I am sure many atheists have been accused of being angry at god. Theists refuse to accept that atheism is simply the non-belief in a deity due to a lack of evidence. Instead, they often try to find some other motive such as anger. In their view, atheists really believe in god deep down inside, but we are so angry or hurt that we advocate atheism as a way to punish god. In other words, atheists are just childish and petty.
Of course, many atheists actually are angry. Many horrible things have been done in the name of religion, and some of us have been the victims. Anger also comes from seeing the injustice and cruelty that others have suffered. In the history of religion, there is plenty to be angry about.
I was born into a fifth generation mormon family, and I left when I was eighteen. I spent a few years as a catholic, and a few years studying buddhism and practicing meditation. In each case, I can honestly say that I did not leave out of anger. I left because I learned too much to believe in it. In my case, a background in science and skepticism coupled with a strong interest in the study of religion provided the fertile ground for my non-belief.
Despite the fact that I did not leave out of anger, I am extremely angry. Of course, my anger has nothing to do with an imaginary god, and everything to do with the evil actions of various religious institutions. Even so, my anger coupled with an outspoken atheism tend to put me on the receiving end of the popular theist assumption that I am really a believer who is just angry at god. Add to these characteristics, the fact that I am queer, and all of the pieces fall into place.
I am mad at god for making me gay. Now it all makes sense, at least to the theists. At this point, though, they tend to divide into two main camps. The more conservative theists offer to cure me through all of the usual means: prayer, aversion therapy, brainwashing, and torture. The more liberal theists tell me that god loves me for who I am, and that homosexuality is not a sin. It is from the latter group, that I tend to receive articles stressing the need for reconciliation and forgiveness.
Recently, I received such an article entitled Building Bridges from the Dancing With Crazy blog. I think it was sent with the intention of soothing my intense hatred of the mormon church.
Oh, well. The article actually had the opposite effect. The rest of this post is very much a rant. As such, it contains a great many angry words. Now would be a good time to stop reading if you are not comfortable with that.
The article is about an LDS stake in California that is trying to repair a rift caused by Prop 8. The author, Emily Pearson, is also an ex-mormon whose mother belongs to that very stake, and much of the post comes from stories that were related by her mother. In addition, the post also contains a link to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune which provides a somewhat different viewpoint.
For those people fortunate enough to have little contact with mormons, here are some comparisons that may help. A stake in the mormon church is roughly the equivalent of a catholic diocese, and a ward would be the equivalent of a parish. A stake is made up of multiple wards like a diocese is made up of multiple parishes. To confuse matters though, a mormon bishop presides over a ward whereas a catholic bishop presides over a diocese. The man who presides over a mormon stake is called a stake president. And, yes, only men get to be in these positions, so they do have that in common with the catholics.
Also, I should say that my anger has nothing to do with Emily Pearson’s article, and everything to do with the event she describes. With that, let the ranting begin.
Rant 1 – Shut the fuck up already
Part of my anger with this entire event may be due to some bad timing as I have spent the past few weeks listening to the various debates about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. As such, I was already in a bad mood.
I have spent my entire life listening to straight people talk about “the gays“. What makes people gay? Is it a lifestyle choice? Can they be cured? Should they be allowed to get married? Should they be allowed to raise kids? Should they be allowed to join the military? How should I act around them? What if they hit on me? If I’m nice to them, will people think I’m gay? Will they destroy my marriage? Will they molest my kids? Will they destroy the very fabric of creation? Should they be arrested? Should they be executed?
For each of these questions, I have a few of my own. What the fuck is the straight worlds utter obsession with gay people about? Straight people talk about gay people way more than gay people ever talk about gay people. Do you people not have a life of your own? Do you secretly wish you were gay? Jesus tap dancing christ, whatever it is, would you please get over it and shut the fuck up?
So, here we have yet another meeting by a group of mostly straight people to discuss “the gays“. I was annoyed before the article even started.
Rant 2 – The ugly kid at the party
The other thing that annoys me about all of this talk is the utter condescension involved. Many of these people act like a spoiled teenager who is about to throw a party, and gay people are the ugly kid who lives down the block. They don’t really want the ugly kid at their party, but they feel guilty about not inviting him.
To alleviate their guilt, they go ahead and send the invitation, and golly gee it makes them feel swell. It’s so nice that the poor ugly kid gets to hang out with all the cool kids. I bet he’s just so grateful.
Well, sorry, cool kids. I already throw much better parties with people who can actually dance. How about taking that invitation and fucking the hell off?
Which is worse, the assholes who hate you for being gay, or the people who try to stop them from being assholes by telling them how horrible it is to be gay?
Those poor gay people. They are just so sad and pathetic. How can you not feel sorry for them?
Rant 3 – We really really love you
The next person who tells me how much they love me after voting to take away my rights is liable to get smacked upside the head. This kind of drivel has been coming from various christian groups for a while now, so I’m already sick of it.
You know who I love? I love the Westboro Baptist Church because they don’t pretend to love me. They tell me right up front that they hate me, their god hates me, and the bible says to hate me. Personally, I can live with that. Hell, I can even respect it.
What I cannot respect, though, are the people who tell me how much they love me while they stab me in the back. It’s underhanded and despicable. I’ll take a few “god hates fags” signs any day of the week over the atrocities committed by the mormon church.
Rant 4 – Who cares if you’re sorry
Despite the actions of this one stake, the mormon church still continues along it’s bloody sadistic path of hatred.
But, what if that changed? If we all woke up tomorrow to find the mormon church apologizing for the harm they have caused, would it matter?
How many people were driven to an outright suicide because of the mormon church? How many others were driven to suicide indirectly through addictions to drugs, alcohol, etc. because of the mormon church?
How many lives have been utterly destroyed?
Does it matter if they’re sorry? None of those people can ever be brought back. None of the hurt can ever be repaired. There has simply been too much pain, too much death, too much sadness, and all of this blood is on their hands.
I guess some mormons want to build a bridge over the rotting corpses of the people they have destroyed. If they build it high enough, they may not have to smell the horrible stench any longer.
I don’t want an apology. I don’t want their approval, their acceptance, or their love. I want them gone.
I hate the mormon church, and I always will. My greatest desire is to see it wiped from the face of the planet. To every mormon, I have this to say:
The mormon church is my enemy. If you feel guilty for what it has done, then leave. If you want reconciliation, then leave. If you want forgiveness, then leave. As long as you remain a member of the mormon church, you are also my enemy, and I hope it brings you nothing but misery.
Did I mention I was angry?
And, that concludes the angry vitriol part of our show. How about a sprinkling of truth to round things out.
Whenever someone makes an extraordinary claim, it is perfectly reasonable to ask what evidence exists to support such a claim. In the case of Joseph Smith, there is none. There is no evidence to support any of his outlandish stories or his prophetic claims. In addition, there is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the claims made by the book of mormon.
There is, however, a great deal of evidence against him. Evidence that Joseph Smith was a liar, a swindler, a scoundrel, a child molester, a destroyer of families, a bully, and possibly an accomplice to the murder of a government official. All of these allegations are well documented in many books and countless web sites.
In addition, “the pearl of great price” which holds a place in the mormon canon of scripture is such an obvious fabrication as to eliminate any doubt that Joseph Smith was a complete and utter fraud. All of the evidence points clearly to a very obvious conclusion: mormonism is a lie.
Any person who believes in the mormon church has chosen to deliberately ignore the truth. Prefering, instead, the horrid fantasy of an evil man.
It’s time to wake up.
P.S. If any person reads this rant, and has the gall to leave a comment about how god can heal my anger, I will personally reach through this monitor and throttle you.