How Can You Have Meaning Without… ? »« Carnival of the Godless #77

Atheists and Anger

ScreamI want to talk about atheists and anger.

This has been a hard piece to write, and it may be a hard one to read. I’m not going to be as polite and good-tempered as I usually am in this blog; this piece is about anger, and for once I’m going to fucking well let myself be angry.

But I think it’s important. One of the most common criticisms lobbed at the newly-vocal atheist community is, “Why do you have to be so angry?” So I want to talk about:

1. Why atheists are angry;

2. Why our anger is valid, valuable, and necessary;

And 3. Why it’s completely fucked-up to try to take our anger away from us.

So let’s start with why we’re angry. Or rather — because this is my blog and I don’t presume to speak for all atheists — why I’m angry.

*****

GraphI’m angry that according to a recent Gallup poll, only 45 percent of Americans would vote for an atheist for President.

I’m angry that atheist conventions have to have extra security, including hand-held metal detectors and bag searches, because of fatwas and death threats.

I’m angry that atheist soldiers — in the U.S. armed forces — have had prayer ceremonies pressured on them and atheist meetings broken up by Christian superior officers, in direct violation of the First Amendment. I’m angry that evangelical Christian groups are being given exclusive access to proselytize on military bases — again in the U.S. armed forces, again in direct violation of the First Amendment. I’m angry that atheist soldiers who are complaining about this are being harassed and are even getting death threats from Christian soldiers and superior officers — yet again, in the U.S. armed forces. And I’m angry that Christians still say smug, sanctimonious things like, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” You know why you’re not seeing atheists in foxholes? Because believers are threatening to shoot them if they come out.

George_h_w_bushI’m angry that the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, said of atheists, in my lifetime, “No, I don’t know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.” My President. No, I didn’t vote for him, but he was still my President, and he still said that my lack of religious belief meant that I shouldn’t be regarded as a citizen.

I’m angry that it took until 1961 for atheists to be guaranteed the right to serve on juries, testify in court, or hold public office in every state in the country.

CreationismI’m angry that almost half of Americans believe in creationism. And not a broad, “God had a hand in evolution” creationism, but a strict, young-earth, “God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years” creationism.

And on that topic: I’m angry that school boards all across this country are still — 82 years after the Scopes trial — having to spend time and money and resources on the fight to have evolution taught in the schools. School boards are not exactly loaded with time and money and resources, and any of the time/ money/ resources that they’re spending fighting this stupid fight is time/ money/ resources that they’re not spending, you know, teaching.

Condom_packageI’m angry that women are dying of AIDS in Africa and South America because the Catholic Church has convinced them that using condoms makes baby Jesus cry.

I’m angry that women are having septic abortions — or are being forced to have unwanted children who they resent and mistreat — because religious organizations have gotten laws passed making abortion illegal or inaccessible.

GalileoI’m angry about what happened to Galileo. Still. And I’m angry that it took the Catholic Church until 1992 to apologize for it.

I get angry when advice columnists tell their troubled letter-writers to talk to their priest or minister or rabbi… when there is absolutely no legal requirement that a religious leader have any sort of training in counseling or therapy.

And I get angry when religious leaders offer counseling and advice to troubled people — sex advice, relationship advice, advice on depression and stress, etc. — not based on any evidence about what actually does and does not work in people’s brains and lives, but on the basis of what their religious doctrine tells them God wants for us.

FistI’m angry at preachers who tell women in their flock to submit to their husbands because it’s the will of God, even when their husbands are beating them within an inch of their lives.

I’m angry that so many believers treat prayer as a sort of cosmic shopping list for God. I’m angry that believers pray to win sporting events, poker hands, beauty pageants, and more. As if they were the center of the universe, as if God gives a shit about who wins the NCAA Final Four — and as if the other teams/ players/ contestants weren’t praying just as hard.

I’m especially angry that so many believers treat prayer as a cosmic shopping list when it comes to health and illness. I’m angry that this belief leads to the revolting conclusion that God deliberately makes people sick so they’ll pray to him to get better. And I’m angry that they foist this belief on sick and dying children — in essence teaching them that, if they don’t get better, it’s their fault. That they didn’t pray hard enough, or they didn’t pray right, or God just doesn’t love them enough.

And I get angry when other believers insist that the cosmic shopping list isn’t what religion and prayer are really about; that their own sophisticated theology is the true understanding of God. I get angry when believers insist that the shopping list is a straw man, an outmoded form of religion and prayer that nobody takes seriously, and it’s absurd for atheists to criticize it.

Virginia_techI get angry when believers use terrible, grief-soaked tragedies as either opportunities to toot their own horns and talk about how wonderful their God and their religion are… or as opportunities to attack and demonize atheists and secularism.

BlanketsI’m angry at the Sunday school teacher who told comic artist Craig Thompson that he couldn’t draw in heaven. And I’m angry that she said it with the complete conviction of authority… when in fact she had no basis whatsoever for that assertion. How the hell did she know what Heaven was like? How could she possibly know that you could sing in heaven but not draw? And why the hell would you say something that squelching and dismissive to a talented child?

I’m angry that Mother Teresa took her personal suffering and despair at her lost faith in God, and turned it into an obsession that led her to treat suffering as a beautiful gift from Christ to humanity, a beautiful offering from humanity to God, and a necessary part of spiritual salvation. And I’m angry that this obsession apparently led her to offer grotesquely inadequate medical care and pain relief at her hospitals and hospices, in essence taking her personal crisis of faith out on millions of desperately poor and helpless people.

I’m angry at the trustee of the local Presbyterian church who told his teenage daughter that he didn’t actually believe in God or religion, but that it was important to keep up his work because without religion there would be no morality in the world.

Hellfire_2I’m angry that so many parents and religious leaders terrorize children — who (a) have brains that are hard-wired to trust adults and believe what they’re told, and (b) are very literal-minded — with vivid, traumatizing stories of eternal burning and torture to ensure that they’ll be too frightened to even question religion.

I’m angrier when religious leaders explicitly tell children — and adults, for that matter — that the very questioning of religion and the existence of hell is a dreadful sin, one that will guarantee them that hell is where they’ll end up.

I’m angry that children get taught by religion to hate and fear their bodies and their sexuality. And I’m especially angry that female children get taught by religion to hate and fear their femaleness, and that queer children get taught by religion to hate and fear their queerness.

I’m angry about the Muslim girl in the public school who was told — by her public-school, taxpayer-paid teacher — that the red stripes on Christmas candy canes represented Christ’s blood, that she had to believe in and be saved by Jesus Christ or she’d be condemned to hell, and that if she didn’t, there was no place for her in his classroom. And I’m angry that he told her not to come back to his class when she didn’t convert.

PopeI’m angry — enraged — at the priests who molest children and tell them it’s God’s will. I’m enraged at the Catholic Church that consciously, deliberately, repeatedly, for years, acted to protect priests who molested children, and consciously and deliberately acted to keep it a secret, placing the Church’s reputation as a higher priority than, for fuck’s sake, children not being molested. And I’m enraged that the Church is now trying to argue, in court, that protecting child-molesting priests from prosecution, and shuffling those priests from diocese to diocese so they can molest kids in a whole new community that doesn’t yet suspect them, is a Constitutionally protected form of free religious expression.

911I’m angry about 9/11.

And I’m angry that Jerry Falwell blamed 9/11 on pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays and lesbians, the ACLU, and the People For the American Way. I’m angry that the theology of a wrathful God exacting revenge against pagans and abortionists by sending radical Muslims to blow up a building full of secretaries and investment bankers… this was a theology held by a powerful, widely-respected religious leader with millions of followers.

I’m angry that, when my dad had a stroke and went into a nursing home, the staff asked my brother, “Is he a Baptist or a Catholic?” And I’m not just angry on behalf of my atheist dad. I’m angry on behalf of all the Jews, all the Buddhists, all the Muslims, all the neo-Pagans, whose families almost certainly got asked that same question. That question is enormously disrespectful, not just of my dad’s atheism, but of everyone at that nursing home who wasn’t a Baptist or a Catholic.

I’m angry about Ingrid’s grandparents. I’m angry that their fundamentalism was such a huge source of strife and unhappiness in her family, that it alienated them so drastically from their children and grandchildren. I’m angry that they tried to cram it down Ingrid’s throat, to the point that she’s still traumatized by it. And I’m angry that their religion, which if nothing else should have been a comfort to them in their old age, was instead a source of anguish and despair — because they knew their children and grandchildren were all going to be burned and tortured forever in Hell, and how could Heaven be Heaven if their children and grandchildren were being eternally burned and tortured in Hell?

AisleI’m angry that Ingrid and I can’t get legally married in this country — or get legally married in another country and have it recognized by this one — largely because religious leaders oppose it. And I’m angry that both religious and political leaders have discovered that they can score big points exploiting people’s fears about sexuality in a changing world, fanning the flames of those fears… and giving people a religious excuse for why their fears are justified.

I’m angry that huge swaths of public policy in this country — not just on same-sex marriage, but on abortion and stem-cell research and sex education in schools — are being based, not on evidence of which policies do and don’t work and what is and isn’t true about the world, but on religious texts written hundreds or thousands of years ago, and on their own personal feelings about how those texts should be interpreted, with no supporting evidence whatsoever — and no apparent concept of why any evidence should be needed.

I get angry when believers trumpet every good thing that’s ever been done in the name of religion as a reason why religion is a force for good… and then, when confronted with the horrible evils done in religion’s name, say that those evils weren’t done because of religion, were done because of politics of greed or fear or whatever, would have been done anyway even without religion, and shouldn’t be counted as religion’s fault. (Of course, to be fair, I also get angry when atheists do the opposite: chalk up every evil thing done in the name of religion as a black mark on religion’s record, but then insist that the good things were done for other reasons and would have been done anyway, etc. Neither side gets to have it both ways.)

Jesus_fish_eating_darwin_fishI’m angry at the believers who put decals on their cars with a Faith fish eating a Darwin fish… and who think that’s clever, who think that religious faith really should triumph over science and evidence. I’m angry at believers who have so little respect for the physical world their God supposedly created that they feel perfectly content to ignore the mountains of physical evidence piling up around them about that real world; perfectly content to see that world as somehow less real and true than their personal opinions about God.

(Note: The litany of specific grievances is now more than halfway over. Analysis of why anger is necessary and valuable is coming up soon. Promise.)

Ted_haggardI get angry when religious leaders opportunistically use religion, and people’s trust and faith in religion, to steal, cheat, lie, manipulate the political process, take sexual advantage of their followers, and generally behave like the scum of the earth. I get angry when it happens over and over and over again. And I get angry when people see this happening and still say that atheism is bad because, without religion, people would have no basis for morality or ethics, and no reason not to just do whatever they wanted.

I get angry when religious believers make arguments against atheism — and make accusations against atheists — without having bothered to talk to any atheists or read any atheist writing. I get angry when they trot out the same old “Atheism is a nihilistic philosophy, with no joy or meaning to life and no basis for morality or ethics”… when if they spent ten minutes in the atheist blogosphere, they would discover countless atheists who experience great joy and meaning in their lives, and are intensely concerned about right and wrong.

I get angry when believers use the phrase “atheist fundamentalist” without apparently knowing what the word “fundamentalist” means. Call people pig-headed, call them stubborn, call them snarky, call them intolerant even. But unless you can point to the text to which these “fundamentalist” atheists literally and strictly adhere without question, then please shut the hell up about us being fundamentalist.

I get angry when religious believers base their entire philosophy of life on what is, at best, a hunch; when they ignore or reject or rationalize any evidence that contradicts that hunch or calls it into question… and then accuse atheists of being close-minded and ignoring the obvious truth.

PrayerAnd I get angry when believers glorify religious faith without evidence as a positive virtue, a character trait that makes people good and noble… and then continue to accuse atheists of being close-minded and ignoring the obvious truth.

I get angry when believers say that they can know the truth — the greatest truth of all about the nature of the universe, namely the source of all existence — simply by sitting quietly and listening to their heart… and then accuse atheists of being arrogant. (This isn’t just arrogant towards atheists and naturalists, either. It’s arrogant towards people of other religions who have sat just as quietly, listened to their hearts with just as much sincerity, and come to completely opposite conclusions about God and the soul and the universe.)

GalaxyAnd I get angry when believers say that the entire unimaginable enormity of the universe was made solely and specifically for the human race — when atheists, by contrast, say that humanity is a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, an infinitesimal eyeblink in the vastness of time and space — and yet again, believers accuse atheists of being arrogant.

I get angry when believers say things like, “Yes, of course, the human mind isn’t perfect, we see what we expect to see, we see faces and patterns and intention when they aren’t necessarily there… but that couldn’t be happening with me. The patterns I see in my life… they couldn’t possibly be coincidence or confirmation bias. I’m definitely seeing the hand of God.” (And then, once again, those same believers accuse atheists of being close-minded and only seeing what we want to see.)

Man_using_microscopeI get angry when believers treat the gaps in science and scientific knowledge as somehow proof of the existence of God. I get angry when, despite a thousands-of-years-old pattern of supernatural explanations being consistently and repeatedly replaced with natural ones, they still think every single unexplained phenomenon can be best explained by God. And I’m angry that, whenever a gap in our knowledge does get filled in, believers either try to suppress it (see above re: evolution in the schools), or else say, “Okay, that part of the world isn’t supernatural… but what about this gap over here? Can you explain that, Mr. Smarty-Pants Scientist? You can’t! It must be God!”

I get angry when believers say at the beginning of an argument that their belief is based on reason and evidence, and at the end of the argument say things like, “It just seems that way to me,” or, “I feel it in my heart”… as if that were a clincher. I mean, couldn’t they have said that at the beginning of the argument, and not wasted my fucking time? My time is valuable and increasingly limited, and I have better things to do with it than debating with people who pretend to care about evidence and reason but ultimately don’t.

Bible_magnifying_glassI’m angry that I have to know more about their fucking religion than the believers do. I get angry when believers say things about the tenets and texts of their religion that are flatly untrue, and I have to correct them on it.

I get angry when believers treat any criticism of their religion — i.e., pointing out that their religion is a hypothesis about the world and a philosophy of it, and asking it to stand up on its own in the marketplace of ideas — as insulting and intolerant. I get angry when believers accuse atheists of being intolerant for saying things like, “I don’t agree with you,” “I think you’re mistaken about that,” “That doesn’t make any sense,” “I think that position is morally indefensible,” and “What evidence do you have to support that?”

Joan_of_arc_burning_at_stakeAnd on that point: I get angry when Christians in the United States — members of the single most powerful and influential religious group in the country, in the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world — act like beleaguered victims, martyrs being thrown to the lions all over again, whenever anyone criticizes them or they don’t get their way.

I get angry when believers respond to some or all of these offenses by saying, “Well, that’s not the true faith. Hating queers/ rejecting science/ stifling questions and dissent… that’s not the true faith. People who do that aren’t real (Christians/ Jews/ Muslims/ Hindus/ etc.).” As if they had a fucking pipeline to God. As if they had any reason at all to think that they know for sure what God wants, and that the billions of others who disagree with them just obviously have it wrong. (Besides — I’m an atheist. The “They just aren’t doing religion right” argument is not going to cut it with me. I don’t think any of you have it right. To me, it all looks like something that people just made up.)

On that topic: I get angry when religious believers insist that their interpretation of their religion and religious text is the right one, and that fellow believers with an opposite interpretation clearly have it wrong. I get angry when believers insist that the parts about Jesus’s prompt return and all prayers being answered are obviously not meant literally… but the parts about hell and damnation and gay sex being an abomination, that’s real. And I get angry when believers insist that the parts about hell and damnation and gay sex being an abomination aren’t meant literally, but the parts about caring for the poor are really what God meant. How the hell do they know which parts of the Bible/ Torah/ Koran/ Bhagavad-Gita/ whatever God really meant, and which parts he didn’t? And if they don’t know, if they’re just basing it on their own moral instincts and their own perceptions of the world, then on what basis are they thinking that God and their sacred texts have anything to do with it at all? What right do they have to act as if their opinion is the same as God’s and he’s totally backing them up on it?

Saint_patricks_cathedralAnd I get angry when believers act as if these offenses aren’t important, because “Not all believers act like that. I don’t act like that.” As if that fucking matters. This stuff is a major way that religion plays out in our world, and it makes me furious to hear religious believers try to minimize it because it’s not how it happens to play out for them. It’s like a white person responding to an African-American describing their experience of racism by saying, “But I’m not a racist.” If you’re not a racist, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and listen to the black people talk? And if you’re not bigoted against atheists and are sympathetic to us, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and let us tell you about what the world is like for us, without getting all defensive about how it’s not your fault? When did this international conversation about atheism and religious oppression become all about you and your hurt feelings?

ScreamingBut perhaps most of all, I get angry — sputteringly, inarticulately, pulse-racingly angry — when believers chide atheists for being so angry. “Why do you have to be so angry all the time?” “All that anger is so off-putting.” “If atheism is so great, then why are so many of you so angry?”

Which brings me to the other part of this little rant: Why atheist anger is not only valid, but valuable and necessary.

*****

There’s actually a simple, straightforward answer to this question:

Because anger is always necessary.

Womanpower_emblemsvgBecause anger has driven every major movement for social change in this country, and probably in the world. The labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the modern feminist movement, the gay rights movement, the anti-war movement in the Sixties, the anti-war movement today, you name it… all of them have had, as a major driving force, a tremendous amount of anger. Anger over injustice, anger over mistreatment and brutality, anger over helplessness.

I mean, why the hell else would people bother to mobilize social movements? Social movements are hard. They take time, they take energy, they sometimes take serious risk of life and limb, community and career. Nobody would fucking bother if they weren’t furious about something.

SlingshotSo when you tell an atheist (or for that matter, a woman or a queer or a person of color or whatever) not to be so angry, you are, in essence, telling us to disempower ourselves. You’re telling us to lay down one of the single most powerful tools we have at our disposal. You’re telling us to lay down a tool that no social change movement has ever been able to do without. You’re telling us to be polite and diplomatic, when history shows that polite diplomacy in a social change movement works far, far better when it’s coupled with passionate anger. In a battle between David and Goliath, you’re telling David to put down his slingshot and just… I don’t know. Gnaw Goliath on the ankles or something.

Molotov_cocktailI’ll acknowledge that anger is a difficult tool in a social movement. A dangerous one even. It can make people act rashly; it can make it harder to think clearly; it can make people treat potential allies as enemies. In the worst-case scenario, it can even lead to violence. Anger is valid, it’s valuable, it’s necessary… but it can also misfire, and badly.

But unless we’re actually endangering or harming somebody, it is not up to believers to tell atheists when we should and should not use this tool. It is not up to believers to tell atheists that we’re going too far with the anger and need to calm down. Any more than it’s up to white people to say it to black people, or men to say it to women, or straights to say it to queers. When it comes from believers, it’s not helpful. It’s patronizing. It comes across as another attempt to defang us and shut us up. And it’s just going to make us angrier.

Yellow_lineAnd when believers tell passionate, angry atheists that extremism is never right and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle, they’re making a big, big mistake. Not just because they’re making us want to spit in their eye. They’re making a mistake because they’re simply mistaken. Read this piece from Daylight Atheism on The Golden Mean. Read the quotes from the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the American Revolution. And then come tell me that the moderate position is usually the right one.

And you know what else? I think we need to have some goddamn perspective about this anger business. I mean, I look at organized Christianity in this country — not just the religious right, but some more “moderate” churches as well — interfering with AIDS prevention efforts, trying to get their theology into the public schools, actively trying to prevent me and Ingrid from getting legally married, and pulling all the other shit I talk about in this piece.

And I look at atheists sometimes being mean-spirited and snarky in blogs and books and magazines.

And I think, Can we please have some goddamn perspective?

Computer_keyboardBecause the other thing I’m angry about is the fact that, in this piece, I’ve touched on — maybe — a hundredth of everything that angers me about religion. This piece barely scratches the surface. I know, almost without a doubt, that within five minutes of hitting “Post” and putting this piece on my blog, I’ll think of six different things that I’d wished I’d put in. I could write an entire book about everything that angers me about religion — other people certainly have — and still not be finished.

ScalesAre you really looking at all of this shit I’m talking about, a millennia-old history of abuse and injustice, deceit and willful ignorance — and then on the other hand, looking at a couple of years of atheists being snarky on the Internet — and seeing the two as somehow equivalent? Or worse, seeing the snarky atheists as the greater problem?

If you’re doing that, then with all due respect, you can blow me.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled attempts at civility.
Addendum: If you’re having trouble commenting, seeing your comment, or reading the other comments on this post, please read this. Thanks.

Addendum 2: I’ve written a reply to the most common themes that are coming up in the comments here. If you’re going to comment on this post, you might want to check it out first.

Addendum 3, 11/9/11: Yes, I realize that the pie chart on the Gallup Poll thing is wrong. The 45% number is correct — follow the link — but when I made the pie chart to illustrated it, I goofed it. I would have corrected it, but enough people have commented on it that I thought it best to leave it alone.)

Comments

  1. says

    I used to answer medical questions on a couple of online fora, and would occasionally wander into their religion areas. I’d point to the huge inconsistencies in the arguments that god is omniscient and omni-powerful… and that most christians argue that the reason to do good is to reap eternal reward or avoid eternal punishment — a damn selfish reason. I’d point out that a god that would create humans imperfect — as christians say — means that he deliberately did so knowing most couldn’t follow his rules and would therefore boil in oil for eternity. Give them life for the blink of an eye, set up some rules that billions can’t follow, burn them for a trillion years times a trillion. Sort of a pervert, seems to me. And that if you believe in the power of prayer, you must also believe that god is fallable or capricious or both. Anyhow, one person with whom I was making these arguments said I’d caused him to question his faith. So I stopped posting there. Made me feel bad. Now, if people truly keep their religion to themselves, it’s ok by me. But as it’s becoming more and more public, and the effect is to dumn down our entire country and to poison our politics to the point of hopelessness, as the effect of “religion” is to perpetuate hate for entire classes of people, it’s time to start talking again. You give it a heck of a start.

  2. Shannon Brown says

    All this anger is well-directed, as far as I’m concerned. I think emotions are the body’s way of telling us that something is not right and needs to be corrected. You’re right, if there was no anger, nothing would change. Anger is a very useful force, but gets a bad name from people who can’t be angry without being blatantly aggressive and destructive.
    As for the previous comment, congratulations to the author for getting someone to question their faith. I have spiritual beliefs, but they are completely different from what they were twenty years ago, and will probably be different twenty years from now. It seems to me that having one concrete set of beliefs and attitudes for a lifetime would feel very confining and boring, whether those beliefs included spiritual aspects or not. (This is not a dig at athiesm. The happy atheists that I know have evolved their beliefs over the course of a lifetime, and their ethics and philosophies continue to evolve.) I just wonder, as a person who welcomes new information and perspectives, what it must be like to be so insecure in one’s beliefs that questioning them brings about a crisis.

  3. says

    This is a fantastic and, honestly, sometimes emotionally difficult piece to read. As an agnostic spiritual humanist, as someone who feels spirituality but doesn’t buy into religion, I’m also angry about a ton of these things. But some of them, I think I understand why theists fear your anger. (Specifically: “I get angry when believers treat any criticism of their religion — i.e., pointing out that their religion is a hypothesis about the world and a philosophy of it, and asking it to stand up on its own in the marketplace of ideas — as insulting and intolerant.”)
    It’s because they’re afraid that atheists are going to take away their faith from them. Not change their minds, so much, but rather not allow them to have the faith, the spirituality, that gives so much to their lives.
    I’m all about people believing or not believing what they want, as long as they don’t force it on other people, and as long as it harms noone. I understand how important it is to point out the flaws and fallacies in religion for people who accept their religion as right not just for themselves but for everyone. But when you try to point out these things to someone who wants to mind their own business with their religion, it feels like you’re out to take their religion away from them by proving them wrong. It feels like you want to dissolve that which gives them joy and hope by proving it illogical and irrelevant. As someone who recognizes the fallacies of religion, but still has extremely powerful emotional response via spirituality, which can be triggered by the trappings of religion, it feels like, when people argue with what works for us, you’re out to take that away from people who feel it. I believe some people are wired to want religion, to need it, to crave it, and others aren’t. Of course, I have no formal data to back this up, but I’d love to see a study done on it. As long as those people don’t force their views on other people, what’s wrong with having religion or faith? (Now, agreed, quite a few people of faith DO try to force it on other people, and I’m right up there with you, fighting back.)
    And I think the outside world needs to ask: what is it that you, the atheists, want? We (at least, now) know WHY you’re angry… but, in the words of social movements, what are your demands? What is it that you’d like to see changed? Is it a world without belief, without religion? (I doubt it… few atheists that at least I know are that militant or “hardcore”.) Is it mere acknowledgment of your existence? Is it a greater sensitivity and awareness in our relations and laws? What is it that atheists want?
    For surely you don’t WANT to be angry. (Well, maybe some do. Anger can be quite intoxicating.) You’ve been forced into anger, at the breaking point, so that you can get your needs met.
    What is it that atheists really want?

  4. Pi Guy says

    You’re beautiful when you’re angry!
    I kid, I kid. But you make an incredible point: we aren’t going to convince the godheads that they’re wrong – about the things that you’ve noted and more – by, as you say, gnawing on their ankles.
    Awesome post!

  5. says

    “Are you really looking at all of this shit I’m talking about, a millennia-old history of abuse and injustice, deceit and willful ignorance — and then on the other hand, looking at a couple of years of atheists being snarky on the Internet — and seeing the two as somehow equivalent?”
    No. Repeating pseudohistory about beliefs in Mithras or Osiris isn’t nearly as dangerous or far-reaching as the pseudohistory of creationism. Quote-mining John Adams to make him look like an atheist isn’t quite as pernicious as quote-mining him to making him look like an orthodox Christian. An implausible slandering of a majority as cretins or nuts is far less of a hazard as an slander of a minority, like atheists, that is treated as fact. But it is still pseudohistory. It is still quote-mining. It is still slander. And two wrongs do not make a right.

  6. Eclectic says

    Er.. Galileo was treated with kid gloves. His long-standing friendship with then-pope Urban VIII certainly helped, although calling him a simpleton in print didn’t. But he had very good reason to fear, because Giordano Bruno had been burned at the stake for heresy a few years earlier.
    I really wish people would remember remember Bruno a little more.

  7. says

    c4bl3fl4m3: “What is it that atheists really want?”
    Depends. For some atheists, the agenda is to be treated like human beings and accepted as first-class citizens. For others, it is to knock back the influence of religion or get rid of it altogether. For yet others, it is the promotion of evidence-based thinking over trust in handed-down traditions that are less than trustworthy.

  8. Eclectic says

    And good point about dogma. I’ve never read more than snippets the damned thing, but even I know that the catholic bible and the protestant bible are different, and the Lutheran and Calvinist branches of protestantism disagree on what the sixth commandment says.
    A few months ago I startled someone who had never noticed that the first two books of Genesis flatly contradict each other. Did Yahweh make animals before man (Genesis 1:21–26) or after (Genesis 2:19)?
    I’ll have a civil discussion with a theologian, but some stupid yahoo quoting a book at me that he understands less that I understand Thorne, Misner, Wheeler & Wheeler’s _Gravitation_ can stick it where the sun don’t shine.

  9. says

    Beautiful, Greta! This post is a perfect example of why this is fast becoming one of my favorite sites for atheist writing.
    This is what a rant should be – bracing, clear, well-informed, and guided by energy and passion. Applause!
    In my experience, atheists are no angrier than the average person, and possibly less angry. Why shouldn’t we be? We have a whole universe full of beauty and mystery to explore, more than sufficient reason for happiness. The only time we get angry is when we’re confronted by hatred and injustice committed in the name of religion (as well as evil and injustice in general, of course, the same as everyone else). We’re stirred to anger when seeing these evils, as any person with a functioning conscience would be. If we seem like we’re angry often, well, that’s just because there are *so many* evils committed in God’s name. What would be a far more serious indictment of atheists, in my mind, would be if we *weren’t* angry at the perpetrators of such crimes.
    The important thing, when feeling angry, is to let it stir you to useful action. As you pointed out, righteous anger at injustice has been the driving force for many of the most important movements for social change. For people to truly get involved in a cause, to truly work at it, it *has* to stir them to strong emotion. The bad thing isn’t anger itself, but misdirected anger that’s unleashed without reason or justification. But when controlled in the service of reason and aimed at those who truly deserve our opprobrium, it can be a positive and valuable feeling.
    To the commenter who asked what atheists want, I’d suggest the answer is that we want the same thing as everyone else: to live in peace and security and to have the freedom to guide our lives as we see fit, free of outside interference and oppression. We don’t want to take away anyone’s right to worship as they see fit (pace the usual disclaimers about that worship not itself involving harm of the unconsenting). By all means, believe in whatever crazy things you like. But let your belief stay *your* belief, and don’t try to intrude on our lives and demand that we conform to your rules or pay taxes to support your convictions.

  10. says

    Right on, sister. Great article. This is something I’ve felt strongly about since a very young age.
    Too many people have lost their rights, their families, their homes, their livelihoods, their lives “in the name of one “god” or another.”
    Religion too often gives people a mask and an excuse to dish out evil.

  11. yoyo says

    Great post, you are right it is just the very tip of the iceberg. what about the church group when i was a child that told me that women were second class citizens and should never teach men or wear shorts around them. And that rock music is from the devil but beethoven beating his wife is cool and groovy.
    Telling me as a young person that all the people who had never heard of christianity and died would rot in purgatory for ever.
    the whole thing was poisonous but at least it awakened my nascient feminism.

  12. says

    Yes, you are beautiful when you are angry Greta. Keep it up!
    I find that some days I’m athiest (as I was raised by Athiest parents), and some days I’m Unitarian and or a Tantric/GoddessWorshiper/Pegan/Sufi/Methodist, and more. i’m an enjoyer and explorer of many religions. I find both can co-exist quite nicely. Depending on the day and what is happening. I’m “fluid” when it comes to Athiesm and Religion. Like with my sexuality. Some days I’m queer, and some days I’m kinky, other days straight as can be, or even asexual. In any case, I certainly resonate in every way with your blog today. Actually I find snake handling churches super interesting lately.
    Annie Sprinkle (anniesprinkle.org)

  13. Eclectic says

    One point I’d like to make is that it’s mathematically provable that a contradiction implies anything. So, for example, starting with the premise that 1=2 I can prove, by an impeccable chain of logic, that there are space aliens named Xenu hanging on my butt.
    Starting from the premise that the bible is consistent (given that it isn’t) can lead to exactly the same conclusion. Or to the conclusion that skull-fucking Benjamin Sinclair will bring about the Second Coming.
    And supposedly *I* have no firm foundation for my morality?

  14. says

    I am angry that, after my grandfather had open heart surgery and went through it without complications, every single member of the family thanked Jesus for it. I’m angry that exactly the same thing happened when my cousin’s child was born 6 weeks ahead of time and survived without problems. I’m angry that on both occasions I didn’t have the guts to say that the doctors and nurses who took care of them also deserved some credit.

  15. says

    Bravo. I would like to start a ‘slow clap’.
    >Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap.<
    Brilliant piece. Thank you for giving me back my right to anger. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
    (Please move here to Canada if the fight there makes you too weary. We'll getcha married to Ingrid in a day. Could be longer if there's a line.)

