Why Are You Atheists So ANGRY?
99 Things That Piss Off the Godless
Again, let me disclaim that I am neither atheist nor agnostic. I’m hardly a zealot either. I’ve found my own belief structure, and that works for me. I think everyone does this to some extent. (nb. I neither sacrifice, burn, torture, nor circumcise any animal, nor do I light things on fire, use mystical hidden symbols, or wear odd robes (Dan Brown would never write a book about me)).
No. I’m not controversial. I have a St. Jude medal around my neck right now, as I write. I don’t have a shrine or anything; I don’t believe that St. Jude is arguing my case before God, but I like the symbolism: the Patron Saint of Seriously Difficult Cases, and that’s me right now.
Anyway. I was raised Presbyterian, a denomination unlikely to piss off mainstream America, and–though I don’t claim that faith now–I am not angry at those who believe differently.
With Atheists, it’s been a different road. They HAVE suffered various slights and prejudices through history, and they have some things to be angry about, in some cases, very, very angry.
With a huge rise in American non-believers, I’ve spent part of my reading year trying to learn the hows and whys, and thus I believe this is my third book about Atheism.
Greta Christina writes with verve and passion; her anger is palpable and personal, and I was able to look at some of the “99 things that piss off the godless” and nod, acknowledging that these would piss off anyone.
This is especially true for civil and legal matters.
Anyway, the “99 things” part was interesting, even to—perhaps especially to—a non-Atheist, someone who could say, “Ohhh. I get it now.”
Then, the book takes a complete left turn, and becomes a screed telling Atheists how to be better Atheists. Maybe I missed the point of the book—that happens sometimes—but I thought the point was to point out the ways they’ve been oppressed, and perhaps gently convert us, if not nudge us in that direction.
Instead, Ms. Christina begins preaching to the already disconverted, talking about organizing meetings and groups, passing out leaflets, just being flaming activists for godlessness.
In many ways, this seemed like two books. I felt like the first one was aimed right square at me, a theist. The second book was perfectly designed for my Atheist friends.
This is why I’ve rated the book so low: I think it loses its original mission in the rage Ms. Christina feels. It’s as if, because we have been told 99 things that annoy Atheists, we have become Atheists and are rarin’ to go out and slap the God out of believers.
It doesn’t work that way, or it didn’t in this case. Not for me.
By the way, I have no animosity toward Atheists. I have a number of Atheist friends. We get along fine, because we don’t discuss religion at work or over dinner or wherever we happen to be.
And if one of them were to mockingly ask why I’m wearing a St. Jude medal around my neck, I’d respond as logically as possible: “Because, BITE ME!”
I can always ask for forgiveness, after all.