Around this time of year my Facebook lights up with people praising the Lord for all their blessings. Tis' the season, after all.
Over the past year I have been testing what appears to be an unabashed urge of religious people to blather whatever their beliefs are (for no apparent reason) on the web by countering it with a contrary point of view.
My prayers were answered, they will say. Prayer doesn't work, I inform.
I am an asshole, I know. But with good reason.
When someone cannot control their urge to thank God for a prayer, or feels they need to let the whole world that they are praying for you, I have taken the initiative time and again to remind people that prayer is not valid. It has been falsified. Scientifically.
I am not saying this to be offensive. There is no offense in simply holding a difference of opinion. But the reaction is always as if I have started World War III.
After gasps of pure horrified shock that somebody with a different opinion would have the audacity to share it in a forum dedicated to proclamations of faith and belief subside, I brace myself for the inevitable fallout. Like a loud buzzing, I can hear the vibrations of their wicked tongues warming up as they prepare a blitzkrieg attack aimed to sting the so-called naysayer.
(Note: Naysayer means a person who denies or opposes something. In that sense, yes, I am denying the person of faith to idly and mindlessly accept incorrect beliefs and tout these beliefs as something worthy of being shared and broadcast. By opposing their sacrosanct opinion that their faith should merely be respected--even when it is patently false--I am revealing their hypocrisy. In my defense, however, opposing a falsehood should never be viewed as wrong. If correcting our mistakes was wrong to do, we would forever be mistaken, forever ignorant of the truth. I feel that people who proclaim to have the truth cannot afford to be so naive as to deny others the right to correct their mistaken beliefs. I refuse to respect their faith for this very reason. If your faith cannot handle cordial disagreement, and you fly off the handlebars anytime someone disagrees, and feel it is somehow alright to put them in their place by viciously attacking them (simply because they think differently), then this is not alright. If you can't agree to disagree, then perhaps it would be best to simply keep your beliefs to yourself.)
Usually when I call someone on a belief I know is completely and totally invalid, I get people saying things like, "I don't attack your beliefs, why do feel that you need attack mine?"
This pisses me off to no end.
I urgently tell them I am not attacking their beliefs, merely correcting their mistaken information. After all, they wouldn't continue to believe things that are false if shown--beyond a reason of a doubt--that they were false, failed, erroneous beliefs, right?
They merely get defensive. They don't want to relinquish their wrong beliefs, because these beliefs make them feel good. So instead of taking the time to question their beliefs, or why they might be wrong, they instead call me "intolerant."
Yeah, the guy who shared his beliefs, because you felt you needed to share yours first, is intolerant simply because his beliefs do not agree with yours. What was I thinking? I must have forgot that only religious people have the right to share their stupid thoughts.
On the other hand, if I do happen to take the time to provide them with decades of research which show, under various conditions, that something like prayer never works... ever... not under any circumstances or conditions... I then get accused of being, not only intolerant, but also elitist. Why? Simply because I asked them to take like two minutes out of their busy schedule of going to church pot-lucks and bible study to, I don't know, read a ten page science article from a peer reviewed science journal.
Really? They guy who points out of the fact of the matter, that your beliefs are not merely wrong but they are sooo wrong that they are absurd, and in many cases borderline offensive, is the one being arrogant? Really?
The person humble enough to correct his mistaken views, who takes the time to review the evidence, and who pauses to reflect on the implications--and who doesn't make it a habit to broadcast his beliefs 24/7 is the one who is being arrogant? Because he refers to hard won evidence, and wants you to consult it too, instead of just barfing blind professions of faith based conviction everywhere, and merely asks you to take two minutes to think about what your saying and how this holds up against the evidence--is elitist? Do these people even know what the term elitist even means?
Imagine if they thanked Jesus for all the blessings in their life, and I called them a whole bunch of hate-filled names for no good reason. Instead, I may point them to a quote or snippet from a history book about the historical Jesus and the development of early Christianity--but I don't throw libelous hate and slander at them simply because we disagree. When they ask me, "Why do you feel you need to attack my beliefs, I don't attack yours..." I want to ask them, "Seriously, what's wrong with you people?"
I realize that a lot of the time I am wasting my breath on those crippled by the retarding powers of faith, but I am trying desperately to make a point.
If you can't accept someone else's opinion, and upon hearing their opinion become so enraged that you feel compelled to tell them that they are elitist, arrogant, intolerant, angry, and deserve to burn in hell, etc. then you are merely making unjustified personal attacks on someone because you don't agree with them. First off, this is immoral behavior. It's not okay. Second of all, it is bigoted.
