Monday, December 10, 2007


I was going to write a list of an atheist's favourite Christmas songs today, but I wanted to embed them, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow. Then I can do it from home.

Instead, I want to talk about anger. Righteous anger. The answer to the question, "Why are atheists so angry all the time?"

I understand your confusion. Seriously. There's no god, end of story. Let's get on with solving the climate crisis. I'd prefer nothing more. We need to seriously look at peak oil, too, but that's just too radical for most people. And we can't even get our shit together on GHGs, so peak oil is just going to blow everybody's mind. And with any luck, peak oil will solve the climate crisis for us.

But I digress. God's not real. Fine. Let's get on with other issues. I'd love to let it go. All this atheist wants is to be left alone. No more god talk. No more miracle bullshit. No more praying for stuff. I'll keep the blaspheming expletives, if it's all the same to you, simply out of habit. Besides, as much as I like the idea of shouting "Thor!" when I stub my toe, "Jesus H. Christ!" elicits a better reaction. It's culturally specific, like the French shouting "Tabarnac!" Screaming, "Church!" just doesn't do it for Anglos. I am, as Dawkins points out, a cultural Christian, meaning I'm surrounded by Christians in my culture, and blaspheming against their god is much better than blaspheming against a god nobody cares about.



But alas, it is not to be so (to return to my point). Atheists are not being left alone. JWs came to my house yesterday. Fortunately, they bugged my wife, because she's far more inclined to be polite than I these days. I might have started pointing out the logical fallacy of their faith in particular, on the way to pointing out the fallacy of god. She took their magazines and smiled. On the plus side, I now have their magazines. I can read them for a chuckle.

So here's the thing. My atheism is not respected. At all. God's in my Charter. He's in our publicly funded schools. He's in my house (but to be fair, I knew that, and I have to live with it). He's on TV, he's in magazines, and he's in the newspaper. If religious folk left us atheists alone, we'd be cool. We can seek god on our own, if we want. In fact, I like to watch Jack Van Impe. His hair alone is worth the time it takes. And then his wife's name: Rexella. I didn't think ANYBODY EVER named their kid Rexella. If I named my daughter Rexella, I'd expect her to be an atheist, because how could god let anybody do that to their kids? But there she is, hawking the books and DVDs and cheering breathlessly as her husband spouts apocalyptic nonsense about the newspapers (as he has for as long as I can remember, which admittedly is not very long, but long enough for people with any sense to begin to doubt the imminent return of our lord and saviour).

I also like the idea that an election in Germany can signal armageddon. It's quaint.

So some atheists are angry. And they have every right to be. If a bunch of muslim assholes can be furious about a drawing of Mohammad, or naming a bear after him, then atheists get to be pissed off. It's not like we're going to kill anyone or anything. We just want our rights respected. In Canada, more than other places (*cough*US*cough*), we are tolerated. Not enough, mind you, but we are at least considered citizens.

But elswhere, we won't be equal until we're mad enough to demand it.

No comments: