Bill Donohue Is Looking For Accidental Christians

Once there was an accidental Christian
Who had never read the bible—not a word!
She never knew that Jesus died to save us
Though it’s not her fault; she simply hadn’t heard!

Her beliefs, of course, were just coincidental
Cos she’d never heard a sermon or a prayer
So her strange belief in transubstantiation
Was devout, though she herself was unaware.

She believed in god the father, son, and spirit
She believed we fell from Eden, cloaked in shame
She believed that Jesus’ sacrifice redeems us…
Though she never knew, believed it just the same

Now the Catholic League is searching for this woman
Who is Christian, though she truly doesn’t know
Cos they’re looking to adopt her as their daughter
So her accidental faithfulness can grow.
Incredible stupidity, after the jump:

See, now, this is exactly the sort of thing I was complaining about here–when people misuse religious logic to speak of a lack of belief. Bill Donohue’s Catholic League chooses to define atheism in terms of strong atheism, which allows them to speak of “non-believers” as a fairly substantial group, but “atheists” as a tiny fraction of that group. That logic, though, does allow for the possibility that someone absolutely fits the definition of an atheist in the privative sense, but (since they do not self-identify as one) not realize that the definition fits them.

Donohue flips this logic around and applies it to Christians as well–if it’s possible to be an atheist and not know it, surely it must be possible to be Christian and not know it:

Today we are launching our “Adopt An Atheist” campaign, the predicate of which is, “We want atheists to realize that there may be Christians in their community, even if those Christians don’t even know they are Christian.”
Here’s what our campaign entails. We are asking everyone to contact the American Atheist affiliate in his area [click here], letting them know of your interest in “adopting” one of them. All it takes is an e-mail. Let them know of your sincere interest in working with them to uncover their inner self. They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.
If we hurry, these closeted Christians can celebrate Christmas like the rest of us. As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”

Because it makes perfect sense that someone believe in Jesus without knowing that they do… or believe in the trinity, or literal transubstantiation, or original sin.

And yes, I know it’s intended mostly as a jab at David Silverman and American Atheists, but it’s a jab made possible by a bad definition. Bah, humbug.

Comments

  1. abelundercity says

    Interesting. My personal definition of someone who’s “good for nothing” is someone who would not only go to the mat, but would also distract the ref and slide a steel chair into the ring, for authoritarian pedophiles and their enablers.

  2. tmscott says

    “…As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”

    Bill Donohue, fuck you very much.

  3. Ryan says

    I’m all for them “adopting” an atheist, I have many formally catholic friends, it was very easy to convert them. When one is feed shit all their life, the first taste of meat leaves them craving more.

  4. Makoto says

    I’m guessing I already celebrate xmas like most Christians do, despite being an atheist… family, friends, exchanging gifts, helping out in a community meal / gift drive for needy children, handing out blankets to those in need, donating to food banks..

    Oh, wait… you mean most Christians don’t donate their time, money, and efforts to help others who could really use it, even at this time of year during the “war on Christmas”? Well, that’s a shock…

  5. judykomorita says

    “Let them know of your sincere interest in working with them to uncover their inner self. They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.”

    This made me laugh out loud. You know, the best debaters among us (I’m not one of them) should say Yes to these idiots, then debate them out of their beliefs.

    Would be fun to watch.

  6. kagekiri says

    You know, CS Lewis’s Narnia series had that guy who served another god (strongly implied to be Allah or some Hindu god) but was actually worshiping the right qualities in the wrong god (the right qualities being Aslan’s), and thus a follower of Aslan and saved in the end.

    So if they want to expand on that, they could totally say all the good, moderate muslims and moral atheists or other non-Christians are actually Christians!

    Not that the Muslims, atheists, or even most Christians would appreciate that thinking.

    Some Christians use the “good & ignorant people get saved” thing to justify why the unreached peoples who seem unfairly condemned to hell aren’t actually condemned, or why babies would be saved by their ignorance/innocence, and so on. Basically, if you’re good and mostly innocent, but haven’t heard Christ’s message, you’re saved. If you do hear it but don’t convert, you lose out because then you’re actively rejecting Christ.

    Of course, the problem with that thinking is that it makes missionaries basically people who make sure the formerly unreached have a proper shot at hell, since giving them the option gives them the option of just punishment as well. That’s rather like the “aborted babies being 100% saved” versus ones who survive birth and become much more likely to sin and end up damned to hell.

  7. Silas says

    I believe there are many supposely chrisitans sitting the pews of the church that do not believe the jesus myth. Now would that ever shock the hell out of Bill Donohue…does that mean he would go to hell????????????????

  8. timberwoof says

    “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”

    It was said before, but it bears saying again. Bill Donohue, fuck you very much, with a rotten porcupine.

  9. says

    The fact that she Believed.. She believed in the 3 trinity in 1. She believed that Christ had died for us, makes her a Christian

  10. Cuttlefish says

    So, David, you see no problem with believing something but not being aware that you believe it? How can you accidentally, unknowingly believe in the 3 in 1 nature of an entity you’ve never heard of! Maybe Donohue is onto something here…

  11. says

    To play the Devil’s advocate (snicker), The use of quotes on this statement implies a different intention for the phrase. I thought perhaps he was quoting Silverman, but I can’t find the quote source.

    At least this position isn’t popular with some Catholics either: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=8671977

    Then again, 10% of Catholics in Ireland are atheists, so perhaps this thread represents a minority.

    I found the image of the man holding the child up in the air more offensive than any of the text. It implies that atheists are like children requiring the patriarchal intervention of mature, God-loving Christians. However, I say, let them adopt. Let them contact an American Atheists affiliate. Donahue made a mistake there. It’s far more likely that more Christians will become atheists than vice versa, or, at least, far more Christians are going to come away with “well, that guy wasn’t so bad, Bill Donahue’s a douchebag.” Sure, there’s going to be a lot of flame-mail, but these are public addresses, I’m sure they have filters.

  12. says

    Well, I have known of a few people who claimed to have been atheists who quickly converted to Christianity under emotional circumstances. I suspect they probably just thought they had no reason to go to church before and perhaps gave the god question little thought…not quite sure that counts as being “atheist” though, as I’m darn well sure they were exposed to Christianity as children…nor did they seem to call themselves atheists until they were going through the conversion process. But these might be the people Bill has in mind. He’s not going to find them through American Atheists, however!!!

  13. says

    # 13: “I found the image of the man holding the child up in the air more offensive than any of the text. It implies that atheists are like children requiring the patriarchal intervention of mature, God-loving Christians.”

    A way to fix that image in your mind is to think of it as reversing the stereotypes roles: The adult is that atheist. Like disadvantaged kids adopting a “big brother” mentor.

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