Saturday, September 11, 2010

Christians Are Arfraid of Atheists

I did an internet search to see if others had already begun atheist, rational or critical testimony, but all I can find are "ex-atheist" and other conversion testimonies. For some reason this congealed a thought that has been vaguely in my head for a long time: Christians are afraid of atheists. I suppose this should have been obvious, but it hadn't really occurred to me on such basic terms.

It would explain why they react so strongly to atheists. If testimony, faith and coercion are the only tools you have to attract people to and keep them in your religion, then someone using critical thinking to challenge your faith and beliefs must be terrifying.

Perhaps that is why testimony of atheists returning to religion seem to be so popular among Christians.

By the way, the closest thing I found to atheist / rational testimony in my searches so far is this video of Ricky Gervais. It is in the spirit of my rational testimony idea.


I woke up in a rural / small city hotel after being suddenly diverted out of town for work, and then I headed downstairs for their free breakfast. In most of my travels I find Fox News on in the breakfast area, but this time it was the 700 Club on the telly. OMFG.

When I walked in there were a man and a woman praying over letters and telling people they were healed by Jesus...yeah, go back to the doctor, and they will tell you you're healed. Then there was a story about an orphaned child in Africa taken in by the ministry mission, and he caught the African "super virus" that was supposed to give a 10-day fever. But they prayed for him and the fever was gone in a day. Hallelujah.

Then they answered a letter from a young boy who was upset that his older sister no longer believed in god. They told him it's not his job to argue with her or pressure her (I'm glad for that much at least), but it was his job to periodically share with her how god helps him in his daily life. That is his testimony, they tell him.

Ah yes, testimony. As the only evidence presentable for the existence of god, testimony is a key element in spreading the word of god. When someone wants to convert you, they ask if they can give your their testimony. Christians give their testimony when speaking in front of a group.

But the way the 700 Club guy presented the instructions stuck a chord with me. The message of testimony is a personal, positive one. Hey, isn't that what I've been whining about in this blog? My failure to promote atheism in a positive manner? Haven't I been wondering how I can do so? Well, here it is: atheist/rational/critical testimony! Through testimony I can provide personal, positive messages about how my reliance on rational and critical thinking and the fruits of the scientific method help me in my daily life.

This is still in the idea phase, but I like it. Possible venues for my testimony include a Twitter account, a blog, and I am toying with the idea of a webcast, only I would want to be anonymous. Tricky, but not impossible. I don't think this blog is the place for such testimony as this is where we come to vent and mock. I need a new, pure, happy place to share my rational testimony.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Angry Atheists

It surprised me at first how much anger comes through in our blog here. It wasn't part of the original idea to have a blog to spew anger, but that's what came out. I figured it would subside after a time, but it's usually when I get angry about something that I think to blog about it. There is also the problem that Christians close to us caused a lot of evil and hid behind their religion for guilt-free forgiveness without regard to the recipients of the evil acts. And the purported use of religion by those distant to pursue evil acts worthy of reporting far and wide.

My big message I wanted to get across in the blog is that you can live a good, happy and moral life without a belief in God. I don't think I'm doing a great job of it, but oh well. Whenever I hear atheism discussed by religious folk they speak as if love and morality disappears if you have no God to believe in. That's the idea I want to change. Love, morality, caring, meaning and fulfillment are not tied to any religion or God.

I guess I also want people to quit using religion as a tool to manipulate others, because that's what I see when I look at organized religion. It's a means of few people controlling the thoughts and ultimately actions of many others. The flock react to the preacher, not to God, because God is just a feeling of validation you have when you feel good about what your thinking, and that is reinforced by your peers and leaders in the church.

I wish I could be more like Carl Sagan in my attitudes. In reading his book I love his approach in speaking about God. He says something like "I see no compelling evidence for God". Heck, I'm not even sure he was an atheist. He just speaks about his (and science's) observations and the accuracy of their predictions compared to religion and pseudoscience without anger or accusation.

The Friendly Atheist also has a good approach. In a recent video he speaks of reaching out and speaking with people he is at odds with to good effect. A woman who outed his atheism to all his management at work and released press releases further out him eventually complained about a nasty email she received from an angry FA reader. He apologized for it and pointed out an unfounded incendiary speculation made in one of the press releases, and they started an apparently cordial dialog and met in person. I doubt either altered their beliefs and opinions, but here are two people talking and agreeing on fair play and free speech rather than spewing anger at each other to no effect.

