Sunday, June 22, 2008

Say what?

We've all heard them. Usually, they're tossed out in the middle of a debate. Occasionally, you here them in conversations between atheists and theists. And, you're almost sure to hear them when theists don't know you're listening. They're logically unsound and, often, completely pompous and/or irrational. What are they? They are, what I like to call, little nuggets of Christ-love. Just today, I've read quite a few:
1. "It is your choice--it is your life in eternity. I choose to believe in God."
2. "It (atheism) is like dealing with a person addicted to drugs...I love the person, but I don't have to love what he does."
3. "These are my choices. I have made them, I will be persecuted for them. Jesus said, "The world hates me, therefore, they will hate you too!"
4. "Atheists are sad people who can't love so they tear all love away from them because it hurts to have god's love if you won't accept it."
5. "If you don't believe in God, why do you keep obsessing about HIM?"
6. "God cares so much that He will keep that burr under your saddle and keep you agonizing."
7. "Rape is in the Bible because it is a parable. The stories of rape teach women to be pure and chaste' because looking for sex or dressing immodestly is asking for men to rape you spiritually."
8. "You are moral because God put morals in your heart. You can't help it."
9. "Most afflictions are given to in the womb because God knows your heart before you are born."
10. "Atheists have no value."
11. "My wisdom comes from scripture. Not logic."
12. "Atheist evolution supporters say that there was a big bang that created life but every big bang I've seen kills life. There for they don't make any sense."
13. "You're an atheist because you don't want to follow the rules God gives you."
14. "Satan has made you think appearances of happy are happy when it is sad you feel."
15. "What if you're wrong? What are you going to say to God?"

The first three came from one person, in one paragraph.

I'm posting this because I've had theist friends say, "It's not that bad." or "The perception that theists don't like atheists is in your head." I beg to differ. These examples are pretty tame. I know every one of my atheist readers has run into these and similar/worse statements. Let's hear em'!


April said...

"When you're on your deathbed, you'll change your mind."

Um, no.

the chaplain said...

I got this one on my blog recently: "Never forget: a false Christian is really an atheist."

nugget said...

The one that drives me nuts is the classic:

"Why are you so angry with God?"

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

'There is no basis for morality outside of God. People become atheists so they can do what they can live immorally'.

'There is no such thing as an atheist'.

or the awful

'Oh, you're an atheist? But you're so nice. I think, deep down, you're really a Christian, you just don't know it yet.

Stacey said...

Haha! #11 cracks me up. It's funny because it's true.

Hmmm... how about:

"The greatest triumph of the devil is to make people believe he (or God) doesn't exist."

My uber-fundie-christian parents used to tell me things like:

"If you're happy away from God's organization it's because the devil is making you happy so you'll stay away." teehee!

Or this gem:

"If you are financially successful away from God it's because the Devil is giving you monetary success as a distraction."

Perpetual Beginner said...

"Deep down everyone believes in God. Some just choose to deny Him."

Pfft! I swear the biggest drawback to being a theist is some of the pure illogic thrown around by other theists.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I have actually had some body say "I don't believe you an atheist"

Calladus said...

Bumper sticker: "Eternity - Smoking or non-smoking?"

Talk about a large amount of snark!

Or - the Ray Comfort swipe at former Christians who have become Atheist. "You were never really Christian, you were only a 'False Convert'".

'Cause, you know, a Real Christian (TM) would never ever become an Atheist!

Tak said...

I'm not exactly an atheist (nor Judeo-Christian), but these are some things I have been told which I think apply:

"You don't believe in God because you're a demon."

"I'm not trying to convert you, but I really think reading this book would change your life..."

"I understand you've had bad experiences with churches, but God wants you to be happy!" Said when trying to get me to go to Church with them.

While patting my hand 'reassuringly':

"Don't worry. You'll come to the True Path eventually." Sorry, I quite like the one I'm on.

Betsy said...

My MIL says (paraphrased from a convo with her) "the reason you're having these 'troubles' is because you didn't choose Christianity for yourself."

I'm not sure what 'troubles' she's talking about other than rejecting said Christianity.

FIL tells my husband he is responsible for and endangering the spiritual future of his wife and children. (as if he could be responsible for my decisions anyway, and the children part sounds threatening to me)

He also sent an article from Reader's Digest about how religion makes people happy because 31% of people in the US are 'very happy' and 85% are religious?? Makes no sense...

