Atheist Confessional

Taking a cue from No More Hornets, these are my confessions:

  1. I still say “bless you” when people sneeze, and I thank people when they say it to me. I’ve never been one to append “God” to the beginning, and I’ve always found the various superstitions surrounding sneezes to be kind of ridiculous.
  2. It’s only within the last couple of years that I stopped praying before going to sleep. I started in grade school, and I said it out loud for years until I realized that if God was omniscient, he’d know if I just thought it. I still did it (silently) for the last few years, mostly out of habit, and justifying it by thinking “it’s like SETI. I don’t really think there’s anything out there, but if there is, it’s hearing my requests.”

    But I figured after a decade of having no evidence and never seeing those requests fulfilled, I decided to give it up. I’d started because I was afraid of imaginary things in the dark, and called out for an imaginary thing in the sky to protect me from them. I continued because I thought maybe if I asked really intently every night, I’d get my selfish desires fulfilled. Naturally, the things I prayed for were to “protect everyone from danger, illness, pain, and fear” and to make everyone “happy, healthy, safe, and secure.”

  3. I watch more TBN and listen to more Christian music now than I did when I was a Christian. A lot more. But it’s all for humor value. Trust me, if you watch ten minutes of “Virtual Memory” or “Miss Charity’s Diner,” you’ll want to tune in again too. Never has there been so much unintentional hilarity concentrated in one place, except perhaps at the last Republican debate.
  4. I like Christmas hymns. In fact, I prefer them to more modern Christian music. In fact, my favorite is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” the really old one which still references Satan.
  5. I get just a little too excited when I find out that a celebrity I like is non-theistic.
  6. There is no quicker way to get on my bad side than to have a “MARRIAGE=[MAN]+[WOMAN]” bumper sticker on your car. Except maybe to have “If Mary was pro-choice, we wouldn’t have Christmas.”
  7. I feel really bad about it, because there are a lot of Christians that I genuinely respect, admire, and love, but I feel just a little bit disappointed when I first find out that someone I know is Christian. I’m sorry. I get over it pretty quickly, though.
  8. I have, on more than one occasion, told Christian friends “you have something on your face” on Ash Wednesday. I’m not mocking them, I just don’t realize it’s intentional until after the words come out.
  9. I probably won’t be reading The God Delusion at work. It’s not that I’m in the closet; if someone wants to know, I’ll tell them. But I’d rather not make unnecessary waves.
  10. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect people to understand what constitutes valid evidence and arguments.
  11. In theological discussions, I sometimes have to think twice so that I don’t cite Jesus Christ Superstar instead of the Bible.
  12. A large portion of my philosophy is derived from Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Smith, and Terry Pratchett.

I think that’s enough for now. Now, how many Pasta Nosters and Ave Marinaras do I have to say to placate the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

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16 Responses to Atheist Confessional

  1. Randy says:

    I still say “bless you” when people sneeze…I always say “Gesundheit,” instead of “bless you.” As a matter of fact, just a few weeks ago, I had to explain to my mother that “Gesundheit” was not literally German for “bless you” or “God bless you,” but for “health.” Nonetheless, it was more just what I grew up saying more often, and while I probably would have made a conscious effort to start saying “Gesundheit” instead if I’d been a blesser, it wasn’t necessary….and I thank people when they say it to me.I generally give people a pass on this, and thank them for it without going into detail, myself.I continued because I thought maybe if I asked really intently every night, I’d get my selfish desires fulfilled.Ah! You know of The Secret, then!Naturally, the things I prayed for were to “protect everyone from danger, illness, pain, and fear” and to make everyone “happy, healthy, safe, and secure.”Oh, no, you don’t know The Secret. It seems to be largely “useful” for more purely selfish things.

  2. quantumberry says:

    randy,My husband switched from “Bless you” to “Gesundheit,” because he doesn’t believe anybody is going to bless anybody. On the other hand, he also doesn’t believe anybody is going to bring anybody health, so what’s the difference? Might as well just say, “Sucks to be you!”

  3. Doubting Tom says:

    Big Mike always said “Stop it!”I think Dan’s was “don’t die.”

