The Raving Theist

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The Unkindest Cut

August 9, 2006 | 47 Comments

Schoolyard bullies once tormented me by chanting “you’re not an atheist” and “you’ve converted to theism.” The evidence of my alleged irrationality: I actually liked the cafeteria’s pudding. Today my abortion stance has brought back the old taunts.

Am I supposed to feel hurt or insulted? It’s hard to figure out. If, in fact, the taunt is true, I can’t see why anyone would expect it to sting: religious people are proud of their faith. They proclaim it in song, go to church, wear crosses around their necks and the like. It seems that the jibe is intended to wound someone who’s still an atheist, who has pride in his godlessness, who would be stung by being kicked out of the club. But if that’s the case, then the accusers know it to be false.

What’s interesting is that the taunt doesn’t get hurled at people with much crazier belief systems. I mean, when you read about a serial killer who sees nothing wrong with sitting in a mountain of porn eating human body parts, well, you almost expect him to be an atheist. Occasionally they do find a Bible on the dresser, but that’s seen as ironic, not as confirmation of authentic faith. But if copies of American Atheist Magazine are found buried among the Playboys, nobody says “What a hypocrite.”

Another weird thing I noticed is that it doesn’t work in reverse. For example, pro-choice Christians like Jill of Feministe don’t get compliments like, “hey, that’s really atheistic of you.” Usually, it’s something they get praise for living up to “true” Christian principles. Not something like “nice to have you on board, too bad you’re crazy.”

Comments

47 Responses to “The Unkindest Cut”

  1. a different tim
    August 9th, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

    Surely she gets grief from other Christians?

  2. Choobus
    August 9th, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

    the thing is RA most of the criticism leveled at you is not for converting per se, but rather for your peculiar mystery stance and refusal to clarify seemingly contradictory positions. If you just came out with it people might think it was strange, but it is your choice to be a godidiot if you want.

  3. Professor Chaos
    August 9th, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

    I’m interested in knowing why you would “expect” a serial killer to be an atheist.

  4. Lurker
    August 9th, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

    I’m interested in knowing why you would “expect” a serial killer to be an atheist.

    I think “eating human body parts” is where the connection is made. ;)

  5. Choobus
    August 9th, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

    I thought it was you Christ punchers who had a thing for cannibalism. When Jeebs said “eat me” is that really what he meant?

  6. Andrew
    August 9th, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

    Once again Choobus speaks the truth.

    RA, if you would just come out and announce that you’ve converted, that the blog is being moved to http://www.raving-ex-atheist.com, etc., I’d wish you well and move along to other blogs.

    It’s this coy, mealy-mouthed, “I cannot tell you why I cannot tell you” routine that is grating. It’s also hypocritical coming from someone who eviscerated the God Squad for years for offering bland, can’t-we-all-get-along, all-roads-lead-to-heaven claptrap that contradicts its members’ ostensibly deeply held beliefs.

    People aren’t calling you a Christian (or a waffling atheist) because we’re trying to hurt your feelings. We simply feel it’s the most likely explanation for your bizarre posting of late. You don’t owe us an explanation any more than any blogger owes his audience anything, but don’t act shocked when we posit our own explanations in the absence of anything from you.

  7. Lurker
    August 9th, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

    BTW, it’s a joke.

    I know Choobus gets it, but I don’t want to waste space arguing over what I said in jest.

  8. Professor Chaos
    August 9th, 2006 @ 5:34 pm

    Right, Lurker, I forgot. Only atheists can develop schizophrenia. And only an atheist would eat human flesh. Oh, wait… http://holysmoke.org/hs00/dahmer.htm

  9. The Unbrainwashed
    August 9th, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

    Enough already with the atheists love to kill people. This is the most absurd generalization of atheists. Absolute morality is bullshit because God is bullshit.

  10. Lurker
    August 9th, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

    Here I said “I don’t want to waste space arguing over what I said in jest” and you two numbskulls start doing it. Enough already.

  11. Oz
    August 9th, 2006 @ 6:24 pm

    I’m pretty sure what RA said was talking about society’s perceptions, not the truth itself.

