What Would An Atheist Do?


Inspired by PZ’s post, back just prior to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene hitting the east coast, about David Silverman’s appearance on Fox. Basically, Silverman was invited on so that the hosts could ask him how atheists prepare for storms, and then make fun of him for not praying.

Of course, preparing for a potential disaster takes many forms, but the forms that are actually effective have one thing in common: they are among the things that atheists would do. Batteries? Check. Water? Check. Food? Check. First aid kit? Check. Prayer? Not so much. Candles? Matches? Check; check. Rosary? Nope. As Silverman said, the best thing you can do is prepare like an atheist.

Which got me thinking, and then composing. So below the fold is… not a verse, but a song. In my head it even has an actual melody and accompaniment–original, not a parody of any song I am aware of. For style, think John Hiatt, with a gospel choir backing him up. After the jump:

A hurricane’s coming; an earthquake has struck
A blizzard is forecast, you’re shit outta luck.
The river is rising; your world’s sprung a leak
The power is out, and it might be a week
Get down on your knees
Get down on your knees and pray
Get down on your knees
Get down on your knees and pray
God’s touch could make a banquet out of nothing more than dirt,
But a couple cans of tuna wouldn’t hurt.

Faith moves mountains, and God will provide
It’s the valley of darkness, but Christ’s by my side
It may sound funny; it may sound odd
But God’s no help against an act of God
Get down on your knees
Get down on your knees and pray
Get down on your knees
Get down on your knees and pray
Sure, maybe God will guide you with His golden, shining face
But you’d better have a flashlight just in case.

(bridge)
Just in case He’s needed elsewhere
Just in case you’re off His list
Just in case He’s mythological and doesn’t quite exist
Just in case this time, His answer is
He’s left it up to you,
Better ask yourself “what would an atheist do?”

There’s candles in the cupboard; you’ve charged up the phone
Everything you’d want if you were there all alone
There’s food and there’s water, and a first-aid kit
And if God turns his back, then it won’t mean shit
You got all that you need
You got all that you need, today.
You got all that you need
You got all that you need, today.
Time to take the Bible, put it back on the shelf
Cos you’re gonna have to do it all yourself

It may have been a fire; it may have been a flood
But people need blankets and people need blood.
Safe food, clean water, and emergency care
And two hands working beat a thousand in prayer
So get up off your knees
So get up off your knees, right away
So get up off your knees
So get up off your knees, right away
You’re a part of a community, you really understand
That it’s up to you to lend a helping hand

You can really make a difference; you can really do some good
Cos you did it like an atheist would.

(Now all I need is John Hiatt and a gospel choir, and I could put together a song that insults every possible demographic that might listen to it. No wonder I make no money.)

Comments

  1. Randomfactor says

    When you’re down on your knees, you’re about two feet more vulnerable to the flood waters, and less likely to outrun the fire.

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