I have lived my life feeling fear and repulsion toward religion. I’ve talked about it so much that I now find the subject boring. What’s the point in arguing with a believer? After all the debating, letters to editors, wisecracks and open hostility to religious individuals and their groups, my thinking has shifted. My atheism transcended attempting to reason with religious people long ago. Atheism is not about two intelligent people disagreeing as to whether there’s a god—it’s about keeping that god out of the lives of nonbelievers.
Just as religion drives or divides political parties, atheism has platforms too, and they are mighty puzzling. A leftist view of atheism calls for peace and love and destroying Christian institutions, I guess that would include the helpful ones too, like hospitals. Christianity is evil, yup I get it. They did a lot of bad stuff. The fundamentalists still do. So after a good round of public Christian bashing (as can be commonly found now in all media), shouldn’t I feel smug? More elite? Gratified that it’s all out in the open now and anybody in America can openly admit to being an atheist without fear of reprisal? No, because I’m too busy being embarrassed for being a white American and living next door to these Christian bastards.
A stand-up comic whom I have been a fan of for a long time has sold out of his “Death of a Salesman” T-shirts he’s marketing this season. He’s forged his considerable success by saying shocking, abrasive things and most of them are pretty funny, so this T-shirt is a real disappointment. I honestly can’t see myself wearing it. If you’re going for outré, Christian bashing isn’t really it, unless maybe you just heard of it or you’re very young. Christian bashing is no longer outrageous or shocking or scandalous or even all that offensive. It’s the religion of white America and you can say anything you want about them. True atheism is a positive force, but Christian bashing is merely fashionable. Don’t think for a minute that if you take down Christianity it will be replaced with the sanity and reason of no religion at all.
I saw a woman wearing this T-shirt with a cross around her neck worn on the outside of the shirt. Huh? I asked her why she would wear this T-shirt with a cross but she had no answer I could make sense of. So what exactly are you saying? Maybe people don’t get it. Maybe I don’t get it and need it explained to me. Maybe it was purposely designed to be vague so more people would wear it. If I see you wearing this T-shirt, be prepared for a short quiz!
The definition of atheism is the disbelief in a god or gods, and that means all of them. Christianity does not affect my daily life. I am not forced to pray, publicly worship, wear a veil, or obey the males in my family. As much as I bitch, I can do whatever I want and so can you if you live here. When small groups of fundamentalist Christian nutcases come along and the effects of their antics hugely exaggerated, Christianity gets a shitload of bad press and everybody’s got to get in on the joke. The spin works to make all white American Christians look like a bunch of rednecks, and this just isn’t the case.
Anyway, I ordered this T-shirt from cafepress.com and I can’t wait to wear it.