  16. says

    Greta. Wow. Extremely great piece. Can I say that again? You nailed it!!!
    My personal favorite line of ‘defense:’
    “You’re not really talking about the real religion, that’s just a caricature of the real religion. I wouldn’t believe in a God like that either. In order to argue against religion, you have to look at the subtle, nuanced, sophisticated views of theologians throughout history. You have to look at what those scriptures meant to all those believers in all those societies. After all, it’s tradition! You have no respect for people or their traditions. You hate religion! You’re on some kind of a witch hunt! An Inquisition even! How can you attack something you don’t understand, and how can you understand it if you haven’t even bothered to study it for 15-20 years? How can you even discuss or argue reasonably against something when you haven’t read every scripture and theology book written in the last 2,000 years? Dawkins is a moron! I mean, why would you ask an evolutionary biologist about God?? He doesn’t know anything about the subject. That’s like asking a medical doctor to talk about ancient Mayan history.”
    Or words to that effect. Which I’ve actually had said to me by a family member recently across a dinner table.
    Aaaarrrrggghhhh.

  17. says

    I’m angry too. Well said for all the above.
    I’d like to add a couple of things I’m angry about though.
    I’m angry at other atheists who can’t see why they should be angry. Who take religious crap regularly and don’t seem to be bothered by it. Who put up with religion in others like it’s a harmless eccentricity, and don’t question or challenge the ridiculous unfounded beliefs of others.
    I’m also increasingly angry when people compare a complete lack of respect for absurd religious beliefs to racism, sexism or xenophobia. Religion is a choice – race, sex and nationality are not – and as such derision is absolutely defensible.

  18. says

    This is a fantastic post. It’s the first time I’ve read your blog, but definitely not the last!
    (BTW, I was reading a previous comment with some skepticism and atheistic intolerance (Atheist/Tantric/Sufi/Methodist etc. etc., who’s this nut? quoth I) but you know what? Annie Sprinkle is FUCKING AWESOME and can believe (&love) anything she damn well pleases! So can anyone else, really. End of intolerance. For now…)

  19. says

    Why should we oppose religion? Why does Richard Dawkins’ radical ideas resonate with us? Because religious indoctrination can be very dangerous for us. It teaches us to accept authority for itself, not because we have proof of its validation. It encourages us to surrender responsibility for our own lives in favor of religious guidelines under the guise of “submitting to God’s Will.”
    We must all accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions. We need to deliberately consider the paths we choose rather than allow them to be made for us by some guy in a nice suit who claims to speak for God. Religion encourages us to be lazy and submissive when we need to be responsible. It’s one thing to use religious teachings as a means to inspire ourselves to become greater than we are; it’s something else to use it as a crutch instead of actively taking control of our lives. Religion can be a powerful tool in our lives, but I find it’s rarely used that way. So ultimately I don’t seek to abolish religion by force, but I’d like to diminish its hold on our lives by encouraging more critical thinking in place of passive acceptance.

  20. Rystefn says

    There’s right, and then there’s very right. This is just about the best thing I’ve read in quite a long time.

  21. Allienne Goddard says

    That was a tremendous post. I hope you will write a book describing the roots of our anger, because you really present a very stong explanation. Maybe I still incline more towards contempt than anger, but you convincingly argue the case that religion is often a malignant force. Anyway, thanks, this was a great read.

  22. Jessia says

    Wow, very impressive. I stumbled on your site and read that entire thing. It’s like you took the words out of my mouth and put them much more eloquently on paper than I ever could have. Well said on all counts.

  23. Infidel Michael says

    Great post!
    However, I would add some more things which make atheists angry:
    1. When believers say that Hitler’s/Stalin’s and Mao’s regimes were evil, because they were “atheistic”.
    2. When believers say, that Einstein believed in God, because he used that word from time to time
    3. When believers are confronted with inconsistencies and errors in sacred texts and they say “it is only a metaphor!”. Every stupidity can be metaphor for something real, it is only matter of fantasy to find out what it could be.
    4. When believers are confronted with violent sacred texts and they dismiss them as “out-of-context”, without explaining what the fucking context is, in which, for example, genocide is not evil.

  24. Marky says

    wow,
    thank you, you’ve dnne some valuable work with this.
    wonderfully put together reasoning and facts, and well backed-up and resourced.
    i’ll probably be refering to this in my own arguments, i hope you don’t mind.
    thanks again, and keep up the work. :)
    hopefully in our lifetime we’ll see you get a legal marriage.

  25. heathen says

    Great stuff! My new mission in life is to memorize this post so I can throw it back in the face of the dopey religious apologists who call me a “fundamentalist” or “evangelical” atheist or try to use the fallacious arguments that you’ve so brilliantly eviscerated in support of their “faith”.

  26. Rudi Tapper says

    This is brilliant. For some time I have been trying to compile an itemised list of all the things that anger me about religion, and you have saved me the bother. Well done.

  27. says

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    This is completely invaluable.

  28. Matthew Graybosch says

    As an atheist, I find myself wanting to kill every religious I see every time I think of the sheer misery caused by religion. I know I don’t have the right to do it, and I know that it won’t do any good. However, that anger, that desire to grab a non-existent God by the throat and kill him — just to show his followers how worthless and weak their god really is — doesn’t go away.
    DEATH TO ALL RELIGIONS!!

  29. Jack Rawlinson says

    Righteous!
    I’ve been an angry, furious, *livid* atheist for years, for exactly the reasons you list (and many, many more). I’m delighted that the anger is growing. It needs to. It is *necessary* to get angry about evil things.

  30. Willo the Wisp says

    Don’t you also get angry at the amount of money spent on churches and other religious moneypits, money that could be spent on things that actually help people?

  31. Brad says

    I’m a Christian and think you have quite a slanted viewpoint on Christianity. See, Christianity is about believing by faith that God created us, sent his son to die for our sins, etc (I’m sure you know the rest).
    What, however, is one of the greatest commandments taught in the new testament? Love thy neighbor as thyself.
    If Christians acted like Christians, you wouldn’t be angry. At some point, after exposing you to God and the message of Life, we have to let you go. It’s up to you to find God after that… We can pray for you, that their be some intervention by the Holy Spirit, but badgering you is NOT the answer NOR is segregating you or making you do things you don’t wish to do.
    I could go on and on about how I feel about some of the issues you posted above and I think you could agree that while we may not see eye to eye on all of them, that I can certainly understand your view point.
    Some that you mentioned, I felt like had been bastardized. Like wives submitting to their husbands… what women do you know who would submit to their husband if they had a man of utter integrity who provided for her, served her, served others, and made her feel more loved than humanly possible? Probably all of them… And I don’t mean submitted in the context you are familiar with, but submit as in allow him to lead, be apart of him. In order to understand some things in the bible, you have to understand that the other side of it (as I just mentioned). Women in abusive situations (verbal or physical) shouldn’t submit, they should seek help.
    Furthermore, using a Catholic church or any catholic official when talking about Christianity is not very fair. They are a small sub-set of Christianity and believe in many things that most of the Protestant denominations don’t. The whole point of the Pope is so that he can be our representative to God. However, we don’t need him. We can have our own personal relationship with God.
    My challenge to every atheist I meet, is to ask them to read the bible and pray to the God (even if they don’t think he exists). Do this for a few minutes for 3-7 days. If they don’t feel a change in themselves, the longing for more, the need to understand what they are feeling than they can go along with their lives.
    I’ll accept them however they are but I want them to know that the few bad Christians could be tainting them and making them miss something wonderful.
    I apologize if this is rough and ill-conceived, I thru it together rather fast… Thanks for taking the time to read.

  32. ESVA says

    Dave Child closed his comment with this line: Religion is a choice – race, sex and nationality are not – and as such derision is absolutely defensible.
    In one sense he’s right, people don’t control their gender, race, etc. In another sense, he’s not quite accurate about how religion is transmitted from generation to generation. The children of religious believers are immersed in an atmosphere of religiosity from infancy until adulthood. They cannot view the world from any lenses other than the ones with which their parents equip them for a long time. Even if they learn fairly early on that other lenses exist, they may not have opportunities to try on those lenses for a long time. By then, they may have comfortably settled into viewing the world through the lenses they’ve inherited. Having come from a conservative evangelical Christian perspective, my experience is that it takes a lot of hard work to shed that point of view. It requires something akin to Kuhn’s paradigm shift and can be an extremely uncomfortable experience until one comes out the other side. Once there, one finds it has been liberating. Freedom of any kind never comes without a struggle.
    Is religion chosen? No and yes. Children often are reared in such a way that it’s very difficult to say no. Nevertheless, they can say no or yes in a way that will never be possible regarding gender, race, etc.

  33. Stomper says

    As a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church, I just want you to know that I appreciate your post. You have plenty of good reasons to be angry; everything you said is valid.
    If I could somehow speak for other Christians, I would apologize to you. I would abase myself and grovel. Nobody deserves that.
    Despite the force and legitimacy of your anger, you still chose your words carefully, so that your anger is directed like a laser beam, rather than a shotgun blast. Your anger is much more effective that way, which is something Matthew Graybosch apparently does not understand.
    I don’t use the term “fundamentalist atheist,” but I have often used the term “evangelical atheist.” I am often annoyed by evangelicals on both sides of the fence.
    One very minor quibble: unless you deliberately intend irony, you might want to find alternatives to “goddamn” and “damn.” They don’t really fit into the atheistic belief system. I recognize that they are rarely used for their literal meaning, and that is not how you intended to use them. But you chose all your other words so carefully.
    Very good job, though. It all needs saying, and you said it quite lucidly. People need to keep saying this stuff until it sinks in.

  34. says

    I have bookmarked this article, when someone asks me why i get angry over religion, i will link them here. :)
    great article.

  35. Stomper says

    Brad posted while I was drafting mine. He doesn’t get it. You spell it out for him, and he still doesn’t get it. I can’t improve his reading comprehension or apologize on his behalf, but I just want people to know we are not all like that.
    “Catholics are a small sub-set of Christianity.” I snickered out loud when I read that one.

  36. Stomper says

    Brad posted while I was drafting mine. He doesn’t get it. You spell it out for him, and he still doesn’t get it. I can’t improve his reading comprehension or apologize on his behalf, but I just want people to know we are not all like that.
    “Catholics are a small sub-set of Christianity.” I snickered out loud when I read that one.

  37. TBDM says

    Yoyo quote: And that rock music is from the devil but beethoven beating his wife is cool and groovy.
    Just to clear Beethoven’s name, he didn’t beat his wife because he never had one. He apparently was somewhat miserable (he was a composer and musician who was going deaf, after all!), but I don’t recall that he was in the habit of beating women.
    Anyway, great rant! It makes me grateful that I’m living in one of the more religion-free areas of Canada.

  38. jy says

    Hey, you can too get married in this country… before there was gay marriage in Europe, there was gay marriage in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ‘Course, you’ll have to stay here to enjoy all the associated rights. But that’s just a bonus.
    Seems like, however, there’s no stance a Christian can take that won’t make you angry… I mean, if they’re anti-gay woman-subjugating hellfire preaching child abusers, you’re angry, but if they’re not, you’re still angry. It seems like at some point, you should just let them off with being ‘wrong’, and reserve your anger for worse offenses. If you are angry at people just for being wrong, I guess you better enjoy being angry — a lot.

  39. Stomper says

    Sorry for the double post. Not sure how or why I did that.
    Here’s a link, showing Catholics are the largest denomination of Christians (if you’ll trust wikipedia on this): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members
    Of course, nothing in the original post claims that Catholics represent all Christians, or that all Christians should be tarred with the Catholic brush. There was no need for Brad to be defensive in the first place.

  40. Stomper says

    Well, that was just part of the link. Not sure how to get the whole link to appear. Here’s the rest of the link:
    ons_by_number_of_members

  41. JY says

    One more thing… you said:
    ‘But unless you can point to the text to which these “fundamentalist” atheists literally and strictly adhere without question, then please shut the hell up about us being fundamentalist.’
    But that’s not the only thing fundamentalist means. That’s one definition. Here’s another one:
    “strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles” (from Dictionary.com).
    By that definition, no text is required, and I’m sure there are some atheists who could aptly be described as ‘fundamentalist’, in this sense. That’s not necessarily the best word to use, but it certainly isn’t wrong. So on that particular point, there’s no reason to get angry: if people mean it that way, then they aren’t wrong to use it that way.

  42. betalife says

    Great work, Greta. I want to let you know that we are exactly alike except that I’m a married heterosexual male. Good luck on getting married soon. Your time will come if all of us keep fighting with you. I have a wife and two kids who are firmly rational, and my kids are much smarter than I am. They will be a great force for change.
    Hang in there and don’t stop being angry.
    – betalife

  43. says

    ESVA: Good point. Isn’t there a strong argument to be made that the person who was raised religious owes it to themselves to at least evaluate that as an adult? Meaning they are choosing to keep their religious beliefs and never analyse them, simply assuming them to be true. In my opinion that opens them to derision as well. I would say that those attempting to throw off the religious shackles, for want of a less dramatic phrase, will and do have a hard time doing so, especially when their parents remain within a faith, but in that case wouldn’t a little carefully judged ridicule of their former religion simply help them?

  44. says

    I have to agree wholeheartedly with the post, it’s content and it’s sentiment.
    I would like to make two points. First, I’ve never been comfortable with the casting of atheist’s as some kind of persecuted minority. Victimization always seemed so pathetic. You are right when you say that Christians find every opportunity to cast themselves as victims of persecution or warriors standing against the dark forces of “The World” *insert darth vader theme song*. And yet here we are giving our atheist amen’s and hallelujah’s to a post that certainly paints a persecuted atheist perspective.
    It always grates on my nerves and makes me roll my eyes when I read it in Christian (and Atheist) literature. I guess maybe because it seems so irrelevant. My thinking goes…
    Ok Fine I’m a persecuted minority.
    Soooo… This changes how I act how? I can still vote, voice my opinions, not go to church, own a gun, quite frankly the Bill of Rights prohibits the government from intruding on my life as much as my evangelical neighbors. Sure we have an unpopular (but free to express it) opinions. My atheist wife and I can get married, have children, and be buried in a non-Christian cemetery.
    Homosexuals not allowed to be married, that’s persecution. Minorities being unable to vote, or use a particular drinking fountain, bathroom or seat on a bus, that’s oppression. Atheist’s not being… uh… popular or… uh… understood properly… uh…
    Having said all of that my perspective is quite different from the author. While raised in a low-income situation, I am certainly not now. I am a white, hetero, male who lives in a very white, hetero Indiana, USA. I am quite sure I have never suffered a day of persecution, prejudice or oppression for a day in my life. Well, there was this one time when I used to dress like a Goth/Raver with the full spikes, black nails, green hair and walked into a department store with a backpack. I’m quite certain security was only a couple steps behind me at any given time. Does that count?
    Secondly, sometimes observing religious things is less about the religion and more about the people. Just last weekend I was a groomsman in my brother-in-law’s wedding (Catholic). As part of the ceremony we were instructed to walk down the aisle, stop in front of the altar, bow as a sign of respect to the Jesus and take our seats (yea! for seats). I did as instructed not because I was showing any kind of sign of respect to Jesus but as a sign of respect to my brother-in-law because to not have done it would turned “his” day into “my” protest and that seems to be a particularly selfish thing to do.
    As a hilarious side note my 8 year old was the ring bearer and when he was instructed to bow to Jesus (who was situated slightly off-center) he bowed the wrong way (It didn’t occur to me at the time that he didn’t know what Jesus looked like). The wedding coordinator said “You need to bow *towards* Jesus” and my son said with absolutely no fear, “Sorry but I don’t know where Jesus is at”. I almost wanted to cry with joy but instead laughed uncontrollably once I saw the woman’s expression. I’m going to give that boy an extra hug tonight because he has absolutely no idea how brave a statement that was.

  45. Brad says

    Stomper, I apologize. When I was referring to the Catholic Church as a small subset of Christianity I certainly wasn’t meaning in number of followers or how large they are. They follow their own set of rules and standards that many of the Protestant religions do not and basing Christianity as a whole off the Catholic Church is a bad idea as many of the Evangelical Churches do not think highly of the Catholic Church at all and think they give Christianity a bad name (which appears to be proven even more so by this article and many like it every day on the internet).
    Second of all, I’m not being defensive. Why would I be? I’m being positive. The post was fine and her points are valid. I’m simply stating that if Christians acted like they should, atheists wouldn’t have a need to be angry.
    Maybe I should have just posted that and have been done with it. So I will:
    If Christians acted like they should, atheists wouldn’t have a need to be angry.

  46. Gibb says

    boo hoo hoo. all you poor little atheists; what great injustices this minority must endure.
    don’t you realize that rallying against all gods or religions is EXACTLY THE SAME as rallying for any one of them? it’s just another religion trying to win out. good luck.
    most ironic passage: “My time is valuable and increasingly limited, and I have better things to do with it than debating with people who pretend to care about evidence and reason but ultimately don’t.”
    I wonder how much of your valuable time was wasted on this post. just a little food for thought in the buffet of praise.

  47. Geoffrey says

    Though I’m a lifelong Christian, I find that I have to say “amen” to your post. Most everything you’re angry about is caused by the forced indoctrination of religious viewpoints by (usually unqualified) authority figures, and that makes me angry too. There is no merit in following a religion because man forces you to. I am angry at the complex social power-grabbing structures that have grown up around religion, at what they do, and how they tar and poison the honest religion that the laity would much rather follow — if only they had choice in the matter.

  48. says

    Luis said, “I’m angry that on both occasions I didn’t have the guts to say that the doctors and nurses who took care of them also deserved some credit.”
    thanks. :-) why go to nursing or medical school, if we can just let Jesus take care of the sick people?

  49. says

    Excellent, and sadly necessary, rant.
    Except perhaps the part about the NCAA final four. I don’t believe in god but if there were such an entity surely he or she would damned well care about which team won the final four!
    Personally, my anger could be assuaged if two things were to occur:
    1)Believers of any stripe would just admit that there is no rational or evidentiary basis to their belief -hence the act of faith term.
    2) Believers would keep their beliefs out of government. Their faith (no doubt combined with more than a moderate ignorance of biology) should be absolutely prohibited from influencing public policy.
    This reminds me of how blown away I was at the Democrats’ responses to gay marriage in the GLBT debate.
    I can’t understand why anyone, who expects to be considered for President of the U.S. and has even a passing acquaintance with our country’s history and the constitution, could have answered in any other way than to state that separation of church and state guarantees that the state would not dictate that any church perform same-sex marriage but at the same time necessitates that the state recognize such unions performed by any legitimate church as well as all civil unions. Period. And that doesn’t even require that they comprehend (as Gov. Richardson evidently does not) that sexual orientation is not a preference/choice.

  50. gregory says

    nah, why be angry at the ignorant? they cannot help it. and anyway, they are on the way to where you are, and you are on the way to where those beyond you are… a-theism being the goal of all true spiritual search based on truth and reality, going beyond the concept of god to the direct perception of the formless oneness of existence…. (most atheists don’t get that, but i don’t hold it against them)… enjoy

  51. glomerulus says

    Many of the things you hate about religion are the same thing we believers hate too. Sorry, but being an atheist doesn’t grant you a monopoly on outrage.

  52. Brian Dewhirst says

    Hear, hear!
    Among the best posts I’ve seen on the subject. Three cheers.
    Thanks, and best of luck to you and Ingrid. (There is always Massachusetts… though some seem to have forgotten the meaning of ‘full faith and credit’!)

  53. octopod says

    Brad, my fiance is the sort of man you describe, and I don’t let him “lead me” — furthermore, he doesn’t want to. Once in a while, yes; probably a little less often than I lead him. Most of the time we make the decisions together.
    Letting him “lead me” would be disclaiming my responsibility as an adult human being, which is not a good way for anyone — male or female — to live. I don’t think most men or women want to live as children either. Maybe some have been taught that they do, and maybe some are willing to because it’s easier, and they’re lazy.
    Kind of like vesting all ultimate moral authority in your imaginary friend who comes from a book you once read, for that matter.

  54. says

    i agree. there have been few times where i see injustices that have been ignored by a whole country, (i’m still young, just 18) and i find it extremely disheartening to know that there is not only a world of ignorance out there but an ignorance that has the public’s ear.
    Great Post

  55. Jeremy Grant says

    People need neither religion nor aethism as an excuse to behave badly.
    No need to look further than humanity as the reason why people do nasty things. Humans do bad things, religion is neither part of the problem nor part of the solution (nor is aethism for that matter).
    I am sorry for whatever abuses you have suffered to make you so angry.

  56. Chris says

    I don’t think there’s really a need to be angry, to be honest. If everyone was to just chill out and let everyone believe what everyone wants to believe, then that’s fine by me (don’t try and persuade me to change my opinion without rock-hard evidence though). I guess you could call me an atheist, but what I really think is that on evidence, the Big Bang theory and evolution are the most probable explainations at this point. If anyone would like to correct me with a more solid piece of scientific evidence that points me to the contrary (sorry, religious text quotes don’t count as more solid than scientific results to me) then I’ll be more than happy to take that into account when assessing “what went on” and whether or indeed who is out there.
    My girlfriend is Christian, but that’s never caused a problem. We each respect each other’s beliefs and that’s just great for us. All the angry people should try it.

  57. Rick says

    Here is one more for you to be angry at….You are angry because you are separated from God by your own thoughts and deeds.

  58. Speaker-to-Animals says

    I hope you won’t mind if I borrow or paraphrase parts of your article to write to a local newspaper that badly needs to hear them, that, as just one of many examples of biased and pejorative coverage, in covering Pride Day in a small town, in which there were hundreds of protesters and one “religious-right” anti-protester, chose a photo of one protester and the one anti-protester, each with their signs, as though their messages and popularity were on an equal footing. Shame on them!

  59. says

    All I can say is wow! I have been visiting blogs for awhile now, and web sites, where some people say that being angry doesn’t help one bit, just makes us look bad. Thank you for opening up my eyes, again. I love your writing, also I think you need to write a book on this subject. I would buy one! :)

  60. Marie says

    I am genuinely glad that you are angry and can embrace these passionate feelings and claim them with such conviction. I am also purely ecstatic for you, that so many have supported your post.
    Believe me when I say that there are many of us that feel the same way and are too afraid to say these things out loud and confront people, for fear that we may be chastised and thrown out of society for good…not that ultimately we would mind.
    You have certainly inspired me to change these thoughts, and reconsider my repressed anger.
    THANK YOU.

  61. says

    I get angry that we have to write stuff like this (and inevitably expose ourselves to having our characters ripped up via ensuing arguments) just to defend ourselves, when they’re the ones who believe in unicorns.

  62. Greg Perry says

    Blah blah, blah blah blah.
    More tired rhetoric from an overzealous something-or-another.
    Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in God, it is still a belief system – and one that you are entitled to practice and believe pursuant to the United States Constitution.
    Your time would be better spent trying to change the political process and influencing your elected officials, instead of penning angry-emo-atheist-woman rants and blaming the ills of U.S. society on a group of individuals that a) don’t practice the teachings of the Bible, and b) will say or do anything to get votes for public office.

  63. says

    Your post is well written and it sums up many of the things that piss me off daily. With the anger being stirred up from so many directions, it’s hard to know where to focus the energy. I think we could be on the brink of so good changes for all of mankind, but we’ll all have to take an active role in bringing the changes about. For so many years we’ve had to just accept the believers while they sneer and attack us. It is time for them to have to accept us, then perhaps we won’t need to sneer at them. If we all accept that everyone is likely to have a different viewpoint than us, then it will only make the world a more interesting place.

  64. Jason says

    Thank you. I too am angry about people who think I should sit on the sidelines and accept being treated as less than a full citizen because of my lack of belief in an invisible sky father.
    … And so very much more.

  65. CalGeorge says

    “What, however, is one of the greatest commandments taught in the new testament? Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
    There’s no commandment that tells you to be stupid, however, is there?
    By believing in the fairy tales told in the Bible, you are perpetuating gross ignorance.
    It doesn’t matter how much love you convey while doing it.
    Stop treating your brain like crap.

  66. RoyKaBob says

    I’m angry that I read all that and there wasn’t a new, insightful thought in the whole article.

  67. says

    Couple ‘a followup comments: regarding the “Thank you jesus” comment above. If people believe jesus, or god is responsible for an uncle living through heart surgery, then it must also be true that he’s responsible when someone doesn’t. To be consistent, people should say “thank you jesus” when uncle joe dies in the OR, also. If jesus intervenes, he intervenes.
    Also. what this atheist wants: I recognize that for most people, being human and all, giving up religion would be too hard to face. But what I want — and what the world desperately needs — is to have leaders who, if they must be religious, can keep it to themselves; and who use evidence to make decisions that affect us all. Having a president who thinks god talks to him is demonstrably dangerous. If you want to believe in god, fine and dandy. But don’t take me to war over it. And don’t use it to quash science, to discriminate against people for their sexual preferences, or to ignore facts. We see how that works. God helps us all…

  68. says

    So you’re angry that atheists suffer the same abuse and torment as non-atheists?
    And you’re angry that non-atheists are morally no better than atheists?
    Geez.
    Next post: why are atheists self-righteous?

  69. says

    Best Rant Ever.
    Thank you and I hope its Ok that I linked to this from my (tiny)site.
    And Thanks to PZ for showing us this spectacular work.
    If anyone ever accuses me of being an angry atheist I’ll simply point them this way and say, yeah maybe I am, can you blame me?

  70. says

    Hey there,
    I don’t have anything terribly articulate or insightful to add, but I did want to say I enjoyed reading this immensely. Thank you.
    (I was linked to this from the atheism community on LJ).
    Cheers,
    Brad

  71. Eric Z says

    Wow. I have a lot to say about this, but I’m going to keep it short:
    First, I’m a Catholic.
    Second, I agree with just about everything you have to say.

  72. says

    Bravo!
    It takes a lot of guts to be able to say the things you said and to once and for all finally justify the right to stand up and scream at the attrocities and ignorance and downright stupidity of people that cant understand the monumental amount of scientific fact that “God” is nothing more than an imaginary friend for grown ups, used by governments and other organizations to strike fear into millions of fools.
    Thank you very much for writing this.
    I will be linking it to my site and hope to drive a few more hits to yours.
    Again: BRAVO.

  73. TheBuddha says

    “You will not be punished for your anger… you will be punished by your anger.” – The Buddha

  74. Shannon Vyff says

    Great post, I’m off to share it on some net sites I frequent… don’t get to taut my anger often–but it is nice to relish in our evolutionary heritage from time to time. I’m angry about death, so I support the Methuselah Foundation. I’m angry about religion so I teach children about religions at my Unitarian Universalist Church. I’m angry about my blink of an eye in the time scale of things–lifespan–so I’m a cryonicist, in case it works because human society continues to advance the next millennium, and we can figure out how to stop aging just like some animal species that effectively do not age now, because they got the luck of the draw evolutionarily. I’m angry about inequality resources with humans, so I support many non profits like True Majority, Save the Children, The Heifer Foundation to try and help those who have shortened lifespans now, due to their poverty, lack of education, health or food. I’m angry about selfish people who are wealthy compared to most in the world, who live in an unhealthy way–so I try to set an example for my children and raise them as responsible Earth citizens.
    So thanks, your anger is eloquent and encapsulates what so many are thinking… and anger begets action….I like to think that the world continues to become a better place each year…

  75. says

    What a stupid post. Not one mention of things in the Muslim world. In fact when the Muslim world gets a mention she is feeling bad for a Muslim girl. Maybe that Muslim girl would have done well to ditch her own delusions and fantasies and been able to give that teacher a real reply.
    Not a word about honor killing (over 5,000 a year) in the Mid East or about the general status of women there as chattel. 9/11 gets one line. Not a mention of any one of the Mullahs, Clerics, or imams who issue insane fatwas, execute gays, execute dissidents, and execute and arrest women for uncovering their wrists. But George Bush, Falwell, Haggard, and the pope all get done over thouroughly.
    Typical blinkered feminist cant. If you want to increase the respect people have for atheists then try to cultivate a real ethical consciousness and not just use it as a prism through which to focus your own cultural self loathing.

  76. regeya says

    I’m angry at people who always have to spout off about their religious beliefs–or about their lack of religious beliefs.
    In all seriousness, I really do tire of the “creationism vs. science” debate, because as you point out, it’s a bogus debate. Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, there are reams of evidence that science is getting it right more often than not. To all the Southern Baptists tuning in: What is so wrong with studying the natural universe? Why do DINOSAURS, for Pete’s sake, through all of you into such a tizzy?
    And angry people piss me off bad enough that I want nothing to do with them. Ta-ta.

  77. says

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Atheism is a religion, welcome to the club. We’re all angry about something.

  78. says

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Atheism is a religion, welcome to the club. We’re all angry about something.

  79. Julia Kosatka says

    Brad said:
    “If they don’t feel a change in themselves, the longing for more, the need to understand what they are feeling than they can go along with their lives.”
    Gee. How terribly gracious of you. We only have to jump when you say frog and perform a short sentence for our lack of belief in your imaginary friends.
    How about this, instead? Everyone who thinks they’re hearing the voice of God or ‘feeling his hand in their lives’ should submit to psychological examinations. I hate to think how many undiagnosed schizophrenics there might be out there masked by the nature of religion. Anyone found mentally competent could then “go along with their lives”.
    Talk about being unclear on the concept. While I’m not an atheist (yet, who knows what tomorrow may bring), I *am* an anti-religion agnostic. And I’m angry, too! What part of being hammered on all sides by Christians doesn’t Brad and his cohorts get? No one in the US is non-Christian due to ignorance of the religion. Good grief, most of us would LOVE to be able to forget it exists. I used to know the stats, but have forgotten the precise numbers – something like 75% of natural born non-Christian Americans in the US were raised Christian (myself included). The more we learned about it, the less we could believe.

  80. Sea Man says

    You’re angry because you want an excuse to whine. Live and let live and you will have nothing to be angry about. I hope this rant made you feel a bit of relief, but rest assured you have done nothing to make the world a better place with your incessant whining. Thanks for nothing.

  81. gburnett says

    An excellent, excellent piece. I couldn’t agree more. We need anger to ignite change – our polite, contrite, respectful stance of the last 50 years or so has gained us NOTHING. We need to get pissed off and make them realize that ATHEISTS ARE NOT THE ONES THAT ARE CRAZY!

  82. Josua says

    The comments speak volumes about the manner in which you approached this and portrayed your anger.
    Well done.

  83. says

    Changing your own worldview is the hardest thing to do. Whether you’re a member of a certain faith, or an atheist.
    A lot of the discord revolves around unanswered questions and ignorance of opposing viewpoints. We should all keep in mind that there is only one objective truth, however… out there, somewhere.

  84. Linus' helpermonkey says

    Fantastic post. Got me all pissed off (and I’m not even an atheist) – it’s a good thing that most of the office is out this week or they’d find me all ranty in the kitchen.
    You’re absolutely right that no civil rights movement has ever gotten anywhere without some good, articulate rage to fuel it.

  85. Ryan Boughter says

    Let me just lay some things out: I’m religious, I’m obviously on your anger list (at first I thought I wasn’t, but you effectively lumped EVERY single religious Christian (at the least) into your list by the end). And I’m a bit concerned.
    You’re totally right though. I’m concerned more with the way religion is going (and has been going, since, well, before Galileo, but pointedly since then) than with you and like minded ‘angry’ atheists. But I’m curious: you point out every quibble you have with religion, yet you say you hate people that do that. You lump all religious people into one category and then say if we disagree with your lumping, how dare we interpret God’s word that way. You make note of the “God-of-the-gaps” ideology as if it were gospel, yet make no note of the alternative religious views on the subject of science/religion.
    My question to you is: why, instead of writing such a long blog post, don’t you just say “I am angry with (bold, underline, font size HUGE) EVERYTHING that religion does, and ALL religious people. Because, I would like to have a dialogue with you, one that doesn’t involve hate, perpetuation of old stereotypes, or old, hashed out arguments (on both sides), but you effectively put me at odds with you, and I find that disheartening. I hope that in time your anger will subside, like many of the great movements before you mentioned, but until that time comes the thing I learned from you is: I will never, ever, tell my atheist friends (or any atheist for that matter) to calm the F down.