  4. Filby says:

    Nothing wrong with liking Christian hymns in my opinion. Good music is good music. I hated going to church as a kid, but I was in awe of their twenty-foot-tall pipe organ.There is no quicker way to get on my bad side than to have a “MARRIAGE=[MAN]+[WOMAN]” bumper sticker on your car.I hate those with a passion. Last year, someone (or some group) plastered them on roadsigns all over my city and neighboring towns. Most of them have been torn off or covered over by pro-gay stickers by now, though.On the other hand, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be snickering at those “[MAN]+[WOMAN]+[MAN]=MANWICH” stickers.

  5. Randy says:

    Oh, and one other thing, since you asked:A large portion of my philosophy is derived from Douglas Adams…. Now, how many Pasta Nosters and Ave Marinaras do I have to say to placate the Flying Spaghetti Monster?I think the obvious answer is, forty-two.

  6. Akusai says:

    I like Christmas hymns. In fact, I prefer them to more modern Christian music. In fact, my favorite is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” the really old one which still references Satan.I’m mostly with you here, but “White Christmas” and “Silver Bells” always get me.I probably won’t be reading The God Delusion at work. It’s not that I’m in the closet; if someone wants to know, I’ll tell them. But I’d rather not make unnecessary waves.I read it at work and my boss asked how it was.A large portion of my philosophy is derived from Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Smith, and Terry Pratchett.Hear, hear. After watching Clerks 2, I turned down a job opportunity because the person I was dealing with was a rude assbag who was treating me like shit.

  7. Derek says:

    Huh. Except for the praying bit, all I can say is “Ditto.”Oh, and I don’t really say “Bless you.” I say “Bleh shoe.” Which makes even less sense. At least it can be argued that “bless you” means roughly the same as “good luck.”

  8. Riker says:

    Dude! I never spelled it out phonetically before, but I’m a “bleh shoe” person too (when I say it)!If they sneeze again I follow up with a firm “you only get one!”

  9. Doubting Tom says:

    I think the obvious answer is, forty-two.Yeah, but Kevin Smith was in there too, so the answer could be 37.37?!Hear, hear. After watching Clerks 2, I turned down a job opportunity because the person I was dealing with was a rude assbag who was treating me like shit.And after watching Clerks 2, I’ve spent a good portion of my time sleeping and watching TV on the couch as my apartment becomes steadily dirtier.

  10. Berlzebub says:

    I probably won’t be reading The God Delusion at work. It’s not that I’m in the closet; if someone wants to know, I’ll tell them. But I’d rather not make unnecessary waves.The only reason I’m not is because I’m still going back over Asimov’s stuff. I wouldn’t even feel bad about it, because one of my coworkers had “Godless” and the Bible prominently displayed in his cubicle.

  11. Brendan says:

    I agree on the Christmas music. For the most part, I find the more secular carols to be too simplistic in melody, and too puerile in theme. The religious ones tend to be much more fun to sing.I usually say Kallisti for sneezes when I’m around anyone who isn’t family (my immediate family still thinks I’m Catholic, and I’ve no reason to correct them). I imagine people tend to think it’s ‘Gesundheit’ in a different language. In our family, you get two Bless you’s, and then it becomes “Now, cut that out!”Also, I totally agree with number 5.

  12. Randy says:

    Doubting Tom:I think the obvious answer is, forty-two.Yeah, but Kevin Smith was in there too, so the answer could be 37.37?!Well, if that’s going to be the answer, then you should probably be getting on your knees for those Pasta Nosters and Ave Marinaras.

  13. Doubting Tom says:

    I’ll try to wait at least until I’m through the parking lot.

  14. quantumberry says:

    I think Dan’s was “don’t die.”I can hear Dan saying that! :-}

  15. Ryan says:

    I still say “bless you” when people sneeze, and I thank people when they say it to me. I’ve never been one to append “God” to the beginning, and I’ve always found the various superstitions surrounding sneezes to be kind of ridiculous.I don’t say anything when people sneeze. Unless it’s a friend. They’re more likely to get an “Ihopeyoudie”.Having massive allergies in Nebraska has led to my massive dislike of the over-zealous blesser. My hay fever gets this:RYAN: *Achoo*OVER-ZEALOUS BLESSER: Bless you.R: *Achoo*OZB: Bless you!R: *Achoo*OZB: BLESS YOU! (said with much surprise and annoyance)

  16. Ryan says:

    P.S – That exact exchange just happened while typing my last comment. No B.S.

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