My Photo

The Out Campaign

Atheist Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2005

« Carnival of the Godless #77 | Main | How Can You Have Meaning Without... ? »

Comments

Alice

I'm totally behind the times discovering this site but I just wanted to let you know it is fantastic and I've forwarded this post to my family and others who feel the same as me.

As my sister says 'I get so cross about it that I can't even speak' which obviously doesn't help her get her point across, but I feel the same way. I'm not a very articulate person and I really appreciate that you are and that your arguments are so well written, clear and straight-forward. It's very helpful for a foggy-brained one like me to have someone put into words how I feel. And you don't even know me :)

Thanks again.

Brock Tice

I've had this bookmarked since it showed up on Butterflies and Wheels in November. I just now got around to reading it.

Thank you for writing it. A link to this post has found its way into my side bar.

Caroline

I enjoyed reading that, it was excellent! (My family are all atheists) x

Kit

You have summed up much of what I have felt, particularly about the marriage issue, in a much more useful and eloquent way than I've usually managed.

Altoona Atheist (Disgustipated)

Such valid and rational points! keep spreading the truth!!!!

Brian Aldrich

Thank you for an excellent essay. I link this page from my blog. Best, Brian Aldrich - abstractconcept.org

Alice Parent

My co-editor (Aldrich) turned me on to your awesome essay and I've posted links to it on out site: abstractconcept.org
As I remember, christians like to brag now and then about how ANGRY jesus was in the temple. Sincerely, Alice Parent

Ionian Enchantment

Bravo! Excellent, excellent piece. This should be read. By everyone. More than once.

AC

"(Of course, to be fair, I also get angry when atheists do the opposite: chalk up every evil thing done in the name of religion as a black mark on religion's record, but then insist that the good things were done for other reasons and would have been done anyway, etc. Neither side gets to have it both ways.)"

I think that this single comment by you in your piece above pretty much negates most of your posting.

Most people, religious or not, don't like our culture / society / politics the way it is. Many are angry, but they don't know who they are angry at. Being angry at "them" or "the system" is worthless because it's dangerously ineffective. Ineffective because it's not likely to make lasting change, and dangerous because many innocent people may get hurt.

Being angry "at them" just leads to stupidity like people bombing places where abortions have been done. I'm sure the bombers were full of anger "at them", too.

When you realize you're angry because you personally have been victimized, then you have taken a step forward.

Do understand that atheists start from a disadvantage because most of our cultural / social institutions were set up for and by non-atheists. This is a fact. To be angry about history is stupid because you cannot change it. You can work to change the future, but realize it will take a lot of work and there will never be complete success. Such work is hard enough without wasting your energy on anger.

There are plenty of people around -- religious or not -- that want to force their beliefs on others, and use a variety of reasons to try to excuse doing so.

To say "atheists want" or "the religious want" or "Catholics want" or even "Baptists in Georgia" want is to do everyone a disservice. Such a generalization will inevitably misrepresent some people.

Like me, for example.

If someone believes in God, that's *their* business. If they don't, that's *their* business. Each can talk to the other about their *personal* reasons to the other. If someone wants to change their beliefs, that's their choice.

Choice, not coercion.

Don't waste your opportunity to communicate: tell others in a personal way of the substance of your beliefs. Personal stories are always more effective.

Writing the way you did, you are just participating in the foolishness, especially if you're just "stirring the pot". Don't "preach to the choir": it's ineffective. But don't overgeneralize and lose your effectiveness as well as waste your forum.

I've read a lot of things by atheists and "religious" people that are so full of misinformation that I want to scream. "The religious" make this worse this by believing the most incredibly silly things -- things that their own religion don't say yet they picked up from somewhere.

I think that atheists could do the "religious" a favor simply by lovingly debunking their myths. This does not mean saying "Jesus sucks!" but does mean saying "I read the Bible and I don't see anywhere it says that by doing good you go to heaven and by doing bad you go to hell". (Obviously this example is Christian-oriented).

And "the religious" could talk about their belief and demonstrate -- by action -- what they believe.

Now it's my turn to generalize: Christians (or whomever) need to learn to not be so uptight, and atheists need to learn that the religious faith of others will have elements of inexplicability to it. After all, it *is* faith: if one could explain everything about God, than what good is He?

