I’m an atheist by definition. I do not believe in any sort of deity or supernatural entity that watches over humankind. So, naturally, I absolutely love to make fun of religion; but don’t worry, my theist friends, it’s a lot more than petty elitism that causes my rage-fueled lashing out at your beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, I am a petty elitist, but it isn’t the only driving force behind my lack of faith. You see, I like to take aim at people’s insecurities and bring them to light. In fairness, I often attack my own insecurities ? ask anybody who has listened to me talk for any extended period of time and they can tell you that I have no issue with going the route of self-deprecation. So if I point out my own insecurities, then why shouldn’t I point out everybody else?s? Seems fair to me? Plus there’s nothing quite as downright exhilarating as offending a large group of people in one swift chunk of words. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s gosh darn funny.
Now there are the big religions that are always made of. They are, in order of most made fun of to least: Mormonism, Scientology, Jehovas? Witnesses, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, and finally the rest of Christianity. However, there is one religion that nobody ever thinks of. One religion nobody ever talks about or makes fun of or pokes fun at. One religion that nobody ? including those who practice it ? even notices is there.
Like I said, I am an atheist. The thing is I made special mention of the fact that I’m only an atheist by definition for a reason. I don’t like to associate with other atheists. Not because I think they smell (some of them do), but because they don’t seem to realize that they’ve turned their system of a disbelief into a system of worship; American atheists are turning our once beloved, coveted, and blissful disbelief into a belief all its own. To make matters even worse, not only is atheism becoming theism. Oh no. It’s becoming polytheism.
For those who didn’t make it past seventh grade social studies, a polytheism is a religion with more than one deity. With atheism (or as I sometimes call it, Antiatheism) you have all the major gods: Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and ? of course ? Richard Dawkins. These four men are often referred to as ?The Four Horsemen Of Atheism? and rightfully so. They have championed the cause of logic and reason for decades, and Professor Dawkins in particular is one of my personal favorite authors on the subject. Then there are the lesser known sub-deities: Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais, Seth MacFarlane, Jim Jefferies, Victor J. Strenger, A.C. Grayling, Lawrence M. Krauss, etc. These men are ? no doubt ? great, intellectual people. Sadly, however, they’ve been turned into the very type of thing that they themselves denounce.
And it is not their fault.
The words of these men should be listened to and understood. Obviously, being the definition of atheist means I myself not only listen to and understand, but outright agree with them. I do strongly believe that:
??religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument.?
I find the idea of an intergalactic super space daddy who sees everything we do all the time always and forever really rather silly. I find the idea of angels and demons ridiculous and the idea that anybody who disagrees with you is evil rather uninformed; I truly identify with the words spoken by the men listed above.
But I do not worship them.
I’ll read their books. I’ll watch their interviews. I’ll agree with their views; though I will not worship them as so many seem to do. Have you seen some of the conventions put on by atheist groups? It’s one thing to get a large group of like-minded people together and have a chat, listen to a speech or two, and go to a seminar on science, art and/or literature; however, it’s another thing altogether to worship.
T-shirts with Sagan’s face on them, napkins with Dawkins? quotes on them, paintings of Harris, Tyson, and Gervais; it’s getting just a slight bit out of hand. At best these men are treated as mascots and at worst they are treated as gods.
Like I said, I’d be happy to go to a convention where there are speeches and seminars and presentations being put forth. I’d love to listen to these men speak in person. To shake their hand. To thank them for their efforts as people trying to make a true difference. Forget that Obama nonsense! They are the ones trying for true change by utilizing true hope.
The same cannot be said for the everyday “Antiatheism” follower. They get into their little packs and pat each other on the back and talk about how smart they are and how stupid everybody else is. How they have everything figured out, and everybody else is dead wrong. Does that not sound like an ultra-right wing church to you? Or a Tea Party rally? Now don’t get me wrong, I find religious belief ridiculous ? as I have repeatedly said ? which means that by definition they deserve ridicule. You can ridicule and have tact at the same time, my friends. You wanna? know who I think one of the greatest men in the history of the United States was? Mr. Fred Rogers?
?and he was a Presbyterian minister.
Mr. Rogers was a truly wonderful man who preached good will, good manners, and good behavior without ever mentioning on his program his faith. He was calm, mild-mannered, and pleasant, and it was through that pleasantness ? through that warm, fatherly demeanor ? that he convinced a Senate ready to pass significant budget cuts on PBS to turn and go the other way. In fact, he went so far as to give John O. Pastore goosebumps over the course of his six minutes of testimony. He changed the minds of a group of staunch politicians whose eyes were only on the bottom line by using beautiful, poetic words from the heart rather than fiery, hateful words from the gut. So I’m not saying that all religious people are bad. My girlfriend is Catholic, for crying out loud and I happen to be a huge fan of Pope Francis.
So we want to change the world by acting like a gaggle of squawking jocks picking on the so-called ?dumb kids?? Don’t worry, I’m well aware of the hatred that is spewed in the direction of non-believers across the country by fringe groups who do everything but follow the word of Jesus, but the only time it’s proper to fight fire with fire is when you’re trying to stop a real, non-metaphorical wildfire. Men like Richard Dawkins and Neil DeGrasse Tyson are trying like hell to get a message of logic and reason across to a country so lost in it’s delusion that it has renounced the words of the founders it holds so near and dear about faith in government. They are fighting a noble battle. Sadly, thanks to people who choose to worship their every word rather than simply identify with them, it’s a battle they will ultimately lose. Anger breeds anger. Fury breeds fury. Intolerance breeds intolerance. Hatred breeds hatred.
So cut the tomfoolery people. Choose to disbelieve. Don’t choose to be an acolyte for men who didn’t ask for any.
Edited/Published by: SB