What are atheists so vocal? This is a question I'm often asked, and it's a legitimate question at that. Quite frankly, the answer is pretty clear cut to us, but for many, I can see why it would need to be put into a more personal perspective. Luckily for you, I'm pretty good at doing that in rather entertaining ways in order to get my point across, so I think it's time to flex my metaphor muscle and DO THIS THING!
First, let's ask a question of ourselves, "What sounds absurd to us?" Well, as an atheist, there are quite a few things that sound absurd to me: ghosts, homeopathy, angels, demons, religion in general, and so on... But what sounds absurd to you? I recently took a poll on a facebook page that I run anonymously; to see what most religious people think is absurd in our world. I asked about things like ghosts, homeopathy, chiropractic medicine (it's amazing how many people think chiropractors are legitimate doctors), UFO abduction, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and so on... Leaving out the fact that many Christians said zombie and vampires sound most absurd to them, even though both of which are in the bible, the most claimed absurd idea in the poll was alien abduction. Therefore, I'm going to use that. How, you ask? Well, keep reading, nitz!
Let's say for a moment that the alien abduction scene started to catch fire. It sort of did back in the 90's with the X-Files and all, but certainly not to the degree needed for this metaphor. Let's say that it really started to catch on, this absurd idea that intelligent alien life forms with the technology to travel twenty billion light years, utilized this technology just to hover over a quiet corn field for an hour, then shoot a beam of light into the farmhouse, pulling yokel farmer X into the ship with the hopes of sticking a large tube into yokel farm X's ass, and then leaving. Not stopping by the White House to have a chat with President Obama, or dropping in the middle of the Super Bowl to let us know they're hear, just sticking a tube up a hillbilly's ass will suffice.
Now, let's say that idea really started catching on. Let's say that the next thing you know, about 50% of the country started to firmly believe this was actually happening despite a clear lack of empirical evidence, and, in fact, plenty of empirical evidence to the contrary. You're probably going to start wondering, "What's going on here?" Though, you're concerned, it's really not any of your business, so you move on with your life.
Next thing you know, 80% of the country firmly believes in these random abductions. It's everywhere. It's starting to show up on billboards and in magazines. You can't look in one direction without being reminded just how stupid the rest of the populace really is. Still, it's a perfectly harmless belief, thus, you move on with your life. It's not affecting you, right?
Next thing you know, these believers start to build giant buildings in dedication to this absurd belief. Not just that, but while you were sleeping, references to random alien abductions became a part of your national motto and is now printed on your money, "In Aliens and Farmer Sugar-Snoogle-Billy-Bob-Joe-Jack we Trust!" Now you're becoming just a little more alarmed, aren't you? Well, not as alarmed as you'll be once you realize that the Pledge of Allegiance has been changed to include references to aliens and Farmer Joe-Jack. That's right. While your children are still half asleep, with their brains hardly functioning (the perfect time for hypnosis), they're being forced to pledge an undying allegiance to a country, as well as to the aliens who show up every night and sodomize the old farmer. Now, you're getting mad.
Only weeks later, you notice it's gone farther. In fact, not a single person elected in the last cycle was so without claiming some sort of belief in these aliens and in Farmer Joe-Jacks chosen anus. Not just that, but these politicians are starting to pass legislation based on these beliefs. Legislation about the our possible affects on our planet, no matter how scientifically backed-up they are, are being shot down because senators are reading from the book of the Alien and Farmer Joe-Jack as their counter to the legislation. And it actually worked! More legislation is being passed, and it's becoming more and more harmful, not just to the planet, but also to human rights and civil liberties. Your rights are being stripped away while your president stands in front of the country and says, "Well, no. I don't consider the non-alien people to be patriots. I don't even consider them to be citizens. This is one nation under Aliens and Farmer Butts."
The next week, your child comes home and says that science class has changed. He's no longer being taught facts and evidence, but instead, they've introduced the Alien and Farmer Butt creation story, which has no evidence to back it up whatsoever, into the biology classroom, and booted out the theory of evolution. Your child is no longer being taught science or math or any other hard or soft science, but instead, they're learning from this ridiculous book that's so absurd, you think anyone who believes it should be locked away in a psych ward.
What's worse than that? Well, I'll tell you. Suddenly, you've just found out that your kind, those who don't believe in the absurd alien story, are the least trusted minority in the United States, scoring underneath illegal immigrants, Muslims, Homosexuals, Mexicans and so on... Well, people think you can't possibly have a moral compass without believing in the alien story, so you must be a bad person. You probably want to convert all of their young to your hetaeristic ways.
Next thing you know, two towers fall in New York because the alien people have branched into separate tribes and want to kill one another, as well as you - mostly you! Abortion clinics are being bombed, abortion doctors are being shot right in the middle of alien church, and atheists of the alien stories are being shot, mugged and beheaded just for writing stories that are critical of the alien stories. Women and children are being stoned in town squares for disobeying the rules of the alien doctrine. Innocent people who want nothing more than to believe in something greater than them are being taken advantage of by televangelists of the alien doctrine. They're shelling all of their money out to polyester-clad men just so that they can get into alien heaven. Militias are forming all over the place to counter the alien Armageddon they believe is coming, while governments wage wars on countries and kill innocent people just to make the prophecies come true. Uneducated, misspelled and grammatically incorrect hyperbole is everywhere with new, radical political parties based solely on these ideas. Thousands die everyday based on the alien doctrine. All for one stupid little idea that a dumb redneck had who wanted to be in the newspaper.
Gee, can you imagine why we'd want to be a little vocal from time to time?
This has been your Smiling Atheist, C. Allen Thompson, with another edition of the blog that all but guarantees me a special slot in hell should I be wrong. And don't forget to click the link below. Crusade: The Unchecked and Unbalanced Role of Faith in America makes a great V-Day gift for that special godless someone in your life.