Sunday Roast: 15 things atheists are tired of hearing

I’ve heard every single one of these obnoxious questions/observations — most of them from certain family members.

Being an admitted atheist is a fairly recent development in my life — the last 10 years, or so — mostly because religion, for many years of my life, was simply a non-thing.  I just didn’t care either way.  *shrug*

My family attended church and Sunday school when I was a child; it was just something we did.  I tried to believe in God and Jesus, but even as a young child, I just couldn’t make myself believe it.  I mean, come on, the whole concept was just so unlikely.

One Sunday, while I was enjoying the most interesting part of church — juice and cookies afterwards — I heard an older man was talking about the joy of feeling the presence of Jesus in every part of his daily life, and I remember thinking that he looked kind of dazed and sounded so child-like.  It felt really uncomfortable, since I was about 10 years old at the time.

Religion has begun to worm its way into our everyday lives, whether we want it or not, and it’s just not okay.  In fact, it’s destructive to the secular world, as well as to religion.  It’s not the American way, and openly saying that I am an atheist (feminist/Liberal/Socialist, etc) is a way of saying “NO, this has gone too far.  Get a fucking grip, people.”

This is our daily open thread — Discuss this topic or whatever.

41 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: 15 things atheists are tired of hearing

  1. I came to the conclusion I’m an atheist more than 30 years ago. But it wasn’t until recent years (like around the time I met up with fellow Zoosters on TP) that I felt comfortable expressing my atheism publicly. Thank you, Friends.

    About 30 years ago, while I was in the Air Force, I was asked by somebody about my religious beliefs. I said i was an atheist and one of my supervisors actually turned his chair toward me (in an intimidating and confrontational manner) and said (in a fake, smiley way), “Oh, I never met an atheist before.” It made me very uncomfortable, as it was at a time in my life when I was less sure of what I believed and more sure of what I didn’t believe, and I didn’t believe in gods of any kind. At least, not gods in the sense that religious people (especially Americans) see God. For example, I could imagine we were the product of experiments by extra-terrestrial beings before I believe a white bearded man created everything in less than a week. (And why would it take an all-powerful being six days to create everything? Why would it take more than a second?)

    But thanks to my friends here at The Zoo, I am much more comfortable discussing my atheism publicly. 🙂

  2. “God? … who the hell is He? … Why confuse the issue by dragging in a superfluous entity? Occam’s razor. Beyond atheism, nontheism. I am not an atheist but an eartheist. Be true to the earth.” ~Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire; 1968

    I tell everyone who asks (and some who don’t) that I’m not an atheist, I’m a nontheist. An atheist does not believe in any god; a nontheist knows that there are not any gods to even NOT believe in.

    No one has ever hassled me about such matters, nor do I ever hassle anyone for their religious belief. Far as I’m concerned, it’s a personal matter and when left a personal matter, no one else should care either way, simply accept. As Thomas Jefferson noted, “If my neighbor believes in twenty gods or no gods, it does not pick my pocket or break my leg and therefore it’s no harm to me.” Touche. Now if only we could get all believers to simply believe what they wish and shut up about it — as opposed to trying to shove their (generally outrageous and ridiculous) beliefs down everyone’s throat (or up everyone’s butt) — then there might actually be “peace on earth” for once.

    That’ll never happen, of course.

  3. Y’all know I’m a practicing christian. I think that’s all an honest christian can do is practice. We should strive to see and treat our fellow men as Jesus would have, and no matter how many times we practice trying to emulate him, we fall short. I do not take the Bible literally, and might have left my religion early (raised Missouri Synod Lutheran, the crazy hard core Lutherans), if not for my father. He never said one word in my hearing that would indicate he held himself above any other human being for any reason, he saw the job of the faithful as service to our fellow men. He never preached, just provided to those in need. That is all I aspire to. If this makes no sense, it’s because I am sick as I can be.

    • Your father was a great example: do as I do and treat others as you would want to be treated! And you’ve followed his lead – we know you are a kind, compassionate, non-judgmental person!

      Sorry to read you are ill – rapid recovery from whatever you’re suffering from, OIMF.

    • I’m so sorry you’re sick, Outstanding. 😦 I hope you’ll be well soon.

      I thought about you when I was writing this post, because you are the opposite of those “good Christians” who ask the questions in the video.

      You have a brain — god-given or not — and you use it. You practice your religion (aka walking the walk), and do not use it as a bludgeon on the heads of others.

      I respect your right to have and live your religion, and feel your respect of my lack of belief. If more Christians were like you, this country would be a better place.

