Posted by
Robbie Dillon
• 01.04.13 11:00 am


I went to church quite often when I was a small boy, especially around Christmas.

My brother and I spent many a winter afternoon kneeling in front of the nativity scene that had been set up by the altar at St. Monica’s. A couple of rosy-cheeked cherubs quietly prayed and kept one eye out for the priest as we stuffed our jackets with the cash-filled envelopes that had been left as offerings by generous parishioners. The money was for the poor and we were broke—why not cut out the middle man?

My relationship with God has had its ups and downs over the years. At some point we agreed that if I’d quit bugging him for the Lotto numbers every week, he’d stay out of my way and let me figure things out on my own.

If only I could say the same for people. Seems like every time you turn around lately, someone’s trying to tell you what to believe. Worst of all are the unbelievers. Smelling blood in the water, they never miss an opportunity to piss on somebody’s Christmas pageant (though they’re conspicuously less vocal when it comes to criticizing religions that don’t turn the other cheek).

Last November, a six-year-old girl in North Carolina was barred from reciting a poem she’d written in tribute to her grandfather, a Vietnam vet, at a school assembly. A local atheist demanded the ban because he felt the lines “He prayed to God for peace/He prayed to God for strength” were an egregious violation of the separation of church and state. Wouldn’t want to encourage those religious zealots and bullies, after all.

The truth is, human beings have always needed to believe in something bigger than themselves. They will always seek moral guidance from authority figures and will always need rituals and symbols to help them figure out who shares their values. And being human, they will almost always abuse power and find ingenious ways to pervert even the most well-intended doctrines.

Traditional religion has a lot to answer for, but if you really think that getting rid of it will encourage people to behave more rationally or keep the rabble from forming violent mobs and persecuting those who disagree with them, you’ve obviously never been to a Kyoto or G20 protest.

Jehovah and his bearded emissaries may be on the way out, but before you go dancing around that golden calf, think about what’s replacing them—scientism, environmentalism, and a whole lot of other isms whose adherents are as fanatical and uncompromising as the most rabid fundamentalists.

Most frightening of all, perhaps, are those who look to the almighty government for answers. Hungry? Sick? Tired of working? No problem, my child: The state will provide from its miraculously bottomless pockets. No problem is too big or small, no area of life too private to escape Big Nanny’s tender ministrations.

Say what you like about organized religion, but these days you’re more likely to find a healthy climate of debate and dissent among ordinary Catholics, Jews, and Muslims than you are among the left’s more “progressive” factions. To question the wisdom of carbon taxes or suggest that conception is any more awe-inspiring than a hangnail is to invite a wave of histrionics so scorching it would make Savonarola blush.

Go ahead and turn your back on God if you must, but don’t mistake your apostasy for open-mindedness and critical thinking, especially if the first place you run is to the temple across the street.

 

—ROBBIE DILLON

 

 


Comments
  1. Domo Arigateau says:

    I don’t get it. Where’s all the pussy n drugs n weird sexual deviancy? Meanwhile, Robbie Dillon for prezident! I AM A BELIEVER!

  2. Rah says:

    Perfect. Now, I know why so many grown women think “ministration” and “menstruation” are the same word.

  3. Mccaf says:

    this is fuggin money..agnosticism at least seems honest. the new atheism of Dawkins, Hitchens, etc literally requires as much faith as believing in a God, and they sure do like to “evangelize”. These clowns shit on Christianity esp. Catholic church, and then high-five each other for being such snarky lil bitches. Then near silence (except Hitchens) about that one religion rapidly growing in the West that doesn’t especially esteem reason, science, or democracy

  4. Ecgtheow says:

    Brilliant.

  5. wilbur says:

    TLDR: blah blah blah, my superstitions are awesome, I hate atheists.

  6. synonymous says:

    you can pick fanatics from every sect or non-sect to prove that they’re the worst. this is a competition where everyone loses. the morale of the story is that we are feeble-minded. as always.

