And I’m An Atheist!

Sometimes, people just like to piss me off. I need to start making a list. Today’s entry is the person who writes a long letter to the editor (why, yes, it was just yesterday I read it) about how we shouldn’t care if there is “under god” in the pledge, or “in god we trust” on our money, or a prayer on the wall of a school, or the ten commandments in a courthouse… Because after all, “God” is just a common word for the inimitable essential spirit of humankind, the force that drives culture, ethics, and morals, and which we all must surely agree exists beyond any shadow of a doubt. (First off, I do not agree in the slightest…) … and then ends the letter with “and I’m an atheist!” *sigh* It takes all sorts.

There’s “In God We Trust” on my money
But I don’t really notice it’s there
And you may think it’s odd or it’s funny
The truth is, I really don’t care!

And I’m an atheist!

See “God” is a metaphor, actually
For a spirit, or essence, or spark
Not meant to be taken quite factually
And we all say our prayers in the dark

And I’m an atheist!

There are mysteries none can unravel
All our knowledge is merely façade;
And I’ve learned, as I grow and I travel,
I can label my ignorance “God”

And I’m an atheist!

So this spirit’s in all that surrounds us
In each sight and each sound we perceive
In each feeling of awe that astounds us
Till there’s no other choice but “believe!”

And I’m an atheist!

I know what they’re doing. They are trying to take advantage of the added credibility an arguer gains when apparently going against her or his best interest. Like Warren Buffett arguing for higher taxes on gazillionaires. Or the families of murder victims arguing against the death penalty.

But this is a bit more like me claiming I am Warren Buffett, calling for higher taxes, and then being found to be…. me. You would have to suspect my motives. And given the entirety of this person’s letter up to that last sentence, either that last sentence is a lie, or the entire rest of the letter is.


  1. Makoto says

    I will fight tooth and nail against religious works of any stripe posted at public schools. That’s not the place for such things. School is about education. If you want your kids to get religious instruction, bring them to a church of your choice. Though personally I also disagree with any religious instruction for kids, even by their parents, I know that’s a tough (possibly impossible) fight.

    I will fight tooth and nail against religious works of any stripe posted at a courthouses. That’s not the place for such things. Not everyone who uses the courthouse is of your religion, or any religion. This should be obvious, and not a tough fight at all. A shame this is so hard for some to understand.

    “In god we trust” on our money bothers me, for similar reasons to the courthouse thing, but it seems like a tough battle, and there are more important things I’d prefer to fight for first. I don’t look at money as something implying my religion, exactly. Again, I wish that it didn’t say anything about any religion. But compare that to religious instruction in school. Or a courthouse with a specific religious teaching that you might not believe in – do you think you’d get proper handling in that courtroom with that on the wall, if you didn’t believe in that religion? I doubt it.

    The pledge is an interesting point for me, because I don’t like the pledge at all in school, with or without “under god” in it. And kind of funny, since my father was alive when it was changed to include “under god”, but he doesn’t seem to remember that fact…

  2. The Lorax says

    There are cultures, and even religions, that define “god” to be something “beyond” our understanding. This is a spiritual thing, and does not define this “god” to be a creator or a governor, although it still rings of the familiar “I don’t know and I don’t need to know.” However, since it is not specifically a god in the familiar sense, then one can still believe in this form of “god” and be an atheist.

    The problem, however, is the argument itself. It is factually incorrect. “In God We Trust” does in fact imply the Christian god, as does the “Under God” that was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance. These are the results of the McCarthy-era witch hunts when the Constitution was pushed aside in favor of being afraid to stand up to a blowhard. Therefore, whilst one CAN define “god” to be in a spiritual sense and NOT in a creator/governor sense, one CANNOT claim that the phrases in question are NOT specifically linked to a specific religious deity.

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