Discussion is not to be feared, but welcomed.

Shoaib

lol. I'm a Muslim teenager and was really confused by an atheism vs religion debate in my college. I didn't really know much about atheists before I read your post. As far as the debate went, they got down to u suck, no u suck.. :S Thanks. Your perspective helped me understand a few things.

snakechic

The question of "Why do you have to be so angry? has been asked of me so often by Believers/christians that I want to puke. No...really, its definitely felt by me as a further 'attack', much like the evangelising I've had forced down my throat by family members for years and now online when I post at Walkaway from Fundamentalism etc.

When I analyse the question, its not a query or a signal of concern, its a judgement. A dismissive, down grade of my opinions, my beliefs and my right to voice them. Often the trendy christian lingo of 'bitter' is rolled out just to enforce the value of their membership in their particular religious corporation.

On another level, I feel as if I'm being asked to justify my emotions about something that is of no concern to the 'believer' or anyone else for that matter. My emotions belong to me.
Being asked to justify immediately puts me on the defensive. I think its a sloppy old tactic for the believer to put themselves on that familiar old pedestal. Not only is the smugness apparent but the answer to the question is already known by the believer. From my experiences the believer very rarely ask questions they don't think they know.

I don't feel anyone needs to answer or inform the believer 'why you are angry'. Fuck em'.

However.. its important to express your feelings in anyway....I think the next time I"m asked this question by a believer I think I'll ignore them or perhaps ask them to justify their 'feelings' .."why are you coming across to me as being so fucking arrogant" ....eh..maybe I'll just say..."I'm having my own spiritual experience"


One of things that amuse me so much about the 'believer' is their sense of humor or lack thereof. Much of my so called 'anger' is flat out pissing my pants hilarity.....I've hardly ever experienced ONE single emotion at one time..its always a whole bunch of em'.

Regarding the facts and figures, the attitudes & behaviours, the injustices, the dominance, abuses etc in your list Greta...who in their right mind wouldn't be outraged by outrageous things.!


Jim Mirkalami

I have been visiting this site a lot lately, so i thought it is a good idea to show my appreciation with a comment.

Thanks,
Jim Mirkalami

The Gay Black Jew

Embrace the warm glow of godlessness! Feel it! Embrace it!

Greta, you warm my heart. You express what I feel/think so accurately, honestly and intelligently...thanks.

Are you willing to be cloned? (I have some connections...)

:)

Kathleen

I agree with a LOT of the things you had to say. Organized religion is a mess and is responsible for so many horrible wars and genocides, etc. But reading this, it doesn't actually seem like you are an atheist, it just seems like you are an anti-Christian.

Jonas

I thought I was the only one with these thoughts ! I'm surrounded by a sea of "god is loving" & "How can you not believe in God?" ... It is maddening. Atheists are like tigers being poked and proded by ignorant little kids. And when the tiger sets things straight, she/he looks like the messd up one, not the kids throwing rocks & stones at the tiger ! (sigh) ... Well glad i found this place !!

Egilskal

Wow, you sound like a very angry atheist homosexual woman.

Dave

I am really glad you got that off my chest. What a therapeutic experience... Thank you.

interSomething

I read your 'reply to the comments' post, but I still wanted to let you know that this piece absolutely speaks for my feelings on this subject 100% and that I, too, will be using this as reference for "jeez what reason do you have to be angry?". I loved this rant; you're so eloquent!

interSomething

Also, reading all the idiotic comments some people have left - for instance, chastising you for ignoring the good things religion has done, or commenting on what an angry person you are, or saying that THEY aren't like that, don't blame THEM - just makes me GLORIOUSLY ANGRY on your behalf, because they couldn't take the time to read your entire post before spewing their rage at you.

Mikelo

I'm a follower of the Hare Krishna philosophy, and I gotta tell you, I actually agree with most of your points. Religion is often used as a tool for spreading hate of those whose "beliefs" don't match their own. I've found that stupidity in my own faith, not to mention everyone else I've investigated and/or practiced.