  86. says

    HOLY.
    SHIT.
    I swear there would be something smarter here in this comment section right now if I wasn’t completely reeling.
    Amen.
    Exactly.
    Right on.
    Yes.
    GO.
    Etc.
    Easily the best blog post I’ve read this year – and you’re in high company there. :)

  87. Kyleaxe says

    I’m not atheist but i’m angry as FUCK. I am shaman and their is room for interpretation. REFORM,REDEFINE! Jesus was a pot smoking mushroom eating hippy!
    All praise money, the antichrist and slavery! Hail king of north america Bush. Gay la douche.

  88. says

    I’m angry because I spent the first years of my life actually BELIEVING that there was this place called Hell and I was going to BURN forever in it because I didn’t wash the dishes properly, because I read books too much, because I “had bad thoughts,” because Sister WhatTheFuck told me so, because I liked John Lennon better than Jesus, because I touched a Ouija board, etc etc etc. And when you’re six and seven years old you have faith. It’s just too sickening.

  89. says

    While I happen to share many of your views, I don’t share the view that writing a log blog post bitching and moaning about how angry you are, is going to affect any useful change what-so-ever.
    Especially since you’re basically “preaching to the choir.” (Funny analogy given the topic of your post, I know.)
    Stop wasting so much time being angry and writing blog posts about the hundreds of reasons why you’re angry and start working to actually educate and inform more people in a constructive way.
    Unless you’re like most bloggers who just like to spew words in the hope of receiving piles of meaningless praise.

  90. zachariah skylab says

    Nice rant. Sorry about all that. I’m religious to my bones but I find atheism gives me a fresh perspective on things.
    Unrelatedly, the foregoing rant smacked heavily of theism.

  91. says

    This was incredible, Greta. Thank you.
    Betalife, I commend you. My husband and I are trying to conceive, and we’ve been getting nothing but crap from people about choosing to raise a child without faith-based beliefs. I can tell it won’t be easy—not because of our abilities or my child’s capabilities, but because there is a society out there who unethically or ignorantly tries to pass off faith for fact, that believe it’s moral and ethical to inhibit a child’s natural curiosity and critical thinking for something faith-based.
    Perhaps that, Greta, is something to add. I’m angry (today, anyway) because people “of faith” are telling me that because I once worked at an women’s clinic as a counselor for women considering abortion, God’s “made me barren” because I haven’t conceived in the three months that I’ve been actively trying. I’m angry because people would prefer to confuse cause and effect and accept appeals as empirical evidence. That comfort trumps truth. That people prefer to be anesthetized to rather than wrestle with the natural existential anxiety inherent in the human condition, and then they claim this is a virtue, something honorable, something to be glorified. That people who accept a blood sacrifice for their “salvation” are, by default, moral people.
    Actually, I think all this would fall under all your categorical points above.

  92. says

    Wonderful Brilliant. Could not have said it better myself. Ironically, if you were an actual goddess, I’d totally base a religion around you….

  93. says

    Excellent article, I agree with most of your points and share your frustration. I’m not atheistic, I’m agnostic, but I’m extremely skeptical in any capacity towards a supreme being. With that being said, I loath organized religion with a passion that is unparalleled.
    Thank you for this write up, and keep up the work.
    I’m not trying to spam, but visit imminst.org. As atheist/agnostic who doubt an afterlife, all we can hope for is life-extension from a scientific/technological aspect, and seeing how this is the 21st century, it would be naive to think it’s not possible.
    Remember, this life we live here is our own heaven, and I’m equally disgusted when religious nutjobs try to taint our lives.

  94. secret asian man says

    I love this post, but yet I’m going to have to disagree.
    We *need* religion. I say this as the atheist son of atheist scientists. I’m a kuffar, an infidel, an unbeliever, and I say we need religion.
    I used to be angrier. I thought that religion was a trick by which the powerful gave people some good ideas, “thou shalt not kill” to trick them into believing some spiritual BS that benefitted the powerful.
    I had it all backwards.
    When my father died, my (atheist all her life) mother said “at least he’s gone to a better place”.
    Why? Because she needed to believe that.
    Most people are irrational. They need to believe these things:
    – Good will prevail and evil will be punished
    – The universe is not mechanistic, but actually cares about them in a deeply personal way.
    – Death is not final.
    – We are members of a nearly unbreakable community that will take care of us.
    – Someone else will take responsibility for your actions.
    – There are simple, comprehensible explanations for natural phenomena.
    Now, all these things are false. Comforting, but false. If your powers of logic or will are weak, you will find some way to believe the above.
    When my father died? My mother spontaneously came up with some bogus stuff. What happens when kids with no facility for logic rebel against Christianity? They usually walk right into another, equally irrational and empirically false religion or “spiritualism”. What happens when people get shipwrecked somewhere? They come up with religion.
    Most people *want* to be irrational. They feel this need at an uncontrollable, heroin-addiction level. They desperately want to believe certain things that are emotionally comforting but false, and they will come up with complex systems in order to justify these beliefs. These systems of rationalization are religions.
    Religion, at least, piggybacks on these desires and sneaks in a little good stuff, like “thou shalt not kill”
    When I realized this, I realized I had the causal arrow backwards.
    It wasn’t
    People believe “thou shalt not kill” and get tricked into believing in imaginary bearded friends in the sky.
    It was:
    People want to believe in imaginary friends. We might as well use this belief to trick them into not killing.
    Atheism, like dunking a basketball or higher mathematics, is a skill accessible only to people of specific talents and training.
    Let me put it another way:
    Newtonian mechanics is false. However, it’s reasonably capable to comprehend. Relativistic mechanics is significantly better, but harder to comprehend.
    Why do we teach (false) Newtonian mechanics? Because in the overwhelming majority of situations, it is almost perfect in accuracy, and yet can be understood.
    Similarly, religion teaches people to form communities, observe reciprocity, save money, and understand the natural world.
    Without religion, these people would be worse. Far worse.
    Take away Creationism from these people and they’ll find something even more stupid.
    Take away the ancient religions from these people and they’ll find something even more stupid. (This process is already happening, with new-age religions that are even more irrational than the garden variety Abrahamic ones)
    Taking away religion from these people is like mandating we teach relativity in fourth grade. Sure, I could handle it, and you could handle it, but what about those who can’t?
    What about those people who need religion to keep them psychologically together.

  95. Ashley says

    JY,
    The reason the term fundamentalist is still wrong is because atheists don’t hold to a set of beliefs. There is no equivalent of a denomination.
    Atheism in and of itself is a lack of belief. No one is getting together and saying “here’s how to be a *real* atheist”.

  96. Ts ila says

    You have a right to your anger, and to express it, but holding onto it is bondage. But you really don’t know what a True Christian is like. I am sorry you have had experience with un-Christian-like people. But not everyone who calls themself a Christian actually is one. Christians walk in love and forgiveness. We are kind, gentle and humble. To condemn us all for a few is unjust. But to be judged by you or anyone, to me, is a small thing. God is the One Judge. He will judge us all for the things we have done on this earth, there is nothing that will not be brought to light. He is the only One I care to please. I hope you find peace.

  97. Elizabeth says

    I am angry too, but I am not an avowed atheist. If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention…

  98. Bill says

    Christian religion speaks of the End Times, or Judgement Day. As an agnostic, I believe/hope the time is near since it will not be all doom and gloom/end of the world stuff, but rather an end to religion. People will realize that it does not make sense and equate with reality especially as communication and “voice” continues to grow globally. Information is the key and the world is a much bigger information source now as compared to past generations. With each new generation, I believe less of the population buys into religion. The Catholic church has taken major hits over the years, and will likely not recover, especially to its glory years during the Dark Ages. Other flavors of Christianity as well as most other dominant religions also will likely suffer from the spread of information and concept of choice.
    Religion’s “End Times” are coming and there will hopefully be lasting peace once this comes, but it will not be at the hand of Jesus, but rather the spread of real time information and the human species realizing that all this religious dogma does not make sense, and “I” am not going to devote my life to the nonsense.

  99. says

    I was angry at the twit next to me in an airplane. He made the sign of the cross and prayed before landing.
    It fucking works every time! If it lands he validates god’s service to him, ensuring safe landing.
    If the plane crashes into a firey inferno then it does not matter anyway.
    Win-win. That’s why I hate religion.

  100. says

    Great piece Greta.
    As Margaret Cho says, “Sometimes I just want to ‘go there'” too.
    I am angry that my brother has been crippled by MS and our government actively blocks research into technology and science that could help him walk or cure him entirely. Rather than utilize embryonic material that would have been discarded anyway, they, upon their religious belief, impute this as gods will – and value a cluster of cells higher than a live, suffering human.
    I am angry when violence against doctors and employees of family planning clinics is committed by religious zealots, and the rest of the religious communities do not do more to self-police these groups. I am angry that Teri Schaivo was used as a prop in a charade of faux piety when the spark of anything that made her uniquely definable as a human being had long departed. I am angry when the bible and religious belief is used to attempt to explain or justify hate crimes against gays. I am angry when gay kids kill themselves because they are raised in households filled with religious intolerance for gays. I am angry that Mathew Shepard was killed, because the root cause of all this homophobia, and the ultimate justification for it, is based in religion. I am angry that the church asks queers to sacrifice their sexuality on the alter of celibacy in order to “enter the kingdom of heaven” – that is essentially what “love the sinner, hate the sin” means. I am angry that this god of theirs always demands being approached on ones knees. I am angry that their god plays a “zero-sum” game when everything else in the natural world testifies to the multiplicity , variety, and diversity of the universe. I am angry that atheists are called immoral when it is the christians who are afraid to do the moral heavy lifting of finding meaning and purpose in their lives without the aid of some vast supernatural entity – or having it spoon fed to them. I am angry that christians would presume to know anything whatsoever about my inner life and moral character when they can’t bother themselves to know anything about atheism. I am angry that Jesus and Mahammoud and the pope are held up as figures above reproach and criticism and that the lives of anyone who dares question their moral authority will be in jeopardy. I am angry that the natural world, with all of its wonders that can be seen, and felt, and tasted, and smelled, and heard, and is in itself awe inspiring and amazing, with mysteries still to be discovered and explored, is dismissed based purely on a “feeling” – the inability of human limited minds to think beyond themselves. I am angry that all of this universe is still not enough to fill someone with respect and reverence for life and everything else in it that people had to go invent god to explain it all, and that even as we begin to understand the universe people STILL cling to fables and fantasy. I am angry that christians can not see that from an atheists point of view their beliefs are as equally valid as believing in Zeus, Thor, Shiva, or the Goddess – how does one chose between one supernatural agency over another? Is it all luck of the draw depending on the age and culture you are born into?
    One thing I’ve said about anger is that anger tells us something about ourselves if we are willing to listen. Anger tells us where our boundaries lie. Sometimes we don’t know a boundary within ourselves until we are angry about something. Our anger stands up for us when we would otherwise be cowed, or bullied, or oppressed.
    Good piece. I enjoyed reading it.

  101. Kagehi says

    “If Christians acted like Christians, you wouldn’t be angry.”
    Bard gets it even less that you said. This is standard, “My far better understanding of what Christians are trumps your arguments about how they actually act!”, excuse that is already mentioned in the article. Its bullshit. The number of assholes in Christianity, even *before* the Nicene Creed, when they decided what was “acceptable” stories, so they could better figure out which “false” Christians to kill, has outnumbered the *true* Christians Brad is babbling about by at least 100:1, if not worse. Its like arguing that Stalin wasn’t a true “communist”. It might even be an accurate description, if you want to nitpick to that silly an extent, but its not a valid argument when 99.9% of the governments that call themselves communist have been based on Stalin’s model, and not on the gloriously pure version a “true” communist would want to argue for. Same for Christianity. 99.9% of Christian churhes, and their attitudes/beliefs towards “everyone else” have been based on the same, “We are better than everyone else, and since we are, we will talk a lot about loving our neighbors and hating sin but not the sinners, but when push comes to shove, if you are one of the later you are, at minimum, going to get thrown out the door, and you should feel lucky we don’t also light you on fire as you leave.”
    We are not angry about the imaginary “perfect” Christains you are talking about Brad. I have seen not one scrap of evidence that they are any more real for the most part than Unicorns or Pixies, unless you count the various fictional accounts of all three you can find in made up books, TV shows and movies.
    Now, a note on Unitarians and Annie Sprinkle’s post… Give me a break. Statistics on them show that like 18% or something *of* Universal Unitarians, when asked, say they don’t believe in God any more than any hard line atheist, despite being members of a “church”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalism And you won’t find a single atheist denying love, charity, or anything else that gets labeled “spiritual”. What you will find is some that are rather irritated by using a word that implies supernatural forces of some sort, which contradict the total lack of evidence for such things, or some who don’t have that big a problem with the term, but are real tired of some people waving it around like it means something more than the sum of their emotional reactions to the world around them, and that therefor they “deny” its existence. The question of “if” such things exist is, honestly, as up in the air as anything else that *may* be imaginary, but where you can’t disprove it. The difference of course being that we tend to place the supernatural rather low on the list of possible things because nothing anyone has ever come up with suggest that such a thing “does” or “must” exist. This is in contrast with something like say, extraterrestrial life, for which we *at least* know the laws of physics, the age of the universe and the shear number of places such a thing might be, makes is “likely” that such a thing exists some place.
    In other words, atheists don’t deny spirituality. They deny it special categorization outside the realm of reality and/or that the term, which carries with it the implication that they lie outside the real world, means anything in the first place, instead of talking about the “real” things that people arbitrarily toss into the “spiritual” basket, so they don’t have to actually think about what they really mean/are or how they happen.

  102. Guy Warner says

    Thanks awesome post!! I shared it with who I could. And our struggle is just starting to come to light. We will do great things if we can come together.

  103. says

    Don’t you feel like your Luke Skywalker stuck in a Star Wars Movie? You must channel your anger. May the force be with you. Great Blog.
    PEACE,
    Brian

  104. says

    Very nice article. Apart from my being a heterosexual male, you pretty much captured my thoughts on this matter. I will now do my part and forward this on to my loyal base of readers….. all ten of them.
    Cheers

  105. PuckishOne says

    I agree that this is a wonderful post and that our anger is understandable, organic, and justifiable – thank you, Greta Christina, for saying what I want to say nearly on a daily basis.
    I also want to reinforce what commenter JJ Ramsey said: We cannot descend into our own forms of revisionism, our own quote-mining contests…in other words, we can’t stoop to the level of those we are trying to fight, even if being snarky is one of the things we’re really, really good at. It sucks to have to take the high ground, but ultimately I believe that’s what’s going to get the atheist “agenda” (such as it is) accepted into the mainstream. If anger provides the fuel for this, I say bring it on.

  106. Cynic the Infotainer says

    Say it loud “I’m godless and proud!”
    I believe atheism is the new “Gay!”
    More on atheism (if you’re interested):

  107. Nick says

    I’m angry that religionists think the world can only be beautiful as God’s creation and can’t be beautiful otherwise. I’m angry with original sin, what chance does that give us? I’m angry that they claim all human spiritual progress as their own and take the credit away from the humans who made the actual progress.
    Stay angry dude.

  108. annoDomini says

    In reading the litany of religion’s offenses, I am reminded of a historical figure with an equal measure of anger: John Calvin, famous (infamous?) merchant and theologian. As a result of his anger and his writing, the Protestant Reformation was strengthened and the power of the (Roman) Catholic Church was curtailed. During his lifetime, he inspired tens of thousands to question various dogma pronounced by the Pope and other Catholic leaders. Since his death, his writing has influenced millions to grapple with tough moral questions.
    In a similar fashion, Greta’s ideas posted here may have a profound affect on our world and on human beliefs, even well beyond the immediate recognition received on this site.
    But let me offer this warning about the power of an “angry pen”: Late in Calvin’s life, when he had become famous, a small group of people claiming to be his “followers” proceeded to convict several of Calvin’s detractors of heresy. The sentence was to be burned alive. Neither the trials nor the punishment was dictated or even approved by Calvin. His readers were simply determined to act on Calvin’s anger. He is purported to have been despondent when informed of those deeds. To this day, many people attribute those deaths to Calvin.
    Be angry; let your anger lead to redress the injustices you perceive and can influence. But know that the antecedent of anger is often hatred and the result of hatred is often violence. The unintended consequence of your success could be that 200 years hence, the same offenses that you have laid at the feet of “religion” will instead be attributed to “atheism”.
    To turn a famous quote:
    Never underestimate the power of a large group of ignorant people to destroy the goodness begun by a small group of believers in a just cause.

  109. T.T says

    This is a beautiful post, and sums up exactly how I feel.
    Old fashioned bigotry still exists – not towards any race or class – but toward those who don’t believe in fairy tales.

  110. says

    H/T to Calladus Blog for the link and thank you for your writing. I’m just not sure saying thank you is the right thing to say but it maybe all I can say.
    I’m sorry too. Your words and anger and emotions were well written and if they didn’t break anyone else’s heart, they broke mine.
    BTW, I haven’t bothered to read what anyone else wrote and don’t really care to. Your words were enough.

  111. says

    H/T to Calladus Blog for the link and thank you for your writing. I’m just not sure saying thank you is the right thing to say but it maybe all I can say.
    I’m sorry too. Your words and anger and emotions were well written and if they didn’t break anyone else’s heart, they broke mine.
    BTW, I haven’t bothered to read what anyone else wrote and don’t really care to. Your words were enough.

  112. Thanny says

    “unimaginable enormity of the universe”
    I know pedantry is perhaps the second most annoying thing in the world (first is proselytizing), but “enormity” is not a synonym for “enormousness”.
    I know it’s used like that all the time in the popular (and not-so-popular) media, but they’re all wrong. Someone, somewhere wanted a word that means “enormousness”, but rolled off the tongue more smoothly. Said person moved right past correctly using “immensity”, and settled on the archaic word “enormity”, which actually means depraved abnormality.
    Sure, eventually, the dictionaries (being descriptive, not prescriptive) will move the newly-added corrupt definition to the head of the entry. But I can still complain about some journalist who didn’t know how to use a dictionary resurrecting a dead word with the wrong meaning because he/she thought it sounded better.
    I’ll close with that, before I get started on “moot”.

  113. Ben says

    Amen!
    Arg! Did I say that!?! I totally agree with you. You’ve given me a few more points to bitch about… on top of the already huge “why I hate christianity” list. Kudos!
    Now to go do my own ranting…

  114. Michelle says

    An athiest friend sent this to me. I find it funny and sad – sad for all you people who don’t have faith and are so angry. I don’t meet too many believers who suffer from this kind of rage and anger. seriously, get a life. My take on atheists – you folks are scared of ‘faith’, cos you do not have it, do not understand it, maybe wish you did, at some level, and are damn scared!
    You might want to use your anger at helping the world – stop trying to be angry for the mis-guidance( if there is such a word) that happens to those who have faith. trust me, we can take care of ourselves. we have faith, dude.

  115. says

    This is an incredible post!!! I’m giving you a standing ovation. Thank you for speaking your mind and articulating so many of my feelings. Keep up the good work!

  116. Brad says

    You would not be so angry if you were a believer. I was angry all the time before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord.

  117. SueinNM says

    Wow. Brad’s comments perfectly illustrate everything you mentioned in your post … the complete, unthinking arrogance of those Christians who think atheists like me have to find God.
    It was Christians who turned me off religion, and “god”, when I was in 7th grade. I’ve never looked back. And I’ve never a day in my life felt any need to pray to the sky father.
    And by the way, the Golden Rule wasn’t conceived by Christians. It was already known to the ancient Greeks.

  118. says

    “You know why you’re not seeing atheists in foxholes? Because believers are threatening to shoot them if they come out.
    Can we say: “Pat Tillman”?
    A Bush is a Bush is a Bush is burning.
    Fucking shit! I didn’t know about the jury thing!
    Fuckin’ A! In complete agreement.

  119. Brad says

    Wow. Sue’s comments perfectly illustrate the complete arrogance of those atheists whom think Christians like me cannot believe in God. Sue, you could be so much happier with life as you know it.

  120. says

    this is my first time here. my first comment. and no, i’ve not read preceding comments. just had to say…i applaud you! this is the single most well written, passionately stated piece about atheism i’ve read in a long while.
    thank you! now i think i need to go back and investigate this site further. you may well be worth a more frequent visit.

  121. says

    When you are in “Us” vs. “Them” mode, it doesn’t matter whether you are “Us” or “Them.” Ego-driven outrage is toxic to anybody and everybody. No matter what God you do or don’t believe in.
    The majority of the laundry list of valid objections you posted above have this very same folly at the root. The world’s religions are full of this kind of bullshit despite the efforts of many to get rid of it.
    Anger sells much better than humility on both sides of the aisle.
    But, by all means hold on to your anger if you feel you need it. It’s just that everyone you want to fight against is holding onto theirs just as tightly. Are you sure it’s the answer? Seems like the problem to me.

  122. Art says

    Even “Peace Man” Gandhi believed in the power of anger:
    I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power that can move the world.
    — Mahatma Gandhi

  123. Greg says

    I mostly enjoyed reading this article, save for the comments such as “As an atheist, I find myself wanting to kill every religious I see every time I think of the sheer misery caused by religion,” which don’t seem to me to be productive (or intelligent) in the slightest.
    I am Catholic, but noticed that when I got angry in the course of reading the article, it was in agreement with the things being written — I’m equally angry at the Church for sweeping things under the rug, at the idea of young-earth creationism, and at anyone who says “America is a Christian nation.”
    Please keep writing and being a force for change — you may not be able to get many people to abandon their entire faith (since it is, after all, belief in the face of a lack of evidence), but writing like this will be a powerful force in shaping a nation where religion is a purely personal matter.

  124. SueinNM says

    Brad,
    God doesn’t exist. I see no proof of his existence in anything I see or have experienced. Instead, I’ve seen a nasty being no different from Zeus or Thor, reigning pain and suffering down on innocent people.
    What I have seen is the beauty of the world that has evolved without the intervention of any divine being. I have seen “Christians” like Anne Coulter, author of GODLESS, accepted and praised by good christians everywhere while she demonizes anyone who doesn’t believe what she does … just as you do.
    I’ve been a successful novelist for 15 years, have a wonderful husband I’ve been married to for 21 years (no cheating, no divorce, no abortions … all of which are far more common in “christian” dominates states), and I see beauty all around me. I’m not missing a damned thing. And I’m fed up with people like you who have the nerve to tell me that I am.
    You don’t know me, Brad. And that’s the arrogance. Believe whatever you want, but don’t try to tell me there’s any evidence whatsoever of this god of yours.
    I’m done. I’ve got actual work to do. I’m not interested in converting, just being left alone to NOT be convenverted or told I’m not moral by people like you … exactly the sort of “christian” who made me come to the sincere conclusion that god doesn’t exist.
    Sincerely,
    SueinNM, off to her atheist meeting tonight!

  125. SueinNM says

    Brad,
    God doesn’t exist. I see no proof of his existence in anything I see or have experienced. Instead, I’ve seen a nasty being no different from Zeus or Thor, reigning pain and suffering down on innocent people.
    What I have seen is the beauty of the world that has evolved without the intervention of any divine being. I have seen “Christians” like Anne Coulter, author of GODLESS, accepted and praised by good christians everywhere while she demonizes anyone who doesn’t believe what she does … just as you do.
    I’ve been a successful novelist for 15 years, have a wonderful husband I’ve been married to for 21 years (no cheating, no divorce, no abortions … all of which are far more common in “christian” dominates states), and I see beauty all around me. I’m not missing a damned thing. And I’m fed up with people like you who have the nerve to tell me that I am.
    You don’t know me, Brad. And that’s the arrogance. Believe whatever you want, but don’t try to tell me there’s any evidence whatsoever of this god of yours.
    I’m done. I’ve got actual work to do. I’m not interested in converting, just being left alone to NOT be convenverted or told I’m not moral by people like you … exactly the sort of “christian” who made me come to the sincere conclusion that god doesn’t exist.
    Sincerely,
    SueinNM, off to her atheist meeting tonight!

  126. Hell's Granny says

    I quite frankly don’t understand why you are so angry at religious people.
    In all of human history there has been genocide, torture, witch burning, etc. and above all: hypocrisy – say one thing, do the opposite when nobody is looking.
    What’s the big deal?
    I think you are simply envious.
    Religious people have found a mental gold mine: Do whatever you want with a good, clean conscience, as long as you have a deity to back your misdeeds, while atheists have to behave well in order to be able to look at themselves in the mirror – that’s all.

  127. Max Hully says

    I think that once we do away with anger, we can be much more successful at making the change we want to see in the world.

  128. Jason says

    Wow… I was expecting to read the exact opposite article. How disappointing. All you hear from atheists is insults and anger, and you want to encourage that?
    Good luck. This crap goes over wonderfully with the mainstream. Might as well make a tinfoil hat and cover all your bases.

  129. Ted the nonmighty says

    You’re why I have to call myself a nontheist because when normal people hear “atheist” they think of shrill, screaming people like you.

  130. says

    ok, that’s not funny anymore. I try to use the browser key to go back to the site i was before, and it reposts my comment.
    well, i guess i agree with this blog x3!

  131. David Morgan says

    Wow. This was an awesome post. Especially to me, as I consider myself deeply spiritual and Christian. I might take small issue with some of your points, but no more than I would other people from my own religion, and in most cases a lot less. In addition, I am impressed with your logic and you manage to get me to a place that I need to work on; you’ve pointed out some of my own hypocrisy. I can see it now, and it is something I need to work on; I thank you for that.
    I’m impressed with the clearness of your statements, and the presentation of them and your evidence. Very impressive to me.

  132. says

    Anger is, in fact, the defining characteristic of most of the atheists I have ever met. And why shouldn’t atheists be angry? I’d be angry too if I knew that basically I had no worth, no purpose, and no meaning as an insignificant speck in the universe.
    I found this article to be quite saddening. I do not share in your anger, nor am I angry that you are so much against Christianity, which I accepted as a kid and then rejected as a college student and then accepted again as an older and wiser person. I just feel a profound sadness that a person whose blog I found on del.icio.us would feel such an affinity for an emotion, anger, that rarely accomplishes anything but the destruction of the object. But then perhaps that’s what you want. I hope for better.

  133. PrincessCake says

    I’ll pray for you.
    HAHA Just kidding.
    One of the best things I’ve read on the net, and not just because I’m an atheist too. You shared ideas that challenged some of my beliefs.
    I think that people believe in God and worship God as a masked way of wanting to be God. You can see it in the power that religious leaders use over their flocks. BUT, you can also see it in the common believer, believing he/she is being humble but actually trying to achieve immortality and a link between their minds and the external world that doesn’t require action. Those are the qualities of a God.
    Religion offers a promise of Godhood to believers but masks it in appearing humble.

  134. says

    Thank you so much for this. Someone needed to say it, and I’m glad it was someone with as much intelligence as you have.

  135. says

    I just found this post through stumbleupon. I too have bookmarked it and plan to use it as a reference whenever I need it. Thank you!

  136. Joel says

    “I get angry when other believers insist…that their own sophisticated theology is the true understanding of God.”
    I think I take a position that can be misconstrued to fit your quote.
    You may not agree that believers like us are right, but perhaps you can sympathze with our anger that other Christians are so obviously wrong in their practice of religion?
    I don’t believe I have The Truth, but I see truth in Christianity, and it angers me when other Christians discard the truth I see in favor of all of the evil that you mentioned in this post. It is obvious that they practice a radically different religion than I do, and it pains me to be associated with them, because I sympathize with your anger on practially every other point listed here.

  137. says

    JY, I do not adhere to any set of basic ideas or principles that have anything to do whatsoever with being an atheist. That doesn’t even make sense, because what atheism refers to is the fact that there’s one idea in particular that I do NOT adhere to — that god exists. And atheism itself implies nothing else. Nevertheless, I get called a “fundamentalist atheist” all the time. Probably because I have strong opinions that I am outspoken about that I have in common with many other atheists — but those opinions are in addition to my atheism, not part of it.

  138. says

    Brad: “If Christians acted like Christians, you wouldn’t be angry. At some point, after exposing you to God and the message of Life, we have to let you go. It’s up to you to find God after that… We can pray for you, that their be some intervention by the Holy Spirit, but badgering you is NOT the answer NOR is segregating you or making you do things you don’t wish to do.”
    Careful here. This atheist here didn’t walk away from the mean, nasty, stupid, Jerry Falwell brand of Christianity. I walked away from a part of Christendom that was pretty friendly, and I walked away from it mainly because the evidence for it didn’t stand up to scrutiny. Truth to tell, this has ended up meaning that I’m not as angry as some other atheists, and it’s part of the reason why I get royally pissed at the cheap shots I see aimed at Christians. (Happily, this blog doesn’t do much in the way of cheap shots.) Still, where I’m short on anger for Christianity, I’m long on pity–and frustration.
    Your “message of Life” is a mess. There isn’t even a clear biblical idea of what salvation even is. To come up with even a semi-coherent message, one has to cherry pick from some parts of the Bible and rationalize others. The typical evangelical Protestant message, when looked at closely, looks like a bizarre protection racket. (http://www.jhuger.com/kisshankbutt.php) And the connection between blood sacrifice and redemption doesn’t really make sense. It just doesn’t hang together.
    Michelle: “seriously, get a life. My take on atheists – you folks are scared of ‘faith’, cos you do not have it, do not understand it, maybe wish you did, at some level, and are damn scared!”
    We are scared of people who trust in what is untrustworthy–like the Bible, and are so sure of that trust as to be at least a nuisance, and all too often a menace.

  139. Shannon Chamberlain says

    Brad:
    My challenge to every atheist I meet, is to ask them to read the bible and pray to the God (even if they don’t think he exists). Do this for a few minutes for 3-7 days. If they don’t feel a change in themselves, the longing for more, the need to understand what they are feeling than they can go along with their lives.
    Oh, for the flying spaghetti monster’s sake. Why should we? If I told you that invisible leprechauns were at this very moment sitting on your shoulder and had authored a sacred text that you simply MUST read before you had the temerity to criticize my belief in the invisible leprechauns, would you be under any obligation to do so? Why shouldn’t I read the Bhagavad-Gita, or the Quran, or, to hit even closer to home, the recently rediscovered Book of Judas, which presents an entirely different version of what we now call the “gospels” instead?
    The sooner you come to terms with the fact that you’ve dedicated countless hours of eminently usable life to a myth, the components of which were arbitrarily constructed by a council of old men with no greater wisdom or insight than that to which your existence entitles you, the better. Then perhaps your posts won’t be so ill-conceived. Think of all of the time you could spend on improving your comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills.
    The thought of all of that wasted time is what makes me angry, and THAT is my challenge to you.

  140. says

    I’m not worthy!
    Great blog, I’ve been running my own blog for a short while now, because I’d turned into an angry atheist and wanted to get my point across. But after what you just wrote, I may as well shut my blog down, you have said it all (and way better than I ever have).
    keep up the good work

  141. Robert Madewell says

    Great post Greta! I totally sympathize with every reason. Especially, the sunday school teacher one. When I was 10 or so, I told my sunday school teacher that the light from the moon was reflected sunlight. She got so mad and told me that I had no right to question God’s creation. Can’t wait for your next post on this subject.

