I started using Facebook in late 2008. I added a few friends I knew from high school. Not many – just a few I remembered liking back then. Throughout most of the time on Facebook, I’ve never been shy about stating I was an atheist. I used to have it say “Atheist, with a twist of Pastafarianism”. I’ve regaled my FB friends with tales of the atheist community, way too much Hitch (and yet, never enough), the injustices towards atheists, my own growth as an atheist and anti-theist, a lot about women’s rights, women’s health, abortion, etc., etc., etc.
I’ve shown my leftist leaning ways blatantly and clearly. There is absolutely no doubt who I am, nor what I am about. A two minute perusal of my Facebook wall, Google+ Stream and this very blog, and you’d get me pretty damned quick. Oh, and I like art, music, science and math a lot. :D
People who were not interested un-friended me, and I’m quite fine with that. Everyone has their own idea of what they can handle, and what they cannot. I sympathize with the few who have left. As tired as I get of the “copy this to your facebook page so everyone knows what a good Christian I am” images, they probably got as tired of my atheist posts. It’s all good.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to open up Facebook one morning, and find the following written, not just from some random person (gotten those, ignored, filed away, deleted), but from a friend:
(misspelled my name, to start, and please overlook her atrocious grammar and sprinkled misspellings),
I just unfriended you and am going to tell you why. You don’t believe in the Lord! I can’t belive it. I really can’t. I remember you went to the catholic school and you’re family went to the catholic church, up there on 23rd, so I know you were raised with Our Lord God and Our Savoior Jesus and got proper teachings.
Proper teachings? What makes teaching religion proper? It excludes science, evolution, philosophy, logic, reason, and yes, morality (Rape is okay? Incest is okay? Slavery is okay?).
I can’t understand what happened to make you so angry at Our Lord. He has given us the breathe we breathe and land we live on and our children and family. He has given you life! He has given you a child! He is our salvation and our guiding light!
Since you claim you are an atheist I have to tell you a few things that are going to happen for you in youre life.
First of all, atheists are just worthless people. They are the devils hand. And since you are a atheist that makes you a worthless person who shouldn’t’ even live. You should leave our land and go live in the Sovient Union since it is full of people like you. Or go to Iraq so they may strike you dead now.
(This particular part really made me sad. And pissed me off. I’m not worthless, nor is anyone I know. Also, the “Sovient Union” hasn’t existed for twenty years.)
People who don’t belive in Our Lord and Savoior are immoral people who can’t tell right from wrong.
Just…huh?? Right from wrong?! If you think that the Catholic Church’s abusing of children is right, your sense of morality is fucked. See below for more examples.
That is why you are a divorced woman. You have laied with Satin, and Satin has thrust himself in you.
(I’m guessing she thinks I’m having sex with Satan??)
Your soul is in jepordy of being over taken by the black hand of Satin. You have been immoral in your ways. You must repent and take Jesus into your heart so he can thwart the evil Satin has impregnated you with.
Oh. This. Is. Just. Stupid. Morality so tied to religion that anyone who does not believe in god is therefore immoral? (I will admit, I do love satin. However, I prefer it in a high thread count, over a low one, since it snags otherwise.)
Michele, if you don’t repent, if you don’t beg for giveness from the Lord, Our Savoiror Jesus Christ, he will strike you down and satin will take you to hell that you will deserve.
Is this what a good Christian does? Is it not ‘he who is without sin casts the first stone’?
The email goes on for another 3 or 4 paragraphs, basically just saying the same things over and over. Worthless. Repent. Immoral. Sinner. Blasphemer. Be saved. Satin.
I realize that a lot of atheist bloggers out there get hate mail. I’ve watched Dawkins read some of his aloud. It is to be expected. I’ve gotten enough that I’m okay with it. Delete. I’m cool with a person’s need to express themselves – I do so here all the time. Attack my ideology, my lack of religious belief, attack my attack on your theist beliefs. Go for it. I’m up for the debate.
What really upset me the most were two things:
Worthless — Worthless is defined as deserving of contempt, having no good qualities.
Immoral — Immoral is defined by not knowing what is right and what is wrong in a set society.
I am neither worthless or immoral. Nor is anyone I know. I have been trying to think of one single thing this Earth has, or has ever had, that is worthless. I find it hard to think of anything that is as lowly as worthless is. Every living thing that has been, is now, or will be, has some purpose. I have a guiding light of reason, which I follow every day. It is my own knowledge and my own sense of morality that moves me through life.
Not to beat my own drum, but I love my son and boyfriend; I love and care for my friends; I am a compassionate person; I think murder and rape are wrong, hate is wrong, racism is wrong, hurting anyone is wrong. A god didn’t teach me this, nor did the bible. It’s just as simple as knowing right from wrong. It’s that easy not to be “immoral”.
I’ve thought a lot about this email, and about writing this post over the last few days. I know that I make judgments about religion all the time. I think they are all inherently dangerous, and should all be abolished.
Religion is worthless. Religion is immoral. The actions people take because of their religions is dangerous:
- The Iraqi genocide of the Kurds, justified by the Quran.
- The Catholics and their banning of condoms in Catholic areas of Africa when the AIDS virus is so prevalent.
- The Westboro Baptist Church, The Mormons & The Scientologists and their cult-like denial of reality, their hatred of gays, their racism and everything outside their own community.
- The suicide bombings by Muslims.
- Sunni Muslims and their practice of female genital mutilation or, said more bluntly, clitoral circumcision.
- Jews bombing Palestine because they “covet” the land
- The Islamics who think all “infidels” should be killed, and therefore it is their duty to do so.
- Catholics hiding years and years of sexual abuse of children, hidden by decree of the papacy, and enforced by the now current Pope Ratzinger.
- The Catholic Church before, during and after World War II
- Faith based healing and the deaths it causes.
- The Evangelical Christians who bomb abortion clinics, hate gays, quote the bible when it suits them, and overlook what doesn’t. Leviticus, anyone?
- The same Evangelical Christians who feel they must re-create the United States into a “Christian” nation, and therefore do everything in their power to do so (See Santorum’s run for the US Presidency in 2012!!)
I think that what people do for their religion is stupid, absolutely immoral and almost completely worthless.
However, I do not think the person is worthless or immoral. I think their actions due to their beliefs are immoral and much of the time, worthless. But.. the people are not worthless. Remove religion and that same person who was going to bomb a coffee shop would buy a Grande Half-Caf Mochachino from there instead. Remove religion and children would not be dead at the hands of parents knelt in prayer with no doctor in sight. Remove religion and so much death, destruction and hatred could not continue.
Steven Weinberg said, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”
I hope, for my friends sake, that she sees the light of reason – that religion has skewed her understanding of what being human means. Treating everyone with compassion and care, because our own morality demands it, and because no one is worthless.
Also, fuck her, her judgment of me, her views and her god.