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Dave Child

ESVA: Good point. Isn't there a strong argument to be made that the person who was raised religious owes it to themselves to at least evaluate that as an adult? Meaning they are choosing to keep their religious beliefs and never analyse them, simply assuming them to be true. In my opinion that opens them to derision as well. I would say that those attempting to throw off the religious shackles, for want of a less dramatic phrase, will and do have a hard time doing so, especially when their parents remain within a faith, but in that case wouldn't a little carefully judged ridicule of their former religion simply help them?


I have to agree wholeheartedly with the post, it's content and it's sentiment.

I would like to make two points. First, I've never been comfortable with the casting of atheist's as some kind of persecuted minority. Victimization always seemed so pathetic. You are right when you say that Christians find every opportunity to cast themselves as victims of persecution or warriors standing against the dark forces of "The World" *insert darth vader theme song*. And yet here we are giving our atheist amen's and hallelujah's to a post that certainly paints a persecuted atheist perspective.

It always grates on my nerves and makes me roll my eyes when I read it in Christian (and Atheist) literature. I guess maybe because it seems so irrelevant. My thinking goes...

Ok Fine I'm a persecuted minority.
Soooo... This changes how I act how? I can still vote, voice my opinions, not go to church, own a gun, quite frankly the Bill of Rights prohibits the government from intruding on my life as much as my evangelical neighbors. Sure we have an unpopular (but free to express it) opinions. My atheist wife and I can get married, have children, and be buried in a non-Christian cemetery.

Homosexuals not allowed to be married, that's persecution. Minorities being unable to vote, or use a particular drinking fountain, bathroom or seat on a bus, that's oppression. Atheist's not being... uh... popular or... uh... understood properly... uh...

Having said all of that my perspective is quite different from the author. While raised in a low-income situation, I am certainly not now. I am a white, hetero, male who lives in a very white, hetero Indiana, USA. I am quite sure I have never suffered a day of persecution, prejudice or oppression for a day in my life. Well, there was this one time when I used to dress like a Goth/Raver with the full spikes, black nails, green hair and walked into a department store with a backpack. I'm quite certain security was only a couple steps behind me at any given time. Does that count?

Secondly, sometimes observing religious things is less about the religion and more about the people. Just last weekend I was a groomsman in my brother-in-law's wedding (Catholic). As part of the ceremony we were instructed to walk down the aisle, stop in front of the altar, bow as a sign of respect to the Jesus and take our seats (yea! for seats). I did as instructed not because I was showing any kind of sign of respect to Jesus but as a sign of respect to my brother-in-law because to not have done it would turned "his" day into "my" protest and that seems to be a particularly selfish thing to do.

As a hilarious side note my 8 year old was the ring bearer and when he was instructed to bow to Jesus (who was situated slightly off-center) he bowed the wrong way (It didn't occur to me at the time that he didn't know what Jesus looked like). The wedding coordinator said "You need to bow *towards* Jesus" and my son said with absolutely no fear, "Sorry but I don't know where Jesus is at". I almost wanted to cry with joy but instead laughed uncontrollably once I saw the woman's expression. I'm going to give that boy an extra hug tonight because he has absolutely no idea how brave a statement that was.

AJ Milne

That's it. That's exactly it. Thank you.


Stomper, I apologize. When I was referring to the Catholic Church as a small subset of Christianity I certainly wasn't meaning in number of followers or how large they are. They follow their own set of rules and standards that many of the Protestant religions do not and basing Christianity as a whole off the Catholic Church is a bad idea as many of the Evangelical Churches do not think highly of the Catholic Church at all and think they give Christianity a bad name (which appears to be proven even more so by this article and many like it every day on the internet).

Second of all, I'm not being defensive. Why would I be? I'm being positive. The post was fine and her points are valid. I'm simply stating that if Christians acted like they should, atheists wouldn't have a need to be angry.

Maybe I should have just posted that and have been done with it. So I will:

If Christians acted like they should, atheists wouldn't have a need to be angry.


boo hoo hoo. all you poor little atheists; what great injustices this minority must endure.

don't you realize that rallying against all gods or religions is EXACTLY THE SAME as rallying for any one of them? it's just another religion trying to win out. good luck.

most ironic passage: "My time is valuable and increasingly limited, and I have better things to do with it than debating with people who pretend to care about evidence and reason but ultimately don't."

I wonder how much of your valuable time was wasted on this post. just a little food for thought in the buffet of praise.


My compliments!


