Recently, I've found that my patience and manners when dealing with religionists to be nearly absent; in fact, I've been accused of being excessively curt and even belligerent. After reviewing my behavior I found that my critics were right and I must add, quite lenient as I reviewed several recordings where I was not only truculent and abrasive, but downright rude. At first I attributed my behavior to aging, but that was not the reason as I heard the exasperation and tiredness in my voice. After several tapes I figured it out. Evidently, I've reached my tolerance level for stupidity and no longer have any qualms about letting it be known.

Stupidity! That sums up my seeming change. I have literally had enough of religious excuse makers (apologists) and people saying inane things without even a casual thought as to the ignorance they spout regularly. One more "I'm blessed" to a simple "How are you" and I will unleash all the venom in my fangs and constrict until all the blood disappears from their face. I recently hung up on a friend that suffered a stroke and told me "But for the grace of God I wouldn't have made it." I wanted to scream into the telephone that if God had any grace at all he wouldn't have bungled the job of preventing the stroke in the first place and, secondly, but for the skill of the healthcare team your God insurance wasn't worth Republican healthcare.

People aren't called home--they die, nor are they in a better place; they're in the polluted ground in a stinking box. You aren't blessed, you're fortunate and God doesn't work in mysterious ways, he doesn't work at all. In fact, he's been unemployed for nearly 2,000 years. Perhaps, you're beginning to get my drift that the invisible and the nonexistent bear a strong resemblance; even Stevie Wonder can see that much without his glasses. There is more reason to believe in that Jolly Old Elf, Santa Claus, than the Christian sky god and St. Nick is a much better story to boot.

I've tired of the weak arguments for the mistakes in the Bible, for the meglamaniac Hebrew God, for the do it yourself guide for rape and slavery, as well as the third class treatment of women in the name of God. The book is bullshit of the lowest order, however; it's a moneymaker and that is the Bible's power and always has been. Martin Luther's generation of Protestantism was about the money because until the Reformation, the Catholics stole all the money.

Okay, back to old age and my growing problem of keeping a civil tongue in my head, which I think is a combination of long suffering good manners and too much careful crafting of civil replies in the face of genuine absurdity and asininity. I've listened to it nearly all of my life and I am not a better person for it and I resent it deeply that such reverence and allegiance is accorded a myth when the reality of the world calls for concrete answers and sure action not wishing or hoping.

I was in second-grade at St. Andrew's Catholic School when I figured out an omniscient God and free-will did not jibe. Although I had no idea of omniscient, I understood what they meant when the priest told me God knew everything; he knew the past, present and future--everything! The question that came to my seven-year-old mind was what was the point of living if God already knew if I was going to Heaven or Hell when I died? The priest said we possessed free-will and could change. I knew nothing of logic or reason, but it was clear to me that either one knew or one didn't? The answer to that question finished religion for me, but that I have not been able to escape it still irritates me.

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Comment by Donald R Barbera on January 10, 2011 at 6:51pm
George Bush the First said, "I don't know that atheists should be considered American citizens." I didn't take the time to look it up, but that is close to what he said. I don't think the former president is stupid, but I think he is woefully under informed on the subject, in other words, ignorant when it comes to atheism and therefore also of the roots of the country's founders. He was functioning under the unwritten rule that nonbelievers are not entitled to rights, a law that is in effect to this day and, thus, the need for the aggressive atheism of Chris Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.
Comment by AK Bad Boy on January 10, 2011 at 4:50am
Well said! I have been coming close to the limit on my bullshit meter too lately. You can only hear the same baseless rhetoric and senseless arguments so many times I suppose. Hang in there.
Comment by Linda on January 9, 2011 at 11:08pm

I am living joyfully vicariously through your expressed feelings (original post). I have come across some people who I would love nothing better than to tell them exactly what I think, even knowing, they would assume I was demon possessed. The sheer relief of being able to state a case for logic in the face of sheer stupidity would give me enormous satisfaction.


I've never done it yet but I'm starting to really need/want such an experience.


So you hung up on someone who had a stroke and who had expressed a very common comment people of faith utter after such an experience. I had to think about that for a few minutes.


Yeah, I can definitely see how that can viewed as very rude behavior.


However, what came to mind was recently my mother lost a very dear relative who was extremely religious. This relative died a horrible painful death from cancer and was young leaving three young children behind and a husband, not to mention many siblings and a still living mother and father. 


