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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

When Atheists Don’t Know What Atheism Is… And Get Published In The Guardian

I’ve written about a piece in the Guardian before and it seems the rag is not doing much to better its reporting, because they just published this bit of tripe by Ijeoma Oluo, recently as well.

Nothing says Pulitzer-contending journalism like building your entire magazine on a straw man’s back.

This is yet another piece from a professional crybaby who claims to be an atheist but clearly hasn’t the slightest clue what an atheist is, to begin with.

How do I know Ijeoma has no idea what an atheist is? It’s simple.

She says,

my atheism is a leap of faith

Wrong. Atheism is a lack of faith. It’s a lack of belief in God. If you want to assert there is no God, please understand that is gnostic atheism, not atheism. Atheism is a leap of faith just as much as not believing in the alien reptilian Bilderbergers is a leap of faith. Something which is defined as a lack of something, cannot then become a something. “My tires are flat” cannot be said as “My tires are full of not-air.”

It’s easy to look at acts of terror committed in the names of different gods, debates about the role of women in various churches, unfamiliar and elaborate religious rules and rituals and think,look at these foolish religious folk.

That’s on you, Ijeoma. I don’t see it that way. I look at these acts and think, “Jesus. This person would have had a chance at leading a caring, loving life, if only they could have left these lies behind.”

I think, “I wish there were more proud, vocal and open atheists in the world so that this person who just committed this atrocious act in the name of their God may have had their faith rattled before it was too late.”

I don’t think these men and women who commit insane acts in the name of their faith are foolish. I think they are deadly, misled and didn’t have a whole lot of choice given the fact that most religious people are indoctrinated as children.

I think about how much better the world would be if all people, the globe over, had access to education that valued critical thought and the scientific process.

I think, most of all, that I’m really, really devastated that people were harmed or had to die for a fable.

But atheism as a faith is quickly catching up in its embrace of divisive and oppressive attitudes. We have websites dedicated to insulting Islam and Christianity.

These websites are dedicated to criticizing religion. People get insulted as a by-product of that, but just like any political ideology should be ready to face criticism, so should any prescriptive religious doctrine. It should be scrutinized heavily if it requires you to behave in any specific way. Why? Because actions have the potential to truly hurt people, and unless we carefully examine the reasons why we take such actions, we are susceptible to taking action without thought. That’s when things like Charlie Hebdo happens. Is it really insulting to question the slaughter of a man because who drew a cartoon of your prophet, with the very clear intent of making people think? That’s when things like female genital mutilation happen. Is it really insulting deeply held beliefs to say, “Hey, please, if I could just keep my clitoris intact that would be fucking awesome”? Is it really, truly insulting to suggest, “Hey, maybe just maybe, what you believe is not true?

We have famous atheist thought-leaders spouting misogyny and calling for the profiling of Muslims.

We do? Where? I assume you’re talking about Sam Harris but it’s clear here, you did not go to the source. Go to Sam’s writings on the topic and find for me where he says he wants to profile Muslims. Because how I understood it, he offered the suggestion that perhaps we simply don’t look at people like Betty White or Jerry Seinfeld as potential terrorists being as the likelihood Betty or Jerry have been recruited by ISIS is fucking slim to none. It’s called reason. It’s called being fucking reasonable. Another value we atheists like to hang onto, which has seriously eluded you.

We have hundreds of thousands of atheists blindly following atheist leaders like Richard Dawkins, hurling insults and even threats at those who dare question them.

Blindly following? Can you show me where Richard Dawkins has asked us to do a single, solitary thing? Where are his prescriptive writings that we so closely follow? What are the tenets of Dawkinism? What does he preach that all of us agree on?

But our belief that we are right while everyone else is wrong; our belief that our atheism is more moral; our belief that others are lost: none of it is original.

Some of us are unconcerned with how much of our core values are “original” being as we’re fucking adults and have real-world issues to deal with. I’m concerned for you, Ijeoma, if originality is really how you determine your own value system.

Perhaps we all fall in line because we look for any social system – be it Christianity, Islam, socialism, atheism

Yet another wildly absurd statement that proves you haven’t the slightest idea what atheism is. If you think it’s a social system, I ask of you, please, outline the core ideas behind this system and show how they apply to all atheists, including the quiet ones; the ones who are still in the closet out of fear.

What social constructs make up this system that applies to all of us, Ijeoma? Please, enlighten this third-generation atheist-of-38-years.

Faith is not the enemy,

No, but not wanting to live in reality certainly makes a good moral opponent.

and words in a book are not responsible for the atrocities we commit as human beings.

Of course not, but accompanied by childhood indoctrination, and threats of violence, shunning, shame, guilt, eternal hellfire and being disowned for straying away from said words in said book, the things these books say certainly carry more weight. They do affect action. You know it, too. You do.

Only then will we be as free from dogma as we atheists claim to be.

You may be living dogmatic life clinging to every last tweet from Richard Dawkins, but that is not even remotely close to how every atheist lives. There is no dogma in atheism because atheism is not prescriptive. If you want to argue that, by all means, go ahead, but know you will have to cite where and when atheist leaders have called upon the entire atheist population of the world to act and behave and live our lives in some specific way. I can’t think of one instance in which that has happened, can you, Ijeoma?

Here’s the thing. I don’t think you’re talking about atheism. I think you’re talking about anti-theism. I don’t think you have the slightest clue what any of these terms mean and I think you’re just taking your cues from the CJ Werlemans of the world. You’re having morning coffee with a bunch of straw men who are feeding you lines you have no intention of questioning or researching on your own.

What’s most disappointing, is that the Guardian would publish this ill-informed, worthless and vain bilge. This entire article was nothing short of an insipid public jerk-off from someone so vacuously wrong, in an online tabloid not fit for a dog.

Well done, Guardian. Well done.

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