Though I'm a lifelong Christian, I find that I have to say "amen" to your post. Most everything you're angry about is caused by the forced indoctrination of religious viewpoints by (usually unqualified) authority figures, and that makes me angry too. There is no merit in following a religion because man forces you to. I am angry at the complex social power-grabbing structures that have grown up around religion, at what they do, and how they tar and poison the honest religion that the laity would much rather follow -- if only they had choice in the matter.

Jane Know

Luis said, "I'm angry that on both occasions I didn't have the guts to say that the doctors and nurses who took care of them also deserved some credit."

thanks. :-) why go to nursing or medical school, if we can just let Jesus take care of the sick people?


Excellent, and sadly necessary, rant.

Except perhaps the part about the NCAA final four. I don't believe in god but if there were such an entity surely he or she would damned well care about which team won the final four!

Personally, my anger could be assuaged if two things were to occur:

1)Believers of any stripe would just admit that there is no rational or evidentiary basis to their belief -hence the act of faith term.

2) Believers would keep their beliefs out of government. Their faith (no doubt combined with more than a moderate ignorance of biology) should be absolutely prohibited from influencing public policy.

This reminds me of how blown away I was at the Democrats' responses to gay marriage in the GLBT debate.

I can't understand why anyone, who expects to be considered for President of the U.S. and has even a passing acquaintance with our country's history and the constitution, could have answered in any other way than to state that separation of church and state guarantees that the state would not dictate that any church perform same-sex marriage but at the same time necessitates that the state recognize such unions performed by any legitimate church as well as all civil unions. Period. And that doesn't even require that they comprehend (as Gov. Richardson evidently does not) that sexual orientation is not a preference/choice.


nah, why be angry at the ignorant? they cannot help it. and anyway, they are on the way to where you are, and you are on the way to where those beyond you are... a-theism being the goal of all true spiritual search based on truth and reality, going beyond the concept of god to the direct perception of the formless oneness of existence.... (most atheists don't get that, but i don't hold it against them)... enjoy


Many of the things you hate about religion are the same thing we believers hate too. Sorry, but being an atheist doesn't grant you a monopoly on outrage.

Brian Dewhirst

Hear, hear!

Among the best posts I've seen on the subject. Three cheers.

Thanks, and best of luck to you and Ingrid. (There is always Massachusetts... though some seem to have forgotten the meaning of 'full faith and credit'!)


If you could hear me clapping, then...well, you'd hear it. Very well written.




Brad, my fiance is the sort of man you describe, and I don't let him "lead me" -- furthermore, he doesn't want to. Once in a while, yes; probably a little less often than I lead him. Most of the time we make the decisions together.
Letting him "lead me" would be disclaiming my responsibility as an adult human being, which is not a good way for anyone -- male or female -- to live. I don't think most men or women want to live as children either. Maybe some have been taught that they do, and maybe some are willing to because it's easier, and they're lazy.
Kind of like vesting all ultimate moral authority in your imaginary friend who comes from a book you once read, for that matter.

No one

Jesus can take away your anger.

Nick Hara

i agree. there have been few times where i see injustices that have been ignored by a whole country, (i'm still young, just 18) and i find it extremely disheartening to know that there is not only a world of ignorance out there but an ignorance that has the public's ear.

Great Post

Jeremy Grant

People need neither religion nor aethism as an excuse to behave badly.

No need to look further than humanity as the reason why people do nasty things. Humans do bad things, religion is neither part of the problem nor part of the solution (nor is aethism for that matter).

I am sorry for whatever abuses you have suffered to make you so angry.


I don't think there's really a need to be angry, to be honest. If everyone was to just chill out and let everyone believe what everyone wants to believe, then that's fine by me (don't try and persuade me to change my opinion without rock-hard evidence though). I guess you could call me an atheist, but what I really think is that on evidence, the Big Bang theory and evolution are the most probable explainations at this point. If anyone would like to correct me with a more solid piece of scientific evidence that points me to the contrary (sorry, religious text quotes don't count as more solid than scientific results to me) then I'll be more than happy to take that into account when assessing "what went on" and whether or indeed who is out there.

My girlfriend is Christian, but that's never caused a problem. We each respect each other's beliefs and that's just great for us. All the angry people should try it.


Here is one more for you to be angry at....You are angry because you are separated from God by your own thoughts and deeds.