The FA also makes a distinction between debates and discussion in public speaking. I like this. I don't think I've ever seen a debate or argument change someone's opinion. It just polarizes people over the issue and separates people. A discussion, however, still doesn't change opinions, but it can result in fairer play, lower aggression and bring people closer together even if they disagree on such things as God and morality.

Another problem in getting along with people when realizing I was an atheist is that formerly respectable religions begin to sound as stupid as UFO cults, voodoo and pseudoscience, and it's hard to maintain respect for people who believe in them. It's hard not to start feeling smarter and superior to people who believe in ludicrous stories with no actual supporting evidence. And a lot of other atheists seem to come to the same thoughts, because there seems to be a sport in other atheists mocking believers. Sometimes amusing, but probably not constructive.

I sometimes ask myself how to be more like Carl Sagan or Hemant Mehta—The Friendly Atheist. I don't really have a good answer. I suppose I need to get over the anger. That will be hard to do, and I find it's helpful to spew it out here rather than to hang onto it.

After posting this I realized that my last blog is based on a video series titled "Why Do People Laugh at Creationists", and my last tweet links to "The Bible: Evidence That God Is Evil?" I found both amusing and validating my beliefs, but they certainly wouldn't open a door to friendly discussion with someone of differing beliefs, would they?

Monday, August 23, 2010


I can't coalesce my thoughts on this topic long enough to type intelligently about it, but check out this video about the dangers of Christian and Islamic fundamentalism—specifically in the case of creationism suppressing the results of the scientific method—to our country.

The video is part of a long well-made series debunking creationists.

I'll babble a bit about what's on my mind. The current transition from periodic media like newspapers and TV news to the internet is going to have some growing pains I fear. In general what takes the place of trusted journalists? More specifically I'm concerned that religious interests will try to overpower the voice of science and reason in the new media and risk slipping into a mini dark age.

I am not against free flow of information of course. I think in the long run the evolution of instant global communication will be great for humanity, but I worry about the bumps in the road along the way.

Edited to add: I like this video, too, by the same guy. It also points out the danger of muting science in favor of religious beliefs. I also love this text from a poster shown in the movie:

Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove and evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree... yeah, makes perfect sense.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Godwin's Gays and Mel Brooks

The first several times I saw Mel Brooks' "To Be or Not to Be", I assumed the homosexual being rounded up by the German occupiers and being compelled to wear a pink triangle was just a gay joke. After all, if Jews wore yellow Stars of David, surely gays would wear a pink emblem, ha ha. I was taught history in school—grade, middle, high and college. We covered WWII several times, and nobody ever taught me that any group besides the Jewish were systematically rounded up and taken to concentration camps.

The last time I watched was the first time it occurred to me to do an internet search to see if there might be any truth to the concept. Holy shit, this was real. Gays were compelled to sew pink triangles into their clothing, and about 10,000 - 15,000 gays were sent to concentration camps. Far fewer, of course, than the 6 million Jews murdered in such camps, but how shocked was I that this part of history was simply omitted from my many years of heterogeneous—and apparently exclusively heterosexual—schooling.

Recall the George Carlin bit about bad words and the differences between "fart" and "fuck"? On TV they could say neither word, but there was much talk and action revolving around fucking, while nobody spoke of farts. Television was a fart-free zone. (Clearly this has changed in the past 20 years; I have to suspect Carlin's observations helped this along.) In school I learned all sorts of nasty history about wars, genocide, oppressive rulers, mass murder and rape, and Republicans. But I had no knowledge of the concept of homosexuality until I was 14, and then I was so naive I thought it was a new thing. Okay, so gay people didn't all come from the United Gay Republic on the continent of Gaydia, with their own skin color and religion, but still, this is a group that has been repeatedly identified, singled out and harassed or oppressed by rulers and governments over the years, but there was nothing about it in my schooling. It makes me wonder what else was left out.

It has actually been a while since I've seen To Be or Not to Be, but I was reminded of the internment of gays by a news radio report. A gay man who was sent to a concentration camp and survived has recently decided to tell his story. I guess part of my brain still thinks homosexuality was invented in 1984, because I was surprised to hear him speak of openly gay clubs and an active gay community in his pre-WWII hometown.