I'm far happier now than I was as a Christian, but people will never believe it.

Milo Johnson said...

"You're just looking for attention."

And, RIP George Carlin, one of the great trailblazing atheists of all time.

fsmismyhero said...

Sean "I have actually had some body say "I don't believe you're an atheist""

Me too!!! It was actually my mom. Then I explained to her what an atheist is. When she realized that I didn't worship satan, she was able to handle it, but still thinks it's a phase. LOL!

And I'm surprised no one mentioned the famous "There are no Atheists in foxholes" line yet.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

And, RIP George Carlin, one of the great trailblazing atheists of all time.
Definitely. May we all live as long, or longer, saying exactly what we choose in his honor.

weemaryanne said...

"Atheism is intellectual cowardice."

Got that from some sockpuppet on Ray Comfort's blog; asked for an explanation; still waiting.

CrypticLife said...

There's "Atheists are just socially autistic" and "You're just trying to get people upset".

And then, the ever-present varieties of Pascal's wager that do mention hell (You indicate the "What if you're wrong?", but there's far more graphic comparisons).

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

These are all comments left in various forms on my blog.

"There are no dead atheists."

"Atheism is a religion too"

"All atheists deep down want to kill all Christians"

"If we let the Athiest [sic] get control, there will be no free speech or religious freedom"

Debbie said...

I've heard the "it's just a phase", too, from a graduate school professor. I'm still confused why -- should I ever come out of this "phase" -- would I choose to worship the Judeo-Christian god as opposed to the hundreds of others available in the global pantheon. And there's the ubiquitous "You can't prove a negative!" Sure, whatever. But no one has ever proven the positive, either.

Betsy said...

I've gotten the "you're just looking for attention" thing too!!

I asked why in the world I would choose something my family considers as a negative to get attention. I don't like the conflict this has caused in my family - why would I choose that?! If I just wanted attention, there are easier ways to go about it, like having another baby.

reddhedd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KevinGreene said...

Don't forget, "It takes just as much faith to be an atheist."

reddhedd said...

reddhedd said...
I was told once 'You're not an atheist; you're a drama queen!" implying, of course, that I secretly believe in god, I'm just declaring my atheism for effect.

edited for misspelling.

Hound Doggy said...

I had a teacher tell me that all atheists were materiallistic.

I still haven't figured that one out yet.

Katie said...

p-momma what perfect timing for this list! I had my boss tell me "maybe god just hated you last week." It was in reference to me having a crappy week at work while he was gone but still none the less. It did make me finally speak up and come out of the atheist closet to say the least.

Thranil said...

One from my mother:

"Well, there's still time..."

To which I respond "Yep, you've still got some good years left".

aimee said...

Katie "It did make me finally speak up and come out of the atheist closet to say the least."

How did that go?

Kevingreene: My husband was told something similar recently by my FIL. "It takes MORE faith to not believe in god than it does to believe in him." ACK!

I too have gotten the "Why you must be a christian, you are so nice."

reVAMPed said...

"You'll come around, because God Loves You."

Poodles said...

From my grandmother:
"Of course you believe in god, everyone believes in god."

Kathy from said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MnM&miniMnM said...

Delurking for comments, Several of my favorits are: "geez I thought you were a nice person"; "You're too young to decide your an atheist" (I was 25); and my all time favorite a relative told my child "Don't worry honey, we'll save you when you're older"
btw possummomma I love your blog. Especially the happy little possum pics. My little one enjoys looking at them too. (She is now the proud owner of a jumbo box of crayons)lol!

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Kathy, your comment was deleted because you failed to add anything to the discussion (except for a gratuitous link). Read the rules on the main blog page. If you want to drive traffic to your blog, either e-mail me about it and I'll look it over, or simply start chatting and let your user name guide people to your sight.

Enkidu said...

"The United States was founded on Christian principles."

Katie said...

aimee said...

Katie "It did make me finally speak up and come out of the atheist closet to say the least."

How did that go?

Aimee I think he took it well but as with some people they make up their own assumptions instead of asking you why. I didn't bother trying to correct him since doing commercial embroidery + while trying to argue = messed up shirts.

amarullis said...

From my best friend in high school, when I was only questioning the existence of god--

"You can't chose if you will believe in god. You are born with faith or you're not. Maybe you just weren't chosen by god to have faith."