Regarding your point on people treating parts of scripture as literal and other parts as metaphore - My spiritual master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, was very firm on the fact that all parts of scripture are to be taken literally. Yes, he had to explain and clarify some points in Vedic books for Western audiences, but he never said, "This is what I make of this verse". No, he was pretty firm in saying, "This is what this verse means."

In Vedic belief, we are in the Age of Kali, or the Age of Conflict, and one symptom is that religious texts get changed to fit the whims of the translators. I've studied parts of the original Hebrew that make up the Old Testament. Same-sex relationships aren't condemned in the Bible - the places where homosexuals are condemned are actually levelled at temple prostitutes and pedophiles, both of which I can understand God condemning! And there are two same-sex marriages there, too.

The hot button for me to add to your list is religious people who condemn people of other faiths whose teaching basically agree with their own! I say this because I attend a Xtian church with my boyfriend, and the teaching of the pastor are very enlightening, but he does like to condemn other faiths. He's condemned Hinduism, but at least once every sermon, he's said something that is consistent with Vedic teachings.

We agree, but because it's not in Hebrew or uses the same exact name or image of God, he has to condemn my beliefs. Funk dat!

The fun thing is that he teaches that all Hindu beliefs are evil, but one book in the vedas, called Bhavishya Purana, backs up Biblical history, from the Garden of Eden to Noah to Moses to Mohammad to Jesus Himself (Jesus chants Hare Krishna, BTW - it's in there!), it's all there. So to call Vedic scripture false is to condemn Christian scripture.

Christians and Muslims have more anger and hatred than most atheists and competing religions! Why?! Someone who's close to God shouldn't be angry or have a disturbed mind. That's just a simple fact. Then again, because of Hare Krishna, I have very high standards for Christians that most just don't live up to (I can count on one hand those I've met that do).

I don't personally agree with Atheism, but judgement is not my place and I'll fight for the right of any Atheist to be such. Either all viewpoints are allowed expression, or none are.

My word of advice for anyone who wants to judge God based on what Christians say or do: Don't condemn God for what His fan club does. They're fallible and often very stupid and can't think for themselves. God and religion are seperate. Religions will always die and turn to ash, but God won't. God says in the final chapter of Bhagavad Gita: Abandon all varieties of religion and simply surrender unto Me.

To quote a favorite comic of mine: And that's my opinion, I could be wrong. :-)

fernando

You are all filled with reasons to be angry being apparently the most common not getting what you think you deserve. Guess what? Life isnt fair, just live the way you want it and face consecuences. God, satan, mighty mouse it fuckin doesnt matter. You want to be gay, atheist, circus clown? be it, but face the real world! stop asking for understanding or relief. Change the world yourself for you not because its good or right.That is the ultimate theist lie. We arent either good or bad we are humans. Ask yourself; have you ever lied? illthreated someone or did something against the law? We live based on our interest and ambitions. Atheism,god,people in USA calling football soccer, me being not able to afford a new car , all this think suck. What should I do about it? Face it and try to become the best i can be. BTW blogs are for funny videos and piracy. Have fun convincing yourself you're right.

Doug

I agree with just about everything you say, with one exception.

There is nothing, at all, that states that you have to learn about anyone else's religion to the point that you are an expert on it.
I'm glad you did. Undoubtedly it's helped you make your decision and be happier with it, but you don't get taught enough about it in school to be any kind of authority. You went out of your way to do so, but there was, is, nothing forcing you to. I sympathise with your knowing more and listening to them spouting inaccurate crap, but you never specifically had to put yourself in the position where you got angry about it.

I don't get angry every time someone tells me they know how to synthesise cocaine, and I've never heard any of them get it right so far. (FYI, I'm a PhD chemist, not a drug addict)

It's the only thing I didn't agree with in the entire article. I see more why you get angry, and I agree there are an awful lot of crass fuckwits who do horrible, horrible things in the name of faith.

They make my side look bad.

Thank you for trying take people as you find them, and not tar with the same brush. I hope you never get angry enough for that to change. I'd have to start disagreeing with you a lot more if you did.

I've said enough, and this is your blog. Flame if you wish, but I only agree with 99% of what you say.

crunchynut

You so got everything right there. Especially angriness. Said with poignance and truth in every word.
15 year old british kid, who refuses to do any work in religious education for the sheer falseness in it all. thank you so much, greta, you nailed everything.