  12. Professor Chaos
    August 9th, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

    Lurker, nobody gives a flying fuck what you want or don’t want, you sack of shit. We know damn well that you said that “in jest.” I just like pointing out Dahmer as a wonderful example of what a Fundamentalist Christian upbringing can do to people.

  13. Godthorn
    August 9th, 2006 @ 7:26 pm

    I would not have guessed Dahmer was an atheist Was he? And I doubt there are enough atheists in the country to half fill the subscribtion list and newstand sales of Playboy magazine.

  14. JohnnyJesus
    August 9th, 2006 @ 8:49 pm

    I love Jesus so much I changed my name to Mr. Jesus. Jesus is all I think about. I really like Jesus. I hate anything that is not Jesus.

  15. Godthorn
    August 9th, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

    Hey, WHAT’S “really atheistic of you”? A number of things can be “really white of you,” and a hell of a lot of things can be “really Christian of you.” But the only thing that can be “atheistic of you” is disbelief in the supernatural.

    And another thing: I suggest we atheists should stop using the phrase “Christian principles.” Even when chastising Christian hypocrites, I think we should rather substitute something like “the humanistic principles purportedly espoused by Jesus.” Religion has always usurped morality, branding the irreligious as sinful, wicked, and damned. The term “ungodly” is synonymous with “unvirtuous.” It is not Christian “principles” that we oppose, but we cannot combat the superstition and the hypocracy and the stupid fundamentalist crusading as long as they claim the high ground of virtue and principle.

    Perhaps RA will set an example by renouncing the phrase. -Thorngod

  16. Snap Crafter
    August 9th, 2006 @ 9:48 pm

    “Schoolyard bullies once tormented me by chanting “you’re not an atheist” and “you’ve converted to theism.” The evidence of my alleged irrationality: I actually liked the cafeteria’s pudding. Today my abortion stance has brought back the old taunts.”

    Is… Is he kidding? There’s actually a place like that in America? My schoolyard experience was far different than that. When I told them that I didn’t believe in god I was showered with insults akin to “Devil worshipper!” “Why don’t you go back to Russia” “Hell-bound”. Which I laughed off until they started pushing me. Attacking me…

    Kids suck in large groups.

  17. Andrew
    August 9th, 2006 @ 10:18 pm

    Oh, and I forgot to mention: at least in my case — and I suspect many others — it’s not your abortion stance that has us “taunting” you with charges that you’re not an atheist. The list of positions with which an atheist must agree has one entry: “There is no God.” There is no “atheist position” on abortion, capital punishment, the war in Iraq, or anything else. I might think that your position on an issue, i.e. abortion, lacks the logic that you seem capable of in your atheist posts, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn in your atheist card.

    It’s the cozying up to religious pro-lifers (suggesting that “the Raving Atheist” now cares more about abortion than about examining “how religious devotion trivializes American law and politics”), the promise not to say bad things about religion, the “thank you for your prayers,” and the weird “potential for life” and “more than matter” spiritual mumbo-jumbo that makes us wonder. Combined with your flat refusal to state your position, we can only conclude that some sort of conversion is in the works.

    Why not just say, “Yes, I am still an atheist, I’m just going to try not to be as nasty and sarcastic toward religion as I have in the past”? The fact that you won’t make such a simple statement leads most of us to conclude that you can’t.

  18. SBW
    August 10th, 2006 @ 2:52 am

    I have never understood atheism to mean anything other than “I don’t believe there is a God” so I don’t expect atheists to be pro-choice or anti-choice, pro-gay marriage or anti-gay marriage, liberal or conservative.

    What I’m really tired of is the “pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, all-roads-lead-to-heaven Catholics”. Those people really get on my nerves. Either you’re a Catholic or you aren’t. If you don’t believe in anything that the Catholics, by definition, believe in then you really need to stop callling yourself Catholic.

    So I’m wondering when are Christians like Jill going to admit that they aren’t really Christians because they don’t seem to believe in anything that any Christian group believes in? [The Episcopalians (sp?) don’t count because they jump on every bandwagon and supoort everything under the sun.]

  19. Cap'n Awesome
    August 10th, 2006 @ 3:41 am

    To the Blogger Formerly known at the Raving Atheist. I don’t think that the critism aimed at you recently has anything to do with you being pro-life. Haven’t you always been expressly pro-life in this blog? Yet it’s not until you recently became pro-christian and pro-being a giant vagina that accusations of your conversion have started to really fly. Break your stupid meaningless promises.