Knock it the fuck off.
Now, some religious people might say I am being cruel by claiming their religion makes them stupid--or by saying that faith retards their mental faculties and makes them act like morons.
Actually, I am not being mean here. I am making a straight up observation. I am being honest.
If your faith compels you to do something, or say something, that is completely ABSURD... not to mention totally WRONG... and you are called on it... and your first reaction is to ATTACK that person, instead of being cordial and accepting that there are different opinions out there, then this is, in my estimation, INAPPROPRIATE behavior.
Once I gave up religion, and relinquished a three decade long faith, I realized how foolish I was acting a lot of the time. Needless to say, I felt horribly embarrassed for many of the things I said or did because of my religious beliefs. I felt like a fool for thinking my non-Christian friends would go to hell. I felt silly for believing in an imaginary place, for that matter. I felt guilty for having used small children's fear of this imaginary place against them just to blackmail them into believing the same thing I did. I felt stupid for believing this was the right thing to do, let alone at all okay. Terrifying children for no reason is NEVER okay. My faith often retarded me into a dogmatic conviction spewing moron.
Now, when I see other people doing the same, I feel the uncontrollable need to point out their mistake. I feel embarrassed for them. As an advocate for reason--I speak out. How can I not?
The thing that pisses me off, however, is the reaction I typically receive. In a backlash of hypersensitive, whiny-two-faced, religious defensiveness where I get called all sorts of horrible names--for no good reason.
I want to scream at the top of my longs--I am NOT attacking your beliefs. I am attacking BAD beliefs which are just flat out INCORRECT! Meaning: Un-fucking-true, you mindless-faithy-self righteous blowhards! Your choice to believe them is your own... but shut the fuck up about them if you don't want to fucking be called on their absurdity. For Christ's sake people.
A) nobody needs to hear your incorrect, absent-minded, and completely unjustified beliefs spewed all over the place, and B) even if (and it's a big if at that) you do have good reasons for what you believe--unless the beliefs are going toward a cause which will actively help others in the immediate future--then nobody wants to hear about it.
Just shut the fuck up about baby Jesus, why you're thankful to God, and what prayers came true this week--and go do something productive... like suck a dick. At least then you'd actually be productive and helping to make someone else happy.
If the Catholic Church really wanted to make the world a better place, they would turn their Cathedrals into elaborate brothels, where anyone could go at any time to get a good old fashioned fellatio from a priest. Yeah, stop fucking and raping children, and suck some adult cock. Christianity is full of cock-suckers anyway, why not incorporate that into the religion? Less kids would be getting raped and more people would be satisfied--sexually--everyone wins!
So am I an angry atheist? Well, not all year long. Just at the time of year when religious people think because it's the holidays and what not, they can barf out their faith based convictions all over the place for no goddamned reason other than it makes them feel good. It makes me angry when I get attacked for having different beliefs--in in the same instance get told I am being oppressive and intolerant of their beliefs. I am too nice to say, "You have it fucking backwards, mother-fuckers."
I am wayyy too nice of a person to actually tell religious people this directly. Other than the few times I have shared my differing points of view, I usually let people display their stupid all over the place like a dumb-ass peacock. I only hope that one day they will realize how horribly idiotic they were being, and in a bout of remorse for their relentless stupidity, turn about face and begin to actively seek to help correct the misinformation, the false beliefs, and set about trying to get a better hold on the truth while helping others to do so too.
[I realize not all Christians are bad people. Heck, I used to be one. My entire family is Christian. Not all Christians are loud mouthed bigots either. Although I used to be one. But before anyone gets offended and hits the unsubscribe button, just realize I am not so angry at other Christians as I am mainly angry at my own stupid behavior when I was a Christian. A retarded behavior I see reflected in other Christians daily.]
[My frustrations seem to stem more from the anger I direct at myself--but at the same time, please realize, that after getting beat down every time I share my opinion--among so-called "friends"--who proceed to verbally harangue and assault me for simply having a different opinion, this is not something I feel I should just idly sit by and tolerate. Nobody likes taking it up that ass. Having to respect other people's stupid beliefs for not good reason is just like being asked to bend over for them. No, I am afraid that's not how it works. You want my respect--you have to earn it first. And since I can't reach through my Facebook and punch the idiots in their stupid faces for attacking me without justification, I vent my frustration here. Happy holidays!]