Kevin

Can I get an amen?

Fantastic article. Restores my faith in faithlessness. If you ever want something more to be angry about, check out this site:

http://www.truechristian.com/hovind.html

This guy got his "PhD" from, I kid you not, Patriot Bible University in Del Norte, CO. (The school's symbol is a big bible on an American flag background. All it needs is a machine gun.)

Guttersludge

Hi there

I am a practicing Christian, however I do not label myself religious, nor do I subscribe to any demonination.

That I chose that path is no indication that I disagree with another's own choices.

I have one exception though.

That is atheism.

It is fundamentally impossible to prove that there does not exist a deity of sorts, yet every probability that you can, and there does indeed.

While I agree that science is logical and imperative to modern life, I do not agree that it and God are mutually exclusive.

I also believe that the Creation and evolution co-existed. Prove me wrong, I doubt you can...

Above it all is this so-called sixth sense, that which humans are incapable of understanding.

Science has proven that the human brain can only perform within under 10% of it's capacity and theoretical capability, yet cannot rationalise or explain it.

I don't know either, but I'd like to think that something other than purely man-made science has the ability to and the answer for it.

A staunch belief on the part of some that no higher intelligence exists, in my opinion, is merely proof that those people are ignorant, naïve and shallow.

But don't take my word for it, hear it from over eighty-six percent (86%) of the population of the planet.

To finish up real quick I'll add that I fully accept the prejudices and attacks of whosoever should take exception, but since speech is free, the liberty is mine; homosexuality, while admittedly intriguing, is warped and inhuman by design, by definition and by any other standard you measure.

Perhaps if you accept these things you might feel a little less angry.

But then, this is me talking.

Still, I think you have a fantastic blog, it was insightful and insipid and I loved it.

Forkboy

I myself have been a proud atheist for about 30 years. I've never hidden this choice and I defend it vigorously in the face of opposing view points.

However, my fav story is this: I did a lot of helpful things, including mowing the lawn, of an elderly couple who lived across the street from my wife and I. One day I was walking around the outside of their house with the husband, explaining what I had done to the bushes and flowers on one side of the house, when he told me how much he appreciated my work. He then went on to say that he thought I might really enjoy going to his son's church to hear him preach. Their family is Mormon and that's fine by me.

At this moment I had a choice to make: tell him the truth (as I have always done about my being an atheist) or just try to change the subject. I was actually afraid of offending him and I didn't wish to as my wife and I really liked our elderly neighbors across the street.

I turned to him and said "Richard, I'm an atheist. So is my wife." As we continued to walk he was quiet for a moment and then said "Well that's just fine. You're great neighbors and that is far more important."

And a great neighbor I was considering I mowed their lawn weekly (and in Florida that lasts 9-months out of the year) and performed other around-the-house projects as needed, while I was working 25-hours a week, finishing university, being a father, husband, pet owner and home owner.

If only more folks had the intelligence and compassion to see that I'm no different than they. As an atheist it seems many believe I eat the hearts of babyies or sacrifice virgins.

Re-evolver

Awesome, It is perfectly ok to be angry, I get angry at least once a day at religion, it's just the human in me I guess. Religion has held back progress for so long it's crazy to think where we could be today with technology. If the chritians would just investigate religion they would find most of it is just based on astrology and religions that came before this particular Solar Messiah!

Australian Steve

Thank you. That was brilliant!
Your beautifully articulated impatience with the malevolent silliness of the petulant desperadoes is like oxygen.
And your ability to maintain laser-sharp clarity while expressing utterly justifiable fury, clear-headedness and focussed contempt is soooo enviable. I'd love to see you sitting on a panel with Judge Judy and Joan Rivers, meting out just deserts, ridicule and irrefutable correction. Please consider posting your 'Anger' piece on - ExChristian.net. I'm sure they would find it invaluable.

Sandra

wrt JY's comment:

"strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles" (from Dictionary.com).

By that definition, no text is required, and I'm sure there are some atheists who could aptly be described as 'fundamentalist', in this sense."

This definition may not require a text, but it does require adherence to "a set of basic ideas or principles". Atheists do not necessarily adhere to any common set of ideas or principles. The only thing that atheists necessarily have in common is that they do not believe in gods.