My mother was on the phone with a close friend (who is religious). My mother is an agnostic who leans more toward atheism (imho). The religious friend had commented on how her father was an alcoholic when he came back from the war (WWII) and that he had been "prayed" over and how this had caused him to be "dilivered" from alcoholism and how he never drank another drop. 


Okay, no big deal. My mother knows this friend is religious and they generally just don't discuss religion. They have been friends for many years. My mother is 68 years old.


But this turned into a big deal.  My mother EXPLODED. I was there and I could not believe it. She started ranting "What!!! You mean to tell me God delivered your father from alcoholism but he let my relative (who was a devout Christian) die this horrible death and left all these greiving and devestated people. I want you to tell me WHY God would do something like that!"


By this time I was like "Red alert! Red alert! What to do? What to do? I have to calm my mother down before she does irreparable damage to this friendship because I knew this would upset her further.


I waved my hands and shook my head "no no no" (don't talk to her like that). But mom was on a roll.


I grabbed the extension phone and told the friend, sorry, sorry, the phone is going dead, we have to hang up now. We will call you back.


They did not speak for a few weeks but everything is back to normal now so you know, sometimes you just blow when you can't take it anymore and sometimes it is perfectly understandible.



Comment by Gary Cobb on January 9, 2011 at 10:56pm
I agree with you all but to Kathleen as to respecting their freedom to choose. Religionist do not respect my decision to not choose. To be an atheist were I live in Mississippi is to be equal to a hethen and possibly a criminal and to not be trusted. There are states that still have laws on their books that disallow atheist from holding any state or local public office. The only place I can vent is on these forums. So when people talk to me about my religion or their religion I have to keep silent or face reprisals that would be akin to the way KKK treated the or still treat African Americans. And Mississippi is the capital of the bible belt. Their reasoning for their beliefs are not worth argueing anyway. You can't get through delusional people until they become cured of the delusion and I'm not qualified or have the patience. Thanks to you all for being here for me. I don't even know any atheists here.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on January 9, 2011 at 10:05pm
I really don't like bustin' peoples chops, but egad, you can't get much dumber than a rock. In teaching literature the method is called "the willing suspension of disbelief" meaning that the reader knows what is happening is beyond belief, but pretends they don't in order to make the story work.
Comment by 1311 on January 9, 2011 at 5:06pm
I agree wholeheartedly with Joseph's comment. I see this ignorance everywhere. All I want to say to them is, "Do you really believe in this shit? I mean, really?" But I end up biting my tongue. Augh!!!

One thing I do say, however, when people ask me what religion I am, I always tell them something like, "I don't have a religion." "Why not?" they would shockingly ask. I would answer, "Because I don't need God or religion to tell me what I can and cannot do, and I don't need God or religion to tell me how I can and can't live my life!"

They stare at me as if they have just spoken with the devil himself. Hey, it's the truth right? I might not go ahead and outright tell them,"Leave me the f### alone you religious zealots. I'm a freaking atheist for goodness sakes." But at least I leave them wondering with "WTF" was that about. And that's good enough for me. :)
Comment by Frankie Dapper on January 8, 2011 at 11:07pm
Dont suffer the bite, or internalize spite, enable atheism into the light.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on January 8, 2011 at 9:33pm
Sometimes biting my tongue hurts so much, but like you, I know that any shots fired go well over their heads; so, I just keep it to myself and laugh internally or vent on this page. Yes, there is no reciprocal agreement and personally, that's fine with me. I like an inside joke.
Comment by Mean Kathleen on January 8, 2011 at 9:28pm
Thank you!  You've summed up what I've been thinking and feeling for quite some time now.  I've learned to choose my responses very carefully or not respond at all.  This is easier said than done at most times, but consider the alternative.  When you try to prove your point to a believer, there is always an arguement.  I choose not to argue.  In fact, I feel sorry for those who choose and some who know no better (through religious convictions, family brain washing, peer pressure, etc.) to live in such a false reality.  I respect there freedom to choose, and for the most part the same consideration for us to choose freedom from religion is not reciprocated.  It's that simple so why argue.  I find my peace in knowing what they don't know, and that's enough for me.  I don't have a reason to influence others otherwise.  That's my gain.  Arguing is always a loss.  I hope that helps.  ~ I believe in you and me!!!  Mean Kathleen



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