanting to bring that treatment back to any foe. Please, keep being angry, and keep enjoying life. Whether we only have this one, or many, or an afterlife, this is the one we have and not enjoy it is wasteful, and we should never waste any resource we have, even the "resource" of happy.

Beth

I really enjoyed your post and your response to the responses! I'm not an Atheist, and some of your comments about religion were a little wounding to me personally, but I really agree with you about the relative insignificance of my personal feelings weighed against the massive injustices done in the name of religion in this world.

The things that make you angry make me angry, too. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't make me feel any less connected to God/the Eternal/the Great Whatever. Peace to you and to everyone.

Albatross

As a fellow atheist, your anger is of course valid, and anger can be a valuable fuel to the determination to make things better.

The place where we all need to strike a balance is to allow our anger to fuel our work but not to set it on fire. Anger CAN (I don't say ALWAYS I just say CAN) get in the way of communications. I don't think that's the case here, and it doesn't seem to be the case with you.

But atheists frequently lose control of their anger, do the detriment of communications. I do sometimes too. To return to your two messages here, we have AMPLE reason to be angry.

The challenge for all of us is to own and exercise our anger in a way that ENHANCES our communications. To give an example, I'm sure Martin Luther King was angry on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and he shows it, but he doesn't let it interfere with his communications, in fact his fury energizes it.

We can't all be MLK, but we CAN work on that tricky balance between passion and sputtering rage.

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