Friendship over.

amarullis said...

Forgot two--
"All modern laws are based on the 10 commandments."
"The 10 commandments are universal statements of morals."

Lizz said...

wow, i'm not an atheist, but i really think that u voicing ur opinion is soo awesome, although i'm not a atheist, i only go to church like 2wice a yr, christmas, and easter, my whole family is that way( mom dad and brothers) the rest of the ppl in our family belive we're sinning, and put a lot of heat o us for it, so although it's not really close to your situation, i kinda of understand how u feel

Berlzebub said...

In response to my comments on another blog post:
"In response to Berzlebub, ever heard of logic? Athiesm takes away any need or reason for morals. Without God, there aren’t any morals. It’s a logical, even obvious consequence of not believing in God that you don’t have any rules for behavior. As an athiest, you should be killing anyone who you don’t like, murdering sick people, and reproducing as many times as possible. After all we’re just animals, right? Animals don’t need morals.
P.S. The last couple lines were, indeed, sarcasm."

And I thought the whole thing was sarcasm.

Oh, and if you want to see some doozies, check out the blog post itself.

graylor said...

I think there should be an atheist "bingo" card. Can't theists be a little creative, hmm?

I've been tempted to print up little cards explaining how one does not need a deity to be moral, but would probably get myself burned at the stake (metaphorically, one would hope) for my trouble.

For all the "guidance of the spirit" helping Real True Christians (tm) perceive the wicked, it's amazing they've never spotted me so long as I don't talk about it. Then again, I'm a long-haired, skirt-wearing woman--if *I'm* not Christian, how can the poor dears be certain of anyone?

I mostly lurk but I do enjoy your entire blog. Your kids sound like a lot of fun. Btw, your daughter who recently graduated middle school has an a strong resemblence to one of my neices.

Enshoku said...

If you look at my last blog post I'm sure you could find 100 of them, but we can't forget the sexyiest ones of all:
"i don't believe in religion"
"i don't believe in atheists"

Floridian said...

Wow. I know it's hard to believe, but I've never gotten any of these. The closest I came was when religion came up in a conversation with a co-worker and I expressed disbelief that he believed in something supernatural.

He's not a personal god type, but firmly said that he thinks there's something and didn't want to discuss the details.

I, of course, immediately and permanently dropped the subject, but he seemed far more defensive than aggressive about it.

I even once twitted my boss about his catholicism. He had made some comment that I can't recall now, perhaps it was about birth control, that I pointed out disagreed with the church.

Not wanting to give offense, I immediately said the matter was none of my business and apologized, but I didn't get preached at.

I know they exist, but miraculously they never seem to talk to me.

Jen said...

I see my mom and dad about once a week. (I'm an adult-31 years old. *gasp*) I love spending time with them, but my dad always finds a way to sneak in bone-headed comments, usually regarding death and Heaven/Hell. Here are two recent comments that stick out in my memory.

Looking up at dark storm clouds and lightning overhead: "Don't worry. Just tell God you're sorry, and we'll all go to Heaven together if we get struck by lightning."

Talking about their upcoming drive across country for vacation: "I'm not afraid. If we have a car accident, we'll go right to Heaven."

I usually just smile or give a light-hearted chuckle when he says things like this, but then I feel terrible later for not saying anything. I haven't quite figured out how to respond. Dad is an elder in their church (Church of Christ, a fundamentalist evangelical denomination), which is a position of authority, but he has a very child-like view of God. Maybe that's why his church made him an elder. LOL!

Flux said...

I'm going to make you some bingo cards with this tripe on them, so at least you can get some entertainment out of this nonsense. :)

MnM&miniMnM said...

OMgravy! I forgot my other favorite one "You have to believe in god or we won't see each other in heaven after we die!"

reddhedd said...


Ask, and it shall be given....

Dennis Knepp said...

I trust that you've found the brights network. Also, find Dennett's essay "Thank Goodness," if you haven't already found it.

graylor said...

Thanks, reddhedd! *lol* Is it sad that I've heard all of those in rl?

musingsofanaddict said...

Does my inlaws telling my 2 year old she needs to go to curch so they can save her from the fire count? Because that was a nugget I wish we'd gone without -- my reaction was to calmly explain that if there was fire at the church she should stay home where she'll be safe; really, what else can a two year old handle?

@lankr1ta said...

Pmom, I thought you would find this amusing