It reminded me of our more paranoid reasons for starting this blog anonymously. Sometimes I get to thinking that it's "okay" to be atheist. But the gays' recent and continuing persecution is a good example of what could happen to us, even in America, even in these modern times. Look how many people are trying, and how hard they're trying, to make/keep gay marriage illegal. Seriously what the fuck do you care? From all the fuss you'd think gays and lesbians are trying to pass laws compelling straight Christian families to bring homosexuals into their living rooms to have exhibitionist gay sex in front of their children. No, they just want the same life partner arrangement that heterosexuals have access to.

What do gay marriage opponents fear? Is it dick-in-asshole? But preventing state-recognized marriage doesn't prevent dick-in-asshole, and allowing state-recognized marriage doesn't bring dicks in assholes any closer to you. I can relate to not liking dicks in assholes, because as open-minded and accepting as I am, I just don't want to see dicks in assholes, I don't want my dick in an asshole, I don't want my dick in a man's mouth or hand, and I want nothing to do with another man's dick. I still have lingering homophobia about those things. But I don't give a flying fuck if other mentally well-balanced, responsible adults mutually consensually do with their dicks, assholes, pussies, mouths and hands at the appropriate venues.

I tend to project my phobias onto other people, and I should really stop doing that, especially with people who behave so differently from me. The more I think about it, the more I think it is about control and conformity. They don't subscribe to "live and let live". They want you to conform to their actions, their beliefs, their thoughts, and they'll be damned if you can be nonconformist and not be punished or at least shunned. So yeah, I think people would try to disallow atheist marriage if they could. And I think many Americans would persecute atheists if given the chance.

Hell, maybe they already are, but that part of history was left out of my text books.

I still can't get over that. A group of people systematically identified and interned by German occupation forces in WWII, and after 17 years of schooling and many years of cable TV history shows I had to learn of it from Mel Brooks, who by the way is a brilliant man. I am in awe of how he attacks the Nazis, racism and other general dickishness with such satirical ferocity and makes it entertaining.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Faith-based Fitness

This is probably one of the most ridiculous things I've seen in quite some time.  I just found a faith-based fitness program.  And as they say, you can combine your desire for fitness with your love for the lord into the perfect fitness program.  And they even go so far as to say "You have great workouts, a great meal plan, and the lord on your side.  That's a winning combination."

So as it turns out that's why America is so fat because when they go to the gym they're not taking the lord with them.  It has nothing to do with the fact that they're not working out effectively, or that they're stuffing their faces with fastfood as soon as they leave.  The problem is that they aren't glorifying god while they do sit-ups.

What a fucking joke.  Religion is a placebo that they convince you you need before anything you do will be successful.  Can't manage to drop those extra pounds?  You need god.  Can't get that promotion at work?  God can help.  Can't seem to make an A in physics?  Forget study, turn to the lord.  Wanna become a hot rapper singing about fucking dozens of girls and killing cops?  God can help you with that. 


Anyway, here's the link.  Be sure to watch the video.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Facebook Proselytizing

Message from our FB overlords: "[Facebook 'friend' I haven't seen in 20 years] liked Radical Love Book on Facebook and suggested you like it too."

My god-dar twitches severely. Might as well check it out. Yup, it's some god crap book somebody wants to share with me.

I am momentarily tempted to see if The God Delusion has a fan page I can recommend to her.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Trinity on Facebook

I recently scanned and uploaded a bunch of old photos to Facebook, and they got a lot of attention from "friends" and "friends" of "friends" (who the fuck are all these people, anyway?). So naturally I do a little Facebook stalking on the women types, and I ran across a bunch of bible quotes and self-descriptions saying how lost they would be without God. Jesus Christ! Er, I mean what's up with that?

I totally get all the photos of kids, friends and inane status messages, but I still never get why their belief and devotion to God has to be publicly plastered everywhere. Isn't that really between them and God?

Perhaps I should have a Facebook description proclaiming how glad I am that some of our ancestry started approaching the world rationally and developed the scientific method, sanitation and medicine. Those three things are probably the most responsible for my quality of life. And perhaps the evolution of political and economic theory, and state diplomacy, but it's harder for me to quantify those effects on my life.

Now that I think about it, I'm particularly fond of refrigeration, also. I need to think of a way to put that one on Facebook without betraying where the thought originated.