  142. says

    What dont atheists have that other groups of people have? Atheists do not have regular community meetings where people of the same world view get together and discuss artwork, writing, business, parenting, and a long list of other normal activities that atheists could be getting together to discuss and feel calm and part of a group of people.
    Its less important to win the argument and its more important to just move directly to the post-won-argument, phase and literally as best as possible act like they do not exist. Identify every single religious word and stop using it, develop news words, that are not creepy, to be used to define ideas of a Post-God America.
    The argument is about a way of life, and the fear is that if there wasnt a church that there would be moral chaos.
    That is the ridiculous part of this whole thing. Atheists are moral because they want to be and because being moral leads to its own rewards that have nothing to do with the post-conciousness experience.
    The Religious, I think they are angry internally because at their very heart, the real embedded ones, they are angry because they want to do terrible things but the fear of post-conciousness retribution keeps them from doing what they most want to do.
    Atheists are good because we want to be, Christians are good because they have to be.
    I strongly recommend finding a place to meet with other people that are of a similar world view and just have normal meetings where you discuss normal life related issues. Just intelligent people meeting to have regular intelligent discussions that hopefully would lead to the accumulation of funds for a better community center, a group creating and selling artwork might be the best way for an atheist organization to transcend its sort of bookish organizations that it has now.
    Business meetings and philosophy discussions, maybe some time to just get together and listen to music together and have a group meet where we would talk about great music files that have been created.
    No screaming, no yelling, just a nice comfortable vibe where we could literally show and discuss the benefits of a non religious lifestyle to people that just dont think its possible. Hell a group like this might get to witness something amazing, like someone finally getting it, that would be amazing to me, to be a part of an organization that every now and again gets to see a person realize the beauty of a world with no illusions.
    Ill stop here, thank you for your writing, I am angry too, we should do something normal about it because if there is one thing Atheism has that all of the other religions dont, well at least were normal.

  143. gwen says

    We have never spoken before, but you need to know that I love you so fucking much right now that it physically hurts.
    Anger is a gift. Thank you for reminding me of this.

  144. says

    I’m posting this particular post to my blog’s permanent links, aswell as your blog proper. You’re going in my feeds & I plan to write a response to this more or less presently, as soon as I do a bit of thinking on it.
    The great thing about being on the reasonable side of an argument about reason is that you end up being surrounded by brilliant minds; I feel much richer for having read this post.

  145. An Jiaoshi says

    Personally, I think atheism is just as presumptuous as Christianity — just as it’s beyond our abilities to perceive whether God* exists, it’s also beyond our abilities to perceive whether God DOESN’T exist — and consider myself a secular humanist. Nevertheless, your critique of religious intolerance and justification of atheist anger about it is spot on.
    Next time someone accuses you of being “angry,” look that person dead in the eye and say, “Yes, I am. It’s RIGHTEOUS anger.”
    * Feel free to substitute the supernatural creation deity of your choice.

  146. says

    Amazing post. I feel the same way you do about all those things. It seems so clear to me that atheism is the obvious choice when people can draw the exact same conclusions without a bullshit guide book enforced into them.
    I will definitely refer people to this when they accuse me of being angry and wasting my time!
    As for Brad, he was a perfect example of what you were talking about. You already addressed his type and he still came up with the same old crap. I can only hope that he said all that without having read everything. If he did, it just adds to my sense of hopelessness for blindly religious to wake up.

  147. says

    I am a believer, a religious, and a Sunday school teacher, among other things (I’m also one of those many, many Christians who have never read the Bible in its entirety, and yes, you probably know much more about my religious texts than I do). I understand and agree with your anger. There are some of us who agree with you on most, if not all, of those points.
    I am guilty of being one of those Christians who say, “but I’m not like that! The way *I* see my religion is different, and better!” I’m not going to ask you to come to church with me – I’ll make it clear that you are welcome to come, but I’m not going to shove my views down your throat. I don’t like it either when the other Christians try to shove their version of my religion down my throat, and I’m not going to be the one to do that to someone else.
    For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. Excellent post. Thank you for writing it.

  148. Eva =) says

    Wow this was fantastic to read. I am an atheist and i agree with everything you said. I went to a Christian camp once (i didn’t know it until i got there) and i would love nothing more than to send this to the counselors there who had a debate with me about gays.
    …but i wont.

  149. Andrew says

    Reading this article was like getting to breathe again after holding my breath for a long time. It seems that everyone is so religious. Why don’t they ever stop to actually think about it? When you do, there’s not even really a debate to be had. Just ask a question or two and the whole religious creed is proven irrational. It was like hypnosis, to me, growing up to be raised so religious. Even years after I was convinced of atheism by my own philosophical investigations, I was still wishing I coul believe, still praying to a god I didn’t believe in. It took a long time before I accepted my own atheism and was okay with being an atheist in a world of believers.
    We need more of this kind of encouragement. We do need an effective movement. We need to speak up, despite the dangers.
    Thanks for this. It’s so well put.

  150. von satan says

    who gives a crap what you or anyone else thinks. once you’re dead you’re dead, so what’s the big fuss?! get over it already!

  151. says

    Just adding few things I would have added to the list:
    I get angry every time a procreator thinks he wins the debate by saying that everything has to have a first cause but they get indignant when you point out that this is a hipocritical point on their part because they don’t think their god has a first cause.
    I get angry every time some religous leader says that athiests worship darwin and say other things to try to make the a-religious seem equal with the religious so as to cause the religious to discount athiests believes without actually thinking about if this is at all true.
    I get angry anytime I meet a recovering drug addict who was brainwashed into being addicted to their “higher power” rather than in living a clean life because it is the logical thing to do. And I get angry at the court orderd visits to these instatutions of higher power indoctrination.
    I get angry when people who rail against any form of biological science eagerly demand a pill, especially antibiotics, from doctors. I get even angrier when these same people protest that doctors are playing god each time they try to cure some medical condition.
    I get angry when religous leaders try to convice people that all scientiests are atheists when the vast majority of scientists are religious and in fact the majority of people who are religious belive that the world is far more than 6,000 years old
    On that last point I am angry that all of those people who are religous still stick around in a religion that they know is telling them false like the world being only 6,000 yeas old.
    Or for that matter any time someone sticks with a religious in the hopes that it will change to better agree with some of their notions on how it should really be.
    I am pissed off an angry at those who lie about science’s findings and try to convice people that dino’s and people lived at the same time and don’t just keep saying this but add to it by buying up dino theme parks and start pushing their lies, aka bearing false witness, on kids.
    I get angry every time the churchs demand that the government stay of of their church but they, being holier than thow demand the right to put their church in our government. This isn’t chocolate nd peanut butter, this is a prohabition in the Constitution.
    For more on these topics visit faux_pseudo over in livejournal land.

  152. von satan says

    atheists are as bad as any religious type…you just don’t know it cuz you’re too wrapped up in your bitching. this is the worse blog every. you’re nothing but a sob story. jesus christ!

  153. Anonymous says

    Oh. Man has for centuries tried to be independent and to justify his refusal to accept responsibility.
    Yet, we must all answer certain questions.
    1. Where are you?
    2. Who told you?
    3. Where is your brother/sister?
    Where then did we get guilt from? why does our nature gravitate to evil?
    The Love of God is the ultimate. God is not against man but for man. If only atheists knew that God loves them, the’ll quit being angry.
    Yet our freewill will not be tampered by God, for without freewill, true love can’t be exercised.
    God read up what descartes, darwin, and the other atheists said on their death beds. It’s the end story that matters.

  154. says

    An add on to my first comment. I get angry every time a procreator thinks that telling an atheist they are going to hell is a valid threat. If one doesn’t believe in God how is one to believe in hell?

  155. Janine says

    Hello Greta. I see you checked in at PZ’s. I am one of those who have been baiting the misognist creep there. I just want to say, I saw no problem with you not addressing the problems with Islam. While they are definitely a threat, the threats closest to us have to be the first priority.
    It seems this will be lost in the flood of responses that is here. But I have to ask, what is it like to be loved and hated by the responders.
    Great post.

  156. Rieux says

    This is wonderfully put, and it (especially the latter section) desperately needed to be said. Thank you.

  157. Eddy says

    Exactly why I avoid any and all discussions about religion/gay marriage.
    I start throwing things.

  158. Eddy says

    Exactly why I avoid any and all discussions about religion/gay marriage.
    I start throwing things.

  159. Sam-in-WV says

    Many thanx, Greta. Sometimes it takes hot blood to be appropriately galvanized. As you point out, in reason, we have much to be hot blooded about.
    To Stomper: One way to be defensive is to be deliberately obtuse. Churlishness and obstinancy are the resort for those who cannot engage in discussion. Expect the “gaslight” treatment from most Catholics and other Christians.

  160. Prohibitoid says

    I agree 100%. It’s almost time to fight back, and we’re becoming more and more vocal and visible.

  161. whuebel says

    I think your article hits on some great points. Anger is a good thing in the right circumstances. Anger is a good reason to become a unitarian. I go to church with wiccans, atheists, catholics and hindus who want a common community and aren’t sure that what they were taught as children is true. The common ground is repect.

  162. says

    You go girl!!!
    You ought to reduce this to a .pdf file so it can be downloaded, pictures and all. It should be handed to anyone who claims we are angry. No, better yet, it should simply be handed out to everyone.
    Richard Dawkins was surprised during his first book tour to America supporting “The God Delusion”, when a commenter asked him about atheist anger. He didn’t know what they were talking about. If he read this, I think he would have a better understanding now.
    I’ve been angry for having wasted what so far has been the bulk of my life believing in something that doesn’t exist. I just hope I live long enough to be able to say it was for less than half my life.
    I’m looking forward to 91!
    Thanks for saying that. I suspect that some day we’ll look back on this as a seminal moment in atheist blogging.

  163. beng says

    What a pathetic life you must lead.
    Why not be happy because you live in a country that lets you be you.

  164. beng says

    Ah, your a lesbo, now I understand it, you can’t marry your girl and your all pissed off. Hey, here’s an idea, go live in Iraq.

  165. Brycello says

    Wow! Greta, whoever you are, thanks for your fine words. I feel energized and almost optimistic that there is still some sanity left on the planet. This is a keeper.

  166. says

    Brad’s challenge is valid. I’ve done that when I was a child who truly didn’t know what was true and what wasn’t, and I felt emptier when things never changed for the better. I dropped religion in first grade. since then I’ve felt much more empowered knowing that there isn’t an entity that rules over me, at least not in the sense that Christianity (or almost any modern religion) implies.
    I have a challenge for Brad: research the theory of evolution (and please take a closer look at how the word “theory” is used in science), read some Richard Dawkins’ writing (“The Illusion of Design” from 2005 is really good), and ask yourself why you write science off when one of its guiding principles is the constant search for truth, while Christianity sticks to what was written in a strange book a long time ago. Over hundreds of years now, time and again it’s debunked religious premises, and any good scientist will tell you that a scientific, empirical, testable evidence of God’s existence would convince them of it.
    That kind of open-mindedness cannot be found amongst believers, because those who are that open-minded have already seen through the facade.

  167. says

    I didn’t read your entire post as I got sick of saying: “Yes, I agree.” Over and over, but what I did read was very accurate.

  168. keith says

    hey there, i’ll keep it simple. pretty good stuff and thank you for the post. i enjoyed the read and you make a lot of good points, supported with links.
    i’m more of an agnostic but we seem to overlap for the majority of your points.

  169. Jim says

    As a non-angry non-atheist, what I’m looking for when I read atheist blogs is a greater understanding.
    I can work from (my own) first principles and get to my own values system and understanding life’s meaning. What I have a hard time doing is understanding is what first principles atheists come from.

  170. says

    I stumbled onto this post quite by accident. I am Pagan and pretty much angered by all of the same things you are. Imagine the looks and gasps of disbelief when you tell someone you’re a witch! HAHAHA!! I don’t usually use that word, but I will say that I’m Pagan if asked. I got mad when this handed me a sheet of paper that basically said I was damned to hell if I didn’t believe in Jesus Christ being the lord savior, blah, blah, blah…
    But now I kinda laugh at it…and maybe I’m not so angry anymore because I don’t feel the need to prove shit to ANYONE. This is me…fuck anyone who doesn’t like it!! Thank you for speaking out for the other non-believers…GREAT POST!

  171. Bruce Ramsey says

    Why should you be angry if there is no God, girl? You’re just a big, evolved, bacteria that got here by accident, right? So, who CARES if you are surrounded by a bunch of stupid chimps who believe in absolutes?

  172. says

    We’re not too angry. Its just the discrimination and subjugation we have all suffered for years finally being given an outlet at last! Enough of us have finally have the courage to stand up and declare that we have had enough! We aren’t going to take this bullshit sitting/laying down any more!
    If you push your outmoded, superstitious belief and acceptance of the completely unacceptable onto me, then I’m going to push back twice as hard!!
    As a gay person, I probably have more anger towards religion than a most people in the world, the hurt and harm religion has caused gay people is simply beyond reckoning, and it continues today with the apparent approval of governments and their petty short sighted views which have been steered by the church!
    So, damn right I’m pissed off and angry! Give me a reason why I shouldn’t be!

  173. Tom says

    It seems to me that most of your problems with religion are problems that plague all of humanity. People are ignorant and easily led. There are plenty of passionately patriotic atheists who believe every single thing the government tells them. This is just as dangerous as believing everything a priest tells you. I’m sure you are aware of this, but people are fucked up, ignorant, and scared. Not just some of us. All of us. We have to fight this on a daily basis to become fully actualized human beings. Religion is just one of the many symptoms of the overall problem: Us.

  174. AM says

    Absolutely amazing post.
    This is the first time I stumbled into this blog… it’s now bookmarked.
    A huge thumbs up to your writing.

  175. ben says

    Im angry that you don’t see religion for what it is: a way to organise stupid people into not causing harm.
    Remember 50% of the population are below average intelligence by definition, and these people need something to continue.
    Your assertion that an absense of religion will NOT remove morality is completely unbased: we simply do not know what the world would be like otherwise. I imagine there would be more harmful “religious like” organisations like scientology appear for these people, and much more harm would come from it.
    Religion is prozac for the masses. Its true.

  176. nas says

    Sorry to say this, but it seems most of your anger and reason to be athiest is comes from the injustice of other people and corruption of churches.
    Take look at Islam, not a critical look, but a comparative look, and you will notice a religion so different, you might have to rethink what religion really is about.

  177. JZ says

    What are you so angry about?
    You refuse to question your own belief system — yes atheists, you have a belief system, though you may not know it. Faith in observation, reason and the universe’s ultimate intelligibility by man is still faith. (But our faith is smart, theirs is stupid.)
    You perceive something as injustice — it makes you angry. Flies like turds — turds make them happy. Same diff. We’re all just slow burning chemical equations right? Or is there something more?
    It sounds more like your just hating American Christian’s because by and large they’re assholes. No problem there, but call a spade a spade.

  178. Jason Black says

    Greta, I am almost in tears after reading this. Not because I disagree, but because I agree so passionately with everything you’ve said.
    Instead of trying not to be an angry atheist (or that close second, the “bitter fag”), reading this has reminded me of both my right to be these and the need to be bitter and angry.
    Thanks for reminding me!
    –JB

  179. Ryan says

    Very well-argued and salient points. But however validated you feel your anger is, the general public won’t see it this way. Who garnered more respect: Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcom X? Until you can speak out positively and eloquently, few will listen with open minds. Sure, you can argue that the constructs put up against profanity are artificial and irrelevant, but it doesn’t change the fact that they just won’t listen, just like those who protested in Washington DC this summer wearing suits received much more attention and respect than the hippies. At some point you have to accept the hand society has given you, and instead of being pissy about your pair of deuces, why not play the game their way and bluff your way to your a better hand? You will only be more respected because of it.

  180. Ji says

    i read your profile and think i should come all the way, across the continent to San fransisco. Find your sweet adress and make love to you and your wife Ingrid both.

  181. Amber says

    You are a FUCKING genius. Thank you so much for that entry. You have the argument skills I lack – thank you for speaking for me. And you’re right! SO RIGHT! We’re not all bitter. I am one of the most optimistic people I know, I just don’t put any hope into an afterlife and I don’t base my moral/ethical decisions on any doctrine – doesn’t make me morbid or nihilistic. Thanks again.

  182. Userious? says

    “I get angry when religious believers make arguments against atheism — and make accusations against atheists — without having bothered to talk to any atheists or read any atheist writing.” Ummn…you obviiously have no understanding of what it is to be a christian (along with many so called christians). Most people have very little understanding of bible scripture and what it means. They have been taught under the catholic understanding of so called christianity, and that is to trust and believe in preachers, priests, etc. Yes, even protestants. That teaching is not consistant with bible teaching. Christians are to study to show themselves approved. So when looking at christianity, I offer you a set of basic rules. 1st: CATHOLICISM IS NOT CHRISTIANITY!!! You will see some of of the most hidious acts come from that so-called church! It has been that way in the past, and history is repeating itself right now! You just don’t know it yet. Not just the molestation, but lots more. Research the Jesuits to get an idea of what is going on still. 2nd: Do not look to people! If you want to know what christianity is, read the words of Christ! Is that too difficult to understand? Christ is who we are to pattern ourselves after. Sadly, many “christians” lack the most basic understanding of this fundamental principle. And when you see anyone who is famous and powerful, even Billy Graham, assume they are not christians. They are likely not, as is the case with the afore mentioned evangelist. He left his christian beliefs a long time ago due to pressure from the pope. Sad situation. Which leads me to rule 3. 3rd: Politics and christianity do not mix!!!!!! When you see a snake tounged politician touting the name of Christ like a slogan, he is likely doing it to appeal to a christian base! Bush, I’ll say he is not a christian because of his affiliations with Freemasonry and Skull and Bones. These are occultic groups who deny their allegiance to the God of the bible to attain the highest degrees. Twisted but true. 4th: Don’t be so quick to assume that you have it all figured out. You don’t think that the matter is so simplistic, do you? That you, with very little study or effort have just looked around you, accepted what you have been taught by your dad, beefed up your anger, thought about all the flaws related to religion, grouped all religions into one cluster, and just like that, you are the know it all athiest come to save the day. Right. You have not begun to scratch the surface of the depth of this matter. Did you ever consider that all the athiests that you are reading may not know what they are talking about? Yet you study their words religiously to strengthen your position on a matter that you or them know nothing about. Now don’t just read that last phrase I just wrote and get mad. Stop and think about that for a moment. Really think about it. So here is the last of my points for right now. 5th: Christianity is not the angry protestors, aggressive and angry political activists, politicians, catholic hierarchy, etc, etc, etc. It is about the reconciliation of sinful man to a holy and perfect God. A God who loves his fallen creation so much that He fulfilled the requirements of His law, in our stead, in order to give us a chance to live and be restored to perfection so we can be in relationship with Him again. What great love. The call of christianity is to share that message with everyone. Anything else is just uncivilized. No seriously, it is that simple. As a christian, we are to become more like Christ and emulate His example and share the good news with everyone. One more thing I have to mention, Jesus is a real person. Historically, this is a reality. The gospels are well supported historically with extra-biblical evidence of His existance as well. So calm down with all the anger so you can think!!! This is not a joke in case you have not realized it. Ask yourself have you been decieved? Were your teachers right? I would be in the positions of Christians who gave up their faith if I did not study and get to know God through His word. So take another look. If you are right, you will only strengthen your position. If you are wrong, then you will beging to see some flaws in your way of thinking. Wow, this reply is like a blog within itself. I wonder if you will actually allow it to be posted?

  183. Reynvaan says

    As a religious person, I would like to first congratulate you. Never before have I seen such a list as this laid out so thoughtfully and professionally, while maintaining its writer’s passion. Very well done.
    Second, I would like to apologize. While I obviously can’t speak for anyone but myself, I would like to make it known that some of us religious folk are trying very hard to move away from the kinds of things you listed here. It grieves and angers me that such a list ever even had to be made, but I can totally understand and sympathize with most of your points. Though to be fair, I must admit that I know a total of about 4 people apart from myself who still consider me to be religious. Most people just call me “spiritual”, “philosophical”, or “confused”, terms I hate more than almost anything. They say I have moved too far from “THE CHURCH” to be a Christian specifically (my views are Christian-based with added Hindu, “Eastern”, and maybe Gnostic elements), and too close to logic to be religious in general (I fully accept evolution and support gay rights).
    Be that as it may, I still consider myself religious, and I cannot apologize profusely enough for the way “my people” and I have treated the rest of the world throughout history.
    By all means, stay angry. Without anger, I never would have broken out of the mold of evangelical conservative Protestantism, and instead of this I would probably be blogging about the “crazy atheist hell-spawn whose anti-Jesus ramblings are destroying this blessed Nation from the inside”. So stay mad!

  184. Russell says

    What is it that atheists want? Is a question posed in one of the comments, and apparently if you listen to the current book publishing atheists, they would seem to want to be angry. However if you read them right, they are actually angry at stupidity more that anything else. Many groups are stupid as a collective, if not the majority or them, the masses are asses is a quote that comes to mind, and I’m sure a mass of atheists would not be very much different. This isn’t so much a war between theists and atheists; it’s a war between educated and non-educated people. When it becomes as polarized as it is today, individual voices are drowned out, and the voice of reason takes on water. I appreciate what Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens are doing, however I think it’s time they got back to their respective fields while they still have their day jobs, this seems to be consuming them and they will suffer a lack of respect among their colleagues.
    It’s okay to be angry, as long as we keep our heads and not resort to the tactics of the uneducated.

  185. Anthony says

    Epic post. You win the gold medal.
    Ever think that mainstreaming atheism and throwing off the chains of religious bullshit (in all regards, but we can start small) is our generation’s contribution to the future?
    I do.

  186. says

    Incredible article, Greta. Just found your wonderful blog. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I can’t fucking stand Christians/Catholics, organized religion of any sort. I was “baptized Catholic” when I was born and put into a Catechism every Wednesday until I was in 8th grade. I actually believed in their shit up until I grew a brain when I was 10 and started questioning their motifs. People would pump fear into me, say everything I did was sinful, all that bullshit. The hate grew stronger and stronger. I was displeased that I had to go through all that bullshit. My parents claim to be “falling Catholics”, but really, they’re just agnostic motherfuckers. And I can’t fucking stand that they say I’m a Catholic, just because I was baptized. I don’t believe in that bullshit, I don’t identify with it. Now, I’m 18, ready to vote and change our little shit hole into a better place, to get religion out of fucking state, even if it takes more then a lifetime.
    By the way, although, I agree with pretty much everything you said. But the Nihilist statement “”Atheism is a nihilistic philosophy, with no joy or meaning to life and no basis for morality or ethics”… when if they spent ten minutes in the atheist blogosphere, they would discover countless atheists who experience great joy and meaning in their lives, and are intensely concerned about right and wrong.” I mean, I myself am very interested in Nihilism, but I still enjoy life and live it to the fullest. But, I don’t really see any meaning at all to life. We’re here, this is our lives. But fuck being gloomy and depressed about it being meaningless. Might as well enjoy it and get the most out of life as you possibly can. Take every opportunity you can get. Hmm, but perhaps, I’m not really a nihilist. I’m just myself.
    Thank you :),
    Ian.

  187. name only says

    Blaming religion for all the ills of the world is a little like blaming the weapon for a murder. It isn’t the knife that killed but the person wielding the knife.
    I am angered by much of the same things that anger you about “religion”,pedophilia,thievery,slavery,the inquisition et al.. The problem is not the faith of the believer,but the wielding of that faith like a sledge hammer. The biggest problem, as I see it, is the intolerance of the religious elite, you spoke of. The religious “elite” of the world are indeed dangerous. It was the intolerance of the religious “elite” that sentenced Jesus to death. My religion is based on faith and nothing more. I gave up paying attention to the elitists when I figured out none of them really get it. I try my best everyday to live my life according to the teachings of Jesus and no one else. I don’t claim to have an answer for the rhetoric about creationism vs evolution. It doesn’t matter. I don’t have prove or disprove either one to have Faith in Christ and who he was and what he did, for me and you. I understand your anger and on behalf of all Christians I’m sorry for the intolerant behavior you have experienced at the hands of misguided and uninformed pseudo- Christian elitists and their followers. Please forgive us.

  188. Commonsensekid says

    ~~~RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD~~~
    TAOISM > Shit Happens.
    SUFISM > Shit Let’s Dance!
    SHINTOISM > Shitting Now.
    LUTHERN> Divided Up Shit.
    JANSENISM > Shit let’s will it.
    UNITARIAN > What’s This Shit?
    BAPTIST > Let’s Roll In This Shit.
    ATHEIST > I Don’t Believe That Shit.
    CHURCH OF GOD > Shit’s Out There.
    URANTIA > Can You Believe This Shit?
    AGNOSTIC > I Believe Some Shit Stinks.
    CHRISTIANITY > He Died For This Shit?
    HINDUISM > This Shit Happened Before.
    ISLAM > If Shit Happens, Take A Hostage.
    Protestants> Our Shits is better than theirs.
    ZEN > What Is The Sound Of Shit Happening?
    CATHOLICISM > If Shit Happens, we Deserve It.
    TV AVENGELEST> We Want Your Monetary Shit.
    MORMON > Shit Happens Again & Again & Again.
    EVANGELACALES> Faith Will Heal Your Shitter.
    BUDDHISM > When Shit Happens, Is It Really Shit?
    7TH DAY ADVENTIST > Shit Happens On Saturdays.
    CONFUCIANISM > Confucius Say, “Shit Will Happen”.
    JUDAISM > Why Does This Shit Always Happen To Me?
    JEHOVAH’s Witness > Knock Knock “Shit’s Happening”.
    HARE KRISHNA > Shave your Head So Shit Can’t Happen.
    RASTAFARIANISM > Let’s Smoke This Sticky Cannabis Shit.
    COMMONSENSE > Only You Dude, Can Stinking Shit Yourself

  189. James Galloway says

    Thank you for this article. I was prepared (as a believer) to “get angry” reading it. Instead,
    I found a person angered by many of the same things that anger me,
    like “cosmic shopping list” praying.
    “And I get angry when other believers insist that the cosmic shopping list isn’t what religion and prayer are really about; that their own sophisticated theology is the true understanding of God. I get angry when believers insist that the shopping list is a straw man, an outmoded form of religion and prayer that nobody takes seriously,
”
    I disagree. Some atheists refuse to listen when “sophisticated” believers try to explain their beliefs, ignore us, & keep right on arguing against what has become, for THAT conversation, a Straw Man with respect to THAT “sophisticated” believer. Do you atheists truly believe that we believers are all Fundamentalists
    deep down? If so, c’mon—that’s BS and you know it.
    However, if you mean that, in the USA, in terms of numbers & in terms of public power out of proportion to those numbers, many
    believers are of the Fundamentalist “cosmic shopping” variety, I agree with you.
    Why shouldn’t you flay “cosmic shopping” if it is so prevalent in the US?
    There are two phenomena going on with respect to “religion:”
    (1) a deep-seated human need to believe certain things & to control ones environment in certain ways, and
    (2) whatever is “true” (assuming for a moment that 100%
    post-modernist doubt of “truth” goes too far), regardless of my “need”
    to believe / be in control.
    This, I submit, is in theory true of all humanity, every religion, and also true
    of atheists, at least in theory. Whether or not some atheists, to some degree,
    “unbelieve” for irrational reasons I mention as a theoretical possibility without
    pointing fingers. In my own observation of people over 54 years as a “liberal”
    believer, we all (including atheists) are irrational some of the time, some of us
    (and some types of belief) more than others.
    Tillich spoke of 3 “existential threats:” (mortality, morality, & meaninglessness, or death, damnation & loneliness). Those are universal.
    Add to them that life is unfair (JFK’s term) & some suffer far more than others,
    & you have some people with terrific trauma going back to infancy. Such people
    may be irrationally “gullible.” They may be irrationally “skeptical.” They may
    be no more or less rational than anyone else. Or they may grow very wise.
    If there is a God, she does not send specific woes to a person to make them wiser, but the universe(s) as a whole may be as it is because for God, it is more important that sentient life be free & independent—at risk—than enslaved/overprotected. The author of Job thought so. That is NOT getting
    God off the hook by blaming the victim. God—if God exists—is by definition ON the hook & can never duck ultimate responsibility. If God exists, God suffers.
    “I get angry when believers trumpet every good thing that’s ever been done in the name of religion….Neither side gets to have it both ways.)”
    I agree – both ways.

  190. Ken says

    Greta,
    I decided to embellish a bit…
    Your prose flows smoothly yet swiftly like a mighty river; your emotion resonates vividly and profoundly like birds chirping during a sunrise over a golden meadow; and your arguments glisten brilliantly and formidably like diamonds on an imperial crown.
    You deserve to be heralded for crafting and contributing such an important and superb treatise. Bravo!
    Ken

  191. says

    Over the last year or so I’ve found myself transitioning from “closeted atheist” to “pissed-off atheist”. It’s been really nice reading about your justifications. I hope it empowers everyone who reads it as much as it empowered and inspired me.

  192. Tony says

    Repost to angry atheists….
    I liked this post because it touched on so many injustices. Very good topics and intelligent views. Of course, you know me, I didn’t agree with all of it. That wouldn’t make me a true freethinker now would it?
    However, I liked reading it and the author makes some very valid points. I suppose mainly that whenever something corrupt, greedy or opposing my rights pops up, there is usually some damn religious group aiding my enemy. Over the years I wonder why this is.
    For the religious, I believe trying to introduce “the angry atheist” view is a tactic to discredit the atheist by giving the “appearance of evidence” to support the idea that “No God = No Happiness”. It makes me happy and disheartened both to hear this idea spread about because it means they are using defensive tactics. People only use defensive tactics when they feel they are being attacked from a worthy threat. If I were an atheist, I would take this silly tactic as a compliment.
    I am not saying it isn’t a dangerous idea, only that I perceive it as progress. Why would they say anything at all unless it unsettled their belief system.
    Doesn’t it say somewhere in the bible we are to question everything. If we were to take complete faith, how do you know you aren’t worshiping that false idol they wrote so much about?
    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of injustices married with religion in this world and I say be very angry at that and fight those injustices. You gotta fight for your right to party! And everything else apparently. I have a few assholes in the world in high positions of authority that I am not too keen on so I am on the same uphill battle as the author.
    If we are sensible people, we can learn a little from each other. I have learned a little today from this post.
    I know many non-religious people that are equally as happy (if not moreso) than the religious. So I don’t believe that all atheists or even the majority are anger-encompassed.
    I have been victimized several times in my life. Sometimes deep seated faith in religion was involved and sometimes just good ole corporate greed. Sometimes dirty evil people, period. My take on this article is that it possesses many great points. But the anger seems solely placed on the religious believer and not on so many other atrocities where religion is not a factor. Maybe anger may be best used focused on one factor of human suffering. So I do not argue due to my ignorance.
    I know believers that are my family and good friends (and atheists alike). These people would put their life on the line for me. They have their own religion but would never be a part of denying anyones rights or pushing their religion on you. They are good people and are for civil rights, anti-discrimination, lesbian and gay rights and yes, even legalized abortion et cetra. Of course, if they did not hold these views then they would not be true freethinkers and I would grow bored with their company and part ways.
    That being said, I do believe their are many people I don’t know out there that are ignorant, closed mided idiots who should have to take a reality test to be able to vote. When I say many, I mean many! There are large groups of these sheeple and I do not like that. I don’t like that these blind idiots are forcing political agendas for their beliefs in their religion. I don’t like that politicians are going along and fanning the flames and using this blind faith approach for political gain. I don’t like blind faith over lack of common questioning of things.
    I am agnostic and happy with this label. I am no better than any other label. I think I am only better at thinking than certain individuals. My ideas are my business and will be pushed onto noone. I only talk of my views as philosophical discussion. To improve ideas and possibly enlighten or be enlightened myself. I am not so rigid, but rigid enough.
    I see the problem with the religious right emerging slowly over the past 10 to 15 years. I don’t like it at all. Influencing laws and politics. We have freedom of religion and separation of church and state. These laws need to be enforced. Get your damn church out of our state affairs.
    Although not religious myself, I believe greatly in spiritual growth and becoming a stronger, better person as we go through life. This takes discipline and the acceptance of pain. Sometimes this pain is in the mind because we have to alter our ideas about a faulty religious belief or accepting this god thing to be a possibilty. I want to make it clear that I do not connect god belief to any religious beliefs.
    “Random thoughts about my definition of god. And I do believe in my version of god”. It is my right under the first amendment.
    I don’t really know, I guess I think of god as a force sort of like in star wars. I think god is not all powerful and is maybe a force struggling in the universe to survive and stay alive in a difficult environment we call the known universe. I think god and the devil might be the same thing. Not as deities but as forces interconnected. Sometimes I think maybe god needs our help and we were sent here as tiny little cells to evolve and become a manifestation so that god could live on. I don’t think heaven or hell exists and I don’t think I am being watched over to see if I do the right thing or not. I don’t know this and I have no facts to back up my ideas. What I do have is the right to hold these ideas as an everchanging philosophy according to my life experiences and the teachings of the sciences. I do not think god loves or hates me. I think it is in a different realm that may be impossible for the human cortex to grasp. I do understand science and I understand the limitations. I can attribute missing pieces of science to the unknown but not to religion by default. In my world, god is undefined. Ambiguous.
    Live in the world, learn all you can, question everything and encourage people to think for themselves and fight for their rights. Teach children to do the same,how, when and most importantly why.
    Our allies are not always bound by religion, political affilliation, race, sex, or any other label or group. We have true freethinkers, freethinker posers, non-thinkers (sheeple), and the worst of all, the freethinker who uses this ability as a tool to manipulate and oppress all others for power and personal gain or satisfaction at any cost. Sheeple usually follow these types. This is the mental illness I am concerned with and am taking steps to extinguish from our society.
    Just a few thoughts,
    Tony

  193. Religious Fanatic says

    You should NOT be regarded as a citizen, NOT be regarded as patriotic, NOT be able to serve on juries, NOT be able to testify in court and NOT be able to hold public office.
    You said it right sister, “This is one nation under God.” Accept it or fucking LEAVE, you little snit!

