Atheism Isn’t Code For Being A Douche

It pisses me off when religious people use douche-y examples to describe atheists or atheism in general.

Take this post with the title, Christian or Practical Atheist?

Basically, she’s trying to describe someone who says they are a Christian but act as if they’re atheists.

I had no idea what practical atheism could mean. The actual definition made me stop and examine my own life, with more than a little fear.

You see, a practical atheist doesn’t go by the label “atheist”. They actually would identify as  Christian.

So…a Christian then? If someone says they believe in Jesus and are Christians, then that’s what they are. Just because they might do things you think are un-Christian-like, doesn’t make them an atheist.

And why were you afraid?

The very fact that this loving religion made you afraid should be a red flag of epic proportions.

A practical atheist accepts God in theory but rejects him in..you guessed it..practice.

Do you follow everything in the Bible?

If you did, you’d likely be in jail. I guess you’re a practical atheist.

Then she gets to the actual meat of her post by giving examples of practical atheists.

This should be a hoot…

This is the church-goer who screws people over in day to day business dealings without a smidgen of remorse.

Church clearly isn’t doing anything for them then. Either that or they’ve learned the lessons too well and think they can just ask forgiveness later and a magic being will make it okay to be a douche. Religion is very good at taking away personal responsibility and hefting it onto the shoulders of a deity.

This is the person who asks God to bless them but never invites God into any other area of their life.

What does that even mean?

This is the woman blasting Gospel music on her way to meet her married boyfriend.

Um, no. That would be a Christian being a douche. Not all atheists or even a majority of atheists go around sleeping with married people.

Please take head out of buttocks.

Then she attempts to describe what it’s like to be a Christian:

Let me put it another way. Anyone who has encountered the living God comes away from that experience a different person.

If you were hit by a Mack Truck, people would be able to see the evidence. If you claimed to be hit by a Mack Truck, but your car was fine and you didn’t have a scratch on you, people might have a hard time believing you’d really been in an accident.

That sounds thoroughly unpleasant. So being a Christian is like being hit by a transport truck.

Being a Christian merely means believing in Jesus. The rest is just window dressing. Christian’s can’t even agree on what Christianity wants, which is why you have around 40,000 sects.

This dear friend said she’d been a “Christian” for a long time, but a few years ago, looking back, she’d never really seen the evidence of it in her life.

Maybe because it’s a myth and this deity doesn’t exist?

Practical atheists (and actual atheists, for that matter), God loves you so very much. While you are still breathing, you can turn to him and ask for a legit relationship, for forgiveness, and salvation. He doesn’t hold grudges and he will help you walk through what it means to actually follow him.

I didn’t know you spoke for God, but thanks I’ll pass. I can ask for forgiveness from the real people I’ve wronged. No need for an invisible entity, and certainly not one as ethically reprehensible as the one described in the bible. If I ever need instructions on how to stone disobedient children, commit genocide by drowning or how to treat a slave, I’ll turn to your bible.

How about having a relationship with real people. They love you as well.

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44 Comments

  1. How did you come across this blog post?

    This is the church-goer who screws people over in day to day business dealings without a smidgen of remorse.

    This is the woman blasting Gospel music on her way to meet her married boyfriend.

    I agree with you – these are offensive and narrow-minded characterizations of atheists.

    This is the person who asks God to bless them but never invites God into any other area of their life.

    What does that even mean?

    I deconverted < 2 years ago. I have to say, her meaning here is pretty clear to me. Of course, I no longer think there's anything/anyone "supernatural" on the other end, and I think what she's recommending is harmful to people overall, but I understand what she's saying.

    You deconverted rather recently, right? Is her meaning here really unclear to you?

    • Hi Mate. I deconverted much more than 2 years ago. Probably closer to ten. And yes, I find that part confusing and in need of clarification. I remember praying and it usually went something like praying for blessings on people I cared about and asking the Lord to help me make better decision making and learn His will etc.

      To me, that seems pretty life-encompassing. I’m not sure what these other parts of my life this would mean. A few examples would have been very useful in my opinion.

      • Your question was about what she meant by “inviting God into areas of [one’s] life”. I think the idea is by prayer to “invite God” to change your mind and character about things – decisions, choices, attitudes – even when it’s unpleasant, or goes against your tendencies or desires.

        For instance, praying for help and making the effort to keep “pure” in your dating and thought life; being generous (with your time and money), often sacrificially; seeking “his will” (reading the tea leaves for all your life circumstances); being kind and patient and forgiving; attempting to convict others of their “sins”… All the things that they imagine that their god wants them to do and be – whatever they may be – even when it hurts.

        As opposed to being a “fair weather Christian”, “Sunday or Christmas only Christian”, or the author’s phrase that we’re disputing…

        Naturally, the author is welcome to correct me if she thinks I’ve put any words in her mouth. (Obv the tea leaves, etc. are my own interpretation of what they’re doing amounts to…)

        So I understood the phrase, and I suspect her readers will to, but I guess if you don’t speak Christianese, it might not be so clear. Anyway, does that make sense?

        Our of curiosity, questions to anyone: did the phrase make sense to you? Do you think I’ve interpreted correctly? Do you think the target audience will understand? Anything else to add about the bad parts?

  2. Hi, there. To clarify, I am not in any way suggesting that being an atheist makes one immoral. I am only saying that some who profess Christianity do not act in accordance with their “belief”, which suggests that said belief is not a true conviction but a happy thought that otherwise doesn’t change their everyday behavior. In other words, if they truly believed they wouldn’t continue said behavior. The word “atheist” was never meant to be used as a put-down, only a description of non-belief. Be well.
    Angela

    • “To clarify, I am not in any way suggesting that being an atheist makes one immoral.”

