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Comments

mjb

Wow, you're angry. You need to shoot a gun.

mjb

Wow, you're angry. You need to shoot a gun.

God

Why have thou forsaken me

equus pallidus

I am fat, and you are too. You are angry and so am I. I am angry at greasy food though. I like a good greasy hamburger, and in return they make me fat. I am a theist and your not, but I am not angy with atheist's, just greasy good food. It sucks to be fat like us, I hate it. People walk by me a say Mooooo! and stuff like that, does this happen to you too?

equus pallidus

I am fat, and you are too. You are angry and so am I. I am angry at greasy food though. I like a good greasy hamburger, and in return they make me fat. I am a theist and your not, but I am not angy with atheist's, just greasy good food. It sucks to be fat like us, I hate it. People walk by me a say Mooooo! and stuff like that, does this happen to you too?

AJW308

You do strike me as angry. Angry and intolerant.

anongnomon

From another atheist, here is hoping your next screed is actually over something worthwhile. You definitely are not a voice for the rest of us. Nor a voice for reason for that matter. Words can be precious. Do not throw over 4,000 of them away next time.

You goddamn right.

Brian Khairullah

Beautifully said....I am angry too, for me and for you and for everyperson who is oppressed, mistreated, persecuted for who they are, what they are, where they live, what they do or don't believe.

I am also an atheist. My wife is an atheist and our children are atheists. And we are angry at what we have to endure living in a country with millions of adherants to ancient, superstitious beliefs.

cb0b0

i was raised in a fairly secular methodist immediate family with a mostly catholic and southern baptist extended family, and am now atheist. i have noticed an annoying habit they have of chatting on and on about their beliefs but shitting on me if i dare to mention mine. and yet they claim that they respect my opinions and do not think less of me for them. huh.

so, to everyone who claims that atheism is "just another religion," how come the acceptability of public discussion does not apply across the board?

greta- thank you for so perfectly articulating what i could never find the words for.

vidhi

completely agree to u buddy...anger is a truly justified part of atheism....

Tommy

AMEN!!

Virginia

I can't tell you (although you must already know) how amazing this blog is and most importantly how amazing you are for writing it. It's everything I always want to say, but because of anger towards whatever ignorant comment, sometimes doesn't come out as it should lol. It's by far the best writing on this subject that I have ever read. It's so infuriating when great things happen and everyone thanks god as if science, brilliant human beings, skill and the human brain have nothing to do with anything. I'll be forwarding this blog to EVERYONE...it's a crime to not know that it exists...

THANK YOU!!!

Virginia

I can't tell you (although you must already know) how amazing this blog is and most importantly how amazing you are for writing it. It's everything I always want to say, but because of anger towards whatever ignorant comment, sometimes doesn't come out as it should lol. It's by far the best writing on this subject that I have ever read. It's so infuriating when great things happen and everyone thanks god as if science, brilliant human beings, skill and the human brain have nothing to do with anything. I'll be forwarding this blog to EVERYONE...it's a crime to not know that it exists...

THANK YOU!!!

Janette

Kudos to you!! Also, props to your "normal" civility. I understand, sometimes you just gotta come out & say what you feel! I'm not even athiest, but it makes me madder than hell too- the freakish religious right & their "our way or the highway" abuses of power! My beliefs are my choices, and individual choices should be respected, regardless. Well said!!!!

Janette

Kudos to you!! Also, props to your "normal" civility. I understand, sometimes you just gotta come out & say what you feel! I'm not even athiest, but it makes me madder than hell too- the freakish religious right & their "our way or the highway" abuses of power! My beliefs are my choices, and individual choices should be respected, regardless. Well said!!!!

Brian Ross

I loved your diatribe. Very well thought out and true. Though, as I get older, I find myself not so angry as I am amused.

It's funny that when I was younger, I would argue with passion about my atheism with a Christian or even Hindus.

Recently, I was talking to a Catholic priest. I work in the hospital and he was there for some family. We were chit chatting as I was waiting to do an x-ray. The obvious question finally came to his lips, "Are you Catholic?"

"No", I replied, "I'm a devout atheist".

I guess using the word "devout" with atheist caught him off guard. He looked a bit shocked and finally asked was I angry at God. "How can I be angry at something I don't believe in? I asked.

