Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Asshole Atheism

I've recently been informed I have a tendency toward asshole atheism. As opposed, obviously, to atheism without assholishness.

So first of all, I want to say, I don't mean to be an asshole atheist. I get very frustrated sometimes with the amount of religion that just seems to be everywhere.

I mean, wow. You can't blink, or at least, I can't, without running into religion. And not just religion, because that's no worse than, you know, seeing people driving that one make of vehicle that you really hate. I'm talking about the kind of religion that's more equivalent to one of those oversized pickup trucks with the obnoxious engines sitting outside your house and revving its engines for hours on end. Like, it's not someone saying "I'm gonna pray for you, hon," but it's someone saying, "Well, I know you don't believe in Jesus but He believes in you! When He chooses to move in your life, you'll know it! I'll pray for it to be soon!" Or, it's the same person who gave out tracts at Halloween about Jesus' love and how we should emulate it by loving everyone passing around a petition to have kids prevented (somehow) from playing in your neighborhood. Or it's a church sign whose message doesn't just amount to saying that life with God is good, but really essentially states that life without Him- MY life- is miserable. It's politicians standing up to announce that they will place their religious beliefs over equality and human rights when making legal decisions...and more than that, it's people, masses of people, cheering.

You think I talk about religion a lot? I talk about it a fraction of the number of times it affects me in one way or another.

And then it's the double standard. It's a problem that I post on facebook about religious posts on facebook. If 'like if you love Jesus' or 'share for Heaven, ignore for Hell' or bloody crucifixion posts bother me, I should just hide them in my feed. If I just hid all three dozen of them in my feed, instead of posting my thoughts on the matter, then you wouldn't have to hide my one post about.....um. Yeah.  Speaking of double standards, it's funny to me that "My feed is full of graphic execution photos," is more offensive than BLOODY FACED EXECUTION PHOTOS. That if I post "How does 'This home is protected by the Good Lord and a gun; you might meet both if you show up here tonight,' jibe with Christianity, really? Jesus said 'If a man asks for your shirt, give him also your bullets,' now?" that's offensive, rude, thoughtless.....but the fact that lyrics like that, which basically state, "Killing people is okay with my peaceful, loving religion" doesn't seem to bother or offend anyone? If my friends loved one dies, it's less offensive for someone to tell her, "She never accepted God. She is in Hell," than it is for me to say, "No she isn't." What the heck. Are you listening to yourself?

So I guess the double standard contributes to the image of an asshole atheist, yeah.

And it's being told to shut up, because that really makes me want to yell louder. It's that when I say, Someone said this nasty thing to me/my kid/my husband about not believing in God, someone is sure to ask me why I told them. Well, why did you let them know you didn't believe in God? Why aren't you hiding that? Why don't you keep quiet? It's that the person who posts fifteen Bible verses a day can comment and tell me I should just keep it to myself because no one else wants to hear it. I suppose we should pop back to that double standard there, and I should hide her posts from myself, and also hide mine from her, so that she doesn't have to either see them or hide them, huh. It's being told to just keep quiet and go along. I'm not good at that.

Being told all too frequently to shut up, and being a bit defiant, probably also makes me be and/or seem like more of an asshole atheist.

And then, to be honest, sometimes I just go too far. I get mad and I say shit that isn't nice. Sometimes I don't mean it, but I'm angry or frustrated. Sometimes I mean it but I won't in five minutes, because I'm angry and frustrated. Sometimes I mean it but still shouldn't say it. Sometimes I mean it and it needs to be said. In general, if I look back and realize I was wrong, I'll apologize. But a lot of times, I stand by what I said because I believe it. Like for instance, if I say that Christians are anti-logic, I'm going to apologize, because I don't believe that, and what I probably meant is, the particular Christian or Christians who I am upset with at the moment is anti-logic, and is frustrating the hell (no pun intended) out of me. And if I say that, I believe I am wrong to do so, because it's generalizing and saying a negative thing about a lot of people I love and don't believe that thing about. But if I say that I can't read the story of Adam and Eve, or the story of Noah (or rather, of everyone but him and his family, for perspective), or the story of Job, without coming to the conclusion that if God exists He is a jerk, I'm not going to apologize, because that's plan truth.

So yeah. Asshole atheism, that's what it apparently amounts to: I talk about religion a lot, I say stuff about it that isn't nice (because I believe religion isn't nice), the opinion I'm voicing is an unpopular one to begin with, and I sometimes speak out of heated anger or frustration. I don't knock on anyone's doors or send things in the mail. I don't accost people at the DMV or give tracts to cashiers. I don't leave pamphlets about hating God in bathrooms. I don't tell people they deserve hardship, hurt, loss, death, or eternal torment. I don't unfriend people for being Christians or for posting about their religious beliefs. I don't kill people and I don't try to legislate my beliefs into law. I just don't ignore but about half to three quarters of what I see of that from religion, and I say things that I think. If that makes me an asshole, I reckon I'll just stink.