That reminds me, I've seen the theme of abandoning technology and living naturally—read primitively—come up randomly a few times lately, as if rolling the clock back a few hundred or few thousand years would make life so much more simple and enjoyable. I always think—and sometimes say—"really? Life would be so much shittier without sanitation and medicine in particular. You have no idea." Infant mortality rates alone should make most anyone shudder at the thought of rolling back the clock more than a few decades. And World War II and the Cold War should make anyone shudder at rolling the clock back even that far.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My New Job

Before I told you that of all people, I ended up taking a job at a baptist company. Don't worry, it's not like a xtian tv network or anything, but it is a baptist-based company. I was originally quite worried because it just goes against everything I believe in. It's actually going ok though. So far the only thing religious I've really been exposed to is orientation started with a prayer.

That was actualy pretty offensive though because I don't even want to hear that offensive shit. Of course they just don't get it do they? I've talked to my mom about this and she doesn't get it either, but it really is bullshit. Here, let me show you what I mean.

Xtians have taken to trying to sneak prayer into places by saying that they're going to have a prayer, but those who don't choose to are welcome to observe a moment of silence instead. The only problem is it's not a moment of silence because there's some asshole asking an invisible man in the sky for favors. And with the shit religion usually stands for, it's just offensive to have to listen to that shit. And like I said, they don't get it. They think, why are you so upset? I said you don't have to pray, you can just sit there and keep to yourself until we're done. Yeah, I suppose I could, but let's put the shoe on the other foot for a minute and see how you like it.

Let's say that I'm the head of a very liberal company, perhaps a porn distributor and you take a job there knowing that it's likely you'll never have to actually see porn because there are gov't regulations protecting you from that kinda thing. Now, when you show up for orientation I announce that we're going to watch a short ass pounding video, but for those of you who don't want to you can just sit there and keep to yourself in silence. So let me ask you... is that moment of silence acceptable, or would you rather we keep our offensive material to ourselves? Because offensive is offensive, and frankly, I'm seriously offended when someone starts preaching that bullshit because religion is nothing but bad. It's an evil in this world and we have to crush it. Too many horrendous things are done in the name of somebody's god and it has to stop. So yeah, I actually get offended when these assholes make me sit there silently while they spew their poison in the air.

Frankly, I'd rather watch a good ass pounding.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Still an Atheist

I haven't checked in for a while, so I thought I'd pop by and say, I'm still an atheist. Still happy with that. Um. Yeah. Keep up the good work, guys.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

So, how do you want that truck painted?

I'm not really sure what to say about the message in this photo, but its existence amuses me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Feeling the Pressure

Wow, I’m really starting to feel the pressure of being in the bible belt.  We decided to put a bid in on a house and it’s on the corner lot of 2 major streets.  And the other THREE corners have fucking churches on them.  So I’ll be completely surrounded by the enemy if I take this house.

As well, I just took a job that turns out to be for a southern baptist org.  Now, it’s a huge company so perhaps it won’t be that bad, but just being surrounded by all of that makes me sick to my stomach.

I’m just getting really sick of having to justify things to people who don’t want to do take certain actions because of an invisible man in the sky.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jesus Soccer

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written guys, but life really steps in sometimes and it’s hard to make time for things I really want to do.  Anyway, I have a brief topic to get me started again…

My wife signed up our son for soccer at his school.  What she didn’t check was that it’s run by the YMCA.  He had his first soccer game yesterday and they actually made them swear an oath to God before playing.  Now, he’s only 4 and barely pays attention to anything going on around him, but it just makes me sick to even think about him being pulled into that sickening shit so early.  So just to be able to kick a ball around with his friends he’s got to swear an oath to the invisible man.

And what’s even worse is that while it makes me sick, there’s nothing I can do about it because it is the YMCA afterall, and just because she didn’t pay attention to that doesn’t mean that I can change it.  What would you expect from them?  So now I’ve got to just sit back and let it happen for the rest of the year and hope he loses interest next year.  If not then I’ll have to find a way to reverse any damage they’ve been doing.  And yeah, I really do think that even that seemingly innocent prayer at the beginning of every game will do damage if unchecked.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now, and I’ll try to keep writing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey, let's build another church!