He rubbed his chin and probed further. "What do you believe in?" He asked. I answered, "well, I believe that we all have our own faith and we should each follow our faith without forcing it upon others. I believe life is too short to worry about theological arguments that no human can answer. I also believe that there is a great deal of evidence that God is a man-made construct to make himself feel less alone. Personally, I would rather love and cherish my friends and family than some invisible friend... wouldn't you?"

He didn't say anything and he just walked away.

Lynette

I've seen an increase in the GLBT community in coming out of the closet twice: Once for sexual orientation and once for religion. While I do realize that some of those in the religious community do come out in support of the GLBT community, I think the fact that these theists come out in support and use their book to DEFEND us but yet do nothing to get on the front lines to do it seems like mere pandering. I firmly believe that the moderates and the passive theists are sheltering the extremists of their faith because they do so little. How many Christians do you know who aren't gay but who would rally their church to come out to an event to support you with religion being the "support" factor? None that I know of. Most stay silent, say they disagree with their church members bigotry but claim "it's their religious view, they're Christians so I have to respect that." They're saying they'd sell your ass up the river to support a fellow faither.

I think the main reason the GLBT community panders so hard to churches is because they think that somehow doing so will get them more support. Personally, this offends me. Why do we even WANT to associate with a group of people who worship a book filled with language as plain as day that says I should be stoned to death? GLBT individuals embracing it and saying "oh, well, it doesn't really say that" is absurd!

If the GLBT community really wants to get to the root of the problem, address the root cause of the hatred: Religion. I don't see it happening any time soon. I sent out a message or two on a local GLBT board and only got one response...out of the thousands of GLBT subscribers. No one dares touch it. And the judgment in the GLBT community against atheists is no different. GLBT people who try to follow a religion that condones their annihilation is as bad as the slaves that embraced their master's faith. I've heard people say they were "perfecting themselves" by embracing their captor's religion. I call it blind ignorance just so they can fit in and be like all the other sheep. I find it's better to lead with your eyes wide open than to follow blindly.

Thanks for this post. We're raving this as the "Angry Atheist Activist's Creed" LOL.

Eclectic

Lynette, I must disagree. I don't think religion is the root cause of hatred, I think it's the expression of it.

It's another kind of made-up difference to justify xenophobia.

And, honestly, religion has done a lot of good for human development. It has unfortunately perpetuated and entrenched that xenophobia, but it's given people a much larger pool of "us" which has let large-scale cooperation, and this civilization, develop.

All those politicians praising the piety of another are grasping at straws out of which to build a bridge between the two sides.

The question I have is, with instant worldwide communication, do we need that crutch any more? Isn't the harm it's doing greater than the good?

The one risk is that the human urge to find a scapegoat, to feel that "we" are better than "them" is, I think, more durable than religion, and it may show up in another form.

Rachel

Thank you for posting this. You have so beautifully and so clearly voiced something I have been struggling to articulate for most of my life.

Laura Fox

You wrote: "I'm angry that, when my dad had a stroke and went into a nursing home, the staff asked my brother, 'Is he a Baptist or a Catholic?'"

This strikes me as totally unconscionable, yes against people who are anything but Baptist or Catholic, but even people who are! Maybe not so bad in context, I don't know, but posing the question raises the spectre of one answer being the "right" one and the other not, like being put on trial even if not immediately placed outside the "valid answer" pool...

And "Blankets" is indeed incredible. My childhood wasn't quite that bad, but I felt a lot of that book very very deep...

Chriso

Hi Greta,

I found this post through a friend of mine on Livejournal who linked to it saying how much she related to it. I think it's a brilliant post - it brought up a lot of thoughts and questions for myself. I had a pretty awful religious upbringing (raised as a Christian Scientists, never got to go to a doctor for my severe asthma until I demanded one around 17-18) and as a result I have always been very wary and mistrustful of organized religions - mainly Christian-based organized religion. I don't know that I've ever labeled myself as an atheist. I think that I generally tend to shy away from group associations around religious beliefs or lack thereof, but a lot of what you wrote really resonated with me. I feel like a person's religious or spiritual beliefs are really personal and should be kept as such. Why do people need to preach and badger and shove their beliefs down my throat or the throats of others? If it's so valid for you, great! If it's not for me then that's great too. I find it infuriating whenever I am met with a situation where someone wants to push my beliefs on them when they, most likely, would be horrified if I tried to convince them to not believe in God and to abandon their personal, religious beliefs.

Anyways, I could ramble on here a lot. But thanks for writing this - it must've been an exhaustive process!