      That’s good to know. Then why were you frightened and why do you have ‘atheist’ right in your title. Would it not have been better to say something like ‘why are some Christians not following their religion?’ or something along those lines?

      Thanks for stopping in, Angela.

  3. I agree with the above comment, that one statement seems pretty clear, I guess the thing is though if Christians have “window dressing” isn’t morals, etc. atheist window dressing. Two way street and all.

    I think it’s really a matter of “every body has one” in that jerks are jerks regardless of creed

  4. If the Holy Spirit was real, anyone that says they accepted Jesus as their savior, wouldn’t the Holy Spirit take over? What she is saying, personal will is stronger than the Holy Spirit. Jesus/God/Holy Spirit can only show through your life if you let him… That doesn’t sound like a powerful God.

  5. Let me see if I’ve got this one right…

    No disrespect intended, but… (here it comes to put show this lame excuse for the lie it is)… now it appears any Christian who is an asshole, immoral, or unethical should be considered more of a practical atheist than just another sinner in need of redemption.

    Riiiiiiiggggghhhtt.

    As an atheist, I should not be insulted because a a faithesist tells me I shouldn’t be while smearing all non believers to be associated with hypocrisy.

    This is a type of post-modern rationalizing – that black is really another kind of white, that up is really a different kind of down – that really is second to none. Let’s pretend that it makes perfect sense to label a hypocritical believer – someone who really does profess allegiance and submission to some god while acting contrary to the ‘best’ motivations and behaviours supposedly associated with that religious belief – to be another kind of atheist.

    Phew! For a moment there it looked as if religion might be responsible for the hypocrisy and perniciousness it breeds and feeds. Well, isn’t it handy we can saddle atheism with those dolts. No disrespect to atheists, of course…

    No disrespect intended, of course but…where’s a paint-shaking machine when someone’s head who spouts such nonsense so badly is need of one?

  6. Sounds like another ‘super christian’ trying to declare how great she is by slamming her fellow believers (heavy ‘ministry of condemnation’) and using a straw man of generic ‘atheists’ as the broad brush… Apologies to Bob Ross’s family.
    She doesn’t seem to be a very happy little tree for jesus

  7. The biggest problem I believe is that Christians like this in fantasy land do not understand the word “atheist” and in the context it should be used in.

    My understanding is an atheist does not recognise or believe in any god or deity in any shape or form, period. Some may think a possibility of a god exists and become agnostic or simply an unbeliever of God.

    The hard fact is we are born atheists and this is the default state and not technically a specific belief. Sure religious persons claim it is a belief and faith in opposition to theirs, however not believing in made up gods or in superman is not a religion, belief or faith it is just a sensible deduction of real life. Religions worship a pretend friend, atheists do not.

    Another common religious claim is that atheists have been responsible for killing thousands of people such as through Russian and Chinese communist dictatorships for example. These people were killed primarily in the name of the dictator’s laws and the political doctrine they used not solely because they did not believe in gods. Atheism may have been adopted as part of a complete political doctrine but has rarely, if ever, been primarily responsible like the religious and political doctrines have been for the wholesale slaughter of humans.

  8. She’s added a caveat to the end of her article:

    “**Edited** Because of some pushback, I would like to emphatically state that I do not use the term “athiest” as synonymous for bad or immoral, only as one who operates in the mindset of unbelief in God.”

  9. I was just sorta drifting this afternoon and thinking about the way that baby so pointedly named “Emmanuel” in the bible suddenly disappeared and this Jesus character showed up in his place. Oh, really. Doesnt that make you wonder about the name gap there?

    The other thing I am suddenly amused/bemused by is the name Jesus Christ. When did he get a second name? It is only recently in history that people had second names, since there were so few folks around anyway, and if there were two Josephs one might be referred to as Joseph the Barber and the other as Joseph Michael’s son, to distinguish.

    So now here’s Jesus formerly known as Emmanuel suddenly being called Jesus of Nazareth and then turning into Jesus Christ. When did this happen? It isnt like there was more than one Jesus around, so why does he get a second name? And isnt it rude to call him just by his second name?

  10. I agree with your post. Most atheists I know are very nice reasonable people. Most of the douchebags I know are “Christians.” What’s up with that? I’m going to say something here I don’t dare post about yet. I’m not an atheist but I have serious doubts that anything in Christianity is real. I’ve never been able to fully embrace the idea of Jesus dying on the cross, the bible,etc. I TRY to have faith, and sometimes I think I ALMOST get there, but my brain always seems to get in the way. SO much in Christianity just makes no sense and the Bible seems like a fairy tale, and not always a very nice one. (There’s some stuff in it, especially in the Old Testament, that I would not recommend for children). I always find myself drawn to atheist blogs because so much of what they say just makes sense to me. I’m not losing my faith; I’m just not sure I ever really had it. One day I may write a post about my doubts. I’m not sure I could ever declare myself an atheist though–just in case. There, I said it.

    • I know what you mean about atheists making more sense. Not all of them, and not on every point, but often. And then from my own skepticism and investigation, I became one, too.

      A few thoughts for you to chew on, if I may be so bold:
      What is faith? Is it a good thing?
      How do you determine whether your beliefs are likely to be true?
      What is the relationship between faith and evidence?

      FYI, if you didn’t already know:
      Many or most atheists don’t assert that no gods exist; they just find no good reasons to think that they do. (Agnostic atheism.)
      Many find reasons to reject people’s particular religious truth claims, though.
      Not all atheists are skeptics.

      Apologies of any of this is old news to you. I don’t think we’ve corresponded before, so I don’t know your background knowledge.

      In any case, best wishes on your journey. 🙂

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