Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why are Christians presumptive assholes?

I've been contributing to a great blog recently, How Good is That? via its comments section. It's in the archives, right there to your right... top item. The guy who writes the blog is brilliant and deliciously controversial.

Some of the commenters are also super fab to read, some because they've considered what they're saying and others because they're so out to friggin' lunch.

One guy's comments have me in a state. At first I thought it was funny that he was calling me a snake and assuming I am male, but then I thought about and realised that he's exactly the type of religious person that makes people like me go "Hell NO!"

So, for the record some details about me.

First, briefly, although most people - religious types particularly - call me an athiest, that is not the case. I don't use the term because in order to be an athiest, one has to allow for the existence of a floaty god thingie in order to then say "I don't believe in god."

For me, it isn't a question of not believeing in a floaty god thingie. THERE ISN'T a floaty god thingie. I don't know what the term for that is but, for me, it isn't 'atheist.'

Now, for the rest of it:

After I wrote a previous response to a commenter (after he called me a snake), I realised that this Todd feller represents exactly what I much dislike about religious types. Two characteristics in particular: assumption (yes, there’s an ‘ass’ in that) and arrogance.

So Todd – and everyone else who’s reading this one and Jim’s excellent blog (and my comments on it) here’s who I am.

Eldest daughter of a family comprising seven sisters, an adopted (Chinese) brother and a step brother (two blended families).

FIVE of my cousins – all first cousins – are currently active, working ministers. My grandfather, great-grandfather and great-uncle and the five greats behind him were all ministers – 8 generations and soon to be nine.

My mother, father and step dad were all sunday-school teachers and the men were deacons. My Uncle is the only seller of church hand bells IN MY COUNTRY.

One of my first cousins is the head of the largest church organization in my country (and no, I won’t say which to protect HIM). Two of my second cousins will be ministers shortly.

I grew up in a church – literally: my father turned the sod for the building and helped build it. I went to kindergarten there and my mother had a school in the building, which was directly across a little city street from my house. I sang in the adult choir from the time I was 13 and was baptised at that age.

The bible was the first book read to me and was a daily presence in our home. I can still read it, if I must, in English AND French.

So Tom, because you’ve presumed that I am an uneducated, uninformed neophyte, I just want you to know that your presumptive, assumptive, uninformed stripes are GLARING.

The main difference between the presumptive, assoholic religious type and me – and Jim – is that, despite what is utter hokum to us, we would defend the right of said people to believe what they will until such time as it infringes on us. I think it’s garbage but I appreciate the commitment people have to their faiths.

Now. Go read something other than your bloody bible. You MUST be able to defend all aspects of an argument in order to argue well. This Todd dude can’t. I can.

To quote my brilliant youngest child, “My mind is so blue right now, even I’m not allowed in.”


  1. Hi Writer Writer,

    I found you through Twitter and I'm glad I did. I appreciate your intensity, lots of spit and vinegar.

    I normally wouldn't respond as such, but your genealogical background is so reminiscent of my own it made me smile. I too, born in Alberta's Bible Belt, Grandfather a preacher and friend of William Abrahart, founder of the Social Credit Party and known as Bible Bill. My father a preacher, uncles preachers, cousins (1st, 2nd and 3rd's) preachers and missionaries, the bible the first book I was read and on and on. Although, also sprinkled in there are some most interesting thieves, felons, and fugitives.

    But, regarding our views of Deity, it seems, we've come to a different conclusion. The Deity taught us both, I have embraced. Fortunately, he (rather He) gave us a free choice and, thankfully, we live in a country that gives us the religious freedom to live with and by that choice. Hopefully, we don't lose that freedom by focusing and acting too much on religion from either side of the argument.

    As for whether you are an atheist or not. Indeed, I suggest you actually are an "a" Theist in specific denotation even if not, in your perspective, one in it's popular connotation.

    I'm looking forward to reading more of what I'm presuming will be some thought provoking thoughts and ideas.