  20. Cap'n Awesome
    August 10th, 2006 @ 3:41 am

    To the Blogger Formerly known at the Raving Atheist. I don’t think that the critism aimed at you recently has anything to do with you being pro-life. Haven’t you always been expressly pro-life in this blog? Yet it’s not until you recently became pro-christian and pro-being a giant vagina that accusations of your conversion have started to really fly. Break your stupid meaningless promises.

  21. Cap'n Awesome
    August 10th, 2006 @ 3:41 am

    To the Blogger Formerly known at the Raving Atheist. I don’t think that the critism aimed at you recently has anything to do with you being pro-life. Haven’t you always been expressly pro-life in this blog? Yet it’s not until you recently became pro-christian and pro-being a giant vagina that accusations of your conversion have started to really fly. Break your stupid meaningless promises.

  22. JUST_ANOTHER_PRIMATE
    August 10th, 2006 @ 7:49 am

    Yah – Choobus and Capn have it right …

    The moniker “Raving Athiest” has become a joke.

    You can have a website and blog called the Raving Atheist while alluding to metaphysical bullshit and inklings of joining the biggest whackiest cult on the planet …. but what’s the point?

    It “was” a bit entertaining in the beginning ….

    Come out of the closet!
    Fish or cut bait!
    Shit or get off the pot!

  23. Jahrta
    August 10th, 2006 @ 8:37 am

    I think a piece of me just died…I actually found myself agreeing with SBW

  24. June
    August 10th, 2006 @ 8:38 am

    Come on, guys. Show some “inherent goodness” for crissssake. Taunting a man whose pants are already down around his ankles is like … like … like making fun of the GodSquad.

    TRA has simply promised to be kinder and to not malign the Easter Bunny in front of children eagerly hunting for colored eggs. Why bother believers with details about mammals not laying eggs?

    Let’s start a search for a new name for the blog. My entry is
    THE POTENTIAL ATHEIST

  25. Thorngod
    August 10th, 2006 @ 8:58 am

    “The Once & Future Atheist”

  26. Lily
    August 10th, 2006 @ 9:50 am

    Well, Jahrta, you know that even a clock that has stopped is right twice a day. So I figure you have got to agree with a theist at least one more time today.

    I am looking forward to it.

  27. Professor Chaos
    August 10th, 2006 @ 9:56 am

    Lily: Why the abrupt exit from the forums?

  28. noah nywno
    August 10th, 2006 @ 10:10 am

    Don’t want to speak for Lily, Professor, but I think the Lily FAQ thread may give you a good idea.

  29. Oliver
    August 10th, 2006 @ 11:33 am

    Didn’t you say in one post RA, that you were no longer going to categorically say there was no God? But the 1st of the ‘Basic Assumptions’ listed in that section from the homepage says ”there is no God”…

    I agree with Godthorn it’s annoying how religion usurps virtue — in the UK, even though we seem less obsessed with religion than the US, it seems like religious ministers are often seen as spokespeople on matters of morals. But basic morals come from humanistic values — wanting to get along with each other and be constructive — not from a god. I laugh at how the religious right even usurps the idea of ”family values”. like JC was Soo big on that??!! In the NT he makes insulting/dismissive remarks about his family and they are described as thinking he’s crazy at one point. He also encourages followers to desert their wives and children, and never got married himself.

  30. Oliver
    August 10th, 2006 @ 11:35 am

    Oh, and he also encourages people to give up their jobs and loaf around with him, begging food and lodging from people in the towns they visit. Not sure where the idea of a ‘Protestant work ethic” came from.

  31. Choobus
    August 10th, 2006 @ 11:41 am

    Lily,

    not if it is a 24 hr clock. Then it is only correct once a day, and then (depending on the resolution of the second hand) only for about 1 second. This is rather like Chrisatianity: you might be right about something for a fleeting second but for the other 86399 seconds youi are just wrong. That’s 99.88% of the time. I think this shows that even a babbling retard (such as SBW) might say something that is correct once in a while, just by pure monkeys-typing-shakespeare dumbass luck.

