Perhaps, in an unguarded moment, an atheist will look up this Thanksgiving and say, “Thank you” to the One who has made their life possible. Otherwise, the thing about atheism is that you have no One to thank.
- Santa doesn’t care if you believe in him or not. He’s not that insecure.
- Santa rewards and punishes people based on their deeds, not whether or not they kissed his ass enough. (see #1.)
- Santa’s punishment is, at worst, coal. Santa never flooded the planet (Gen.7:21-22,) had pregnant women be ripped up and have their little ones dashed upon rocks (Hos.13:16,) and never threatened anyone with eternal torment in a fiery pit (Matthew 13:41-42.) Santa isn’t fucking psychotic.
- Santa’s reward for goodness is presents. Something practical that you can use. Something you can get every year. You don’t have to be dead to get it.
- Santa doesn’t want you to be good for him, or for the reward of presents, or for the fear of coal, but to “be good for goodness sake.”
- No one has ever killed, waged war, interfered with school curriculum, attacked science, or interfered with laws and government in Santa’s name.Nor has anyone used Santa as an excuse for bigotry against minority groups. You don’t see any “Santa hates fags” signs around, do you?
- None of Santa’s elves have ever gone rogue and waged war with the North Pole. Santa is a competent leader and keeps his people in line. Or maybe hanging with Santa is just better.
- Santa does not demand brutal human sacrifice on a cross. He’d just appreciate some milk and cookies. And maybe some carrots for the reindeer. Torture? He’ll pass.Oh, and he doesn’t want any of your money, either.
- NORAD tracks Santa every year. That’s just awesome.
You can also get your picture taken with Santa in stores. God has yet to pose with me or my dog.
- Although neither god nor Santa are real, no one judges your character for not believing in Santa.
I once thought that the Washington Post was a legitimate newspaper with actual journalists, integrity, and interest in facts. Evidently, I was wrong, as has been shown to me by the mere existence of an ongoing column, Higher Things, written by Vasko Kohlmayer, man so devoted to his religion that he has completely divorced himself from reality.
The column is pure fail right from the title of the very first article. “Atheist or agnostic: We all know God” … As I pried my hand away from where it had impacted my face, I could tell already that this was going to be painful.
After I managed to stop smacking my face with my palm every damned time I read that nonsensical title, I started to actually read the article. It’s just as illogical as the title would lead any rational person to expect. Hell, maybe it was even worse.
Kohlmayer starts with an anecdote, which was passed along to him from someone else (because those totally make for compelling evidence, right?) about someone he’s known who had back pain until he started talking to
himself god. A 55 year old man with back pain? It must be because he was an atheist. Obviously his relief couldn’t have come from his body’s natural ability to heal over time, or from the help he received at the hospital, it must have been GAWD!
And, being someone who believes the bible, you know that the author took this story as truth. Not only did this actually happen (no need to verify anything like a journalist might, but god heals everyone who asks (never-mind how many Christians yet have persistent health problems). Moreover, that this atheist man knew that there was a god to reach to in time of need, therefore all atheists secretly believe in god, an assertion that is the main thrust of the article.
Hilariously, the author tries to claim personal experience. He claimed to have once been an atheist who knew there was a god, despite the meaning of the word “atheist.” I always laugh when people try to claim to be former atheists. Maybe some exist, but for the most part the speaker is just misusing the word to refer to the time before they converted fully (or were “born-again”) to their particular religion. Yeah, not really the same thing.
To back of his point, he does what any theist does when they have no real evidence to support their assertions, he quotes the bible. Paul says that god can be clearly seen, therefore everyone secretly believes not only in god, but in this particular version of it. Oh, well, I’m convinced. If a character in a book said it (even a book that has zero credibility with me,) it must be true.
