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“Atheist” =/= “Alien” October 10, 2008

Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, career, friends, issues.
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The workplace gives me a good bird’s eye view of how people in my country see atheists. There’s the weird “I was gonna tell you something but now I’m not because you might get offended” reaction, for one. And lately I’ve been more open about religion to more people. Luckily, the reaction’s not Bible Belt bad, it’s just an amusing sort of cluelessness. “What is this strange creature they call ‘atheist’?”

Gary (whom I now find really annoying and creepy): “Did you hear about the — oh wait, you’re an atheist…”
TA: “Dude, we’re not hateful misanthropes who can’t take a joke. I like Altar Boyz and the occasional Lifehouse song, and Judd Apatow anti-Semitism references. People act so weird around you once they know you’re an atheist.”
George (nebbish guy that I’m sort of crushing on): “You’re an atheist, TA?”
TA: “Er, yeah. You scared?”
George: “No, I just didn’t know.”
Anne: “Ah, your religion is atheist?” (to others) “Hey, TA’s religion is atheist!”

Like bald is a hair color, as many would say.

TA: “Just tell the damn joke already. I’m not easily offended.”
Gary: “So, there’s this very smart, atheist professor, who would challenge his class with arguments about how God does not exist…”
TA: (tries hard not to groan) “Does this involve a piece of chalk and whether or not it breaks?”
Gary: “Well, it’s an egg…”

Again, I’m not easily offended, but he had to pick the one joke that specifically targeted my beliefs and claimed that some stupid coincidence disproves everything I believe in? Somebody hand this guy the Idiot’s Guide to Interacting with People.

Bern: “Yeah, my girl and I are having some issues, especially when it comes to religion.” (note: he’s Catholic, she’s…some smaller sect of Christianity)
TA: “Heh, you said it. It’s doubly hard for people like me.”
Bern: “Why, what religion are you?”
TA: “I’m an atheist, actually.”
Bern: “Oh! Where’s your church located?”

So yeah, sometimes it’s easier to just not bother bringing it up, because it gets fairly tedious to have to spell everything out for everybody.

It still beats the Bible Belt, though. Better cluelessness than bigotry and hatred.

By the way, did I mention that Gary is really annoying and creepy? Have you ever experienced having a friend of the opposite sex, who you really want to tell to stop fucking touching you, but you can’t because you don’t wanna make it weird? I mean, it’s not like they’re caressing your tits or anything, but the constant touches on the shoulder or forearm, or high-fives are beginning to seriously piss you off because you’re just not a touchy-feely kind of person, except when it’s a serious, crying-your-eyes-out issue, or if it’s from someone you dig (like when George touches my hair, I totally don’t mind).

Luckily, Gary’s quitting next month, so I just have to keep my distance for a little longer.

Comments»

1. missingpoints - October 10, 2008

Gah! I hate that “professor” story. Why is he even telling that as a joke? It’s supposed to be “inspirational” not funny. And it’s about as bad as the other “professor” story where he gets stumped by the Xtian who says there’s no proof that he has a brain.

Oh well, better get used to it. :) Some of them actually do think that the chalk/egg thing makes sense.

2. Teen Atheist - October 10, 2008

Inorite?! I’d gotten that email years ago, back when I was a theist, and even then I knew it was BS, and also really spiteful towards atheists.

I can’t comprehend why people would believe a cracked egg over logic and a well-educated professor.

3. Emily - October 11, 2008

I have the similar experience when I tell some people that I’m an atheist. I told them about my atheism and say, “Where do you go to church?”

4. Andrew - October 16, 2008

Hi! Just thought I’d let you know how famous your blog is. Somehow I came across it while doing some research for the book The Scarlet Letter. Haha… well I think you sound like a pretty smart person, and I admire you for dealing with all the “Bible Belt” crap. Im 17, and was raised Catholic, and while im not an atheist, I think its always good to have different ideas circulating.

5. a different teen atheist - October 16, 2008

I actually had to look up this story, as I (thankfully, as it turns out) have never heard it before. What nonsense.

There are so many things wrong that I don’t know where to begin. So I’d rather just laugh at it and ignore it. :]

6. Teen Atheist - October 18, 2008

Andrew: Heh, thanks. Luckily, though, I don’t live in the Bible Belt. :)

7. Teen Atheist - October 18, 2008

TA # 2: I know, right? Gary’s gone now, so at least I don’t have to deal with that shit anymore.

8. Teen Atheist - October 18, 2008

Emily: LOL. We’re that tiny a community.

9. Emily - October 21, 2008

Yeah. I love in a place where atheism isn’t really taboo, rather, it’s unheard.

10. Emily - October 22, 2008

I mean. “I live in a place….” :)

11. Chris G. - December 11, 2008

Have you BEEN to the Bible Belt? Just curious.

I live here. Ever seen that “Jesus Camp” movie? Yeah, try living in that Jesus Camp movie.

12. Anonymous - April 19, 2009

I live in Texas it suxxxxxxxx! Best part is that I am not from here, I was raised in international schools ( with very open minded people), but my parents are Christian. Ur blog rocks!!

13. Teen Atheist - April 21, 2009

Ahaha, that’s great to hear, Anon. Thanks!

14. GeorgeRic - October 13, 2009

Agnostics routinely refer to a lack of intelligent thinking on the part of Christians, and admittedly, ideas such as the dead rising long after their molecules are in use by later generations, and the unprovable concept of an immortal soul and the search for the simple whereabouts of God, lead to Yuri Gagarin stating that he had been in heaven and looked all around for God and saw no sign of Him.
‘Techie Worlds’ (available at Amazon.com) builds on ‘Flatland’s ideas about contiguous geometric worlds to show how logical Trinity is, how resurrection, judgment and soul are reasonable in such worlds, and that Christianity is as probable as that simplistic idea of ‘only the material world’. Considering not just the testimonies of Wiccans and Satanists, but also miracles such as the dance of the sun at Fatima (witnessed by thousands) it appears that multiple-worlds is more likely. Oh well, the minds of agnostics are not really that open to any belief based on love.
GeorgeRic


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