Sandra

wrt JY's comment:

"strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles" (from Dictionary.com).

By that definition, no text is required, and I'm sure there are some atheists who could aptly be described as 'fundamentalist', in this sense."

This definition may not require a text, but it does require adherence to "a set of basic ideas or principles". Atheists do not necessarily adhere to any common set of ideas or principles. The only thing that atheists necessarily have in common is that they do not believe in gods.

Dan Dascalescu

Just a quick correction: the Gallup poll link about Americans not voting for an atheist candidate has now changed to http://www.gallup.com/poll/26611/Some-Americans-Reluctant-Vote-Mormon-72YearOld-Presidential-Candidates.aspx

Laura

Check out the above URL for a good chuckle... How true, how true. Preacher's daughter here, and have damned to hell and back again for living my life my way and standing up and pointing out the inadequacies of the bible when my actions have been damned citing chapter and verse. I LOVED this blog. Thank you for summing it up so completely.

Laura

Hmm... I guess the URL didn't post there. Try this:

http://friendlyatheist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/addiscartoon.jpg

Shannon

I've read all of this, and i am christian. i agree with alot of what is written, but you have to turn it the other way around. whenever christians don't have the answer from the bible- it's proof that there is no god, just like your saying a gap in science. and i get angry that atheists only notice the christian groups that force their religion on people or apply it to the government. my mom is a missionary, i've met alot of christians, and the majority of them are not like that. you don't look at the good aspects of religion, only the bad. and the ideals in chrisitanity are about being accepting and appreciating everyone- and no persecution b/c EVERYONE sins. humans are the ones tampering with the ideals of religion. and the christians that get most noticed- not the majority- are the ones on the street yelling about gays. the REAL christians who interpret the ideals of christianity are the people quietly helping the people around them. doing mission work. and out of the whole christianity relm, i'd say only 10% of them are people like the ones you listed in here. whereas atheists stereotype all christians into this category.

muhammed,the son of god

have an orgasim.

muhammed,the son of god

have an orgasim.

You friendly neighborhood religious mothafucka

You're fuckin retarded. I hope some guys bomb your house bitch. You in Ingrid will never be married legally in america, you filthy whore. You're better off having sex with you dad, and licking your moms clit. :) thanks and have a great day.

Kayleigh

First of all, I applaud your rant. I am not atheist - I consider myself a semi-Pagan agnostic if you'd like to try to puzzle that one out (don't bother; I still haven't figured it out myself yet) - but I understand your sentiments, as I live in an incredibly religious town just north of the Bible Belt. There are about a billion churches here of nearly every denomination (including Unitarian and Christian Scientist) but nowhere that atheists or Wiccans can go to share their beliefs or thoughts safely. Being anything other than any denomination of "Christian" here is unsafe and probably not in your best interests. I didn't grow up in a religious household and my in-laws are mostly agnostic or pagan, but the majority of my friends have been either Christian or Mormon (frightening). It's a difficult position to be in when you're the only one that's different.

I find it amusing that there are so many critiques on here (that you answered so gracefully) accusing you of bigotry and of being hypocritical; posts denouncing your thoughts as stupid, pointless, and useless. Moreso, I am amused by the snarky, sarcastic commentary coming from unidentified sources and from self-proclaimed Christians.

Wasn't part of the teaching of the Bible to love thy neighbor (in fact, didn't you mention that)? I don't remember it being mentioned anywhere that it was all right (or even acceptable) to wander the Internet, looking for people to insult and criticize, which is all they're doing. I suppose if they want to feel big, the only way they can do it is online where they don't have to look another human being in the eye and say those things, but it's sad. Makes me wonder what sort of things they experienced that have traumatized them to the point of feeling like they have to blast their beliefs back in your face - after all, you didn't demand that they read your blog. Moreso, I wonder what miracles God has performed on their lives to make them believe so fiercely in something they can't prove exists. I know most will say "I've had a relatively happy life," but so have I, and God hasn't had a single thing to do with that, in my opinion.