It’s difficult to make serious refutations when all a writer does is make nonsensical assertions, with only a fantasy book to back him up. The only response that an unsupported claim deserves is “no.” Like the claim that god exists, the claim that atheists secretly believe in god is completely without merit. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Seriously, the argument for the existence of god, in this post, boils down to “babies, flowers, sunsets, therefore GAWD!” I’m not kidding. I wish I was being facetious here, but I’m not. He really thinks that people secretly believe in god when they see those things.
Obviously, atheists and agnostics don’t believe in god. That’s what those fucking labels mean. I no more “know” that god exists than I “know” that leprechauns, unicorns, fairies, and elves do. Despite what this guy claims, I have never experienced god (no one has) even though I have tried very hard to while I searched desperately for an excuse to cling to the label “Christian” which had be foisted upon me by adults when I was a child. The assumption that I have had the “epiphany” of feeling god’s presence is pulled completely out of the authors own ass and has no basis in reality. He’s just making shit up.
I may as well say that the author secretly believes that the Wizards described in the Harry Potter books exist, simply because I do (as far as anyone knows, anyway,) and use the Harry Potter books themselves as evidence. Maybe I’ll even pass along a story from someone, who knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone who had a broken arm, who cast a healing spell on herself and was healed (but of course it took several weeks.) Ta-da, Kohlmayer secretly believes in wizards. And he calls atheists ”self-deceived.”
I don’t secretly believe in your imaginary friend, jackass. Get over yourself. (Seriously, this sort of self-serving bullshit reminds me of all the natalism-obsessed people who obnoxiously insist that I want to ruin my finances, body, and life by having babies like them.) This guy has to believe that we secretly believe in god to make himself feel validated. Facing the fact that some people really don’t buy the religious bullshit that he’s fallen prey to might cause him to question the rationality of his own beliefs, and he can’t have that.
All atheists and agnostics secretly believe in this author’s particular version of god. Why? Because Kohlmayer is so insecure that he needs to believe that this is the case. Maybe, deep down, he knows that there really is no god and he’s only wasted years of his life on this bullshit.
There’s more where this load came from.
It’s apparently a popular meme, on Twitter anyway, for theists, usually Christians, to say that atheists have no one to thank for the good in their lives. Apparently, this cliché was made popular by a blogger Joey Nelson on his Spiritual Questions Blog, or so I learned from About. He wrote:
When I see this cliché, I laugh. On Thanksgiving, my family always has turkey dinner. It takes days to prepare, and of course we have to buy all of the food with our own money that we worked to earn. We make the food ourselves. Why should I tank anyone but ourselves? (to be fair, being a child, I didn’t contribute financially, and most of the work preparing the meal was done by my mother. So when I say “we”… ) And if I’m with my family, I need not look up, but across the table to thank the people who made my life possible.
Meanwhile, around the world, people continue to starve to death, and suffer in numerous other ways. Why the hell would I thank a god?
I remember, when attending my brother’s Marine Corps boot camp graduation, listening to the Chaplain speak over the microphone. He told everyone to bow their heads is prayer. I remember feeling so angry as I listened to him thank his god for the work of others. I was there that day because I was proud of my brother for HIS accomplishment, because it was his. Yet here there was a chaplain giving thanks and praise, not the new marines for their accomplishment, not the drill instructors for their training and leadership, but to his own god, his imaginary friend.
For me, this was a repeat episode. Different characters, different setting, same story. The same exact thing happened had two years earlier at my own graduation from Army Basic Training and again at our redeployment ceremony when we returned from Iraq. Each time, someone else was thanked for our own achievements, someone we were instructed to thank as well.
As if that itself wasn’t outrageous enough, this someone isn’t even real. I was, on each of these occasions, feeling very much insulted.
I, as an atheist was not left with no one to thank. I had my leadership, the soldiers to my left and right, my family and friends, and myself. Without religion, I was still able to thank someone, I just thanked the right people. I was able and willing to give credit where it was due. If you’re a believer and you’re happy about an occurrence other than a natural phenomenon (like weather, which requires no thanks) and you want to thank someone, ask yourself, is there really no human being responsible who it would be appropriate to thank?
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.