David Koepsell

Thanks so much for this detailed and passionate defense of a perfectly reasonable human emotion. It is a great reminder that we should always remember what cards remain stacked against us, and use our emotion positively to affect change. Bravo!

laura  walmsley

Thanks for writing this. I completely agree with everything you've written & it's nice to see someone list the arguments so clearly & effectively.

Steve B, UK

I agree with practically all of that, and so do all my neo-pagan friends. As usual, 99% of the problems that atheists ascribe to 'religion' actually only apply to 'traditional monotheisms'.

To repeat, I couldn't agree more with everything you said: the intolerance of others, the brainwashing of children, the intrusion of christianity into government, assuming theirs is the only basis for morality, and especially the ignorance which puts me in the category of 'knowing more about their faith than they do'. But it's not the case with everyone - several paths are set up to deliberately avoid doing all of that.

You can still dislike them for including a belief without proof, but the difference is *we don't mind if you feel that way* :)

mordicai

Attaboy. I didn't click on this post until about the 10th time it popped up on my radar, because I knew I would tend to agree with your points. Preaching, choir, & all that.

mirabrito

Thank you for this post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I agree with a lot of it. I don't feel as though I disagree with any of it; it is just that as I do not live in the US, I have not had any experience with/exposure to a fair amount of what you're discussing.

I like living in New Zealand. I did not make it through the flood of comments and I apologise if I am repeating what other people have said, but New Zealand fits in with the European countries you discussed in your "general response to comments". I'm not sure about the actual statistics, but I know that atheism/agnosticism is wide-spread and that people are (for the most part) incredibly tolerant of belief. People are least tolerant of those who preach anything that tries to curtail civil rights.

We have civil union legislation here - allowing heterosexual couples and homosexual couples alike the right to a civil union (non-religious marriage - it entitles the partners to all the same legal rights as marriage). De facto relationships occur legally in exactly the same way, regardless of whether couples are hetero- or homosexual.

All in all, I think we're moving in the right direction. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and views with the world - they make for interesting and thought-provoking reading.

themadblonde

As an atheist, as a woman, as a member of the glbt community, as a peacenik, & as a person who has chosen not to reproduce, I THANK YOU for your anger. I THANK YOU for the detailed, thoughtful, supported, sincere, & WELL-WRITTEN expression of your anger. I am so tired of the "a woman catches more flies w/ honey than w/ vinegar" argument. I am tired of being expected to swallow my anger because expressing it leaves me open to charges of ugliness, intolerance, intemperance, selfishness, & closed-mindedness. I thank you for finding the words- so much better, so much more forceful & persuasive than any I have been able to command- that so clearly, so purposefully express the angers & frustrations of my heart as well.

I would like to add one anger to your list: I am angry @ both the lack of representation of atheists in tv programmes & movies, & the total disrespect with which they are treated when they ARE presented ("Contact" w/ Jody Foster springs to mind). Like the ridiculous "there are no atheists in foxholes," Hollywood/TVland seems to have some sort of spooky agenda to prove that, under the right circumstances, we will all convert. Not unlike the argument that all a lesbian needs is "the right man," apparently all movie/TV atheists need is a little mystical doubt & *poof* they're believers again. Yet WE are the ones they insist have an agenda! Well, maybe we do. It's called ENLIGHTENMENT, people!

Annette

This is one of the most sane, well-argued and succinct things I've read in a long time and it definitely voiced several things I feel. I'm an athiest but I doubt I could ever have expressed my feelings of anger this clearly.

I hope you're able to get married and soon. Best wishes

LogicGuru

Right. Now let me tell you why I, as a Christian, am angry.

I'm angry because, at least in the US, atheism is the folk religion of the elite--because for most Americans, for better as well as worse, it automatically marks one as an "intellectual," and amongst adolescents it is a marker of coolness.

I'm angry because from the time I was in high school making standard anti-religious noises, citing Gallileo's troubles, the idiotic butchery of the Crusades and the Inquisition, or simply making standard skeptical noises about the silliness of religious belief, was enough to get you good grades on essays and favorable comments--"I can see you're really THINKING." Spout religious cliches and you are quite legitimately trashed; spout equally canned, equally facile, anti-religious cliches and you are applauded as a bold, deep thinker.

I'm angry because where I live, as a member of the educated, upper middle class, and in particular as an academic, religious belief is not socially acceptable. Atheism may be a shocker amongst hoi polloi in Fly-Over Country, but in Academia and in the world of urban-coastal journalism, book publishing and the arts, atheism is the norm and the default position, and even the mildest, most liberal religious affiliation is at best an anomaly for which you have to apologize. It is a source of shame.

