What is there about the word "atheist" that makes normally sane people act crazy?

Help! I just got off the phone with my best friend. I started telling her about an event I attended recently. When I mentioned the group's name (which included the word "atheist") it was like I had rung a bell for Pavlov's dog! She immediately went on a rant about how she is "sick of atheists," and how "stupid" they are to be "angry at God."

This shook me up because normally she is a wonderful friend. She is a non-practicing Jew who was raised completely secular. I've been open with her about the full extent of my apostasy, and I've even identified myself as an atheist to her before. Perhaps she didn't believe me? What is there about that word?

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Did you tell her atheists are not "angry at God" but at the susceptibility of many people to believe he exists? I have believer friends who know I am an atheist and when they pray before a meal titter at the notion a heathen is in their presence. It does not bother me. I only smile and let it go. In fact, when they meet for holidays and pray before the big meal, they do a hand holding thing and I join in just to be polite. I do not think about the prayer or even pretend to be praying. Sometimes I glance at their 11-year-old girl and she smiles at me. It makes me wonder if she's in on the joke. More and more people are in on the joke. It's going to take a few generations, but we will be caught up with Europe by the 22nd century I think.

"More and more people are in on the joke. It's going to take a few generations, but we will be caught up with Europe by the 22nd century I think."

I think it might be faster than that. The internet, with all the online lectures, discussions, research, and books that are so easily available, is a game changer.

I was the last person who I ever thought would give up my faith. I'm in a Recovering from Religion group and we all feel that same way. It's the really serious believers who find out first that it's all a house of cards. I've also found out in discussing my "doubt" with Christian friends, that a lot of believers are secretly teetering. I think it's going to spread faster than you think.

I hope so! The Internet is the death of christianity as we know it.

So what was your sense of "God" as a believer?  Did you have a perception of God - a sense of presence, as one might have the sense a person is near without actually seeing them?  Do you think your religious friends often have that sense of presence of God?

Such a sense might be related to early memories of one's parents.

Or do you mean a cognitive belief rather than a perception?  Good feelings organized by a belief system? 

I'm curious what it feels like :)

I know exactly what you mean. I was just talking about it, that people assume that if you are an atheist you must be a nihilist, who dwells in darkness and has not love for his fellow men. They just can't fathom the idea that I don't need a got to tell me to be good and love others.

It's because the word Atheist brings visions of joy, completeness, clouds, puppydogs. While Religion brings vision of Deamons, Ghosts, Devils, torture, burning lakes of fire...........it's Atheist for me!!

Let's write some happy atheist songs to go with these nice visions. I still find myself singing religious songs when I'm doing mindless chores. I need replacements.

Yes, the religionists have had thousands of years... time for us to catch up!

A few things you might like:


Heritage Songs of the Ethical Society -- a songbook from the Ethical Society of St. Louis, with some 40 humanistic songs, many to familiar hymn and carol tunes


Jaclyn Glenn's "Amazing Science" (video and lyrics)


And our discussions of winter holiday (and other) songs are worth a look! 2012 2013

Very good! Nice to have an alternative because the tune appeals, the old words simply are not true. 

I was just looking through that "Ethical Society Heritage Songs" collection, and it includes "A Humanist Credo", by John Hoad (1927-2011), to the tune of ... Amazing Grace!

  1. Where shall the human spirit turn when ancient creeds are dead?
    What shall our faith as fu-el burn when all our Faiths have fled?
  2. We trust the human spirit still, the tide that brought us here;
    the sense of good, the human will to learn the way of care.
  3. The way is hard, and wrong is strong, but we shall triumph yet
    as more will join the human song to give, as much as get.
  4. To seek the best in you and me, to share and care for earth,
    to serve a new humanity, and bring world-peace to birth.

I like Hoad's sentiments. Oh! would that this would be true in our lifetime! 

Have you read any of these Black narratives: 

Frederick Douglass, Life of Frederick Douglass;

William Wells Brown's Narrative;

Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave;

Sojourner Truth, Autobiography, lectures; 

Ellen and William Craft, The Great Escape From Slavery of Ellen and William Craft, lectures;

James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son; 

Langston Hughes, Freedom's Plow

Piri Thomas, Down These Mean Streets

James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son;

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

As well as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

There are those who declare that slaves enjoyed and benefited by slavery:

Slavery a Positive Good John C. Calhoun

Jon Hubbard, a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Represent....

Denial that slavery was a brutal and cruel institution continues and remains supported by new and old testament imperatives. Jesus and the New Testament  approved slavery:

 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.  (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.  If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.  You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts.  Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.  (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it.  "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly.  Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given."  (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

Slavery in the Bible.

The word "atheist" makes normally sane people act crazy" because they are not normal, nor are they sane. They are infected with a virus called religion, they have deeply ingrained in their primitive brain the fables of Stone Age teachings without the ability to sort out fact from fiction using their reasoning, logical part of their brain.

These are the same people as deny climate change, delude themselves into thinking they have earned the right to enjoy the fruits of their labor and to steal the labor of others. They imagine there are a heaven and hell and that a redeemer exists, that there is a being that loves them unconditionally, even as the instructions of their scripture are to exploit and manipulate all others who are not covered by their claims. 

Those who believe these fabricated stories also believe their fabricated sense of entitlement. They remain deaf to the cries of those they harm, even their own children. They fail to have a sense of accountability to those they harm, thus prove their lack of a moral ethic that a normal, healthy homo sapiens has.

We are created as social animals, from our earliest beginnings humans needed the clan for protection and for catching wild game or foraging for foods. Not everyone was able to do the work of supplying the needs of the can and therefore there were those who hunted, gathered, protected the weak and the strong. They had an obligation to the very young and very old, infirm, and disabled.

Modern Republicans lack such a sense of obligation.

We continue to be a clan of people, gathered together for the benefit of all. A new law emerges that indicates we need to take the Earth, the environment, and each other into account when going about our business of providing for each clan member. 




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