  194. Religious Fanatic says

    Sure, my comment is removed. I’m fucking angry because MY freedom of speech has been denied!

  195. Heather says

    Great comments. I wish I had the guts to send this link to all my friends who are always emailing me their little religous stories. That’s the thing I get angry about. My friends wouldn’t be my freinds anymore if I did but I have to tolerate their religon while they won’t tolerate mine. Sucks.

  196. says

    Greta
    Thank you so much for that. Sputtering inarticulate rage that was not – it was well focused, like a laser, and powerfully fueled with your (ours) vehement rejection of the idle minded forces which plague us.
    Big hugs to you and yours. Let the rage out like this and it won’t kill you. It will make the world a better place. And for that, again, I thank you.
    Cheers.

  197. Billy Wilson says

    You are a very angry man. I have as many reasons (or more) to be angry by the way Christians are treated now-a-days but I am a grown up and intelligent enough not to let silly things get me so angry. Much of what you have said is simply opinion and much more is greatly exaggerated. Get a life…next week we’ll work on living it. Then maybe you’ll have some purpose in life for a cahnge and not be so preoccupied by these silly little things that have you so angry.

  198. Richard HUnnicutt II says

    Wow. Very impressive, and informative, rant. I feel you have every right to believe however you choose, and to be angry when you are stifled. I am a Christian, and believe that God gave you that right. I also do not believe THIS COUNTRY has any right to yea or nay gay marriage, or abortion. That being said, if asked by a polotician, or in the form of a vote, I will always try to prevent what I see as sin. This is my right. If I am in the majority, it becomes law. That is how democracies and republics are supposed to work. I am not sure (I am not real computer savvy), but if you can read my email address, please feel free to contact me. I would enjoy ‘talking’ with you! You seem very intelligent, informed and oppinionated! These are GREAT characteristics in a pen-pal. An athiest friend sent me the link here to help answer some of the questions I plague him with. I try very hard not to argue points based on emotion, but on evidence. I also enjoy the deeper discussions of religion just as discussions, not arguments that need to be won. You blog thingy was so long, I couldn’t begin to answer it all. Much of it I agree with, or at least acknowledge your point. You should have rights. I just want to make sure my children learn what I BELIEVE TO BE THE TRUTH, the same as you would want your children to learn your beliefs. The decision is ultimately theirs, but I will not stand idly by while my child is force-fed concepts that can’t work, like evolution [feel free to discuss this with me, it's one of my favorites!]. I don’t tell the school not to teach it. I just discuss my beliefs with my children and let them be prepared to make their own judgement. All Christians are human, which means we all make mistakes. We shouldn’t ever judge (sin), or hate (sin), or threaten violence (sin). But we also shouldn’t worry (sin) or fear (sin) or… smoke cigarettes (pack a day here). I will never be all that a Christian should, but if you would like to debate (honestly and not argumentatively) your ideas with mine, i would be honored.
    I have 6 children, 4 girls and 2 boys. Your opinions, insights, and experience will help me understand some of what they will go through in public school system. Write me sometime, ok?
    God Bless you. Sincerely.

  199. Larry says

    Here’s a moral question..What is better, to kill people and worship God, or to kill God and worship people? I choose the latter. I think people should believe in what we experience through our 5 senses, meaning hard transportable proof, over things that were written by men with agendas a very long time ago. If there ever was a God who knew all, and since he supposedly created us, then he himself (or herself) shouldn’t punish us for his own creation. God created everything and that includes anti God sentiments too. It just reveals hypocrisy, something which when I encounter it in life, I have to attack it. I propose that whatever created all there is, it was created in the simplest of forms and evolved from there on it’s own. We weren’t dropped here fully formed, there’s way too much hard proof to support that tenet. I always like to ask religious people if they think that there is other intelligent life in the cosmos, and if so, do they believe in Jesus too? That’s so preposterous. We can’t even agree on this planet about the identity of God. If all the people in the world believed in the same exact God with the same exact interpretation, I might give it some credence, but there are just so many different religions, which one is right? I think that they are all wrong. I will continue to listen to the scientists that have hard irrefutable proof about how we arrived here, thank you very much. Thanks for articulating so eloquently the feelings I and so many others have.

  200. says

    Atheist anger is understandable. And if it spurs atheists to action, fine. The question is whether it makes believers more or less apt to listen to what we’re actually saying. Are Democrats more apt to listen to what Republicans are saying when said Republicans are angry? Or vice-versa? Are kids more apt to listen to their parents when the parents express themselves with anger? And so on.

  201. Steve says

    Some good points, but I see little anger directed against the most irrational manifestation of religion today, Islam. Could it be that our bold little ranter is afraid because radical Christians may make threats, radical Islamists actually carry them out.

  202. Doug says

    Hmmm. I suppose it would be pretty easy to write a similar article about all the evil and pain in the world that has been delievered at the hands of atheists, then juxtapose that against all the good that has been done by the hands of people of faith. As one of those people who find great meaning in a life of faith, I’ll say with this author that the vast majority of the items she mentions make me angry (and/or embarrassed) too. But their existence doesn’t make faith irrelevant. Based on some of the posts here, I’d say there’s a fair share of hostile, sarcastic, and maybe even violent people “without” faith. Is that the alternative? Of course not.

  203. Doug says

    One asked: What is better, to kill people and worship God, or to kill God and worship people? I choose the latter.
    My comment: Who said those were the only two options? Try this instead: Kill no one. Worship God. Try hard to love people who are different than you, even if they are conservatives, or liberals.
    If we’re going to preach the gospel of tolerance, we need to tolerate people on both sides of the middle.
    :)

  204. allan pochop says

    Religion emergence of the concept that everthing in the universe has a single all-encompassing explanation. From this point forward all was interperted to have a purpose.
    The purpose of (religion) beliving in a purpose was to mitigate the fear of the unknown, the incomprehensible, and the unpredicatable that has stalked man’s steps since the beginning.
    The mepaphysical continued to be involded to explain the physical, because there was no other way.
    When belief in purpose was added, faith took on form & structure. A theology began to develop. Religion seperated from superstition.
    Science will never replace mythology. But people need to analyze the knowledge. That can be validated by evidence acceptable to an intellect trained in the dispassionate methods of experiment and induction.
    Religion is the reluctant fellow traveler of superstition, and science attempts to disown then both, in vain.

  205. respect, anyone? says

    All I have to say is…You have come across some pretty shitty Christians. Before painting the broad stroke of sterotyping hate-speech, get to know some Jesus-followers beyond those you read about. People who write things like this scare me because it reminds me of a great Jew-hater who was just as angry by the potential takeover of the world by Jews. He and his gangsters slaughtered millions in the end, but their angry protests started out just as subtle as blog-mania. The true Jesus-followers I respect don’t look like your broad generalizations. You would want to be their friends. And you would want them caring for you when you’re sick or poor. You would want them watching your children. Get to know some – you might be surprised.

  206. Ezekiel David says

    I’ve never read your blog before, but I certainly will start reading it regularly starting right away. Just a couple things to add to the list (from my personal standbpoint of course):
    I’m angry when I tell people that I don’t believe in a god, any gods, at all, and they respond by saying: “oh me too, other than, I believe there is Truth/Spirit/Goodness running through us/guiding the world” As though somehow the fact that we both don’t believe in a literal interpretation of the bible makes us the same, and that they then assume that I DO believe in some silly mist that just floats around, making people do good things…
    Relatedly, I’m angry that people assume that good people must have *some* sort of belief in *some* type of god-like thing, even if said person has explicitly stated that they do not. Like somehow not being an asshole/actively striving to be good becomes proof that you are spiritual/religious.
    I’m angry that a person can get more legitimacy in their quest to do good if they coat it with religion, I’m angry that growing up I actually had reason to think: “well, maybe I can become a nun and just never tell them that I don’t believe in their god” in order to find a way to be able to decry injustice.

  207. says

    Beautiful. I couldn’t have said it better. I’ve read it 3 times already and I’m still astounded. I love your anger and your passion. I couldn’t try to begin to replicate this in my own words, so I’ve linked my readers to your post.

  208. RPhil says

    Dear so called atheists,
    please realise that we are humanists, not necessarily atheists.
    We are responsible to our ourselves and our peers. Theism is not the norm.
    We should not deny other human beings their right to warship whatever they fancy. Neither will we accept judgement based upon believes.
    Moral values are human norms for human life.
    Greta should not bow to ahumans and be angry.
    Don’t worry Greta, be happy!

  209. Anton says

    There’s some legitimacy to what you’re saying, but not much. The great irony of ‘angry atheists’ is that in saying, and I quote from many of the comments, “DEATH TO RELIGION”, “Religion is evil”, etc. It’s illuminating that in seeking a live and let live mentality, you adopt the very mentality that you claim to detest. You’re of course free to say whatever you want, but your credibility is diminished by those who keep badmouthing religion and those who are religious.
    “Everytime I see a religious [person] I feel like spitting in their eye?” (from the comments) Really? That’s pretty sad, and you must be angry a lot.
    I’m Christian, but I have no problem with Atheists. Live and let live is my philosophy. Should the US government be as religious as it is under Pres. Bush? Of course not. Have atheists been discriminated against, been harassed, had horrible things happen to them? Of course they have. But so have all minorities in one way or another. So many of your examples of why you’re angry are responses to individual viewpoints.
    Being angry at religion? Of course it’s your right; more power to you. But the world is over 90% religious, and like it or not religion permeates a lot of people’s lives. It serves for a lot of people as a source of comfort, as a source of faith, as a source of happiness. And yes, a lot of bad has been done in the name of religion. But if you are incapable of understanding fundamentally why religion exists, then live and let live. If you see these people as ‘ignorant’ and ‘sheep’ and ‘dumb’, that’s your right, but they get something out of religion that you don’t, and you shouldn’t disrespect them for it. Should religious people be saying these terrible things about atheists (for example that they caused 9/11)? Of course not, but the other side of coin applies just as well to you.
    As an atheist, by definition, you do not understand why people are religious. To blanketly state that religion does more harm than good kind of misses the point. I commend and applaud your viewpoint, but it’s what you have chosen to believe in. Want to be angry about it, fine, but this generalized attack on religion is silly. Obviously this is a very one-sided comment board, but I just wanted to give the other perspective. I don’t write this to offend or attack anyone, but simply to offer another perspective.

  210. willottica says

    I’d liken religion to belief in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. A harmless belief that can provide some joy to children. But there comes a time when all children have to grow up and realize that Santa isn’t real, that it’s your parents who put all those gifts under the tree (or by the fireplace).
    It’s when you take that belief in Santa Claus, and let it affect other areas of your life — for instance, attempting to get airlines to stop flights on Christmas Eve to avoid potential collisions with Reindeer — you take the harmlessness out of it and can become a serious liability to society.
    I have yet to have a single person tell me WHY homosexuality is immoral. I’ve gotten the “It’s not natural” argument — which is disproved by nature. I’ve gotten the “It can’t lead to procreation” argument, but if sex is only supposed to be for pro-creation, the Catholic church should also be against the rhythm method (not just barrier methods) of birth control; logical extension of “it can’t lead to procreation” restricts sexual acts to 4 or 5 times in a lifetime, unless you want a really big family, and might even see it banned completely, given that science can circumvent the whole process now anyway.
    The ‘only for procreation’ argument could also be extended to food being ‘only for nutrition’, which would make eating potato chips, candy, spices, etc. all immoral — many of which do much more harm than the healthy exercise achieved through sexual intercourse.
    I too, could go on for days… and I am in favour of religion. I think it fills a valuable niche, but only if its followers are able to question and selectively ignore parts of doctrine that make no sense and/or are actually harmful.

  211. Uncle Nappy says

    Anger is not healthy…atheist or not. Am I supposed to be angry because I was born black? I carried that badge too long. I will never let anyone dictate how I feel or think. I became just as bad as the ones that egged my house, tore up my yard and shot at me.
    Historically, some of the greastest “Christians” were also sexist and racist in the name of religion. I can’t be angry at them, I have a relationship with God and realize that they are human just like I am. They may hide behind religion to express their true ugly nature, but God is love and I know He isn’t “cool” with that.
    The Bible says that others are to know that “we” are Christians by our love. I sometimes go to extremes because of love, but rarely do people get angry. Although I don’t treat life and death issues lightly,
    I would never argue with an athiest about there belief, but if my faith depended on the actions of the Christians from my past, I would be an athiest also. I choose to look at God and not the sometimes idiot representatives that forget that we are to be known by our love.
    Uncle Nappy

  212. mad marcher says

    God does want my team to win march madness. Its those Devils (usually Blue) that frequently get in the way of God’s righteous plans (God often picks the same team as me in the heaven pool).

  213. Believer says

    You sound angry, dude. Just remember, despite your anger and hostility, Jesus still died for you and still loves you. He’s forgiving that way. If you had just a tiny piece of that in your own life, you could forgive, as well, and get on with your life. God Bless.

  214. Believer says

    You sound angry, dude. Just remember, despite your anger and hostility, Jesus still died for you and still loves you. He’s forgiving that way. If you had just a tiny piece of that in your own life, you could forgive, as well, and get on with your life. God Bless.

  215. Steven says

    Well thought out ideas? They are one liner attacks on an what are overall isolated incidents. One could easily counter and provide extremely similar arguments that point out flaws in atheism and horrible deeds which they did.
    Each faction of society has its zealots and sheep. I see many here. I don’t deny that they exist in religious sects too – God knows we’re teeming with them. But do you see what is happening here? One person is spouting rhetoric and others are eating it up. This happens in all realms where the uninformed are, be it theistic or otherwise.
    I would be much more impressed to hear, why, how this information came about, some history of the situation, and proof that this is a problem shared uniquely and universally by people of faith. The fact of the matter is that its not.
    While I understand and quite honestly agree with most of the points, I feel its like saying all black people are subhuman because one robbed this guy, another was shooting, one was doing crack while another led people to rioting and looting. Its absurd and an elementary argument.

  216. Peter Canadian says

    Great article, well spoken. And what a nice bunch of posts! No bickering and kabitzing! No names and insults! What? I thought all we atheists were angry!!
    Especial thanks to the Methodist who read with an open mind.

  217. kellbelle1020 says

    “what women do you know who would submit to their husband if they had a man of utter integrity who provided for her, served her, served others, and made her feel more loved than humanly possible?”
    A man of utter integrity? I defy you to show me one that actually exists. And, no, that’s not coming from a man-hating perspective. It’s coming from an all humans are flawed perspective.
    “Probably all of them… And I don’t mean submitted in the context you are familiar with, but submit as in allow him to lead, be apart of him.”
    Not me. I want a partner, not a leader. I wouldn’t submit to a man of integrity, much less a real, human, flawed man.
    And I have read the Bible. All of it. More than once.

  218. Adam says

    I don’t know what any of that has to do with my faith, beliefs in Christ, or my local Church, so well done! I hope after all that venting you and your fellow atheists feel a little bit better because adding to the anger in this world probably isn’t going to amount to anything good.
    That was a fun rant to read (I’ll probably continue to check in on your blog, good job!) and I thought about refuting every argument you made, but its already been done. The answers are out there, I entrust people to find them and to constantly verse themselves in deeper arguments and understandings of what they believe and what they ‘think’ they oppose.
    Obviously you oppose religion, but given the unsubstantiated arguments presented in a slanted context you could just as well be a Christian mocking the lack of intellectual depth to more critically blemish the ideologies behind religion and faith.
    Instead, I will impart to you a principle of my faith in the face of your anger and extreme distaste for my faith and beliefs:
    God Bless you! Jesus loves you and I along with many Christians around the world pray for your health and well-being!

  219. alphadog says

    I live in the South and frequently hear innocent remarks such as “My son went to the dentist, a good Christian man.” This is so annoying because it implies that any non-Christian is not good, ethical, or morally responsible.

  220. sailor says

    I don’t what GOD actually is and I certainly don’t know how HE/IT or whatever affects our lives. I am sure you do not either.
    The comments you have show that you really haven’t thought about the real question in all of this. It is what is GOD?
    I have come to the conclusion that GOD is the force of all those who believe in a higher power, whether it be man-like in appearance or merely collective will of the believers. GOD may be a thing, event or being…
    The next question is what is an athieist? One who does not believe in GOD?
    Hey, I don’t believe in abortion but I am not going to write a blog about it. If you don’t believe, then don’t believe. I am angry that you feel you need to evangelize you beliefs…why do you need to do that? Because only you are right? You are only pointing out your own flaws by speaking out. You have nothing to fear from true christians…and be advised those who run churchs are no more holy than myself. Their mistakes and wrong doings are theirs. The Church is a group of people gathered together to worship GOD, nothing more and nothing less.
    I am angry that you feel so put out by us “holy rollers” that you need to attack us. Why is that?
    You have given many examples about the actions you perceive as against you, when in fact you blaming an entire group for the actions of one.
    If you don’t believe, then don’t.
    Atheism is not a religion so don’t treat it like one, you are being mislead most likely for the benefit of others…whether that be what we might call Satan or just an evil person. Satan doesn’t hang around the bars and strip clubs, he hangs around the front door of the church, he wants to destroy those whose main goal is love…what is your goal?
    Think it over…how many of your words are truely your own?

  221. Beth Leonard says

    Good post about the things that make you angry and why that anger can motivate you and others to social change.
    Anger may motivate people to join a social movement, but to effect change at some point the leaders have to set aside their anger and come up with a reasonable plan and set of goals, not gripes.
    Few things cause a person to become defensive more than an angry person charging at them. That’s not the place for reasoned discussion “kill them with kindness” communication and perceived changes to take place.
    If anger gets you motivated to think about changing something, great. If that’s how you think you are going to make changes, I recommend you re-think it a little bit.

    On Christians — consider for a moment how parents are treated in the news media. If you wanted to learn about parenting in America and looked to the news for your sources, you would conclude that 90% of parents abuse or murder their children, and the other 10% merely use their children to live out their own fantasies. Normal parents, good parents, don’t make the news. Yet there are a lot of them out there.
    I believe it is the same way with religion, from Christianity to Islam, and even a few fundraising Buddhist monks in between. Only the negative stories make the press. So if it is the press that makes you angry, when talking to a real person about these issues keep in mind that they are not the press.
    Don’t take all your anger out on them, because just as there are far more good parents than reported in the news, there are far more reasonable religious people than get coverage in the press. If you condemn each one for the transgressions of all the others you’ve heard about it will be very difficult for you to ever live in peace with your religious neighbors.
    –Beth

  222. says

    This is such a great essay. Your anger is justified. Your points are very articulate and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve said similar things to well-meaning believers who feel the need to proselytize their fairy tales and/or make their personal mythology public policy.
    Thanks for writing it.

  223. todAnthony says

    Waahhh Wahhhhhh I’m angry…. SO WHAT? What does it matter. You don’t believe in anything anyways so in the end, what does your anger mean?
    Why don’t you get down off your cross and use the wood to build a bridge and get over it.

  224. Bee says

    I’d like to say good job. And someone commented ” See, Christianity is about believing by faith that God created us, sent his son to die for our sins, etc (I’m sure you know the rest)

    One thing I’d like to say is Catholics are the only ones that believe that God had a son and sent him down to save us.
    Two Christians do put alot of pressure on others to believe in God. They say they’re open minded but they aren’t. I spend almost everyday in a catholic school. I know how it is. No one knows I’m athiest and therefore that doesn’t matter at all. I still am pressured.
    About the pope. Catholics don’t need him to have a personal relationship with God but they pretty much litsen to practically everything he says. You say jump…they’ll say when.
    I mean there is more to Christianity than a bunch of hypocrites but not enough for it to matter.

  225. Jakykong says

    I can say that I am Christian, and I’ll let it out right now that I agree entirely with everthing you said in this paper. There is only one church I’ve ever been to that I haven’t been angry at, and that is primarily because they are tolerant — of Atheists, of Muslims, of Buddhists, etc. If it isn’t a church’s job to appeal to their congregation and attract people not in their congregation, what, exactly, is the point of a church?
    The problem is that too many people think they can entirely understand God, and too many people think they aren’t susceptible or required to abide by the same things any other person is. The prototypical example of this is my aunt — who will yell at her daughter “Stop swearing, Damn it!” This is basically what religions (frankly, Christianity in particular in this country) are doing.
    I don’t mean to sound like I speak for everyone. I hold the belief firmly that everyone has a right to search for their own meaning in life (or in death, as the case may be), and as long as you aren’t interfering with anyone else’s right to do that (sharing religion and forcing it on someone are entirely different — the church in general usually does the latter), I have no problem with anyone.
    I have a problem with the church. The same problem you do. Perhaps the bigger problem is that people are NOT questioning what they believe, as you have.

  226. mdb says

    Well said! Thank you for taking the time to write this out and find relevant pictures.
    Just letting you know that you aren’t the only angry atheist out there..

  227. Steven Aguirre says

    I think youve watched 1 too many hitchens debates, and now you think that by regurgitating him, you’ll seem like you have an ounce of intelligence and credibility on the subject. I have news for you, whenever you meantion Atheists, dont ever use the words “We” before it, because you are not and cannot speak for a group that doesnt exist. You miss the entire freaking point of what atheism is, so i recommend you keep the emphasis on yourself and not pretend to represent atheism in any way, shape or form.

  228. C.C. says

    Right on, sister! Thanks for articulating our position so well. It’s time we atheists use this anger to make some progress and leave 2000 year old mythology behind.

  229. Jake says

    WTF? I couldn’t even finish reading. You have personal issues as great if not greater than any Christian you attacked…
    You do have some valid points, but should have thought them out and researched them even better before posting to your blog…
    Maybe you should READ the Bible, not for “religious purposes” but to educate yourself, you may be amazed over how much you AND the Christians have it wrong.
    Just to touch a few biblical facts (the church IS evil BTW)
    Abortion IS legal and sanctioned in the bible.
    What happens in the bedroom between 2 married people isn’t even God’s business.
    There is no mention of homosexuality being wrong. Just the mention that if you’re NOT homosexual, and engage in those acts, that’s wrong…
    It was the “Happiness of Sinning” and overall wickedness that led to the end of Sodom and Gammorah, NOT just homosexuality.
    The Catholic Church has condoned condom use for some time now…
    And BEST OF ALL…
    You’re pissed at the Church for not letting you use a condom and then bitch about no abortions?
    Baptist or Catholic? YOU’RE FUCKING WHITE!!!! I highly doubt you’re a “southren baptist” or Muslim…
    Most people who are dying DO WISH to have a member of a church present, and I’m even willing to bet your fathers dying breath was in prayer. Regardless, just as you got pissed off about the question, there are those who would be upset were it not asked.
    There is no pleasing everyone, and each to their own. I have accepted it and you should too. Untill you’ve done so you will continue to be an angry loser.

  230. b says

    followed a link from goingchurching.com…
    None of the things you’re angry about are necessitated by belief in God. That is, one can believe in God and also be very angry about everything you listed.
    You’re anger is not for athiests alone. Share it!

  231. says

    Ryan: “But however validated you feel your anger is, the general public won’t see it this way. Who garnered more respect: Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcom X? Until you can speak out positively and eloquently, few will listen with open minds.”
    The thing is, Martin Luther King *was* angry. He channeled that anger very positively, but he was as angry at injustice as so many Old Testament prophets.
    The trick is to be angry without resorting to demonization and sloppy thinking, something that the less famous atheist bloggers like Hemant Mehta and our own gracious host have been much better at than the current opinion leaders like Dawkins.
    Oh, and Spanish Inquisitor, I don’t know what the legalities of including the pictures in a PDF of this blog post would be, but yeah, it would be a good thing to pass around. Seriously.

  232. LM says

    I got to this link kind of randomly, but I’m intrigued and compelled to comment.
    I come from a christian family and my father is a liberal methodist minister. I have a love hate relationship with religion. I love my father and appreciate how he has presented the idea of religion to me, as something that is interesting to explore, that can do much good for people but not something that must be believed. It’s a personal preference. I also hate religion for all of the reasons you presented.
    That was my background and I am now probably going to be one of those people that makes you angry. It seems as though you are angry with religious individuals and I find that a bit unfair. Throughout history people have sought answers for things they couldn’t explain and ways to deal with difficult things in their lives. Religion provides comfort and answers. It is easy for an educated individual to understand that the world may have come about by random events and it is acceptable, but for many people it is difficult to find exposure to that kind of information and more importantly, a social network that would support those ideas. I completely understand being angry toward religion, and toward people who seem willingly ignorant, but I also believe that it is important for everyone to try and understand various perspectives so that people can find common ground amid stark differences. While the bad might outweigh the good as far as religion goes, I think it might be a mute point. Until we have a world where people don’t need easy answers to cope with mystery and hardships, religion will be around and I find it difficult to be angry with religious individuals who sincerely find it comforting.

  233. Steevo says

    If you want to be unhappy – keep being angry.
    I think you’ll find it won’t help you very much.
    You don’t have the right to choose for other people… otherwise you are just the same as the people/attitude you are angry with.

  234. says

    Anger is a secondary emotion. I too have much anger. Anger for intolerance in the many forms it arrives in. Anger of the daily struggle for wealth and survival. Anger for the relationships I’ve lost with others.
    Under that anger… what lies beneath? A quiet acceptance of society, and a simple agreement with myself to live life by my own accord, not those set by societal norms, and a hope for the sake of having hope. Life is simply complicated.

  235. says

    Amen Sister!! :D
    I’m angry too, and for all the same reasons you describe so well, among others.
    I want to ask your permision to translate your text to put it in my blog, which is in spanish.
    Great post.

  236. says

    You know, I feel that if I blogged a list with pictures about just how pissed off i am at society as an atheist, it would look exactly like this. I think that atheists will have their day, because I’m sure that after the “war on homosexuality” and the “war on illegal immigrants”, America will be more than willing to spend millions of dollars on eliminating education, and, by extension, any way that people would become enlightened to not having religion in their lives. I do believe that all this anger will boil over though. It’s eating away at me, but I think that anger and injustice will eventually lead to change. I will be there to make sure that those changes happen in my lifetime.

  237. says

    How about accepting the fact “GoD” is the first label ever given to the universe, and “MoM” is the most frequent first label for “GoD”.

  238. Nick says

    Bravo, although I am agnostic, I feel the same way as you about many of your points. Keep being angry and maybe someday you will cause change

  239. Nick says

    Bravo, although I am agnostic, I feel the same way as you about many of your points. Keep being angry and maybe someday you will cause change

  240. says

    I guess I just can’t disagree even as a loosely faithful Christian (maybe it was because it was forced into my life as a child.), but I Agree almost 100%…
    Most of the list of things that anger you about politics and those things I completely agree.
    US wasn’t founded on God it was founded on the freedom of Religion. Just those in charge chose to be thankful to their “God” which has now given way to the Religious radicals that are consistently found almost more disgustingly horrible than those they are trying to outlaw. Molesters / Child Porn or just Hypocrites of Do as I do not as I do!
    Again US is supposed to be free. Marry who you wish but don’t be angry at me. I agree with you and am not happy about many of the same issues. My voice is all I have I just notice when I yell uncontrollably that my point is lost and I am ignored.
    My Advice:
    Keep the Anger/Rage/Emotion
    Have others Keep their Cool While Doing it! Be angry at the politicians and idoits but not your neighbor who isn’t athiest because they may well disagree with a few minor points of religion but agree on sooooo many other levels.
    But to each their Own! Thx for the POST!

  241. Nick says

    Bravo, although I am agnostic, I feel the same way as you about many of your points. Keep being angry and maybe someday you will cause change

  242. Karmakin says

    Very good lineup of WHY atheists are “angry”, I put it in quotation marks because a lot of it isn’t about anger, per se, it’s about concern. Massive massive amounts of concern.
    And as an atheist, I’ll tell you exactly what I want. I want religion to get off its pedestal. By force if needed, but I’m more than willing to extend a hand to help it down. It’s one moral theory among many, and in my opinion in a lot of ways its deeply flawed. Even if it wasn’t flawed the favored position in society might not be a good thing.
    Being religious does not make you a good person. It might. But chances are you’re a good person to begin with, and we tend to choose a theology that matches are secularly defined values. But when people can hide dangerous/assholish behavior behind religious belief? That’s not good.

  243. Stephen R. Friberg says

    Sure, it is fun and very satisfying to be angry.
    And it sure beats trying to understand. All those people out there believing in ways you don’t want them to? Terrible. They are bad people, and you have every right to be angry at them.
    And, demonizing is great fun. Getting angry is step one to demonization. Then, bomb them. Or terrorize them. Maybe send them to concentration camps, or Abu-Ghraib.
    Anger is great. After all, if you are angry at them, it must because they did something bad, and that means that you can do whatever you want to them because they are bad. Beats logic.
    Anger, of course, is great for getting in touch with the higher primitive urges. Go for it!
    Or not if you want to be civilized or rational.
    Steve

  244. Samsong says

    Wow, I feel like such an asshole for not wanting you to go to hell. Forgive me for being offended by the fact that you’re a dick.

  245. John says

    there’s plenty to be angry about, but your article goes so far overboard that it largely loses any value it might have otherwise had. many of our fellow athiests will eat this stuff up, but keep in mind those of us who are just embarrassed by it. no offense, but this is the type of stuff that makes it easy for people to hate us.

