Confusing Atheists

You know I don’t actually think it’s real, right?

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I love the Bible. I really do. I read it all the time, and many things in real life remind me of things that I’ve read in there. Like whenever I think of making a good decision under pressure (Solomon in 1 Kings 3:16-28) or when I think about denouncing religious hypocrisy and shameful manipulation (like Jesus and the Pharisees in Matt 23), or when my friend mails me the body parts of a prostitute just to say how much they care (file that under, “Oh yeah, really.” Judges 19:29.)

This fact doesn’t really surprise me, but it sure does surprise others.

When people express surprise that an atheist like me (who takes such grand pleasure in speaking out against the establishment of religion most of the time) actually enjoys reading the Bible, it makes me laugh. I’ll tell you why.

  1. No, you don’t have to torch your identity to be an atheist.

For some reason, it’s like people expect you to stop being a person when you become an atheist. They are all too willing to remind you that you can still be an asshole while being an atheist, but don’t pay attention to the fact that I can like jamming to Kirk Franklin or Josh Groan in my car, too. Like, do you even know what the fuck music is? It’s sounds and beats mixed together in a pleasing way…not that complicated.

2. No, I don’t think and have never stated anything close to “religion is the root of all evil.”

Just because you’re outspoken about the harm religion does and continues to do in the world, it doesn’t mean you think it’s the root of all evil. You can oppose police brutality and still not have a problem with law enforcement. You can say kiddy-fucking isn’t okay, and not have a problem with priests. I apologize that you are seemingly unable to hold two ideas in your brain at one time, but that is a limitation I do not share.

3. You know I don’t actually think it’s real, right?

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with what literature is as well. I like reading the Bible because I like stories. I enjoy seeing other cultures express themselves and their values. I like understanding the feelings and caprices of ancient people from ancient times, I like to see God blow shit up, and I enjoy John’s Revelation rumination on the end of the world while clearly on shrooms.

You already know I’m an atheist, and you know that means that I don’t believe these stories are factually true, but why can’t I enjoy them? Like all of a sudden, Harry Potter is disappointing because I don’t ACTUALLY BELIEVE Harry rode a dragon out of Gringotts (or for starters, ever existed?) I’m writing a fucking novel, meaning I spend plenty good time in the company of those who don’t exist. It’s very fine for me.

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Here’s the point: I didn’t make these rules, you did. Who told you you owned one of our best collections of classical literature, that you could decide who could enjoy it?

The strangest rule that Christians have devised is that the Bible means nothing if you don’t believe it’s true. I call bullshit.

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7 thoughts on “Confusing Atheists”

  1. I pity you because if you read the Bible you’ll read there, they see but don’t believe, they hear but don’t understand.
    i presume with what you wrote here that you don’t really understand of what you read or maybe you don’t read the whole scriptures from the book of Genesis to Malachi, from the book of Matthew to Revelation, because if you do, God will certainly talk to you with His words.
    i hope you still have that joy in reading Bible because i believe that God loves you just how much He loves me..He will make you understand and acknowledge His sovereignty in everything and you will eventually believe in Him.
    Remember Paul who wrote book of Romans, He used to be an unbeliever of God’s Son Jesus Christ but when He encounter Jesus Christ in His life along with his journey to Damascus, Paul change. Do you know that? 🙂
    God can make you encounter Jesus Christ in your life as well whether you like it or not but the decision to follow Him is lies in you..be sure to decide wisely. 🙂
    God Bless 🙂

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    1. “Choose wisely”? Is that a threat? That sounds a lot like a threat. Also, the Bible was written by people, so any wisdom taken from it is not God-inspired, just as no piece of music or book is.

      The problem you’re running into is that you don’t think there’s value in the Bible if you don’t believe it. That’s a distinction I reject. Because I believe it was written by people, I think it has value just like other books – some good and some bad. You want it to be God-inspired so you don’t have to do the complex and mature work of questioning it and deciding what to believe and what not to – but that’s what literature requires.

      So I can read it without believing in magic.

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      1. Ah, good catch. That distinction makes the difference between “threat” and “non threat” so clear (while you’re looking up words, you should probably check out the word “synonym”.)

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      2. Mikkile0n, you know what, i have this feeling that you are really threatened, honestly, it is not my intention to make you feel threatened.
        however, may i suggest that its time for you to see the Bible in different light and start to read it with a motive to know God than simply amazed by the character of the people in it. If you read the Bible further you’ll know that what you have learned from history subject at School are also written in there and what more, you got to know that God is real.
        in 2 Timothy 3:16 it says there ” All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

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  2. “or when my friend mails me the body parts of a prostitute just to say how much they care” — I will now thank you for the hot tea coming out my nose.

    I read the Bible almost every day. I still go to Bible studies. Somehow people never quite seem to understand my interest when I don’t believe. I always tell them that I studied Greco-Roman mythology extensively in high school. I was fascinated by it. But I didn’t believe in that either.

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