  7. kuntz says:

    scientists & environmentalists are just as fanatical as religious fundamentalists? if that was a joke then, well, pretty lame. if you actually believe that you’re a fucking retard.

    the only way the atheism of dawkins requires any faith is if you’re too stupid to understand the process of evolution. and fucking agnostics are pussy fence-sitters. think harder …

  8. Robbie Dillon says:

    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Truly appreciated.

    Robbie

  9. rara oh la la says:

    Claiming you ***KNOW*** there is no such thing as God(s)/supernatural forces pretty much says you have a perfect, all encompassing knowledge of the Universe, reality and everything in it. Which we obviously do not. We’re monkeys with car keys. The only honest position is what is called “weak agnosticism”. Wiki dat shiiii

  10. So, can we all agree–Christians, Post-Christians, agnostics, atheists, higgs-boson quantifiers and *shudders* Jooos alike–that Islam is a shitty worldview and devout Muslims are to be looked upon with suspicion?

    No, seriously, fuck Islam. Even if it wasn’t a hateful, subversive, misogynistic, parochial and (in the case of at least a few Western Muslims) traitorous ideology, it encourages atrocious fashion choices, which makes life that much more dull and unpleasant. Amish have funny neckbeards and no power. I can laugh at that because I don’t masturbate with a sheep.

  11. I appreciate Dawkins’ call for Atheists to openly mock Christians. Nothing will do more to make him and his gang look more ridiculous than this.

  12. Gavin says:

    I had a long discussion with a creationist once. He acknowledged evolution. He just said it was God who started the whole thing. He goes, “Atheists think it all started with an inexplicable explosion. I think God started it.”
    There’s this assumption that all Christians hate gays, deny dinosaurs and believe the earth is 6,000 years old. I’m yet to meet anyone who believes this and that includes Tammy Faye Bakker’s son, who is a pastor.

  13. Blah says:

    “Straw Man the Article.” A piss poor imitation of Gavin’s piss poor rants about liberals.

  14. synonymous says:

    @kuntz. there are scientists who are fanatical and slobber over their own field like it has already given us the meaning to life. understanding and subscribing to evolutionary theory doesn’t do that and if you can’t tell the difference then you’re named aptly. mind you i was making the point that atheists AREN’T the worst generally. and that’s despite my awareness of r/atheism.

  15. Mccaf says:

    @blah “straw man the srticle”. go visit the subreddit on atheism, and the extremism Robbie describes is alive and well. Hardcore atheism is nothing but status-jockey, pure and simple, and that’s why they focus so much on Christianity rather than any other religion- Christianity tends to be the dominant religion of the countries they live in. The funny thing is about these experts on evolution like Dawkins and the late Stephen Jay Gould, they act as if evolution stopped 50,000 years ago, and deny, deny, deny the differences between races, despite ya know, evolving on entirely different parts of planet.

  16. durka durka jihad says:

    I know plenty of christians that are normal as hell. I also know plenty of muslims that are too. There’s this assumption that all muslims hate gays, jews women etc. Fair enough. That’s not the point imho. It’s the religious of all stripes demanding i respect a bunch of myths from a time when humans knew fuck all . There is a ton of stuff in religion that isn’t compatible with modernity anymore. It’s also irritating when my brethren of faith refuse to acknowledge the lunatic fringe or make it out to be a few bad apples.

  17. RED says:

    @durka This “There are bad apples in every bunch” shit is for people who don’t like to think about bad stuff because they’re pussies. Some religions are better than others just as some cultures are more advanced than others. Want proof? Go make fun of Christianity and then do the same to Islam and see which one gets you stabbed. 25% of Muslims think suicide bombers are “sometimes or often justified.” What percentage of Christians are that extreme, maybe 1?

  18. durka durka jihad says:

    couldnt agree more. the Pussy Riot hoes woulda been strung up if they did that at a mosque. and it pisses me off when a guy like chris hedges writes a book like American Fascists but can’t handle SAm Harris criticizing Islam. that said, i don’t have to respect any of it. And while the Pope isn’t handing out fatwas, it’s absurd he’s telling poor fucking people birth control is a sin. it’s all fucked up to me. time to move forward…


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