I'm angry because atheists, who are in a comfortable majority in the educated classes in the US as well as in other affluent countries represent themselves as a persecuted minority and play the victim card when in fact they are simply trumpeting their social status and expressing their disdain for the largely religious working class.

And finally I am angry because atheists have taken the least plausible, least acceptable, and most obnoxious versions of Christianity as the norm and refuse to notice that the majority of Christians are not on board with the fundamentalist agenda, do not believe in Creationism or Intelligent Design, are not interested in running Crusades or Inquisitions, and are not interested in trashing atheists.

I'm f***king sick of this plain snobbery, the whining by a privileged elite that they are being persecuted, and the moralistic packaging for this bigotry.

andy gerious

nice

Goliath

Thank you.

Goliath

Oops! I should add that my "Thank You" above was addressed to Greta, and *NOT* Logic"Guru".

Bastiche

A thought for you: The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
~ George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Great article.

Willow

I've saved this post to del.icio.us because this right here says everything that I've been feeling but never sat down to clarify! You say it clearly and so well-I'm a pissed off atheist and if anyone asks why, I now have a most excellent laundry list to reference! Maybe if there are enough of us, pushing for reason and sanity, we can turn the tide on what is such a scarily irrational world these days.
Thanks for posting this.

Enrique

I loved your tirade, G.C. I share your reasons (at least the ones that concern me) even though I try not to be angry (of course, it's easier for us in Europe to be cooler): I see the glorification of anger as another monotheistic bad habit I'd like to get rid of: Christians are always sooo angry and indignant, always so touchy that I try hard not too look like one of them.
Greetings from Brussels.

Rebekah

I agree with much of what you've said here. I see a lot of hypocrisy in it, though. For example: you complain that Christians act like they "know" about the universe. But you do the same. You can't know for certain that there is no God any more than a believer of any strip can know for certain that there is one. (Although it seems pretty clear to me that believers do know for certain, otherwise they wouldn't be so dedicated.) Those who believe in science take it on faith almost as much as those who believe in God. Science proves itself wrong all the time. Remember ether?

You compare all Christians to fundamentalists but resist being grouped in with other atheists. Unless all atheists are like Sam Harris, there's no basis for trying to imply that all Christians are like Jerry Fallwell or all Muslims are like the 9/11 attackers, and so on and so forth. What that says to me is that you really don't understand either of those religions and can therefore demonize it with a clear conscience (yet you don't want believers to demonize atheists, and especially don't want them to demonize you without understanding you.)

I could get behind this a little more if you seemed willing to practice what you preach and give believers the benefit of the doubt, just like you're asking them to do to you. If you would listen to them and try to figure out where they're coming from, just like you're asking them to do to you. If you could refrain from demonizing them, just like you're asking them to do.

All in all, this piece is thought-provoking, but at the end of the day, if you keep clinging to these hyposrisies, I don't see the difference between your actions and the actions of those you're so angry at.

We're all human. We all suffer from human imperfections and limitations. Why not just leave it at that and leave religion out of it altogether?

Fashion Critic

Who cares what you think.

Silver

Thank you very much for this.

Stephen

OK, so other than hypocrisy, is there anything that makes you angry? Poor speling? Inefficiency? Unkempt lawns?

> DEATH TO ALL RELIGIONS!!

Go ahead. Say it. "I hate bigots". It's easy. It's self referential. That way, no one of consequence need be hurt.

---

...Pretty soon you're gonna ask me,
"How come the life you lead,
Doesn't make you
very happy,
Or satisfy your needs." ...
- Chris Smither, "Hey, Hey, Hey"


Em

Brad...I don't understand why an atheist should "pray 3-7 min" every day to find out if they feel a change in themselves. Do you know that I searched high & low, through many denominations & religions before I realized that NONE of them made sense? If anything could change that, it wouldn't be wasting 3-7 minutes of my time every day. Believe me.

Hellmut

Great post, Christina. It is the height of arrogance to assert faith against logic and evidence. It is humble to submit one's opinions to faith and evidence.

chris

Always good to see a sister stand up and testify.
Thank you.

Jenny

:D
that is all. you are not alone in your anger.

Lupis Noctum

Stumbled on to your blog via another site, and we had to add our kudos to the pile I'm sure is accruing still for your wonderfully expressed essay.