    • Interesting. My father (who was always also my best friend) was a nontheist. But he went to church regularly because my mother was a (Lutheran) Christian and she appreciated his company. When I was in H.S., he and I talked about religion and he pointed out that the way he lived, the way he treated others, the way he helped those who needed help, the way he cared about those who had no one to care about them — allathat, he figured, made him “a better Christian than a lot of those folks who say they ARE Christians but don’t act like it.” He was spot-on correct. He lived till I was in my early forties, and never once did I ever see him (or even hear about) doing something untoward in any context. As a nontheist, he was the most “Christian” man I ever ran across. The only things he never did was pray, or preach.

      I did have to laugh the time he and I went to the Post Office during a blizzard. The postmaster, a family friend, asked, “Is it cold out there, Vern?” Pop’s reply was, “Nope. It’s GODAMNED COLD OUT THERE!” Just then, a local hyper-Christer walked around the corner and said, “Vern. Do you think you’ll go to heaven after talking like THAT?” Pop paused, then said, “I dunno, Ben. Do you think you’re going to heaven?” Ben quickly replied, “Well yes, I’m sure I will.” Pop looked him in the eye and said, “Well then I don’t wanna go.” Conversation over. But that was the way he always was on religious matters — he’d never start the conversation, but if anyone pushed it a little too far, he’d nail ’em to their own cross. He was a good teacher; I learned a lot from him.

      Get well soon, OIMF. Sick ain’t NO fun. Believe me, I know!

        • Do you ‘twitter’/tweet? No.

          Apparently WordPress has added a new trick. Badmoodman started having pictures in his comments the other day. When I see a pic I want to post here, I right click in the picture, and select ‘Open image in a new tab’. The I put the raw URL into the comment, like we do Youtube URLs. The ‘something new’ was to see if I was correct that the pic would display for non-admins. It did!

      • Unfortunately we did not cross paths with badmooddaughter…
        we were fortunate to introduce my grand nephew (will be one next week) to butterflies as they were returning, for the night, to Eucalypts trees!
        “Kevin what do Monarch’s says?”
        ‘awhoo, awhoo, awhoo’
        All animals that don’t have voices – Kevin makes that sound!
        He must figure all animals need to ‘speak’.( Kev knows his dog, cat, frog, horsey sounds!)

  4. I think the constitution needed to be a bit more explicit. – “Yes you can believe any fairy tales you like, but really, it is not for public consumption. Put up the ten commandments or your creation stories on your own property or the church you form.. Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. Don’t like gays? Don’t be one (good luck with that). Want a god in your life? Get a t-shirt made, not a monument in the public square. Leave the rest of us out of it. If you don’t bother us, we won’t bother you.”

  5. According to Hawk, he didn’t think his gun was loaded and that he and the boy had only been “playing.” Hawk told investigators that he had spent the evening drinking whiskey and alcoholic lemonade prior to the shooting.

    Montana man shoots and kills 3-year-old while playing game of ‘gun tag’

    • And Republicans refuse to consider confirming Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General because said nominee has stated publicly that guns are a public health issue.

      Gee. How could anyone think that way? He must be a Commanist or something.

  6. McConnell Reeling After 2 Biggest Newspapers In Kentucky Endorse Alison Lundergan Grimes

    In strong editorials, the two largest newspapers in Kentucky have both endorsed Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes over Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Senate election.

    The Lexington Herald-Leader’s editorial board wrote,

    McConnell does have power. He commands a perpetual-motion money machine; dollars flow in, favors flow out.

    The problem is how McConnell uses his power. He has repeatedly hurt the country to advance his political strategy.

    They waited a long time to endorse, but they are on the right side finally.

  7. I like the way Thomas Jefferson put it:

    • “say nothing of my religion. It is known to my God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.”
    o Letter to John Adams (January 11, 1817). Published in The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes, Federal Edition, Paul Leicester Ford, ed., New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904, Vol. 12, pp. 48–49.

  8. Those that know me, know my experiences guided my research – into Reike, what some call a “Laying on of hands” – into Shamanism – into healing – and I’ve personally experienced what some would call a miracle, when, with the pass of my hand, my wife regained sensation and movement in her leg; when tremors in her hands were stopped again with a pass of my hands; when she went from being dysfunctional at the piano to performing flawlessly minutes later, after drawing on healing energy and using a shamanic technique. There’s more examples – most strikingly the fact that she’s had no new leisions in her brain, as revealed by MRIs taken 10 years apart, living with MS these past 10 years.

    I will not answer the question “Is there a God?” I believe it is our definition of God that makes that question impossible to answer. Perhaps the Tao is the best conceptual definition. I believe there is a connection that is present between all things; I believe we lack the senses to truly sense all things. Just as dogs can hear and smell things we cannot, I believe there are forms of life existing on planes which we are not capable of perceiving with our limited senses.

    I know a new and interesting world opened up for me when I pondered on the questions, “Have you ever become your breath?”

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