I hope you won't mind if I borrow or paraphrase parts of your article to write to a local newspaper that badly needs to hear them, that, as just one of many examples of biased and pejorative coverage, in covering Pride Day in a small town, in which there were hundreds of protesters and one "religious-right" anti-protester, chose a photo of one protester and the one anti-protester, each with their signs, as though their messages and popularity were on an equal footing. Shame on them!

Christopher M. Walsh

Wow. That was cathartic. Thanks!

Tina B.

All I can say is wow! I have been visiting blogs for awhile now, and web sites, where some people say that being angry doesn't help one bit, just makes us look bad. Thank you for opening up my eyes, again. I love your writing, also I think you need to write a book on this subject. I would buy one! :)


I am genuinely glad that you are angry and can embrace these passionate feelings and claim them with such conviction. I am also purely ecstatic for you, that so many have supported your post.

Believe me when I say that there are many of us that feel the same way and are too afraid to say these things out loud and confront people, for fear that we may be chastised and thrown out of society for good...not that ultimately we would mind.

You have certainly inspired me to change these thoughts, and reconsider my repressed anger.



I get angry that we have to write stuff like this (and inevitably expose ourselves to having our characters ripped up via ensuing arguments) just to defend ourselves, when they're the ones who believe in unicorns.

Greg Perry

Blah blah, blah blah blah.

More tired rhetoric from an overzealous something-or-another.

Doesn't matter if you don't believe in God, it is still a belief system - and one that you are entitled to practice and believe pursuant to the United States Constitution.

Your time would be better spent trying to change the political process and influencing your elected officials, instead of penning angry-emo-atheist-woman rants and blaming the ills of U.S. society on a group of individuals that a) don't practice the teachings of the Bible, and b) will say or do anything to get votes for public office.


Your post is well written and it sums up many of the things that piss me off daily. With the anger being stirred up from so many directions, it's hard to know where to focus the energy. I think we could be on the brink of so good changes for all of mankind, but we'll all have to take an active role in bringing the changes about. For so many years we've had to just accept the believers while they sneer and attack us. It is time for them to have to accept us, then perhaps we won't need to sneer at them. If we all accept that everyone is likely to have a different viewpoint than us, then it will only make the world a more interesting place.


Thank you. I too am angry about people who think I should sit on the sidelines and accept being treated as less than a full citizen because of my lack of belief in an invisible sky father.

... And so very much more.


"What, however, is one of the greatest commandments taught in the new testament? Love thy neighbor as thyself."

There's no commandment that tells you to be stupid, however, is there?

By believing in the fairy tales told in the Bible, you are perpetuating gross ignorance.

It doesn't matter how much love you convey while doing it.

Stop treating your brain like crap.


I'm angry that I read all that and there wasn't a new, insightful thought in the whole article.

Sid Schwab

Couple 'a followup comments: regarding the "Thank you jesus" comment above. If people believe jesus, or god is responsible for an uncle living through heart surgery, then it must also be true that he's responsible when someone doesn't. To be consistent, people should say "thank you jesus" when uncle joe dies in the OR, also. If jesus intervenes, he intervenes.

Also. what this atheist wants: I recognize that for most people, being human and all, giving up religion would be too hard to face. But what I want -- and what the world desperately needs -- is to have leaders who, if they must be religious, can keep it to themselves; and who use evidence to make decisions that affect us all. Having a president who thinks god talks to him is demonstrably dangerous. If you want to believe in god, fine and dandy. But don't take me to war over it. And don't use it to quash science, to discriminate against people for their sexual preferences, or to ignore facts. We see how that works. God helps us all...


Thank you.

Robert V

So you're angry that atheists suffer the same abuse and torment as non-atheists?

And you're angry that non-atheists are morally no better than atheists?


Next post: why are atheists self-righteous?

Kilgore Trout

Best Rant Ever.

Thank you and I hope its Ok that I linked to this from my (tiny)site.

And Thanks to PZ for showing us this spectacular work.

If anyone ever accuses me of being an angry atheist I'll simply point them this way and say, yeah maybe I am, can you blame me?

captain brad

Hey there,

I don't have anything terribly articulate or insightful to add, but I did want to say I enjoyed reading this immensely. Thank you.

(I was linked to this from the atheism community on LJ).



Eric Z

Wow. I have a lot to say about this, but I'm going to keep it short:

First, I'm a Catholic.

Second, I agree with just about everything you have to say.

David Thorne


It takes a lot of guts to be able to say the things you said and to once and for all finally justify the right to stand up and scream at the attrocities and ignorance and downright stupidity of people that cant understand the monumental amount of scientific fact that "God" is nothing more than an imaginary friend for grown ups, used by governments and other organizations to strike fear into millions of fools.

