To the many of my friends who are asking if I’ve gone off the deep end over the last few weeks, with respect to postings on Facebook, Twitter and my blog, regarding religion and Atheism, I feel as if I should offer a response.
The killings at San Bernardino had more of an influence upon my thinking than any mass shooting since Dylan Roof in Charleston, South Carolina, and here is why:
1. The killers are alleged to have been aligned or sympathetic toward ISIS.
2. As soon as this was discovered, the right wing went insane about Muslim killers and what all good Christians should do about them.
3. Christians were on television talking about killing Muslims
4. Donald Trump floated the idea of stopping Muslims from entering the US.
5. Christians everywhere were telling us to pray for the victims-after they were already dead, ignoring the fact that if prayer had any value at all, it might have been used to prevent the killings
6. The general consensus was: Christians=Good. Muslims=Bad (imagine the voice of Cookie Monster or Kevin on The Office saying that and you’ll get a better idea of how it sounded in my head).
The duplicity originating from the religious contingent is simply stunning. The time-worn, insincere, predictable and xenophobic verbal detritus that has spewed from these philistines was simply more than I could deal with quietly.
I am, apparently, becoming radicalized. Radicalized against the beliefs-as-practices that the religious among us defend with every fiber of their being. Against those who consider me and my ilk to be uninformed, misinformed or naïve to dare not believe in those ideas which have no basis in fact other than centuries of repetition by those who’ve anointed themselves as conduits for divine dogma.
Some years ago I determined that I shouldn’t call myself an Atheist because my feelings about religion were not limited to disbelief, but rather to the aggressive desire to see it relegated to places where people go to do other things not typically done in public, like masturbating. I wanted to see it go underground, to the same places where pedophiles keep their rancid desires and longings. I wanted it to be something that was confessed on Oprah, with the requisite audible gasps and tongue clucking of the audience. I thought it only proper that I, accordingly, called myself an Antitheist.
In recent years I have, however, moderated my feelings a bit after having come across some of the more thoughtful theists who seem to be willing to discuss their belief and show some respect for my lack of it. I also got tired of having to explain, to the more synaptically-challenged of my acquaintances, that the word with which I was describing myself was not in fact “Antichrist”. Dolts.
So, yes, these recent events have caused me to become, in the parlance of those who read or listen to news reports, “radicalized”.
But, not to worry. Radical Atheists lack the religious fervor that others in the same situation may embrace. We don’t burn down churches or murder priests. We don’t advocate that women get pregnant for the sole purpose of obtaining an abortion. We don’t interrupt religious services with cries of, “that’s a fucking wafer made in a fucking factory you feeble-minded, dim-witted lemmings!”
Nope. We just talk louder, more frequently and with greater stridence. And sometimes piss people off to the point that they ignore us.
Or at least they claim to…