  246. d says

    You seem to have so much more anger than reason for it, and when i read why you are angry, especially about religious parts, I’ve never heard anything come close to the claims you make, nor have I ever said any of those things. I don’t no if when you say “religious leaders” you are talking about all religious leaders or just certain groups. Also it seems like you just bunch everyone together. If i heard some of these things done by, especially catholics, i would not find that reasonable, and would side with you . Also, you cant blame giant things, like the spread of AIDS in Africa on the Catholic Church, thats just naive and stupid.

  247. Peter says

    I get angry when militant Atheists are angry at Christians just for being wrong. Yes, there are things to be angry about. I am angry about Christianity a lot of the time. But being angry at Christians for being ignorant doesn’t help anyone. It certainly doesn’t help our cause.

  248. LB says

    As an ultra-fundamentalist Christian (according to Wikipedia) I’d like to let you know that I agree with you on a number of areas.
    I’m very disturbed by Evangelicals and there tendency to try to force others to have the same views as them. And more so, I’m bothered by the fact that they cherry pick what to belief from the Bible.
    I’m even more angry about the Catholics and their persecution of other Christians. The Papacy would definitely force us at the point of a gun to worship as they tell us.
    And I get angry whenever people kill in the name of religion. It’s not what Jesus would do.
    When atheists vent, I tend to nod more than shake my head.

  249. C.J. says

    Bravo!! That’s really all I can say. This should be printed in the Times or the Post, or somewhere where millions of people can read it.

  250. James Shay says

    Oooo thank u!
    That is very awesome what you wrote.
    Yea my comments are all n00bish but I don’t feel like making a soliloquy haha (spelling?)

  251. Matt says

    your pretty angry. as a semi-catholic, i could care less what u believe or dont believe in. Thats for you on your own time, as every other american should. This is the land of the free, FREE to do what i want, when i want, how i want to, and as long as i want. (with in reason…) its just a shame that some sick people have to make movements for what they believe, to press their belief on the masses.

  252. erik.m says

    This was a great post. I’ve always felt angry about what we atheists go through but I’ve always tried to ignore my feelings and go through my day. I think that I should probably be more pissed off. Thanks again for writing this post. It was very empowering.

  253. David Akers says

    Please read my post before you delete it, I am being civil.
    I would like to point at that I’m a Christian and I’ve never oppressed someone with my beliefs. I believe it is wrong to have abortions, and I believe homosexuality is a sin.
    I cannot FORCE someone to do what is right, they have to want to do what is right.
    All I can do is show them, and you, the love of Christ. I believe he died for my sins and yours, and my responsibility is but to spread this news I believe to be so miraculous and then to show you love as Christ loved me.
    YIM: [email protected]
    MSN: [email protected]
    AIM: DeadtoSin01
    Xfire: mogLDeadtoSin
    If anyone needs to contact me then you may. If it offends you that I gave my contact information then I would not be upset if you edited it out.

  254. erik.m says

    This was a great post. I’ve always felt angry about what we atheists go through but I’ve always tried to ignore my feelings and go through my day. I think that I should probably be more pissed off. Thanks again for writing this post. It was very empowering.

  255. Nick says

    Great. Now the atheists feel empowered. It’s like pissing off a bunch of pubescent teenagers and having to put up with their whining..

  256. says

    I can’t stand many of the big “churches” either. Most of they aren’t “real” if you know what I mean. Especially the catholic church and a lot of those mega churches.
    Most of what you hate is done by these fake people, not by what real churches or christians do.
    I understand where you are coming from with all of this, because I’ve seen them do it too, and I don’t consider it christian.

  257. says

    More reasons why some anger is valuable:
    According to studies, “it appears that when distinguishing between various arguments, angry people disregard information that’s irrelevant to the quality of the argument, such as its source. Neutral subjects, however, give undue preference to those clues.” Another benefit of anger: “responding to a stressful situation with a reasonable amount of anger can make people feel more in control and more positive. (It’s worth noting that in their study, Dr. Moons and Dr. Mackie didn’t see that high level of certainty among subjects.)”
    http://people.howstuffworks.com/anger-decision.htm/printable

  258. Ryan says

    This is the first atheist post I have read…ever. I agree with most everything this person says. I have been an atheist myself for a long time. I’ve also been angry for a long time. Religion had its time and place. The United States has evolved to the point where atheism can take hold because we can now exist without worrying about what god will do to us. There are still TONS of countries and sociologial systems that still depend on basic things like finding food and water.
    Those “caveman” ideas are what promote the want and need to covet thy neighbors things. It’s called competition and power. Religion was the answer for all of this because people did not posess the self control to understand what they should and should not do. They knew it, but didn’t have anyone forcing it down their throats with consequences if they didn’t. This can be argued in an ethics class as to wether or not man is born good or bad. Those things are still up for debate as well.
    If responsibility can be utilized on a day to day basis, the only reason for religion is to provide meaning and explination for the world around them. I’m not sure anyone will ever find a “meaning” for life, but for those that are not comfortable with not having one, or making up their own, they will need religion.
    I, personally, would love it if religion ceased to exist (pun intended). Religious people look at me the same way I look at every single person that believes in religion. You all know that look when someone finds out you don’t believe in god. It’s like you just stepped off the deep end, and they have just lost respect for you.
    The hardest thing I ever had to do was tell my in-laws that I refuse to go to church with them, because I don’t believe in god.

  259. Andrew says

    I am a confirmed catholic and I understand some of your points, especially the argument about the soldiers, thats messed up.
    But let me tell you what I am angry about
    I am angry that every single atheist has tried to convince me that I must be stupid because I believe in God.
    I am angry that atheists honestly get angry about so many people believing in God.
    I am angry that you think its wrong only 45% of Americans would vote for an atheist president because its THEIR views, not yours. You cannot tell me what my views are. You can however tell me your views.
    I am angry that I have a scar on the left side of my face that required 32 stitches and its all because I am catholic (I was jumped when I joined in an argument over this very topic and spent a week in the hospital alone).
    I am angry at catholics, atheists, jewish, muslims, homosexuals, straights, whites, blacks, asians, mexicans, democrats, republicans, and communists because they cant accept that everyone views everything differently.
    I am angry that you made claims about hating homosexuals when the bible doesn’t say that, its just what YOU BELIEVE.
    I am angry that you said the Catholic school systems teach us to despise our bodies, thats not even close to true.
    Mostly I am just angry at the people who shove beliefs down other peoples throats.

  260. Apathetic says

    I used to be an angry atheist – then I studied philosophy a little and realised that agnosticism was the only rational viewpoint (in my case apathetic agnosticism – I don’t know if God exists and I don’t care either way) and really I should be directing my anger at specific institutions and their actions rather than religion itself.
    I do think you would be less angry if you lived in a less religious country, or even a less religious part of the US.

  261. pedro says

    I’m just so glad I don’t live in the US. The state of your country is just plain horrible. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if in my country a politician could not get elected for being an atheist.
    A lot is being said about the stupidity of americans. Well, statistically speaking most americans believe in God and religion and stupidity correlate. The more intelligent/educated a person is the less likely he/she will believe in God/gods.
    I hope one day it will be possible for an atheist to lead a normal life in the US like it is in the rest of the western world.

  262. Dave says

    Thank you! You’ve summed up many and more qualms we have with religion, not just Christianity!
    And, along the lines of the medical “miracles” you might look up “Why doesn’t God heal amputees?”
    Thanks again!
    -Dave

  263. Quinn says

    Hear hear! But the truth will continually be further brought to light. I have no problem with faith, as long as it bends to logic. And while it’s certainly one thing to be able to explain away absolute zero, atoms and Ammonites, but it will be another completely when we perpetually stave off death, live entire lives without ever setting food on Earth, and finally find irrefutable proof of living organisms that are not sourced from our planet.

  264. Jake says

    I’m angry that nature decided that religion was necessary in the first place.
    I’m also angry that on the bell curve of religiocity, I am left out in the minority with all the other freethinkers, where I have to take abuse from people who do not and cannot understand what I’m telling them (usually) by no fault of their own. I mean, look at some of the replies. Talk about not understanding! No, they’re not stupid. Their brains are simply wired differently.
    I’m angry that this situation we’re in will never change as long as humans are humans.

  265. Curiosity says

    Why do you want to get married so badly? Isn’t that just an institution that stems from religion? Do you feel it will insure that neither you or your partner will cheat or do you just want the tax break that badly?

  266. Neutral says

    You’re angry at Christianity. A lot of people are. Don’t however, dirty the word atheist with your selective, incoherent and under-informed ranting. You give us a bad name.
    Learn2Research. Learn some objectivity, and then you’ll be more than a pissed of blow hard.

  267. OneManRevolution says

    Skipped the logos and went straight for the pathos and ethos. A solid read, although it definitely preaches to the choir. Being more well-read on the elements- cognitive dissonance, Zapata’s revolution, and the like- could really bump this up to the next level. China is starting to turn to Christianity and we have to do what we can to reform America’s minds before human rights go the way of the dodo.
    I call myself an Atheist for sociality’s sake, although I have been experimenting with a new religion for a while. One that celebrates the catalysts of individual and humanistic betterment and revolution and cites the constructs of original creation as the birth of sin itself. We shall celebrate what makes us human, and not who made us human, although we should do so in terms of progress. Until that comes to fruition, stay angry.

  268. digi says

    As an Episcopalion preachers son, i say be angry these are valid reasons.
    But know theres some good ones out there. My dad is one of the few religio leaders my roommates, all atheists, like.

  269. Anonymous says

    The idiot that said that Catholicism is a “very small” subset of Christianity needs to be enlightened that Catholics make up the largest subset of Christians BY FAR, with over 1 billion adherents. The next largest Christian group is the Eastern Orthodox Group with 350 million or so (another nearly 20%). What’s left are the 30% of Christians who are some form of protestant, Lutherans, Baptists, Anglicans, Mormons, Evangelists, etc.

  270. Jros says

    I hear you Ryan. “Coming out” to my folks was pretty tough. And it’s still a well-guarded secret from my extended family. Perhaps that “deep-end” look is just the flickering fires of hell that they see about to swallow you up. I know my folks are just concerned for my immortal soul. My mom insists it’s just a phase. It’s been half my life so far so it must be a long one. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

  271. TheWiseMan says

    First of all, I’d like to “thank” all the “Christians” who have shared their posts and have clearly demonstrated their “wisdom”, which is something that an atheist cannot posses. Simply put, we live in a “perfect” world. The environment is absolutely perfect for life to exist. The gravity of the earth for example is down right perfect (just right so that our mass doesn’t kill us by attempting to walk). The temperature and rate of change (seasons) is absolutely”perfect”. The human species (who was made in God’s image) is the only living species capable of using reasoning and logic to the degree that we have the capability to wonder about who our creator might be. Only an atheist would believe in evolution which believes that it is by chance (randomness) that we exist. If that were the case, the lions and tigers would have the internet and “YouTube” in the jungles by now As an electrical engineer, I have studied about the powers of our God and through wisdom and understanding have learned over the years that our world is “too” perfect to have just come into being via “randomness”. But I’m not alone since atheists are the minority because of their “random” mind-set. It is comforting to know that only a higher being could have formed and inhabited this “perfect” world that we are fortunate to exist in.

  272. matty says

    You juxtapose atheism with religion, but this is completely inaccurate. Atheism is the belief in no higher power. Not the belief in no religion.
    You’re trying hard to juxtapose atheism and religion, but this is a paradoxical position. It is a false dichotomy.
    So you’re angry… great. But that doesn’t mean you have to forego logic.

  273. says

    I would love to write a response to this whole blog but it is not my place. I will tell you that I feel you are getting angry at the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Religion is a safety net. God explains mystery for those that can’t reason the truth or allow the mystery of life to happen. I understand being mad at polititions because they can’t keep religion out of politics but, look at who they aim this at.
    You say there is a Gallup poll that says 45% of the American population would vote for an atheist president, I say prove it. Only 64% even bothered to vote. And that was decried any way with the loser saying the vote was rigged. I am one of the losers and I say the voting has been rigged since the get go (Electoral College = rigged) so why piss and moan now. I don’t like what we got but I don’t like the voters either.
    I am sorry that you can’t get married. I don’t understand why you want to though. You claim to be an athiest but you want to involve yourself in a religious (google marriage+origin) practice. Not necessarily Christian but religious. I don’t understand why the Same Sex Partners of the country don’t just simply enter into a legal partnership with their mate and invoke the benefits of that. Including; taxes (better than marriage), business discounts (not involved with marriage), reduced insurance cost (in some, not all cases). What the devil is the difference? That is all you are really talking about any way when you consider a marriage without religion. A legally recognized partnership right? You can have any kind of ceremony you want when you sign the document.
    Why are you so angry at non athiests? You seem well reasoned yet, there is so much emotion and what seems like very little logic in this rant. There are facts that I cannot deny damning religions and those that push it but, there are also extenuating circumstances involved that you do not bother to mention. Why do people pray for instance? Why are Hell and damnation used to stifle those that ask questions? Why do religions teach sexuality the way they do, what circumstances surround the origins of these religions to cause such beliefs? Science begets doubt yet more advanced religions embrace science AND God, is there good reason for this and should this make you mad as well? You can’t explain how you know there is NO God, why should people explain how they know there IS a God?
    Stop learning about other peoples religions if you don’t agree with them. Just let them be and fight for the causes that matter with a more dignified approach. Side step the morons (oops I mean believers) instead of trying to plow over them.
    I am not saying lay down your anger or your passion. I am just saying to use it more intelligently. Make believers have to turn around and really look at your point of view only because you do it so well, not because they are forced to.

  274. 4g1vn says

    I’d bet money that if you were ever in conflict and peril danger you would run with your tail between your legs. Why is this? Because you’re a sheep. This life is all you have and your trying to make the best run at it you can. I, on the other hand know this is only a segment of my journey. It’s amazing that God still loves you even though you won’t acknowledge Him.

  275. John B says

    Greta –
    Awesome post. But you’ve got bazillions of others up there who’ve said that.
    I do not completely agree with you – in my opinion, anger is destructive, not constructive, and while SOME breaking down of prejudice and the like is certainly called for, there’s a point of diminishing returns where breaking society more is counterproductive.
    As ugly and hateful and horrendous as society is today, it’s better than a generation ago, and that’s better than the generation before. It’s a slow, slow process, which does take anger – but it takes building more than breaking.
    Sure, some well-represented behaviors today NEED breaking – but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    I wish you the best of luck with your anger and your fire and your hope for the future. As others have said – your work here is beautiful.
    Sincerely,
    John B

  276. 4g1vn says

    I’d bet money that if you were ever in conflict and peril danger you would run with your tail between your legs. Why is this? Because you’re a sheep. This life is all you have and your trying to make the best run at it you can. I, on the other hand know this is only a segment of my journey. It’s amazing that God still loves you even though you won’t acknowledge Him.

  277. Angela says

    Thank you for writing that amazing rant of an article. You have embodied my thoughts on all of these issues. Hopefully some non-atheists will read this and (just perhaps) learn something constructive that breaks down the barrier of misunderstanding and arrogance. I wish you well.

  278. says

    You do indeed seem very angry. Please don’t confuse religious people with those that believe in some kind of god. I don’t go to church, and am not religious, but I do believe in some kind of higher power…which might be as simple as the laws of physics. Regardless, view your anger as passion. It seems a more appropiate term for the way you feel. I can’t relate on the marriage issue, but know that I’ll vote in a way that will accept such unions. I hope all is well,
    C

  279. ben says

    This is a gross generalization, in the same vein as the religious right’s condemnation of atheism. It’s funny how you ignore that an act of charity in the name of God is still an act of charity.

  280. Capt Grayson says

    I was just thinking this on the way home…about how I feel angry. Not all the time, just whenever the words Christian, god, prayer and that lot crop into my life. And I started wondering shouldn’t I adopt a live and let live type of demeanor and now after reading your blog I know the answer: Fuck No. I’m a recovering alcoholic (18+yrs) and everyone assumes I must be a believer. Hey, the term is “a power greater than yourself” and that power is the combined sobriety and wisdom of everyone in that meeting room at that time. I know where my anger comes from is that for years everyone said well, you have god to thank for all that. No, I don’t. I have to thank every drunk that came before me. Thank you. I was wondering where all the righteous anger went in this country. Thanks for sharing. Permission to share on my myspace blog? Thanks.

  281. eylander says

    A stupendous soliloquy full of strength and feeling. Perhaps there can, one day, be respect for atheists in the good ole USA (maybe even the whole world). I doubt that I or any future children of mine will live to see the day of true civility and reason.

  282. Jros says

    To TheWiseMan. I, in my job as a web designer have studied about the laws of the world, and through critical thinking and scientific process, have concluded that the world is “too perfect” NOT to have come about by randomness. What do you make of this obvious discrepancy?

  283. Jaime says

    I suffered through a terrible marriage for 2 years where my husband was verbally and physically abusive, cheated on me, and abandoned me altogether when I lost my job. I was outraged when my militantly Christian uncle implied our marital problems were my fault because I hadn’t accepted Jesus into my life, and that I needed to pray that my husband would take me back.

  284. says

    Rock on! Valid points all! Couldn’t have typed it better myself..especially with my typing skills…(Dyslexics of the world untie!)

  285. John says

    The civil rights movement was strongly made possibl by religious groups. Christian, Muslim and Jewish alike. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was, as his name suggests, a minister of the Christian Church

  286. Andrew says

    Whoever said that the smarter a person is the less likely they are to belive in God is an absolute dumbass. Sorry to use such callus terms.
    Every hear of Einstien? Believed in God.
    I have a problem with atheists when they say “believers” are stupid or if they are young and forced to go to church they listen to there iPods during mass.
    I will listen to and atheist till he looses his voice but they will not listen to what I believe?

  287. noel says

    I used to be an atheist, but now I am a Catholic. I was never an angry atheist. God just did not matter. I could not care less if other people beleived in God or not. I knew that some atheists were angry, but I could not make any sense of it. Then it hit me. They are not atheists. They are anti-theists. (I have told some atheists that they were really anti-theists, and they have gotten so pissed at me. But I trully an not writing this to make anyone mad.) There is a difference. For example, today, I do not believe in astrology. But if someone asks me my sign, I tell them what it is. I will politely listen to them. I do not write angry letter to newspapers that carry astrology columns. I don’t care if people believe in astrology or not. I never get angry. But if I did get angry at anyone who asked me for my sign, or protested newspapers that carried astrology columns, then I would be anti-astrology.
    Anyway, I read Mahatma Gandhi, and I was so impressed with him that I read the Bible from cover to cover and I eventually became a practicing Catholic. Gandhi converted me to Catholicism.

  288. John says

    The civil rights movement was strongly made possibl by religious groups. Christian, Muslim and Jewish alike. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was, as his name suggests, a minister of the Christian Church

  289. Tired of it all says

    I am tired of people bitching about what they don’t get.. Be happy for that 55% that _would_ vote. Be happy for what you _do_ get.. People vote on what they believe, if their christian they’re not going to vote for someone who believes in god, just like you wouldn’t vote for a christian who is actively against atheism. We are a country of mixed cultures, religions, and races.. We aren’t always going to get along, but dammit we have that right. I am not atheist, christian, muslim, or associated with any form of religion ( or lack there of ). I just try my best to exist in a world where people just aren’t happy with what they have, and have to complain and make damn sure others know their pain.
    I know it’s not a perfect world, I don’t expect it to be. I do however find a way to make myself happy, Try it some time.

  290. Anonymous says

    Bravo. I am a long standing militant athiest who has no problem telling religious types to go fuck themselves.

  291. James says

    I think you’re confusing anger with passion. All of those “angry” movements you mentioned, they were designed to incite anger and aggression in their oppressors, not the other way around.
    When you spout off out of anger, it doesn’t help your cause. It only appeases those that are already on your side. I don’t know about you, but when someone says “I have a dream”, that has more power to persuade me than “blow me”. When I see meek, peaceable folks getting beaten by their oppressors, THAT makes me think.
    I didn’t become an atheist because a bunch of angry people showed me the error of my ways. I became an atheist because it was the reasonable and sane thing to do. Sure, you can debate issues and get angry all that you want, but you will never make any progress that way.
    Yes, your anger is valid and justifiable, I won’t debate that. But advocating anger and violence to get people to understand your side of things makes you no better than your oppressors.

  292. Andrew says

    James,
    I am pretty sure when a atheist took out his 5″ knife and tried to carve “Believer” onto my skull.
    Its our own responsibility to find our own believes.

  293. Johnny says

    Wow. What a good mix of “logical process” and “angry rant”. I’m not sure I agree with the furthest edges of it, but go you for expressing it so well. You kept me reading.

  294. Ty says

    Oh Bitch, Bitch, Bitch.
    Just shut up and live your life without having to stir shit up just to feel important about being Atheist. After all, it’s what’s “in” now.
    You aren’t being persecuted, you are just one of many intolerant butthurt bloggers yearning for attention.

  295. Cole Gulino says

    I’d like to start off by saying that I am neither Christian,
    nor am I really athiest. I dont like religion and agree with a hundred percent of your reasons, but you are just as bad as them. I could write a similar post for athiests based on your post only. Accept that they are there and ignore them. Trying to convert them won’t work like it won’t work to convert you. Also any intelegent religious person will tell you most of the bible is made up and that it is just a tool to help describe their belief of the universe and to help their people in times of hardship. Also just like not every ahiest has the same beliefs neither do religious people. Dont judge then hope to not be judged. So look at each of these and e-mail me if you want my list. Dont flame me too bad I’m only 16.

  296. JT says

    There’s a lot of faiths (non-faiths, even?) out there.
    If we could preach tolerance instead of anger, regardless of right, we wouldn’t NEED this kind of arguing.

  297. noizelarva says

    F’n A! this is exactly what i’ve been needing to hear articulated for quite awhile. Passionate anger is what is needed so badly in the atheist community and in the general population right now. So many people have become complacent cows while our leaders steal our humanity one small piece at a time.

  298. Chritopher says

    I’m Christian. I read all this stuff. I don’t really disagree with any of it. People can be pretty terrible and lousy. I am a science major studying psychology, and have been agnostic for years of my life.
    There is strong evidence supporting evolution. It appears that religion has been a part of human nature from our earliest records. And I do not understand everything about the book.
    The book of Ecclesiastes is worth a read. I think if more Christians understood this book as well as the teachings of Jesus, many of the alleged complaints might never have occurred. One of the strongest underlying messages of Jesus is love.
    I find comfort and peace in my faith. The Bible is one of the wisest books available to mankind. But I don’t think it is always meant to be taken literally. I don’t think it is good to be so angry. It is much easier to forgive, forget, and accept that people are far from perfect.
    I’m done. Peace.

  299. Cookie Monster says

    Catholic faith is full of shit. And it wasn’t the religion that ruined all that it was humans.
    God created science and this physical world. How can you say something doesn’t exist if you haven’t traveled to an alternate universe or dimension where God possibly exists.
    Humans always fuck up everything.And the biggest rule people didn’t to in their religion throughout history was following the law that said though shalt not kill.

  300. anon says

    You keep all of your impotent rage for as long as you like. Doesn’t alter the fact that you haven’t done shit about all the things you’re complaining about.
    Want to change the world?
    Get of your fat dyke ass and do it!

  301. - says

    Angry that I have to mark my del.icio.us tag to this blog “do not share” because some of my coworkers know my user id.

  302. John M. says

    Where to start:
    First off, America is based on religion. We were founded because of religious freedom, and it is a more or less religious nation. Tough break, but those are the facts.
    Personally, I think that you fail to look at the broad picture. Yes, the Christians you bring up in the article are complete douches, but Christians as a whole are not nearly as hideously ‘fire and brimstone’ and shit.
    And most of the stuff you bring up in your article happened years in the past. Boo-ho, Galileo had some hard times at the hands of some religious nut-jobs. Does it effect you personally? Did the fact that athiests couldn’t act as part of a jury in the 60’s affect you personally? Just let go.
    How many places in America is is currently illegal for someone to have an abortion? Umm, perhaps zero? Last time I went to church, my preacher was teaching us to reach out to the poor, not beet or wives.
    Prayer lists: That’s just human nature. They know that it doesn’t help to pray to win the horse race, but it just makes people feel better.
    Priests (and Rabbi’s I suppose) usually make house calls to comfort people in times of hardship. IDK what kind of shitty church you went too or whatever, but its pretty uncommon for any religious leader to blame people’s illnesses on their lack of prayer.
    Frankly, who cares that some douche bag nun told some drawer guy he can’t draw in heaven? Anyone with common sense would play it off as silly, when you insist on using it as a rediculous reason to hate the church. Did he laugh it off probably. It certainly didn’t prevent him from drawing.
    And why are you angry at Mother Teresa? Because she chose to take on her burden. If I decide to strap a boulder to my back and climb everest, that’s my perogative. Ading it to reasons you’re mad at religion just seems silly.
    Show my a quote wwhere a molester priest told the kids that it ‘was the will of god’. I’m not defending them, and they will likely burn in hell for it, but few and far between. YOu argue it like it happens at every church every where.
    9/11 I can understand, but you’re venting at the wrong people. At least make a point that you are switching gears here. You harp on Christianity, then you hint at Islam.
    Jerry is a douche. But again, you demonize some people, then claim that as a representation of all religious people. You’ll have your
    finatics always, but most religious people don’t proclaim gays and jews as the scourge of america. Most religious people go to church most of the time, and jst try to live a morally good life. Most tread the middle ground.
    The constitution says that equality is guaranteed or all. And I agree that this should be the case about gay marriage. But as long as the majority believes that it shouldn’t be allowed (the idea of majority vote/rule is another big part of democracy) it’s not gonna happen.
    Yeah, we need to find a nice middle ground in the blame department. Religion has done some major good things in the past, but there are some black spots that need to be brought to light. Same with atheism. Both parties need to stop being so close minded.
    The same could be said about people who put the Darwin fish eating the Jesus fish. In the end though, it’s just another symbol that shows you’re colors, as it were.
    Some tvangalizers are douche bags, but thats just a few in a crowd of multi-millions. And anyways, anyone who can’t see that the whole “atheism=lawless” is silly is too far gone to even be worth talking to by an atheist like your self.
    Meh, i don’t personally like it when people try to make arguments against religions, bring up facts about a few people from the throngs, without having talked to many of them… oh wait…
    People will believe what they want to believe. While science is the best idea for what is going on in the physical realm, it isn’t always exact and clear. We believe that gravity is the measure of the earths pull on us towards itself, but scientists today are still checking and rechecking it and many other theories. Not to sayy I lead my life like god is going to come back to earth tomorrow, but you get the idea.
    Meh, some believe thet we are a mere pinprick on the galaxy, and only the most close minded will believe that were are the sole focus of the universe. Try not to generalize.
    Your article is too long, and I’m getting tired, but you get the idea.

  303. Austin says

    I would like to comment about two things
    first) the idea of these “atheist” gatherings, or speaking for “atheists” as a whole or even partially seems a bit…bad… i mean, i thought the general idea was that atheists just dont believe in god, not that they congregated for a purpose. Any gathering of atheists would, in my mind, be called a gathering of friends and have nothing to do with “atheism.” Thus, speaking for “atheists” has just about the weight of me speaking for “everyone.” There is no binding philosophy or doctrine that I am aware of, no theology, just merely “god does not exist.”
    secondly, in some sections, your wording could lead someone to believe that you are angry because other people dont believe accordingly – ie, your commentary on creationism/evolution – i mean, just because x percent doesnt believe the same thing as you isnt exactly a justifiable reason to be angry, especially when its a question of *belief*
    thats all
    btw, the closest thing to what i am is agnostic

  304. Austin says

    Oh, and I do believe it’s worth mentioning that this post, and the comments made on it, are quite generally full of blanket statements, generalized beliefs, and a random assortment of fallacies like, i dunno, taking a part and attributing its behavior to the whole.

  305. rcholbert says

    This has to be one of the worst blogs rants I have ever read. It’s apparent that not only did religion negatively impact your school’s science curriculum, but it also severely diminished the language arts curriculum as well.

  306. mike says

    Sounds like your angry when people commit injustice in the name of “rightousness”. Your not alone. I would do a little more homework on some of your claims before your post them as truth next time.
    I hope that one day your life will be full of joy and peace instead of anger.
    -Mike

  307. another athiest says

    Why do you single out Christianity and not attack the other dangerous contributions of religion on the world?
    Fundamentalist Islam is just as dangerous as fundamentalist Christianity. It’s the reason for 9/11 as well as terrorist attacks in Israel.
    Great post but don’t forget about the other dangerous religions.

  308. Joey says

    Dumbest shit that I ever read! Please consider some community service and serve others around you instead of wasting time on the dumbest piece of shit on the planet.
    Yikes

  309. Mark says

    Brad wrote: “My challenge to every atheist I meet, is to ask them to read the bible and pray to the God (even if they don’t think he exists). Do this for a few minutes for 3-7 days.”
    I tried that, but for more like 18 years.
    Brad, accept my challenge, and try living like an atheist for a week. No praying, no proselytizing, no bible reading. If it doesn’t work, you can go back to being a Christian at the end of the week.

  310. Kyle says

    Once a friend and I were talking about having doubts about God and Jesus Christ. We both said that we did not know what else we would be, but be Christians. This was not motivated from feeling trapped or unknowlegeable, but more of a feeling of “I can’t stop believing.” Like as if I had seen and learned what the color red was and now that is just a part of who I am; I can’t take it back, i can’t unlearn somethings. Christianity to me is completely illogical and foolish, so why am I a Christian then?… I don’t have an answer to my own question. I just wanted to share a snippit of some thoughts in the past.

  311. says

    So sad. All this anger…
    I’m more of the opinion that the real impetus behind great social changes is love, change of heart, not anger, change of mind.
    I was raised by atheists. I do not believe in God. or gods. But I do not want to join your club. Too much anger. I don’t think it’s healthy, but, hey, it’s your lives.

  312. James Peel says

    I’m on the same side of these debates as you, on pretty well every point you brought up, but I’m a believer. How does that work!?

  313. Jordan from South Carolina says

    I sincerely hope that you would hear what a 17 year old Liberal Christian has to say. It might be enlightaning!
    I’m sorry you fell that way about faith and religion. Although I’m sure you’re not, lol. I’m a Christian but I believe many of the same things you do, that religious people can be intolerant and closed minded. I also call myself a liberal or a progressive, whichever you prefer.
    I am for womens rights in abortion, in favor of gay marriage, think that evolution not creationism should be taught, in the separation of church and state. In my opinion religion has been both the greatest force for evil the world has ever known and the greatest source of good that I beleive has the potential to save us all. I also readily agree with you in that we are not the only sentient beings in the universe and that we will probably never fully understand the universe or God or what he has in store for any of us. I also beleive in stem cell research and abhore the Catholic church, most of its clergy, and its blood stained history. I want to tell you that not all believers,as you call us, are so bad and that I acknowledge your anger and agree that you have an extremely valid reason for that anger. However I would wish for you that you would not let it consume you or blind you to the possibility that there is a God. I also believe that anger is a neccesary force for change but I beleive that hope, kindness, love, and faith is all that we truly have. And faith not only in God but in ourselves and each other. I’m sorry you have become so disheartened with the world and its faithful, I hope that you could look past others hypocrisy and other peoples views and come up with your own as I have done. I am not saying that I have it all figured out either, but I beleive that there is still much to learn from this life. I hope you can see that there is a God who loves us all no matter what and that there are so many things in the world that are inexplicable(despite being a firm beleiver in science and that science is God’s hand and work)that are so profoundly wonderful that there is nothing behind it but true love that is not just God but is universal. There are som many things you are so right about, I think that people like you can be a major force for good in the world and can change it for the better! You could do that by trying to go to a United Methodist Church, of which I am a member. Our slogan is open hearts, open minds, open doors. I would gladly invite you to come to a UMC any day!