Thank you very much for writing this.

I will be linking it to my site and hope to drive a few more hits to yours.

Again: BRAVO.

Peter Fork

I like the pictures, nice job!


"You will not be punished for your anger... you will be punished by your anger." - The Buddha

W. E. Messy

I get angry at sophistry, begging the question, and equivocation.

Shannon Vyff

Great post, I'm off to share it on some net sites I frequent... don't get to taut my anger often--but it is nice to relish in our evolutionary heritage from time to time. I'm angry about death, so I support the Methuselah Foundation. I'm angry about religion so I teach children about religions at my Unitarian Universalist Church. I'm angry about my blink of an eye in the time scale of things--lifespan--so I'm a cryonicist, in case it works because human society continues to advance the next millennium, and we can figure out how to stop aging just like some animal species that effectively do not age now, because they got the luck of the draw evolutionarily. I'm angry about inequality resources with humans, so I support many non profits like True Majority, Save the Children, The Heifer Foundation to try and help those who have shortened lifespans now, due to their poverty, lack of education, health or food. I'm angry about selfish people who are wealthy compared to most in the world, who live in an unhealthy way--so I try to set an example for my children and raise them as responsible Earth citizens.

So thanks, your anger is eloquent and encapsulates what so many are thinking... and anger begets action....I like to think that the world continues to become a better place each year...

Bill C.

What a stupid post. Not one mention of things in the Muslim world. In fact when the Muslim world gets a mention she is feeling bad for a Muslim girl. Maybe that Muslim girl would have done well to ditch her own delusions and fantasies and been able to give that teacher a real reply.

Not a word about honor killing (over 5,000 a year) in the Mid East or about the general status of women there as chattel. 9/11 gets one line. Not a mention of any one of the Mullahs, Clerics, or imams who issue insane fatwas, execute gays, execute dissidents, and execute and arrest women for uncovering their wrists. But George Bush, Falwell, Haggard, and the pope all get done over thouroughly.

Typical blinkered feminist cant. If you want to increase the respect people have for atheists then try to cultivate a real ethical consciousness and not just use it as a prism through which to focus your own cultural self loathing.


I'm angry at people who always have to spout off about their religious beliefs--or about their lack of religious beliefs.

In all seriousness, I really do tire of the "creationism vs. science" debate, because as you point out, it's a bogus debate. Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, there are reams of evidence that science is getting it right more often than not. To all the Southern Baptists tuning in: What is so wrong with studying the natural universe? Why do DINOSAURS, for Pete's sake, through all of you into such a tizzy?

And angry people piss me off bad enough that I want nothing to do with them. Ta-ta.



Atheism is a religion, welcome to the club. We're all angry about something.



Atheism is a religion, welcome to the club. We're all angry about something.

Julia Kosatka

Brad said:

"If they don't feel a change in themselves, the longing for more, the need to understand what they are feeling than they can go along with their lives."

Gee. How terribly gracious of you. We only have to jump when you say frog and perform a short sentence for our lack of belief in your imaginary friends.

How about this, instead? Everyone who thinks they're hearing the voice of God or 'feeling his hand in their lives' should submit to psychological examinations. I hate to think how many undiagnosed schizophrenics there might be out there masked by the nature of religion. Anyone found mentally competent could then "go along with their lives".

Talk about being unclear on the concept. While I'm not an atheist (yet, who knows what tomorrow may bring), I *am* an anti-religion agnostic. And I'm angry, too! What part of being hammered on all sides by Christians doesn't Brad and his cohorts get? No one in the US is non-Christian due to ignorance of the religion. Good grief, most of us would LOVE to be able to forget it exists. I used to know the stats, but have forgotten the precise numbers - something like 75% of natural born non-Christian Americans in the US were raised Christian (myself included). The more we learned about it, the less we could believe.

Sea Man

You're angry because you want an excuse to whine. Live and let live and you will have nothing to be angry about. I hope this rant made you feel a bit of relief, but rest assured you have done nothing to make the world a better place with your incessant whining. Thanks for nothing.


An excellent, excellent piece. I couldn't agree more. We need anger to ignite change - our polite, contrite, respectful stance of the last 50 years or so has gained us NOTHING. We need to get pissed off and make them realize that ATHEISTS ARE NOT THE ONES THAT ARE CRAZY!


The comments speak volumes about the manner in which you approached this and portrayed your anger.

Well done.

Andy Cunningham

I share your anger.

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