I keep noticing how many churches there are, but what really gets me is new church construction. There are so many damn churches around here I can't figure out who gets together and says "nah, none of those work for us, let's just build a new one."

Why Does God Need To Advertise?

On a recent road trip I noted the ubiquitous human-placed crosses on hilltops and several billboards of the "Jesus Saves" variety, and I'm wondering why God needs to advertise. Come to think of it, why did God have people scribbling on rolled-up paper and leave humans to invent of the printing press and the internet thousands of years later?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Faith In Movies: Avatar

Minor spoiler alert!

I finally got around to seeing Avatar. Aside from the Pocahontas / Gaian environmental theme I notice they switched themes mid-stream on faith versus science. During the middle of the movie they were describing the communicative bonding between Pandora's life forms as a planet-wide network for sharing and storing thoughts and memorie. Later they seemed to decide that inside the network lived Gaia a sentient god "Eywa" who actively "maintains balance" in nature. Apparently she does this by giving quite specific instructions to previously dumb animals.

I could've gone with the Pocahontas-like "live in harmony with nature" theme. The planet-wide bio-network idea was a pretty damn cool idea worth exploring more, and it could lead to some cool sequels and video games. But the deus ex machina of validating their religion at the climax was pretty lame.

Even during the mass ritual where they were sitting and swaying in concentric circles I was imagining that they were either consciously or subconciously manipulating the bio-network rather than simply ritualizing faith. Oh well.

See also: Faith Themes in Movies, although I now think I was trying to hard to include Kung Fu Panda in this topic.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Charlie, the She-Lord, Cometh?

I won't try to explain the dream, for as most dreams the people, places and plot change from moment to moment, but at a particular moment a man who was then a pastor and was trying to tell me things while I was leaving his church (which wasn't a church when I was in it) that Christ will be reborn this year (it had something to do with a full moon and clear weather...), and her name will be Charlie. (Or Chuck...I forget exactly.)

It was funny enough to remember after I woke up. And yes, even in the dream it was a ridiculous proclamation on all counts.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

God of Convenience

A few vague inspirations over the holidays have culminated into a new god divinely inspiring me and the rest of us here at The God Dam to spread his word. At our convenience, of course. Because, behold, I witness to you the God of Convenience! (Dramatic music: duhn duhn DUUUUuuuuuhn!)

I now realize this god was trying to inspire me back in March 2008. He appears to atheists—yeah, ironic, I know—as a blue monkey (otherwise not much unlike Curious George) offering us the power of convenience. In March of 2008 he was offering me the validation of a god so I could win arguments with bible-waving Christians.

More recently during this past holiday season I was struggling with how to handle the holidays. Do I mock the Christians who have co-opted Pagan holidays? Do I celebrate a secular holiday such as Festivus? No! I needn't be burdened with such questions anymore, for as an atheist with the power of the God of Convenience behind me I have divine support for celebrating whenever the hell I feel like it! Rejoice and be free! Tonight was January 7 of 2010, in which I celebrate by watching football and baking bread. I do this in celebration of the God of Convenience and his flexible scheduling.

Moses brought you commandments. His blue-monkiness has instructed me to pass on holy Accomodations to you. Tonight I shall impart to you just one, because I was otherwise busy, so GoC said I could work on the rest my convenience.

Here it is: You may put any other gods before him or even cast away divinity altogether. (Let's face it, there are times when Jeff, the God of Biscuits or John whom is worshiped at the porcelain throne is much more needed than GoC.)

He also said that should I wish to portray an image of him—although I didn't have to because it wasn't really a big deal, after all—that a search of "blue monkey" at Wikimedia Commons would be a particularly quick and free way of doing so.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This Song's Just Six Words Long

Let's start the year by stealing from another blog, The Friendly Atheist! Inspired by a chain of "describe your [religion, lack thereof, journey or similar] in six words or less" blogs he asked his readers to contribute and posts his favorite responses:

The scientific method is my copilot. (Kerry)

Credulous fundamentalist, questioning skeptic, happy atheist. (Butch)

Forced into Catholicism. Ran away screaming! (Danene)

Accepted because taught, abandoned after thought. (Zach)

What was I thinking? So sorry. (GordonGoblin)

I can identify strongly with the first four, except I was lured into Baptists' hands instead of forced into Catholicism. The last one I think several times a week, but it has nothing to do with religion or atheism when I think it.