    RS, Theist

    P.S. No shining halo on this Theist. Truth be known, I could easily be lumped into the colourful rogue side of the family. But then, that's where most of us are, and interestingly, the Deity knows it.


  2. Richard, as much as I appreciate your comments, you prove my point in terms of condescension and assumption.

    I'm quite offended that you'd advise me that I am "a theist in specific denotation."

    I am DECIDEDLY not a theist of any description. The free choice I have is simply the function of an elaborate brain structure and nothing at all to do with some imagined being.

    More than that, however, this propensity on the part of believers to assuage their own insecurities by patting us "atheists" on the head and advising us of how we really feel is offensive. It assumes we have not the brains to really know what we're talking about.

    I feel appreciation for coherent writing offence at the "now, now, darling" attitude.

    As to the term atheist, it does not describe me - most people who think (being the operative word) as I do - because it assumes the existence a 'god' in which one does not believe. There is no possibility of such floaty beings at all, so therefore nothing to not believe in.

    I can assure you I am the farthest thing possible from theist or agnostic or any of those fence sitting terms.

  3. Interesting. Of all the ideas in my post you could have focused for re-comment, the choice of what you did is telling.

    I admit to having assumptions, sometimes called presuppositions, but then, non of us can really operate without them. Indeed, you "assume" there is no Deity which has taken you to an interesting conclusion, that the word theist, within your own context, be stricken from the language.

    Your answer has shown condescention is not only the realm of we Theists. I actually have "thought" about these ideas and come to a different conclusion. The last I checked I was not sitting on the fence. And, as a Deist also have not taken your leap of faith. That should be unpacked, but perhaps another time.

    As for my condescending, "now, now darling attitude" I'm not sure how you perceived that. My language, was meant to be measured, tempered, thoughtful and, obviously not perceived, respectful; one human being discussing some age old metaphysical questions with another.

    Alas, the narcissism of our humanity creeps in despite our best intentions.

    Cheers again.

  4. Tell you what. You spend as much time as I have reading (three years) and writing (5 years) on this subject. If after that, you still maintain there is some floaty white bearded guy who directs traffic on this planet, then great.

    I don't want "the word theist stricken from the language" as it pertains to me. I'd just love it if religious types would stop throwing it at me. It doesn't apply.

    As to my "faith" that this floaty god thing doesn't exist, it is EXACTLY that kind of language that spurred this blog in the first place. There is absolutely no evidence, scientific, or otherwise for even the likelihood of such a thing. It is not a question of faith. It is a question of any deity being about as likely - and made up in the same fashion and for the same reasons as Santa Claus. If you wish to cling to either, do - I utterly support the right to religion, despite thinking it is a divisive waste of brain power.

    Can you imagine, if all those scholars who've spend so much time and ink 'researching' a fantasy had put their time into researching real things??? Where would we be as a class of highly evolved animals then?

    PLEASE spend a LOT of time tith Ricahrd Dawkins, Sam Harris and others this year. Dawkins made some great 1 hour programs for BBC - they're on Google Video. He's a much more brilliant, double PhD, than I so I take most of what he says pretty seriously.

  5. I appreciate where you're coming from. I'm a Christian and unthinking people who bag out athiests (can't think of a better word sorry) by calling them ignorant snakes give us all a bad name. I sincerly believe you can be smart, thinking and not a Christian. I believe what I believe, but I also believe in your right to believe what you want to believe. People who try to demand that others must be Christians obviously didn't get Jesus. Never did he do that. Not even once. So why should they? I think they miss the point.

  6. @Ludicrousity
    That is one of the most peaceful, thoughtful comments ever placed on this blog.

    As much as I disagree with your religion, I absolutely support your right to have a faith and THAT is what most religious people miss.

    I hope you will consider all the information out there that brings us - those of us who've grown up in a church - to the free-thinking place we are now.

    Thank you for your thoughtful point of view.


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