If I Didn’t Have God

If I didn’t have God as my guide to what’s right,
I would probably hold up a drugstore tonight—
I’d rob it at gunpoint, and then shoot the clerk,
Kill all the customers; just go berserk—
I’d take out my rage on whoever’s in sight,
All the innocent people, just getting off work…
And I’d torture a puppy, with taser or prod
Because that’s what I’d do… if I didn’t have God.

If I didn’t have Jesus to tell me it’s wrong,
To tell sinful humans to just get along
I’d get me a rifle and climb up a tower
Show all the folks some legitimate power
Shooting at will at the gathering throng,
Laughing while innocents tremble and cower…
They’ll die by my one-person firing squad,
Because that’s what I’d do… if I didn’t have God.

If I wasn’t so sure there’s a God up above
Then I couldn’t be happy; I couldn’t show love;
I couldn’t show charity, couldn’t be kind,
Because hate in my heart would be all I could find
If I didn’t have God, then when push came to shove
I would lose it, and simply go out of my mind
And that’s how I know that the godless are flawed…
Because that’s what I’d do… if I didn’t have God.

I recently heard an argument for A) free will and B) god (I can’t go into any more detail than that, sorry) that really actually truly did use the “if I didn’t believe in God, I could shoot all of you right now” phrase. Circumstances prohibited my being snarky at the time, or I’d have had my choice of comebacks. Life, as you have probably experienced, sometimes intervenes and places constraints on our options. But sometimes those get translated into doggerel, so there ya go.


  1. Randomfactor says

    Epiphany time: God doesn’t have God, does he?

    NOW I “get” the Old Testament, especially that part about the dangerous results of eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. And all the smiting.

  2. Yoyo says

    This argument is especially annoying. The ray comfort mob used it a lot, the sister argument is that you only want to be an aetheist so that you can sin all the time.

  3. carpenterman says

    Well, DUH! Of *course* that’s why people become atheists! I only stopped going to church as a teenager so I could induldge in my hobbies of murder, theft, and rape without fear of divine punishment. I didn’t give up God because the tenants of organized religion are a preposterous mass of contradictions and nonsense… He was just cramping my style, man!
    Honestly, the ability of the godly to ignore reality and rationalize their addiction (and religion is just that; an addiction) never ceases to amaze me. With all the evil in the world that is done in the name of god, they still insist that religion is the fountainhead of morality. Idiotic.
    (Oh, and the whole murder, theft and rape thing is a secret. Don’t tell anyone, ‘kay?)

  4. Thinker says

    The logical fallacies in this are bad enough, but I think what gets to me most is the simplistic, black/white thought that there are only two possible options: my particular set of dogma or nihilistic chaos:

    If there’s no Holy Spirit that’s guiding my way
    I’ll be utterly lost and I surely will stray
    From the path I should follow, the narrow and straight,
    To a highway of violence, vengeance and hate.
    If hellfire won’t burn me if I do not pray
    Then Hell here on Earth is what I will create.
    If it isn’t My Faith, then it’s “maim and maraud”!
    Because that’s what I’d do… if I didn’t have God.

  5. says

    Excellent piece. It is getting tougher and tougher (or perhaps I should say tedious and more tedious) to deal with the absurd idea that we cannot be moral without god. You have done so in a new and refreshing way. Well done.

  6. Buffy says

    Christians who think like that really scare me. If the only thing keeping them from being full-blown psycho-killers is their imaginary friend I hope they never lose their faith.

  7. says

    Another brilliant verse, as usual, from you, Cuttlefish! And you, too, Thinker! You’ve both captured it perfectly: if the only thing keeping someone from killing and raping is that “god says no,” then by all means keep believing in your god!! Of course, I always feel like atheists are more moral than Christians because we’re good “just because” (not because god “tells us to be”)… somehow they don’t see it that way, though. Hmmm.

  8. throwaway says

    My humanism led me to atheism. Their sadism led them to godism. What better role model could there be for sadistic acts?

    When Christians and other religious teach of their being ‘chosen’ ones and ‘others’, where the others will suffer and should face scorn (and the more severe Christian treatment), I think there is some sense of satisfaction in that to them, a longing for the suffering of the ‘other’.

    Those that have a choice in the matter, anyway. Most don’t. The children born into this “perpetual self-congratulatory wankfest of specialness” suffer most of all, because they grow up and think this sadism is natural and healthy, thus you get the line of reasoning so eloquently metered by Cuttlefish.

  9. David Hart says

    The baffling thing is that they think that belief is something that you can change just by wanting something to be true – it’s not as if people who want to commit violent crimes ever just decide to stop believing in the existence of the police after all.

  10. Sally_Sc says

    This need to be a song… I was almost hearing Emilie Autumn singing it while I was reading it, “Thank God I’m Pretty” style. I just needed to say it. It’s great.

  11. bahrfeldt says

    Well done. I will not be surprised when your verse appears as divinely inspired wisdom in one or more new campaigns to fleece the flock.

  12. says

    That’s an amazing poem. I stumbled upon it by accident while searching for something about “free will” on Google and at first glance I thought it was serious.

    It’s interesting that atheists and post-atheists often hear things like, “If you don’t believe in God, what stops you from …” and then they name some horrid act, usually one of violence. But this is the first time I’ve ever seen that notion turned around and stated baldly from the point of view of a believer.

    Wow. Thanks.

  13. Sis Celestine Epps says

    At what moment did you write this? Wits are not matched. I heard a soul cry out, in words unbridled, yet responses are tamed by lacked informed opinion. Convent, covenant…neither reply by lack of indepth, yet lacking deep. Ness. “If you…didn’t have God…u’d have no gravity, no thing. Satan sad as he is, is limited. MY GOD is not. I as HIS vessel recommend affiliates over idiots. Take no offense, but an uneducated guess is still a, guess.

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