  32. Lily
    August 10th, 2006 @ 12:01 pm

    I haven’t exited the forums; just been murderously busy at work for the last couple of weeks and it isn’t gonna stop til after labor day. No time to get into the usual pointless arguments with you guys.

    Noah–nice guess because arguing with Viole the Red is a losing proposition. Like all true believers, she is immune to reason. But don’t worry. She and I always kiss and make up … for awhile.

    This went on long before you got here and will, presumably, happen many times in the future. Of course, now that her hero has caught Kremlin flu, she may have to withdraw for a period of mourning!

  33. Jahrta
    August 10th, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

    Hey Lily, was that you on that blog where the author gets dressed up like supergirl? I seem to recall someone attributing that to you.

  34. Lily
    August 10th, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

    You know who have mercy!! You have got to be kidding. (I only wish I had her figure. Does this mean that y’all think I sound hot? At my age, warm is the best I can manage.)

    I couldn’t make sense of what she was going on about, though–so heaven only knows why any one thought she and I were the same person. I always make perfect sense.

  35. Choobus
    August 10th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    I missed supergirl. Where is this?

  36. Professor Chaos
    August 10th, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

    Lily wrote:

    “You know who have mercy!”

    Ummm…Voldemort?

  37. Lily
    August 10th, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

    What kind of Potterite are you, Professor? Anyone who knows anything about that religion knows that Voldemort never shows mercy. The very idea … You’re in trouble now!

  38. Intergalactic Hussy
    August 10th, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

    Once one has committed deeply to the random leap of faith; it’s all one knows. Anything else must be wrong. How am I supposed to discuss science, politics, financial matters, business, technology, anything with someone who has labelled themselves illogical?

    I know its so frustating but we have to remember there are many dumb people we just have to deal with.

  39. Lily
    August 10th, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

    I know just how you feel, Hussy. Isn’t it the pits having to deal with real people? I mean, like, why aren’t they all beautiful and smart like you and I? Like, do they even know enough grammar to make nouns and pronouns match, even?? Sheesh. What a bunch of rubes. Wouldn’t you think a random and purposeless universe could manage better than that?

  40. SBW
    August 10th, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

    Choobus said: That’s 99.88% of the time. I think this shows that even a babbling retard (such as SBW) might say something that is correct once in a while, just by pure monkeys-typing-shakespeare dumbass luck.

    I think Choobus is more intelligent than a monkey.

    Now you have to ask yourself, does that statement fall into the 99.88% of the time where I am out of my fucking mind and obviously dead wrong, or the .12% of the time I am correct? What are the odds?

  41. Lily
    August 10th, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

    I knew it would happen sometime. It had to. Choobus has been … what’s that word you technogoofs use? Oh yeah, pwned!

  42. Choobus
    August 11th, 2006 @ 11:39 am

    IT seems you misunderstood the phrase “pwned” lily. That seems strange given that you and your fellow godidiots are “pwned” every time you attempt to justify your fervent love for the sky bastard.

    Keep trying SBW, as I explained, you have a small but non-zero chance of making sense.

  43. June
    August 11th, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

    Stop boasting that you are right 0.12% of the time.

    During a 24-hour day, a standard clock shows
    12 x 3600 = 43,200 seconds.
    If it is right for 2 seconds,
    that is 2 / 43200 = 0.0000462
    and you are right less than 0.005%

    So you have been exaggerating
    0.12 / 0.005 = 24 times, or 2400%

    No doubt some evil Christian taught you math :)

  44. Lily
    August 11th, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

    June:
    You are amazing. Could you come help me with my taxes next year?

    However, I am a bit bummed out by your calculations. If they are correct, it is overwhelmingly likely, amounting to a certainty, that Choobus is not more intelligent than a monkey.

    It would explain the brevity and repetition of his comments as well as his failure to write complete sentences most of the time…

    I feel utterly taken in.

  45. Choobus
    August 11th, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

    I’m willing to stipulate being less intelligent than a monkey is SBW will admit she is full of shit

  46. darwinfish
    August 12th, 2006 @ 4:51 am

    just reading the title, I thought “The Unkindest Cut” would be about circumscision!

  47. Some Guy
    August 12th, 2006 @ 7:21 am

    “nice to have you on board, too bad you’re crazy.”

    hahhaha

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