  314. yonglong.ng says

    Hi Greta, my first time reading a blog. Also happened to have just read Christopher Hitchen – “God is Not Great”. Your expression of anger is your choice. After having read Christopher Hitchen and Richard Dawkins I find your expression of anger don’t quite fit the rational being.
    Anger just provoke the other party to also display their anger. Whether a person is religious or non-religious, there is always a rational person behind him(her). Some may care to admit some may choose to hide but its there. It is through continuous education and guidance that eventually we can get people to be more rational. Believing in religion per se is not a problem. Its is hiding behind religion and doing bad things that is a problem. We have to get the religious and the non-religious to get together and weed out these bad people. Again everybody is entitle to their Believes. As long as we respect each other Believes, over time the world will be a better place.

  315. Carla says

    Hi, I’m Carla, I’m a devout Catholic, and while I firmly believe in my religion – I couldn’t care less that you are atheist. You are a person, you exist, you feel pain and joy just like me, and that’s all that matters to me. Just thought you’d like to know somebody – plenty of people actually – don’t hate you.

  316. TC says

    I’d say it’s why anger won’t change the world for the better, but here’s a more…
    I get angry when people call themselves atheists rather than the more scientifically accurate “agnostics”.
    I get angry with “atheists” who believe that denying the existence of a god is not a faith-based belief.
    I get angry with “atheists” who believe “atheism” is not a religion.
    I get angry with “atheists'” intolerance of other religions.
    I get angry with “atheists” who believe we’d be more advanced than we are now if other religions had never existed…if you can even imagine that.

  317. SolFalling says

    So…Angry!
    Actually, I think your post wasn’t obscene enough. Absolutely boring. At least make me laugh if you’re going to waste my time with something this long.
    I agree with most of the comments that demonstrate a hesitation to praise you. Nevertheless,
    I fucking hate every single person who posted here, and if there were some magical button that I could press which could annihilate your collective existance in an instant, I would push it 1728 times.

  318. yonglong.ng says

    While going through your blog Greta, I found many well meaning religious person giving advice and extending invitation to their church. Very good. I believe most if not all of the people who are going through this blog must have been brought up in a religious environment. So most of us would have read some form of religious text pertaining to their religion. This statement here is for the well meaning Religious Person trying to give their advice here:… Please give themself a chance to read up Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins books on their discussion on religion before giving advice. You can’t be a marriage counselor if you are not married, right?

  319. says

    Greta, I’m sorry your experience with Christians has been nothing but bad(or at least that’s what it seems like you are implying). I’m a Christian and don’t look down on atheists. I don’t look down on anybody except most other Christians. The churches nowadays are so filled with people looking for an emotional high that it seems almost impossible to meet someone who generally knows what and why they believe it. I’m not someone who thinks anger has all the power in the world, or thinks that unchannelled, uncontrolled anger does anything except destroy. Focused correctly, as you stated above(i.e. social reformation), anger is quite the force to be reckoned with.
    Also, to further break any stereotypes, I’m not a neo conservative Republican that thinks Bush is the greatest President ever. In fact, I wish he would just disappear.
    I actually enjoyed reading your post, and found it a great source for places I will hopefully be able to improve myself.
    Thank you!

  320. Alex Getz says

    I am speaking as an agnostic, and not in fact an atheist. This article is really moving, even from the undecided standpoint in which I stand. As an agnostic I am not here to say okay, this article is correct, I will be an atheist not, or vice versa, but I love the points made in this article, especially the ones about discrimination against people of different sexual, racial, etc, orientations by the more conservative faiths. Creationists claim that everyone was made by G-d, or whoever, and God, or whoever, is perfect, well then how does it make sense for queers or black people to be “wrong” if our “perfect” G-d made them? It’s just totally nonsensical. I guess what I am trying to say is that I really love this article and I think it makes some incredible points and I hope it gets read by many people and changes how they feel about atheism and intolerance in general. If he does turn out to be real, G-d bless you for your strong assertions of your belief.

  321. Erin says

    I just want to say, I think your rant is amazing.
    I may not be an atheist… I see myself as agnostic, but all of that makes me angry as well.
    You’re right, anger is a valuable tool. We can’t let it consume us, but we shouldn’t just let shit go on like this.
    Thank you! And keep on being angry about this bullshit, while being happy about what you can. :)

  322. Christian (yes, my real name) says

    I would be angry, too, if I were you. But, that has nothing to do with God.
    You don’t happen to be a Democrat, also? That would be a WILD coincidence.

  323. hmmm... says

    i’m angry that i have to share air with an idiot like you. I’m angry that thousands of people like you simply bitch, continuously in such sanctimonious tones about what other people are doing wrong, have done wrong and will continue to do wrong rather than doing anything about it. You’re a fucking hypocrite. Yes, I have no idea how many, but a shit ton of Christians don’t act the way they’re supposed to. Yet you cry foul when I lump your sorry ass with the rest of the (majority) atheists. There is a difference between what some people do and what people are supposed to do. Recognize this or look like a dick at your peril. I think it’s stupid that people like you attempt to, however subtly, convince people that if you don’t believe in evolution, if you don’t believe in the absence of some higher power, that you’re somehow less intelligent than they are. That’s bullshit, own up to your own faults before you lambast someone else. Damn, you know what, this isn’t even worth it. Who gives a shit how stupid you are, if you want to be a hypocrite, go for it. But at least realize how poorly you’re presenting yourself. From one Asshole to another: Fuck You

  324. hmmm... says

    i’m angry that i have to share air with an idiot like you. I’m angry that thousands of people like you simply bitch, continuously in such sanctimonious tones about what other people are doing wrong, have done wrong and will continue to do wrong rather than doing anything about it. You’re a fucking hypocrite. Yes, I have no idea how many, but a shit ton of Christians don’t act the way they’re supposed to. Yet you cry foul when I lump your sorry ass with the rest of the (majority) atheists. There is a difference between what some people do and what people are supposed to do. Recognize this or look like a dick at your peril. I think it’s stupid that people like you attempt to, however subtly, convince people that if you don’t believe in evolution, if you don’t believe in the absence of some higher power, that you’re somehow less intelligent than they are. That’s bullshit, own up to your own faults before you lambast someone else. Damn, you know what, this isn’t even worth it. Who gives a shit how stupid you are, if you want to be a hypocrite, go for it. But at least realize how poorly you’re presenting yourself. From one Asshole to another: Fuck You

  325. does it matter says

    This is a bold statement.
    Anyone who claims to be an atheist, does not know what one is.
    Every self proclaimed atheist is just an outraged person at the absurdity of organized religion & the dominance it has over everyones life. It’s likely Greta you are an agnostic. If you want see an atheist, look down the mentally defunct wing of a local hospital or your favorite group of people, evangelicals. These people without question do not listen to anything outside their sphere of understanding, much like the idea of an atheist to refuse the idea of (insert anything that can’t be proved by 5 senses). Zealots , Atheists … is there a difference ?
    I know it’s empowering to to say you’re an atheist (a political ideal I put on par with any government & organized religion), but word atheist is a direct assault on everyone who does have “faith” or is unsure. It’s no different than walking up to a little kid & telling them there is no Santa Clause & snatching the present from their hands.
    Next time someone asks your position, tell the cold hard facts, your agnostic & you need some “god damned” proof before making any statement or decisions about anything.
    Am I lying ? Did any atheist wake up on day one & think “I know there is no god, 100% sure, I got proof!”. Or did you just go “what the fuck !?” like any rational person would in the face of the world & it’s people ?
    I’m angry at immoral leaders, religions & so on. But don’t hide behind the shock word atheist to throw stones at the other side you are rightly to be angry with.
    No one fears an agnostic … because at some point everyone had to ask a question & became one. If you refuse ideas other people, than you are no different that the people you claim are refusing to understand you.

  326. Anonymus says

    I get angry creationists say “if we evolved from monkeys than whats going to happen to the moneys in zoos?” show me a talking snake and we’ll talk…

  327. Pete says

    Angry? You betcha!
    Especially when a Christian assumes that I have no moral boundaries because I am an unbeliever. All the other points you raise are awesome and piss me off too but being prejudged as an immoral risk to society is the one thing that really gets to me.
    That said, I shouldn’t complain. I live in Australia and the fundamentalists haven’t got the hold on here that they have in the US.
    You are a breath of fresh air. Keep it up.

  328. chris says

    “I’m angry that according to a recent Gallup poll, only 45 percent of Americans would vote for an atheist for President.”
    waa waa waaa…… who the fuck cares. because of the results for one poll, you have to bitch and complain. get a fucking life. so what if you realize that most likely you would never run this country. get over it.
    “I’m angry that atheist conventions have to have extra security, including hand-held metal detectors and bag searches, because of fatwas and death threats.”
    well, stupid, dont you think it might be because atheists have less value for life. maybe you should go to Death Row and talk to some of the serial killers that are there. Most likely none of them believe in God. not saying that people of faith arent bad, but when you take a teenager who gets picked on by bullies and he doesnt believe in God, then naturally he wont care about what happens to him after death, because in his opinion, absolutely NOTHING happens to him after death. NO HELL!!!
    “I’m angry that the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, said of atheists, in my lifetime”
    your still pissed about what ONE person said 20 some odd fucking years ago? damn!! talk about holding a grudge. this means that you seriousely need some help, if you are angry at what just ONE person said.
    “I’m angry that it took until 1961 for atheists to be guaranteed the right to serve on juries, testify in court, or hold public office in every state in the country.”
    OK, so this country is a work-in-progress. Women did not get to vote in this country until 1918. MOVE ON!!!! at least it was passed. at least you can serve on juries now. if you still could not serve, then i would sympathize with you, but you can, so shut up.
    “I’m angry that almost half of Americans believe in creationism.”
    Yes I believe in God…. these are my personal believes, and frankly, i dont give a fuck if your pissed about that. its none of your fucking business what i believe in, so wh are you even concerned about my beliefs? this means you deffinately need a fucking life if your pissed because i believe in something that you dont even understand. to you, life ends after death. in your opinion, there is no reason to be living, since absolutely nothing happens when you die, so whats the point?!?!
    “because religious organizations have gotten laws passed making abortion illegal or inaccessible.”
    I really dont think that abortion was illegal because of religious views. from what i found on the internet, abortion should be illegal mainly because its MURDER.
    “I’m angry at preachers who tell women in their flock to submit to their husbands because it’s the will of God, even when their husbands are beating them within an inch of their lives.”
    Lady, there is a big difference between Christianity and FLDS.
    “I’m angry that Mother Teresa took her personal suffering and despair at her lost faith in God,and turned it into an obsession that led her to treat suffering as a beautiful gift from Christ to humanity, a beautiful offering from humanity to God, and a necessary part of spiritual salvation. ”
    Ok let me get this straight. your mad at Mother Theresa because she did good for people? she was no atheist. she had problems with her faith, since she herself said she never heard God answering, so in return, she did greater deed in hopes of hearing a response. who knows… she may said all that deliberately. It could have been her way of dealing with all the fame she received. Afterall, she was a very humble human being. It COULD be argued that she was never able to adapt to all the fame she received when she was alive.
    “I’m angry at the believers who put decals on their cars with a Faith fish eating a Darwin fish… and who think that’s clever, who think that religious faith really should triumph over science and evidence.”
    Science is a well established THEORY. there may be some fact, but then again, there is also fiction. After all, the first thing i learned in College Science was that Science, is indeed just that, theory. Nothing more!!!!

  329. groggy says

    this is my first time reading your blog, a friend of mine directed me to this page. while i agree with every point of contention you have listed, i feel your anger is somewhat misdirected, at least that is what my reading of this article suggests. i am not a religious person, nor am i an atheist. i simply don’t know what the true nature of the universe is. in fact, i believe that no one on earth can possibly know this. so, really, i don’t spend much time thinking about it. however my beliefs are not relevant to this discussion. while i appreciate your points, i would like to point out that it is not the mere existence of religion that causes so much pain in the world, it is rather the ignorance and willingness of people to do harmful things, and allow others to do harmful things so long as they are like-minded. organized religion is, to a large degree, a competition for power and resources. foolish people are unfortunately manipulated easily, and it is the fault of the manipulators who misuse religious texts in order to achieve their own sick purposes. the existence of the bible and people’s belief in god did not directly cause the crusades, it was instead religious leaders who claimed that the conquest of muslim lands was righteous and holy who convinced their followers as such. it is unfortunate that people can be so stupid as to believe that a priest, or an organization, can know god’s will, or allah’s, or whom- or whatever’s, or know whether or not any such being exists. but it is their ignorance and aggression, and not their beliefs, that give religion its destructive power. if you have a screwdriver, you can do many things with it. you can put a comfortable bed together with it, or you can stab someone repeatedly in the eye with it. it all depends on what you choose to do with the tools you are given. as far as the people who ask, “are you catholic or baptist?” well they’re just silly and they should just ask if a person is affiliated with any religion. or they shouldn’t ask at all. but that’s their own silliness. so, in summary, i agree with you, but i think you’re more angry with stupid and mean people than you are with a few dusty old books.
    oh and by the way i sincerely hope you two can get married someday. they’ll have to allow it eventually. again, people are just silly and stuck in their ways. fuck ‘em.

  330. headlice says

    It is really uncomfortable hearing you moan and groan when most of your stuff on the Bible and creationism is false/misunderstood…
    Maybe research these things better? Honestly seek the truth?
    Oh wait, you probably do not believe in absolute truth.
    Carry on.

  331. PYRETTE says

    @ Shannon Brown
    I do have a problem with people believing whatever they want to believe, even if they aren’t trying to convert me.
    My major problem with religion is it always has to come first in peoples lives, before ethics, before morality, before family and friends even. if religious beliefs are needed at all they belong at the bottom of the stack and must be subject to ethics, morality etc.
    And because of this fact, (and getting back to my original point) people may BELIEVE that their god wants them to burn my house down. they wouldn’t be trying to convert me but i still would not happy about it. People BELIEVE that the author of this article should not be allowed to marry her lover (i can tell she’s not too happy about that). Holding irrational, unjust and immoral beliefs DOES effect everyone else, even if they dont try to force those beliefs on the people around them.

  332. Asgardian says

    Well what can I say…. What a great effort. I think you’ve pretty well covered all of it. For the frustration (and yes anger) I feel when I am cornered by prosletysing christians and find in the heat of the moment that I can’t quite explain why I am an atheist and why their religiosity is so irrational – I will now be able to refer to you blog! Well done – keep up the great work! and good luck with everything.

  333. Sunday says

    I’m angry that you can wear a colonial uniform and put pictures of a vagina on a page that talks about atheism.
    I’m sorry a nun beat you when you were five. Get over it.

  334. Anonymous says

    People are as likely to abandon their religious beliefs as you are to abandon your sexuality. The best you can hope for is to convince religious people to be more libertarian and not let their religion affect their politics.
    This country was founded on liberty and freedom, so was this society. You are wrong to get angry about religion over things that do not restrict your freedom.
    You want a social movement that will assert your freedom over theirs.
    How about a political movement that fights for the government to exist above the influence of any group. That is a movement that everyone, regardless of the social group that they belong to, can get behind.

  335. Will G. says

    I want this to be a huge searchable pdf file complete with pictures in the original post and whatnot.

  336. Kate says

    I have a challenge to Brad.
    I want you to read every story on faeries that you can find. I want you to truly try to believe in them. Honestly. If you aren’t honest and truly apply yourself, it won’t work.
    Then ask yourself if you aren’t happier about yourself and life. I’m sure you will find that you are. After all, there were generations and generations of people who believed and were happier than you are. If you don’t believe, you could not really be happy.
    When you have truly made a sincere effort, let us know if you still think you aren’t a jerk.

  337. Sam Dyer says

    Bravo! The most rational and impassioned – and DEAD ON – post I’ve read in months! I’ll be coming back to read this again and again.
    interesting fact: when Iggy Pop was asked about how he stays angry..he says..’I work at it’. You do the same. Great job!!

  338. says

    Another Christian chiming in here. Brad was right about one thing: if Christians acted like Christians, you wouldn’t be angry. But those who do are badly outnumbered by those who don’t. As it stands, though, you’ve been given plenty of reason to be angry. The funny thing is, if Biblical prophecies (and yes, my interpretation of them) are correct, then you guys are going to win this battle before the end. There will be little, if any, tolerance of Christianity (or probably any other religion) left in the world. Ironic that the Bible itself calls it.

  339. Dean says

    I’m sorry to hear that you are so angry Greta. I figure that life is short enough without having it be dominated by anger and the negativity of this world.
    I am a born-again Christian (some of you folks might refer to folks like myself as “fundamentalist Christians”) and believe that I have been blessed by God to live in America, the wondrous land of opportunity. I would consider myself a man who is blessed by God with wonderful family and friends.
    I hope that anger at other people will not consume you… and that you find some joy in living. There is much bad in this world… but there is much good. Anyways, just my two cents, good day.

  340. Anti-Christ says

    Later everyone will come to realize that we all must push towards the center. It will be in the best interests for everyone. There is a big wave forming and it’s going straight up the middle. The extremists will all fall in behind. We are nearing the end of our tribulation period. The Truth will all be told. Just watch and see…

  341. says

    Strangely, I had a conversation with my mom this evening about my atheism. I explained to her many things along the same lines as you explained above, only not as in-depth. That said, I’d like to thank you for vocalizing (typing) more of what I meant to say, but couldn’t think of.
    Also, am I in the wrong because I can’t put my finger on anything that religion has done positively for humanity? I suppose that giving people some reason to believe in Heaven after life is decent, at best, but shouldn’t we as humans be worried about enjoying our time while ALIVE instead of enjoying our time after we die? I have no problem with knowing that I’ll rot in the ground after I pass, and I feel that more people would be better off if they came to this realization instead of worrying about how much they’ve pleased whoever their god is during their life time.
    I’m an atheist, yet I still know right from wrong. To say that I can’t know such is ridiculous.

  342. says

    Strangely, I had a conversation with my mom this evening about my atheism. I explained to her many things along the same lines as you explained above, only not as in-depth. That said, I’d like to thank you for vocalizing (typing) more of what I meant to say, but couldn’t think of.
    Also, am I in the wrong because I can’t put my finger on anything that religion has done positively for humanity? I suppose that giving people some reason to believe in Heaven after life is decent, at best, but shouldn’t we as humans be worried about enjoying our time while ALIVE instead of enjoying our time after we die? I have no problem with knowing that I’ll rot in the ground after I pass, and I feel that more people would be better off if they came to this realization instead of worrying about how much they’ve pleased whoever their god is during their life time.
    I’m an atheist, yet I still know right from wrong. To say that I can’t know such is ridiculous.

  343. Calymos says

    I’ve been an atheist for a while, stopping at few things here and there (hedonism, taoism… the likes of those)and I must say that this post of yours has made me… open my eyes again.
    I never really took the time to think about it, but almost all of your points made me realize just how pissed I am about them. Especially the Catholic ordeals. And I really hope that your post spreads, and reaches the tops. They (religious figure heads) probably won’t grasp it, or at least not understand the why’s, but they need to start giving us air.
    I’m probably not making much sense, but I guess in the end, I really don’t need to. You’ve reminded me that I’m angry about a lot of things, and I’m sick of staying quiet about it. I’m tired of being ignored, and treated as though I’m a waste of oxygen; I’m tired of being quieted down. I tired of being told I’m wrong, for taking the time to question my life instead of throw to some omnipotent being that wants some random girl to win the lottery today.
    We will stand up to this, and are in the process now. Even if I’m too tired to continue this, I agree with you completely.
    Keep it up. You never know, it just might work.

  344. says

    Don’t apologise for getting a bit cross! We all have to endure the ‘insult’ that is organised religion on a daily basis, so I am sure we can take a little passionate argument from you on top of that! Personally I feel the time for tolerating these idiots is over, at least when they try to force their superstitious nonsense on the rest of us. Go get ‘em!

  345. says

    After reading this and a good portion of the posts in response, I have a few things to say. This seems to be more about atheists being angry at Christianity, or certain sects or aspects of Christianity. But as I went through your list, it seems you have pulled negative after negative circumstance and story. For any organization, religion, group of people… you can focus on the negative and promote that to justify your anger and or prejudice. In fact, if the negative was really all there was, then you could criticize and find a reason to be angry at many many groups of people or organizations, religious or not. If you’re willing to pull up all the bad examples and point the finger at religion or theistic belief as the source of the world’s woes and your anger, you should also take a look at the good things people do because of their belief in a god or religious system. Spend some time, just to get a better understanding of the other side, and maybe you could come away with a broader perspective and respect. The world is full of complainers who point the finger at whoever is a good scapegoat at the time. And really what I see is that people are too busy pointing the finger and being angry to go out and make a difference for the better in their sphere of influence. Does all your complaining and anger make you a better person; does it make your friends or neighbors better people? Personally I am tired of all the complaining that I encounter in my daily environment, it just never seems to stop, and if I’m not careful I may start complaining about the complainers. In fact I found myself complaining and carrying a prejudice tone against Hispanics (I live in southern California) and I realized that really it was just prejudice against a group of people because there were a few bad examples and stereotypes. I have since tried to shift out of that blame perspective and respect these people whether they are here legally or not, because the truth is… I live with and around them. There is a difference between not agreeing with someone’s beliefs and just plain prejudice and disrespect. Both sides of the fence in regards to atheists/theists are guilty of this. With all the complaining and blame that goes around it really isn’t making this world a better place to live in. If it wasn’t the Christians, it might be the Jews, or the Muslims, the capitalists, the republicans, the democrats, the Americans, the men, the women, black, white, and the list goes on and on and on. I’m saying this to bring up a point that it we as people need to stop agreeing with that prejudice side of humanity in order to make this world a better place. The world will never be full of people that share one single belief and philosophy about life and its meaning. I hope that the people who read your postings and this reply will truly consider whether or not they want play the blame game. I’ve decided to stop, and already my life is better because I’m not carrying around this chip on my shoulder. I’ll leave with one final thought or thoughts… last year I went on a homeless outreach through an organization called The Dream Center. We passed out food and a few other items… that was all. As it turns out this was a Christian organization. Now I have not returned since, and the reason is it was simply to painful to see people on the streets stuck in their circumstances. I can’t stomach that right now, but these people who are a part of the Dream Center can, day after day, and they are making a difference. Anyone who wants to complain about Christianity or religion should go do some homeless outreach and care for disadvantaged, broken, homeless people… there are probably plenty of organizations in any given city that you can do that with. When you put down religion or Christianity because of some bad examples, you also put down these people, who from what I see, have decided to make a difference instead of spend their time being angry and complaining. Hat’s off to these people. http://www.dreamcenter.org

  346. Baptistgurl32 says

    I am angry that you are choosing to reject Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, and instead prefer to burn in hell.

  347. anthony says

    You should be angry that the Western world and much of the rest of it has developed based on a book that is mainly fiction, badly translated and is edited to promote a certain viewpoint. Those that believe in this book mistakenly think it is the definitive word of their ‘god’.
    It like a new Dark age is approaching.

  348. DB says

    A comment buried at the bottom of this post is unlikely to ever be read but ….
    To tell you the truth, I find your litany of complaints about religion and Christianity in particular, to be about as tiring as Sunday mass.
    Announcing your anger is neither brave nor particularly interesting (liberating for some, perhaps) despite the fact that it does justice to the truth of the matter, a perversion of religiosity that has caused an uncountable number of injuries to humanity through the years.
    Is there not something deeper here that can be expressed?
    How does the quote “If nothing had any meaning, you would be right. But there is something that still has a meaning.” make you feel?
    What does it mean to have faith without doubt? Or doubt without faith?
    Absent faith, as an athiest, how does one derive meaning from their life?
    These are thoughts that I would deem worthy of exposition. At length.

  349. Shike says

    Hey, just thought I would mention something real quick. I’m not sure under what circumstances you were asked about the religion of your father at the nursing home, but in case there was an emergency they would want to have a priest give him last rights if he were Catholic. I doubt it would be out of disrespect, but as I said I don’t know the circumstances.
    Next, you’re right, you do have the right to be angry. However for someone that accuses the religous of being ignorant and arrogant, I see you as no better than they. You’ve grossly generalized EVERY person practically in EVERY religion. Get over yourself sometime.
    Beyond that, militant Christians generate militant Athiests which generate more militant Christians. The circle really needs to end, and everyone just needs to learn to mind their own God damn business. I’m pissed at BOTH sides of the fence, they’re all jackasses.

  350. shotinfilm says

    Wow dude. You really need God. He really can help lift that anger that seems to have poisoned you and your life.
    I’m so sorry to see someone this angry.

  351. Moot says

    Fundamentalists want to label atheists as angry so that their ideas are marginalized. If they can make the public at large believe we’re all angry and irrational, none of our opinions on anything will matter.
    Writing a list of things that make you angry, or worse…making a huge comprehensive list like this one just plays right into their hands.

  352. Chris says

    I read every word you said and you are bang on with almost everything.
    I’m an athiest myself and I can tell you that we aren’t all angry. Although your reasons as to why anger is a good thing I have to completely agree with.
    Thank you for your words. This article alone has given you another subscriber to your feed.

  353. AF says

    I agree with Matthew Graybosch’s comment above wholeheartedly.
    Us atheists are reasonable people, they need to make laws to PUT TO DEATH these INTOLERANT religious people!
    All who believes in a god or gods should be rounded up made to denounce their faith or face EXECUTION!
    I’m not talking about inhumane burning at the steak or beheading, just arrest them and sentence them to the electric chair or lethal injection.
    We could put an end to IRRATIONAL faith altogether if we did this!

  354. Skeev says

    Brilliant ! should be req reading in Schools….give the people a chance to think for themselves..thank you for writing it.

  355. Greg says

    I am paid as a missionary and have been called one for two decades. Somewhere along the way I started to question what I had been raised to beleive, I still hold on to the teachings of Jesus but have beome more and more isolated from the Church. If I was not running a Foundation doing a lot of good humanitarian work I would walk away but I stay and do what I can rather that have myself replaced with someone who just wants to “win souls”.
    I need to apologies for arguments I have used against athiests in the past. I am truly sorry for pain my arguments caused, sadly I cannot go back and undo my words.
    This was a very well written post and I have bookmarked it to share with others.
    Thank you.

  356. says

    Well said, excellent post – it’s about time we started becoming more structured in our arguments of this.
    I was ‘blessed’ enough to not be brought up with any kind of religion hard-coded into my childhood, and I never thought it would ever be something that would hinder my position in society. Luckily things aren’t as bad here in the UK.
    Best Wishes.

  357. Wendi says

    Wow. SO MUCH of your rant has inaccurate and disturbingly biased information. I feel bad for someone who feels the need to spend THAT MUCH TIME and effort on such a rant. Anger of that amount of force and vehemence must be daily poisoning your insides. Its really counterproductive to your entire being to retain that level of serious anger. A lot of your facts are incorrect, and you’ve fallen victim to what the drive-by media wants you to believe about faith in general. and that’s sad. Also, you’re not angry about being who believe in A god. You’re seriously anti-Christian. wow. That said, I will pray for you. ^^ I’m not being smug. But I will pray for you. Have a lovely day!

  358. Ben Hurrell says

    Nice post. As a English Christian I think I agree with close to 95% of what you said.
    I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that a LOT of Christians are taught to be afraid of education – I am studying The Bible in the top academic institution for Biblical Studies in Europe and apart from being damned interesting, it both challenges and confirms a lot of my previous beliefs. Despite this, so many people ask about being scared of “losing my faith”. As if stepping beyond blind unquestioning faith is a bad thing.
    Keep up the good work.

  359. Anonymous says

    Hi,
    This is from Iran, I am an alos an athiest and have a blog in Persian about atheism.
    My blog has been filtered by the government and if they find me according to the official law here I will be executed!
    Why? because I simply think differently,
    OH! Yeah! We have every right to be angry…

  360. JR says

    Wow!
    That was so eloquent. Thank you.
    My teenaged daughter has a word for the blindly religious: Sheeple.

  361. Rick says

    I’m angry that atheism is now politically tied to gay marriage rights, amnesty for illegal immigrants, pro-abortion rights, and so many other things I don’t support. It is now assumed that if you’re an atheist you are an ultra-left wing liberal, and I’m angry about that. I have no political party to vote for now because the republicans are all big business Jesus freaks, and the Democrats are all pro-gay, pro-minority, pro-abortion, anti-white male, liberals. America is doomed.

  362. says

    Beautifully put. Like some of the other posters here have stated, you have eloquently reeled off every major point that makes me extremely uncomfortable with religion, but putting them all in one place is tantamount to exceeding the critical mass of anger and frustration at everything the major religions spout at us day after day. Angry? I’m livid!

  363. don says

    Disclaimer: I am a christian – and according to a lot of atheist people, one you would most likely call fundamentalist :-)
    So I have read most of your rant, but I liked the term “atheistic fundamentalist” (first time for me, I guess Europe is still different than the US). But although you get angry about called being one, I would say you are one nevertheless.
    You think your atheistic thinking is the only valid one (and beliefs,God etc. are bullshit). You want to suppress the mayority thinking with your minority thinking (US).
    Sounds pretty much like all the definitions of fundamentalism I have heard. Sorry. You really seem to have a problem with other people thinking & believing not the same things as you.
    As for getting angry, that’s understandable. Only you do it quite selectively. Christians have to answer for everything that has been done or said in the name of christianity or by religious people, but you are, of course, not willing to answer for everything that has been done or said by atheistic people. No, no, suddenly Stalin, Mao and eugenic scientists of the Third Reich never existed.
    Sorry thats a double standard.
    And that makes me angry!
    Interestingly almost all your anger is directed at the christian faith, while for example the treatment of atheists in islamic countries is on a wholly different level. People that I know from this countries will be an atheist by heart in Europe, but go to the Mosque and “pray” in their home country. Way too dangerous not to be a muslim.
    And talking about tolerance for queers…
    So you seem to have a problem with christianity specifically.

  364. Arcus says

    I for one am an agnostic I guess because I feel you can’t actually call it either way for sure, but in my view of the way the world functions I’m essentially an atheist.
    I thought this was very well written. You make many good points and support them well with evidence. My only criticism is your conclusion at the end that anger is necessary and helpful. I don’t feel that that was a point completely thought out. Anger has plenty of places were it is extremely counter-productive, in fact basically every point you made shows this fact. Pious people being angry is very counter-productive to any change you wish to make. On a rather extreme note Hitler and Stalin were very angry people eager for change. Perhaps a better term is frustration rather than anger.
    Ultimately all I’m trying to say is that instead of being angry about it try to calmly work the system to your advantage. No great positive social change you talk about was obtained purely through people yelling.

  365. randy fortunato says

    this is to the douchebag that’s so angry. Anger isn’t what causes all the movement in the world and according to yuo when things get done…. love is. Have you ever tried to get someone to do something through anger? They never do it. The only way to get anyone to do anything is through love. God is love, Satan in anger. Which one are you? I think it’s pretty clear who and what guides your life. That’s your curse for being an atheist. You are filled with hate and anger. Life’s short pal, too short to walk around with so much anger and hate. I’ll bet you come from a broken home. I’ll bet all the money I’m worth. Well douchebag good luck with your philosiphy in life.

