I’ve never known an atheist
I hope to never meet one
But I can tell you anyway
The best way to defeat one!
The weapon known as “satire” is
The critic’s sharpest tool…
It wounds the target grievously
And paints them as the fool.
Behold, my friends, the atheist,
In all his Godless glory—
(But since I’ve never talked to one,
Instead… you get this story)
Oh. My. Dog. (actually, my dog is asleep on the couch beside me right now, and probably would ask not to be associated with any of this.)
Ok, I’ve seen a lot of very bad atheist strawmen (that is, presentations of atheists in the form of strawmen, as opposed to strawmen presented by atheists…which, tell the truth, I have seen more than a handful of), but I think I might just have found a genuine candidate for The Worst Yet.
Sometimes, a bit of satire says it best…
Protip–when you have to tell people it is satire, you are doing it wrong. Oh, trust me, I’ve had people take my own satire as genuine (scroll down, some commenters love it as if it is straightforward–and actually, this was not the example I was looking for, although it was for the same verse)when it clearly is satire… But damn. When I write satire, I have the decency to suffer from imposter’s syndrome. Bo Wagner apparently thinks he does satire well.
In this “satire”, Bo Wagner assumes the voice of a typical atheist–or rather, an atypical atheist who leaves his atheism for… well, he never actually says, which isn’t even the worst of it.
“I wanted to keep believing, I really did. But faith just became so hard for me. Every time I turned around the ‘science’ was changing. First the universe was 20 million years old, then a billion, then four billion, then 16 billion, and now 20 billion. It finally dawned on me that people just threw figures around without any evidence. That hurt me; I really did have lots of faith in my favorite scientists, my ‘gods,’ I guess you would call them.”
My favorite Adlai Stevenson quote goes something like “I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” One of my tag categories on this blog is “blasphemy”–at one point, the difference between “blasphemy” and “religion” was that the blasphemy category took the bible (and occasionally, religious speakers) at their word, rather than trying to translate what they said into something coherent. Bo Wagner cannot take atheists at their word, cannot take scientists at their word, but must invent fictions to assign to them. Sixteen billion? Twenty billion? Yes, whoever wrote those estimates is a lying sack of shit… oh, that’s right, it’s Bo Wagner.
“I worshiped very hard. I suppose I was really just trying to convince myself,” he said. “I always attended lectures on atheism, even when I would rather have been on the lake fishing. I gave my offerings (donations to liberal causes) regularly. I even prayed.”
When queried about whom he would have to pray to, O’ Hare got a bit sheepish.
“To me,” he whispered. He then explained that, since he had believed there was no God, then that made him (and any other human) the final authority, and thus, a god himself.
“I have to admit, it is a bit awkward at first, but after a while you just learn to refer to yourself in the second person as you pray. After a while, you can really get into it.”
Statistically, it is likely that Bo Wagner knows some atheists. Clearly, he has never spoken with them, or perhaps they have (utterly understandably) never revealed their atheism to him. His view of atheists is a bit strange. As well as his view of “prayer” (which if he checks a dictionary rather than a bible, is something that atheists actually can do). Also, I have never. Ever. Ever. Anywhere. Seen any atheist ever… claim self-worship. This is an odd thing, and clearly not something ever witnessed by … Bo Wagner.
But hey, he’s not a satirist. He’s a pastor, with a doctorate in theology (I only checked because my question was, is he misrepresenting atheists, or theists?).
Most importantly–have you seen a worse representation of what an atheist is, in the name of satire? Links, please, if you have them! (fair warning–I think the software will put you in moderation with a link or two, especially if it’s your first post. I’ll look at them and approve them, just be patient. Oh… you might have to be *really* patient, if the blizzard knocks out my power.)