Isn't it appalling that you even had to write such an essay to point out facts that should be obvious to anyone with at least the sense to hold their breath when they go under water?

If at some point it becomes (and I hope it doesn't) neccessary to draft an "atheist manifesto," we could do much much worse than to use this piece just as it is.

Count us as new fans and avid readers of your blog!

yrs.,

Jeff & Kelly

Jim Hanley

THE BIBLE? Is Religion!
So don’t pretend otherwise!
is a book of Pornography!
And, a primer on: how and who to slaughter by “stoning” “pilloring” and “burning at the stake”
The “Bible” is the BOOK that perverted “Priests” and others swear on, thrive upon; and use to ‘con’ innocents out of their virginity! It is used to perpetuate the lies that brainwash children and fools into believing they are born “evil sinners” with “original sin” and must rely on the good graces of the charlatans to make them holy and restore them to a “state of grace”! (via sex acts?)
RELIGION IS THE PUTRID PUKE OF DISTORTED MINDS!
There is no excuse for intelligent people to be so ignorant of facts about the charlatan fantasies and make-believe pretenses of religion, that works to undermine the true Democratic principles and unifying influences of our Democratic Society. To promote, propagate, profligate or publish the same pretentious and pompous falsehoods that are the evil tools used by Fallwell, Baker, Haggard, the Pope, and their ilk to brainwash, indoctrinate, brand, and subjugate innocent children and fools for the purpose of using them to gain ever more money, power, and divisive influence, is tantamount to supporting pimping, and prostitution.
And because those charlatans use their evil schemes and lies to control, and enslave those misled
‘bovid-like’ droves by rendering them ‘virtual’ robots that do their bidding; they are criminals, and
you; by supporting them, are a criminal cohort, equally guilty of the crimes they commit against
humanity, those fools, and the children they sexually molest!
THE WORST FORM OF CHILD ABUSE IS WARPING OF THE MIND!
To all you liars; or infected, condoners, and prosyletizers: when will you cease lying? or, wake from that mesmerized state?
In these days of the ‘Computer Age’ there is absolutely no excuse for not availing yourselves of the truth of my assertions herein contained! You are abettors of child molesters! You are supporting those who enslave!
You are spreading the vicious ‘plague'’! And it is time for you to renounce those charlatans, for their evil concoctions, and manipulations; and ‘get with’ REALITY!
AnOraclesWorld@aol.com

Bill

So what you're saying is... you're upset, right? (Sorry - couldn't help it.)

Can't we just agree that 99% of the "religious" people are dickheads and get on with it? Okay - so that's not very specific or constructive, but then, neither is religion. I think all of us heathens need to stop tiptoeing around and start getting in peoples faces when they start blathering about their religion or using it as a weapon against us. We've all been taught that, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," to the point that we're afraid to stand up and yell "BULLSHIT!!!" really loud when one of the forementioned pencil-dicked, pea-brained religious zombies starts dripping their self-righteous ichor on all and sundry. Sure, it's a scary thing to do, and maybe you'll get burned at the stake for it, but since when was anything worth achieving ever easy...?

Take care, and give 'em hell. (Err... I mean... make them really uncomfortable.)

Bill

So what you're saying is... you're upset, right? (Sorry - couldn't help it.)

Can't we just agree that 99% of the "religious" people are dickheads and get on with it? Okay - so that's not very specific or constructive, but then, neither is religion. I think all of us heathens need to stop tiptoeing around and start getting in peoples faces when they start blathering about their religion or using it as a weapon against us. We've all been taught that, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," to the point that we're afraid to stand up and yell "BULLSHIT!!!" really loud when one of the forementioned pencil-dicked, pea-brained religious zombies starts dripping their self-righteous ichor on all and sundry. Sure, it's a scary thing to do, and maybe you'll get burned at the stake for it, but since when was anything worth achieving ever easy...?

Take care, and give 'em hell. (Err... I mean... make them really uncomfortable.)

Penny

As an avid believer belonging to a Jewish synagogue, I have to say: Thank you.

All the things you've said that make you angry, make me angry, too. (Actually, they fill me with a deep sadness, which is worse; maybe I can learn to be righteously angry.)

At any rate, what you said needed to be said and I am glad it was.

Thanks again.

Shaun

I was told something by a person of faith that i found troubling. She said that she believed the United States had a special blessing on it from God over any other place in the world. I asked why would God give the USA a special blessing and allow so many people, especially children suffer so much like those in third world countries. Her answer was because they are non believers.

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