  366. randy fortunato says

    Oh I got one more question for you douchebag???? Do you know everything in the whole universe? I didn’t think so. Well how about half of everything there is to know? I didn’t think so. But let’s say you did, you know half of everything there is to know in all the universe and all it’s demensions. My question to you is do you think God could live in the other half of what you don’t know about? Mr. Meanie? Mr. angry? You’re a douchebag and whoever would agree with you got to be off thier rocker too.

  367. harry says

    Look, I dont have a problem with you being an atheist, thats between you and God not you and me. You dont believe in God so for you thats not a problem.
    I could still be friends with you as long as you are willing to except my position as I am yours. What I do have a problem with is Atheist dont like something so they force laws to make me “not do things that OFFEND them”. That is Kind of doing exactly what they are complaining about.
    This country was founded on Christian values, yes it was. Not necessarily in the the constitution or law but it was in that the vast majority of the people living here were and are Christians. That being said it is just as wrong for Christians for FORCE their views on anyone else as it is for others to FORCE their views on us.
    As far as the military goes, that sir is a totally different ball game and many of the the rights we have as civilians, we do not have in the military, most people are smart enough to figure that out going in. If you are in a formation and the formation is praying, you dont want to, just stand there and dont pray. They are not saying you have to pray, but you cannot break formation thats the rule, not that you have to pray. Do we have some bigoted idiotic officers that want to bully others in the military, absolutely, I dealt with my share successfully when I was in the Air Force and I am Christians. Its not that they are Christians or not, its that they are bullys in a place of authority and you atheist just provide one of many outlets for their stupidiy, if you are going to joining the military then deal with it and stop complaining.
    Look my bottom line is this, I dont care about the laws, If I want to pray in public in court, in school, on a buss or anywhere else I am going to do so. If I want to talk about God in the same places I am going to do so. I dont expect you to listen if you dont want to, or take part or anything else. If it is a captive audience then just sit there politely and ignore what I am saying, it isn’t hurting you and when it is over leave. Of course in many cases you dont even have to show up.

  368. harry says

    Look, I dont have a problem with you being an atheist, thats between you and God not you and me. You dont believe in God so for you thats not a problem.
    I could still be friends with you as long as you are willing to except my position as I am yours. What I do have a problem with is Atheist dont like something so they force laws to make me “not do things that OFFEND them”. That is Kind of doing exactly what they are complaining about.
    This country was founded on Christian values, yes it was. Not necessarily in the the constitution or law but it was in that the vast majority of the people living here were and are Christians. That being said it is just as wrong for Christians for FORCE their views on anyone else as it is for others to FORCE their views on us.
    As far as the military goes, that sir is a totally different ball game and many of the the rights we have as civilians, we do not have in the military, most people are smart enough to figure that out going in. If you are in a formation and the formation is praying, you dont want to, just stand there and dont pray. They are not saying you have to pray, but you cannot break formation thats the rule, not that you have to pray. Do we have some bigoted idiotic officers that want to bully others in the military, absolutely, I dealt with my share successfully when I was in the Air Force and I am Christians. Its not that they are Christians or not, its that they are bullys in a place of authority and you atheist just provide one of many outlets for their stupidiy, if you are going to joining the military then deal with it and stop complaining.
    Look my bottom line is this, I dont care about the laws, If I want to pray in public in court, in school, on a buss or anywhere else I am going to do so. If I want to talk about God in the same places I am going to do so. I dont expect you to listen if you dont want to, or take part or anything else. If it is a captive audience then just sit there politely and ignore what I am saying, it isn’t hurting you and when it is over leave. Of course in many cases you dont even have to show up.

  369. harry says

    Look, I dont have a problem with you being an atheist, thats between you and God not you and me. You dont believe in God so for you thats not a problem.
    I could still be friends with you as long as you are willing to except my position as I am yours. What I do have a problem with is Atheist dont like something so they force laws to make me “not do things that OFFEND them”. That is Kind of doing exactly what they are complaining about.
    This country was founded on Christian values, yes it was. Not necessarily in the the constitution or law but it was in that the vast majority of the people living here were and are Christians. That being said it is just as wrong for Christians for FORCE their views on anyone else as it is for others to FORCE their views on us.
    As far as the military goes, that sir is a totally different ball game and many of the the rights we have as civilians, we do not have in the military, most people are smart enough to figure that out going in. If you are in a formation and the formation is praying, you dont want to, just stand there and dont pray. They are not saying you have to pray, but you cannot break formation thats the rule, not that you have to pray. Do we have some bigoted idiotic officers that want to bully others in the military, absolutely, I dealt with my share successfully when I was in the Air Force and I am Christians. Its not that they are Christians or not, its that they are bullys in a place of authority and you atheist just provide one of many outlets for their stupidiy, if you are going to joining the military then deal with it and stop complaining.
    Look my bottom line is this, I dont care about the laws, If I want to pray in public in court, in school, on a buss or anywhere else I am going to do so. If I want to talk about God in the same places I am going to do so. I dont expect you to listen if you dont want to, or take part or anything else. If it is a captive audience then just sit there politely and ignore what I am saying, it isn’t hurting you and when it is over leave. Of course in many cases you dont even have to show up.

  370. Walter says

    Very interesting thinking. The way I see this is that Greta is an “atheist” that believes in God but is very angry at him for whatever reason. The difference between a follower of God and an Atheist is that true followers of God do forgive and forget. God Bless

  371. says

    Thank you so much for writing this. I couldn’t agree with you more. I love this, and it was one of very few pieces that have been able to keep me interested in a while.
    Thanks again.

  372. yater90spn says

    I hope that you have some forward setup so that you read all of these comments personally because otherwise I wouldn’t normally comment. I think comments are a waste of time since there’s never any resolution.
    On that note. Anger has no purpose. Your anger is a waste of time. The same way that my parents told me crying wouldn’t make it better when I was a child, being angry won’t make it better either.
    You appear to be pretty well educated so I’ll try not to insult your intelligence. Rather than be angry all the time you should try and educate all of these other people. There are many reasons why atheists are so poorly regarded and you have to get around all of those in order to talk to non-atheists about why you don’t believe what they do believe. Atheism loses the battle against religion for a few reasons.
    #1 there’s no real legitimate power center for atheists. By choosing not to participate in religion we’re thereby choosing not to participate in a major organization. Relgious people have thousands of churches across the world with even more priests. I’d like to see someone make the same claim for atheists.
    #2 You can’t just be angry, or try and reason with people who have religious beliefs. Their religion gives them a sense of comfort and if you really want to make an easy transition for people who do believe you have to comfort them in some other way. “I don’t believe there’s a god but that doesn’t mean I think it’s okay to kill and rape and steal.”. As much as I don’t believe in relgion or God there are a lot of valuable moral tenants that get over looked by angry people such as yourself. I would argue that “Do unto others as they would do unto you.” may be the operating philosophy behind every atheist. You don’t need a god to think that or do that. You just need to have a half a brain. The thing is, religions DO teach that philosophy and that’s what these people need, otherwise they wouldn’t be going.
    I think you have to check yourself and really think about why it is that people believe in religions and what you can EFFECTIVELY do to get them to be more realistic instead of just crowing about why you’re so angry and why you think your anger is valuable and justified. Do you really think you’re helping the atheist’s cause by posting this? All you’re going to do is give religious people more ammunition to say “there goes the angry atheists again” and then crawl back into their cozy little hole of lies.
    I’m going to go back to the power center thing again. President Bush is a political figurehead. He gets more power and more control by siding with catholics. What politician in his right mind WOULDN’T side with a religious organization? Do you have any idea what kind of support you get from that? You can’t trust that they actually BELIEVE everything they say they do. They’re just trying to get more votes and more campaign support. Stop being angry and start being nice. You catch more flies with honey then you do with vinegar.

  373. Terri says

    I am a heterosexual atheist female. I work and earn a comfortable living. I am an active volunteer for my community. I am married to a wonderful atheist man who shares my anger at one of the above posts. I have rewritten the post by “Brad”.
    “what man do you know who would not submit to their wife if they had a woman of utter integrity who provided for him, served him, served others, and made him feel more loved than humanly possible? (thankfully, my love for myself makes me personally feel more loved than humanly possible). Probably all of them (snickers)… And I don’t mean submitted in the context you are familiar with (sorry had to snicker again), but submit as in allow HER to LEAD, be apart of HER. In order to understand some things called freedom, you have to understand common sense.”
    I can see the possibility of Brad choking on my words. Just think Brad, your WIFE could be LEADING YOU instead. I bet that creeps you right out?
    Neither my husband nor myself see ourselves as being the leader in the relationship. Whatever comes up is handled by both of us and whomever has the best skills pretaining to the matter helps the most, but always with 100 percent input and agreement from both sides. I earn more than my husband does and I have a wall filled with accomplishments, so by Brads definition, my husband should be following ME. Thankfully, I would never disrespect my husbands integrity in such a manner. And if Brads married, yikes!
    Bravo for this blog.

  374. MacLawrence says

    I usually don’t comment on random blog posts I find on digg, but this one time, let me just say: Thank you. Thank you so much.

  375. PCW says

    I keep seeing comments that say “a lot of your information is inaccurate” without qualifying that at all. I imagine we’re just supposed to take it for granted (or “take it on faith,” as it were) that their assessment is correct.
    I also see lots of people forgiving you, which is cute. It’s comforting to know that we have so many folks in the majority to patronize us. We live sinful lives by being such angry irrational people, but that’s all good, because their imaginary man in the sky will always be willing to forgive us our transgressions. Give me a break…
    Other people seem to think this anger has “poisoned your life”, as if that somehow discredits the points you’re making. As long as your articles get people talking, then anger’s more than welcome.

  376. says

    Thanks you for this post. I grew up Catholic and as soon as I was confirmed I stopped going to church because I didn’t agree with anything. Lately I have been reading a lot of Richard Dawkins and other atheist literature so that I can cope with rejecting a religion that brainwashed me. I direct my anger into obtaining knowledge through research on why organized religion is so concerned with using dogmatic tactics in renewing faith. I have discovered that if you just come to your senses and say “wait a minute, when i pray to Jebus in my head, no one is actually listening”. So I now see faith as a form of self hypnosis which eventually turns some people crazy.
    I won’t rant on too much, but i’ll share a quick story about a crazy lady that harassed me one night.
    It was about 10pm at night during the summer of lets say…2002. I answered the door and this frumpy looking old woman introduced herself. She said that she was from church X and then proceeded to ask me some personal questions about my religious beliefs. I told her that I was raised Catholic but ever since I was confirmed I have decided that church was not for me so i had not attended in 2 years. She tried to convince me to go back to church to SAVE my soul. I said “nah, i’m good” and then she spouted off all these positive reasons to go to church. Then at the end of her rant she said “you know you are on god’s list….and you can be removed.”
    This is where is slammed the door in her face. These are the people who concern me the most :\

  377. Christian says

    Girlfriend, move to the Netherlands! Almost all are atheists here and marying your girlfriend is perfectly legal here ;-) Also, going out in Amsterdam kicks ass!

  378. Kate says

    Harry – this is not a Christian country built on Christian values. It certainly makes me angry that people lie about this. Simply reading some history on why and how this country was created would help you with your facts. I don’t think you want to though.
    No one has ever tried to stop you from praying any where you wanted to. That too is a lie. What was stopped was having the government make everyone stop and pray during government functions. If you would think about it, that is the right thing to do, as the prayer would not ever be the ‘right one’, but the prayer of whomever was in power, and that’s never going to be your religion. The best thing to do is not have the government do ‘prayers’ at all.
    If you were honest, you would see that you aren’t a victim that been stopped from praying. You just haven’t been allowed to force your religion on everyone with the help of the government. If you think it’s dishonest, to be saying you were, now that you know how it works, then perhaps you might have some bones to pick with others of your religion who keep saying this.
    Anger is good. Sorry those sanctimonious people who are trying to say otherwise. It’s psycologically healthy to respond with anger when you have been abused. As Greta pointed out, if you don’t get angry, nothing changes. Perhaps those who are trying to preach against it, have some reason to not have things change, but it sure sounds like they prefer the abuse to go on. It’s not the operating force behind athiests. How lame.
    And no Greta does not believe in God and is ‘angry at him’. You can’t be angry at something you don’t believe in.

  379. Justin says

    I think it is absolutely hilarious that there are meetings and clubs for atheists to meet and talk about how they don’t believe in religion.
    If you don’t believe in something…that’s fine. Other people do…Why do you have a right to be angry at them?
    The only reason I read something like this is because it was on DIGG. People that troll through these atheist websites spend a lot of time devoted to not believing in something.
    I’m not saying you’re wrong for being an atheist, because you’re a person and can do or believe what you like…One of the beauties of our society. I’m just saying, “get a hobbie, or maybe a cat to devote some time to” What happens at these atheist meetings? Does everyone just scowl at eachother? “Do you know that my neighbors go to church every Sunday?” Group replies, “those ass-holes!!!!”

  380. says

    A friend sent me the link to this post, it’s my first time reading your blog.
    I just want to thank you, on behalf of all atheists, for posting such an articulate explanation of why we’re angry.
    You made my day… perhaps my week and month as well. :-)
    Sara Waalkes
    ~Angry Feminist Atheist

  381. Scott says

    Well said Greta! When it comes to the various (and numerous) fallacies of religious dogma, the saying “Common sense is not contagious”, always comes to mind.
    We’ve tried it the religious way for uncounted millennia… and always, time and time again, end up with the same results. It’s high time for a change. What our world so desperately needs is a true (and long lasting) era of reason.
    BTW: Isn’t the very definition of Insanity; “Doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results”?

  382. says

    In an ironic way I wish that there was a brief “afterlife”, just to be able to say to all these religious fools “hey you dumbs suckers, did you really believe that shit about heaven and hell, the pearly gates etc.” And, like Nelson in the Simpsons, give a nasal “Ha ha”.
    As Andrew Mueller said, “Pledging yourself to any particular religion is no more or less weird than choosing to believe that the world is rhombus-shaped, and borne through the cosmos in the pincers of two enormous green lobsters called Esmerelda and Keith”

  383. dpatterson says

    I’m not an total non-believer or gay, but You hit it on the fucking head why organized religion is wrong. all their negative impact and self-satisfaction, inflicting of their beliefs on others while assuming that somewhere behind the scenes all their “good work” makes up for their hateful words and behavior. well done!

  384. andy says

    Hadn’t seen your blog before. Followed a link from onegoodmove.org, and I’m glad I did.
    Fantastic work. This post is bookmarked, and the feed is now subbed.

  385. Anon says

    I particularely get angry when christians “sin” all they want just because the priest will absolve them later on by saying a few hail marys. I hardly know any christians with true faith today, and rather think that there are so many more religions that do stay true to their belief (because they actually believe) whether a lot (i’m not refering to ALL) of catholics just keep up the act because society imposes it. I consider myself to be an agnostic rather than an atheist, but respect all beliefs, including the lack of it.

  386. Bill says

    Atheist are angry because their disposition is of the devil. Satan is in a pathological rage most of the time, a rage that can be readily seen through the manorisms and behavior of some.

  387. says

    I wish I had more to say, but since I just read this while eating my lunch and have to go back to work I just want to say BRAVO!
    I agree wholeheartedly with every word. You made some brilliant points and thank you for taking the time to articulate each one.
    Excellent!

  388. John says

    Wow. I am a Christian who started to read your blog because I feel it is important to hear what the world feels we Christians are doing wrong. But, I think that you are less angry at Christians and God and more just angry (and I dare say enjoying it.) While I do not usually go for the bumper sticker theologies, I feel this one applies: “No God, no peace. Know God, know peace!”

  389. John says

    Wow. I am a Christian who started to read your blog because I feel it is important to hear what the world feels we Christians are doing wrong. But, I think that you are less angry at Christians and God and more just angry (and I dare say enjoying it.) While I do not usually go for the bumper sticker theologies, I feel this one applies: “No God, no peace. Know God, know peace!”

  390. Chris says

    It bothers me that you clump “religious” people together, as i am sure that it bothers you when atheists are refered to as one monolithic unit. I understand why the above items bother you, but i hope that you can see that spirituality is important to many people (be they Christian, Muslam, Jewish, Hindu, Budist, Wiccan, Zoastrian, or one of the many other religions). Your belief is one of many, Is it right? Not for me, but i support your right to believe in what you want. Shouldn’t you support my right to believe what i want? Do you go around and tell children that there is no Santaclaus or easter bunny because you hold the “truth” is such high esteem? i would not try to force you to believe. Accept that people are and can be religious. and yes i am one of those people you hate, but funny thing is that i don’t hate you. I hope that your life is full of love regardless of what you believe.

  391. Brian Gillum says

    That was…Wow!
    About the only thing I have any issue with is toward the end of your piece. I will admit I haven’t had a chance to go to the link you included, so indulge me.
    I agree that issues can’t be addressed for solution with everyone in the middle of the road – it takes the extremes to come up with the ideas. However, the solutions can’t and shouldn’t be those extreme ideas, as they will tend to alienate more people than they will accomodate. We work with the ideas of the extremes to find where the “real” middle is, so that the solution encompasses most all (notice I have to say most, because wyo will ALWAYS have folks who wil never be completely satisfied one way or the other).
    Just my $2 (inflation, ya know)

  392. Robert says

    I believe in God, but I also believe that no one has the right to tell another person how they should feel. If you are angry, be angry. no one on this earth has the right to take that away from you. Many of the items you posted anger me as well even as a believer.

  393. Skevimc says

    As a ‘believer’ I’m mad about all of those things also.
    Another thing that makes me mad is when anyone (atheists or christians) lump everyone in the same boat, i.e. believers do this, or atheists do this.
    Not all people of faith believe in creationism. Not all belive there is an after life. Not all belive that homosexuality is an abimination. etc…

  394. Sebastian B. says

    Just so we’re all on the same page: these are arguments not against the WORD of any imparticular religion, but against the actions men take in the name of those teachings.
    A man’s view is subject to interpretation which means it can certainly be wrong – but that doesn’t go against the validity of the source they draw from.
    If this piece is just to show injustice then I’m really happy it’s written. On the other hand, if it’s a strike against all those who seek a higher power then I feel sorry for the writer because once you disguard a benchmark, you can feel free to do anything you want for any or no reason. There would be no order, only chaos. [P.s. high-five to anyone who got that reference]
    -Sebastian B.

  395. rekre8 says

    Orson Scott Card is a wonderful sci fi writer, and a Mormon. In one of his Enders books, he has a mom passionately discussing that “parents indoctrinate their children” – this is how you make them grow up to be moral people. I got really angry about this, mostly because the characters (and Card) saw this as a good thing. Brainwashing the youth! Then I realized my parents indoctrinated my siblings & me to be rational and logical . . .while still remaining loosely protestant themselves. You know, my folks rock. As far as I know, my sibs and I are all atheist/agnostic, and the folks don’t care. Compare that to Ingrid, or the scarred recovering catholics we’ve all encountered.

  396. Feralblaed says

    Absolutley amazing. I happen to be a “believer,” although I’m a Pagan and understand science as being merely the language we find to describe Her creations and I see no reason for all of this “narrow god” business. Frankly, God (by any other name) does not have a physical form and can only be viewed via Her creations. If you believe in the ground beneath your feet and the wind against your face, you certainly have a better grasp of the Divine presence (however you’d like to interpret it,) than these Christians and their limited “narrow god.”
    I will totally be passing this on!
    Peace!

  397. Erika L says

    Wow!! There is hope for the world with people like you in it!! This is the best I have read in a long long time! I so hope things will start to brighten up, that people will start understanding the complexity of humanity. I live in Sweden and here it is not that extreme, most people are not believers anymore or are not as fanatic believers anyway.
    I hope there will be a day when you and your woman can marry and be happily ever after!

  398. TypedToo says

    I agree with you across the board and am angry too. The details (for the most part), the rationales, the whys, and troubles described burned into many people’s minds. These things make me crazy, and the worst part is it reflects badly on me. I’m Roman Catholic, can’t understand why anyone believes creationism as a world view, am angry at the intolerance of others, the tolerance shown the wrong-does, the horrors inflicted through the centuries, and the blindness caused by unquestioning followers.
    I just don’t blame it on God, I blame it on people both misunderstanding theology and using it for their own gain. And while your points are valid, also understand where you point your anger matters. I hate Bush and America’s current international stance, but I don’t hate either America or democracy – but that is what we represent in the world.
    So be angry, be angry along-side me, be angry at all of the injustice and insanity out there, but don’t be angry JUST because there is theism mixed in.

  399. Marc Hill says

    Fantastic article, a joy to read, reasoned, intelligent and with a human touch that you would not get in the science based arguments.

  400. says

    Thanks for this, even though you’re preaching to the choir. I really hope some thinking religious types stumble on it and maybe start to get an inkling of just why it’s a big deal to me what they believe. (Tax exemptions for churches and medical policy based on religious doctrine are my hotspot issues.) I got into a “discussion” with a co-worker yesterday on why I can’t just live and let live. I suggested he read your blog. He refused, because he “already knows what it says”. And that makes me angry.

  401. James says

    We Muslims can careless about what you want to do, as long as you do it in your own backyard, some body coming after you is just you imagination. Just remember this verbal violence leads to physical violence. Why you would be angry at 9/11? You people deserved it, it was just matter of time!

  402. says

    I am one of those believers, and it was very informative to read this post. Thank you.
    However, I have to echo another comment. It seems that no matter what religious people do it will make you angry. In fact, the only option you seemed to leave open for me to not make you angry would be to become an atheist. We can’t be tolerant, because then we’re hypocritical. We can’t be intolerant because then we’re just jackasses. What can we do? You mentioned that we often don’t listen. I would be willing to listen, but I get the feeling that even if I said nothing and listened intently my presence would still make you angry. So I’m at a loss concerning what to do.

  403. says

    I get angry when people say things to me like: It takes just as much faith to be an athiest as it does to believe in god.
    I actually not an atheist, I’m agnostic, I truly don’t know, and there is no evidence suggesting that a god exists, which means I don’t believe until there is more evidence!
    Absence of beleif is not evidence of faith.

  404. says

    J. J. Ramsey answered c4bl3fl4m3’s question “What is it that atheists really want?” by saying:
    “Depends. For some atheists, the agenda is to be treated like human beings and accepted as first-class citizens.”
    and
    “For others, it is to knock back the influence of religion or get rid of it altogether.”
    and
    “For yet others, it is the promotion of evidence-based thinking over trust in handed-down traditions that are less than trustworthy.”
    That’s at least three things, and I am profoundly supportive of #1 and #3. But, the second part of #2 – getting rid of religion altogether – would only be possible by murdering me and my many co-religionists.
    My church has worked HARD for many, many years to get equal rights for atheists and other oppressed groups. Who was the last man imprisoned for blasphemy in the USA? A Universalist preacher, of course. What religious group has performed more illegal interracial or homosexual marriages in the USA than any other? The Unitarian Universalists, that’s who.
    But many of the loud “angry” atheists are so focused on the religion=evil “fundamentalist” viewpoint that they treat us like catholics treat witches. I read your post (and I agree with you!) and I am glad to see that you are not among the group that I characterize as “fundamentalist atheists” – people like PJ and Hitchens, who are as intolerant and narrow-minded as the Talibani.
    Keep being angry. Keep fighting. But watch out for those who have merely replaced religious bigotry with anti-religious bigotry! They do your cause more harm than good.

  405. Derek says

    Sounds to me like you are angry at your own generalizations and stereotypes. I find it ironic that you are guilty -in your rant – of the same things that make you rant so.

  406. says

    I am angry that the Christians have *billions* of dollars worth of real estate and pay no property taxes to support the services which they use.
    I am angry that the IRS has the power to decide that Christianity is a religion (and thus exempt from property taxes) but that Pastafarianism isn’t, so I still have to pay property taxes, despite eating spaghetti regularly. I am angry that eating the body of some guy who’s been dead a long time is somehow more legitimate than eating pasta.
    I am angry that my son goes to school and has his teacher and principal contradict what his parents have told him and try to force him to accept subservience to some imaginary friend.
    I am angry that the christians are so focused on sex that they have to look inside everyone’s pants before letting two people who love each other commit to each other and have the right to do so.
    I am angry that religion teaches people to turn off their capacity for critical thought and that they then use that inability in other areas of their lives, including politics, work, and family.
    Great post!

  407. says

    Stumbled upon this (I love the plug-in).
    I remember a few years back hearing my christian parents (dad’s a priest, mom works in church doing various stuff) talk about some election the Swedish church had. If I recall correctly it was something about a high ranking post in the hierarchy, and they said that it was good that the openly lesbian individual (not sure which church status) didn’t win.
    Of course, I asked why, and they responded we would lose face in the international community.
    I immediately asked them if this wasn’t discriminating a person because of her sexual orientation.
    Their response was: no, followed by some bullshit and then quickly changed the topic.
    Great read, stay strong.

  408. Josh says

    … sigh … The shame of it is, you had some really good points, but toward the end, your contempt for straight, white men starts to eat through your otherwise well-reasoned post. For example, we’ve been listening to (and falling all over ourselves to please) black people for about 60 years now… maybe they could try listening to *us* for ten seconds now? And, of course, you go back to the tired issue of gay marriage over and over again, suggesting that that’s really what you’re angry about and everything else is mostly just philosophical moral outrage. You’d do better to suggest that straight marriage shouldn’t carry any legal benefits (or even be sanctified/recognized by the government)… THAT actually makes sense.

  409. Shahar Goldin says

    I agree with most everything you wrote, especially the 1% bit, and I love your writing style.

  410. Joshua Gay says

    Thank you for writing this article. It addressed many important issues that need attention and energy put toward them.
    However, I’m very confused what atheism is, so I’m not sure if I am one. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that atheism makes the claim that the re exists a set of things (mostly those that are often put into the set labled “diety” and/or “god”) that is able to be defined and that it is non-existent. I’m OK up until this point. But, then I look for the definition of the items in this set, and I can’t find it. What are the things that atheists deny the existence thereof?
    I can’t find a definition of such a set. So, for me, it would seem that atheism is faith based, such that it is rooted in the faith that there exists a definition-of-a-set that is not contained in The Universe. The non-existence of an undefined set does not bother me, I can believe in the validity of such a statement, however, it’s the claim of the non-existence of a defined set that I’m having trouble with.
    But, perhaps my lack of faith merely makes me some form of agnosticist? Is that similar to atheists? Would the same post above apply if we substituted the phrase “atheist” everywhere with “agnosticist”?

  411. Matt says

    I’m angry Gretta takes a few bad “Christians” and generalizes those few to represent everyone.

  412. says

    Greta,
    I think that you have posted some valid critiques of Christianity and while I do not claim to have an answer for everything, I respectfully maintain that I have a good counterargument for most of your points. With that in mind, I invite you, or anyone reading this to get in contact with me by visiting http://nbyfleet.com/contact/ and sending me an email, then we can have an open exchange of ideas.

  413. mmmm says

    woah,,,
    –Im angry because i cant even write my name in the comment because i know that if any of my religious friends, parents,,, etc… see it,,,they{ll get mad, and star tto talk aout the gratness of god….
    you said exactly what iÂŽve been trying to tell everyone in the past 5 years…,,its hard to be an atheist..even more if you live in Latin america like me…

  414. Jim says

    I agree wholeheartedly and it reminds me of what one of my university professors said about the status quo. Normalcy is one of the most dangerous concepts because those things that are percieved as normal have the power to have them seen that way. Those in power have no reason to be angry, those looking for justice clearly do.

  415. Pat says

    I’m one of those people who will be using this for future reference when people don’t understand why atheists might possibly feel persecuted. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. You’re definitely a force for positive change in the world.

  416. Christopher McMullin says

    I was shown this link, shared on Facebook. It’s the first essay of yours I had read.
    And, before I did, I scanned the ‘catagories’ of your essays on the side.
    Feminism, cats, athiest… how did I assume the artical would be about something, if not hundreds, of things that made you angry?!?!
    I don’t have a lot to commment on, regarding this essay… well, that’s not true, I think I could write for days regarding this litany… except that, it didn’t really serve it’s purpose.
    I walked away from it feeling a renewed sense that most athiests are just malcontents, angry at a lot of things, including a lot that don’t concern them, or that they cannot control.
    There could have been a lot of ways to convey the same thoughts… using different words, ie “Hope”… as in “I hope, in 10 years nearly half the country wouldn’t vote for an athiest presidential candidate”… but you still chose to use the word anger.
    I imagine, if I was an athiest, I’d walk away from this artical not inspired, but angry, and sullen… and I think that’s the real reason athiests are always “angry”… it lacks any sense of optimism.

  417. Frank Reese says

    You know, I get angry when some asshole comes up to me and tells me I shouldn’t believe what I do. I also get angry when people fight against my right to pray, or even have a private minute. I get angry when I hear some idiot thinks Christmas should be stopped (let’s ignore the fact that many businesses rely on it). And I get angry but that Atheist attribute every horrible grievance to every member of the faith world.
    But you know I deal with it. I suck it up. I realize not everyone has the same beliefs as me and go on with my day. I might blow off the steam playing a game, or just exercise or do anything. Just give up on trying to convert everyone to my way of thinking and stop thinking that all of one sect are the same. Hell I’ve had a few atheists to a christmas party (along with a couple jewish friends) So obviously some can get over it. Instead of remaining angry and trying to change other people I live my life.
    I just sort of wish all the atheists (and hell anyone from a different religion who just gets into my face about mine) would grow up and do the same thing. But please continue to feel angry, it seems that you want to be angry. Personally I’m going to go do something else. You know, Go live my life rather then itemized and bitch about every little thing that’s bothering me.

  418. Frank Reese says

    One other comment. Enough pictures. They have little to do with your posts and only undermine everything you’re saying. I read the whole thing but by the third grouping I had given up on what you were saying (most of that was “ok you’re angry” but a lot of it was also “oh goodie another picture” Some pictures had a point. Most didn’t.
    Want people to actually care about what you say? Try to write a little more like a blogger (pictures when they enhance) and a little less like face book (let’s see what kind of crazy crappy thing I can put on my posts/website/wall/system so everyone can see how I think)

  419. Atheist says

    For those saying it’s all about Bad Evil Slaughtering Religions – no it’s not. I’d get – and do get – just as angry about Soft Soppy All Loveydovey Religions. It’s the difference between *critical thought* and *parroting rules*. Whether you make up a vengeful skydaddy or a fluffy pink unicorn to believe in – it’s still MADE UP. Don’t make me live my life by your playground rules.

  420. Atheist says

    Oh and Frank? That’s fine. And if you want to go pray in a quiet spot, be my guest. But don’t you dare start trying to suggest that this is normal sane behaviour, or that we should indoctrinate all children to do the same under pain of some dreadful future fate. No? Want to have Christian laws? Then you get my anger.

  421. says

    Bravo!
    I say fuck’em. Let them have their imaginary friend. But don’t try to force him down my throat.
    Another line that fuckin burns my ass is “so you really think man came from a monkey” to which I usually say “read a book asshole”.

  422. Steven Cherry says

    I get angry that I occationally read articles like this and then get spammed by christian groups.I hope this isn’t one of those times.

  423. says

    Are you sure you’re reading that pie chart for the Gallup poll correctly? It seems to indicate that 55% would vote for an Atheist, not 45%.

  424. Charlotte says

    With re: to What Atheists Want…
    What *this* atheist wants (and I mean me) is for religion to Mind its Own Business and stay a healthy and safe distance from any body in society with the authority to apply their religious beliefs to another’s life. I want it far away from, for example, schools, government, law, military or labour organizations.
    It’s all very well and good for a theist to say “this is just what I feel” or “I have faith that…” but the INSTANT they try to apply anything which can’t be universally experienced to the lives of others, they’ve stepped over the line. And let’s be