I wish you and Ingrid good luck. I can only hope that someday this "God-fearing" nation will find it in its heart to elect someone who will push for all states to acknowledge that the love between a homosexual couple is JUST AS VALID and REAL as the love between a heterosexual couple.

Matthew Fields

You go, girl.

Michelle Quin

Thank you, Greta, for articulating it all so well. Great to know I'm not alone in my anger.

Michelle Quin

Thank you, Greta, for articulating it all so well. Great to know I'm not alone in my anger.

Brian

Of the points I read, they're all very valid. (I got slightly bored, it's late and I have a short attention span xP) I'm a Christian, and I agree very much with you.

eEe

I'm anger too.

Andrew Clarke

"Science has proven that the human brain can only perform within under 10% of it's capacity and theoretical capability, yet cannot rationalise or explain it."

Someone else hasn't heard of snopes:
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp

Have you ever heard a doctor say, "...But luckily when the bullet entered his skull, it only damaged the 90% of his brain he didn't use?" Of course not!

Will

II’m sorry religious people make you angry. Particularly Christians.

I say this because, as a Christian, many of them make me angry too.

I cringe when I see them robbing people of their money and not using it for what they claim to be using it for.

I’m sick when I read about the history of the Catholic Church killing innocents in the name of God, much the same way Radical Muslims are doing today. Or when they sold people shortened sentences in a Purgatory only created to bring in more money to the Church.

I hear of a Christian burning down an abortion clinic, a Christian beating a man because he’s gay, churches not allowing people into their circles because of criminal past, and it makes just wish I am not a part of the same religion that these people are.

But it doesn’t make me wish I wasn’t a Christian, at least no more than one man beating his wife makes me want less to be a husband. But it does make me wish Christians were better examples of Christ, better followers of the tenants in which they believe.

There are some things in your list of hate that I would like to apologize for. For the bad example Christians have provided, for the injustices you feel have befallen you, for the asinine things done “in the name of God.”

I am all for anyone being able to be free without discrimination to believe or disbelieve what they will. Whether you believe in God or not, it is no human’s place to judge another and tell them that an eternity of fire and brimstone waits for them.

Even if you don’t believe in God, heaven, hell, or the Wizard of Oz, we an agree that no human should have that power.

But on the other hand, there are some things that I wouldn’t apologize for. That’s the Christians who, in a loving way reach out to people in their communities. These are the Christians who do not require a homeless man to say a prayer before giving him a meal, or a warm place to stay.

And I won’t apologize for compassionate Christians who devote their lives to spreading their beliefs out of love for other people, not because they hate Atheists or Buddhists, but because they truly have a joy in God and they want others to have at least the opportunity to accept that joy also.

I have more of the attitude you probably want from a Christian. I feel sure of my faith and I have no need to argue about it. But I am also under the idea of live and let live. If you ask me, I’ll tell you what I believe, but if you obviously do not want to hear about it, I will back off. Won’t pushing the issue only make you more embittered against my viewpoint anyway?


So, not only will I not defend the first time, but I will admonish them.

But not only will I not apologize for the second type, but I admire them. Whether you believe it or not, these people make big sacrifices, not for some treasures in heaven or because of some fear of the wrath of God, but because they want to help people, and spreading the belief that helped them is the best way they know how to do that.

Rayne

I love you. I absolutely love you. I could not have said it any better. I am angry about those same things myself! You did a wonderful job of expressing not only yours, but the thoughts of other people as well. Well done, I say. Well done!!

f.r.

I wanted to take time to thank you for this interesting site. I found it to be helpful and full of great information. I look forward to more being posted in the future.

(name and URL deleted due to commercial content - GC)

Clyde Larsen

Very good, Glad to see the long list of favorable comments!

Misha

I've had a wretched weekend and just randomly stumbled on your site and it made me happy because I agree with you. So thanks for taking the time to put it all in writing. x

Dude

Get over it bitch. Maybe if you had a god he'd save you.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe/ Donate to This Blog!

Books of mine

Greta on SSA Speakers Bureau


  • Greta Christina is on the Speakers Bureau of the Secular Students Alliance. Invite her to speak to your group!

Your email address:


Powered by FeedBlitz


Powered by Rollyo

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Atheism

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Sex

Some Favorite Posts: Art, Politics, Other Stuff