The Skit

"The main way I have changed [since 9/11] is in my attitude to religion. I used to think religion was harmless nonsense, entitled to at least some respect. I'd now drop the 'harmless'. And the last vestige of respect."  -Richard Dawkins


While I have been an atheist for years, I only recently acquired half a dozen contemporary books on the subject by Harris, Dawkins, and Dennett.  I chose Letter to a Christian Nation first, as it looked a quick read.  It was; but Harris’ message was profound, and along with the beginnings of Dawkins’ The GOD Delusion, has caused me to rethink my earlier position on the inadvisability of molesting hapless Christians with our atheism.

I now agree that religiosity is insidious in America, and nearly as dangerous to our liberty as Marxism.  Especially in the way it inhibits our honest appraisal of the dangers of Islam to Western civilization, and the foolish regard engendered for the sensibilities of the Muslim fanatics.  The pious have their own variety of PC, and their taboos deserve no more accommodation or respect simply because they have been ingrained in our psyches since childhood.  In fact, I now regard it my moral duty to do my part toward erasing the esteem accorded in our society for any who publically flaunt their irrational and dangerous beliefs, whatever their ideology.

Even If I continue to give the little old lady, for whom I may have done a kindness, a pass for saying, “Bless you” instead of "Thank you;” just as I don’t always interrupt to inform someone how ridiculous it sounds to hear them call a mailman a “mailperson;” I now vow never again to allow a preachy fundie to get away with mistaking me for a Christian by silent acquiescence to their inanities.  For the sake of my integrity and what little hope there might be for posterity, that just won’t do.

Confronting these self-righteous bastions of society for their public displays of piety didn’t strike me as a welcome task at first; but just because it might be a thankless job, didn’t mean it could be shirked.  Pondering how best to go about it, it occurred to me that a rather enjoyable sport might be made of an otherwise unpleasant chore.  Here’s to the pursuit of happiness.

I have been rehearsing my lines for my next "coming out” skit, and now find myself rather eager to find a hapless fundie on a convenient stage.  For any ideas that might be useful to others, I offer my script.  Do notice the effect of never allowing them to personify their anthropomorphic fantasy, by always referring to their god as an “it,” and the relentless theme that there are a multitude of god choices available.  These are not easy, and it makes the dialogue somewhat stilted, but I think rather effective.

Since you bring it up...


[Enter abruptly: Stage Left] 


Ah, ah, ahhh Choooo…!

“God Bless You.”

Thanks, but isn’t it supposed to be impolite to discuss religion in public?  Since you bring it up, there are so many of them I can’t keep track.  WHICH god are you referring to?

“There is only one, of course, our Lord Jesus.”

Oh, the one killed by the Romans for terrorizing one of their outposts while disguised as a Jew.  That’s the one that believers claim was born in a barn but really was its own father, or was it its own child?  It is a rather confusing tale because while pretending to be a man, it always called its own god “father;” but when it died it turned into a “holy ghost” and also somehow into its own father or something like that, right?

“He is all three, and Jesus died for your sins.”

It may have died for your sins, but I don’t have any.  I live by a code of ethics that doesn’t charge me with "sins,” only mistakes; and keeps me from committing all the pious debauchery ever in the news.  I prefer rectifying my own mistakes, to seeking dispensation from some child molesting preacher.  I wish the multitude of gods would let ME know if any actually are not just childhood fantasies instilled in my mind by careless or mischievous adults before I could properly think for myself.  Unless one ever does, I just can’t believe in any of this nonsense.

“Jesus is the only real god and he loves you.”

Why, and how would I ever know?  Unless it prefers rational thinking over blind obedience to dogma, I certainly give it no cause to.  I understand the Jews and Muslims believe in the very same "father" god, but don’t buy any science fiction myths about it somehow mating with a human to create a "baby" god.  Then the Hindus have a couple hundred more gods from which they can pick a favorite for their devotions; but I rather like the Buddha’s cute beer belly and reportedly it doesn’t even desire worship.  This god business is all so confusing.  How could I ever guess which ones are real?

“Only Jesus is real, and that is why God sent me, to tell you the Good News.”

Surely you must be joking.  Of all the countless ways any omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent god could make its existence known to me, you can’t really expect me to believe that one would send the likes of YOU as a sign?  That’s a bit presumptuous, isn’t it?  I thought you folks were supposed to be humble.  Give me one good reason why I should believe that you are a special messenger sent by one of the gods.

Jesus calls upon all Christians to spread the gospel.”

Oh, please!  Abandon your script for a moment and just think about that one.  Where did you really get the notion that you ought to pester other folks into attending church with you?  Did your god actually tell you that, or was it some preacher who might like to fatten up the collection plate a mite?  Have you ever thought about the money consumed building ornate churches and temples, and supporting all those non-productive leeches in the clergy?   Which god was it that sent you again?  ”Mammon" perhaps?

“Jesus, of course; you only have to have faith, and then you too will know him.”

Faith?  Faith in what?  Faith in your childhood fantasy, or am I to make up a new one of my own?  Faith perhaps that I have an invisible friend in the sky with an ego so fragile that it demands “worship,” “witnessing,” and frequent prayerful "devotion" lest it throw a temper tantrum and destroy our world; which some really believe it is already planning to do one day soon anyway, and they are actually looking forward to it?  That sounds rather perverse and downright juvenile to me, why not you?  I suspect that if there is such a thing as a god, it would have more respect for my rationality than all the religious claptrap practiced by the devout. 

“All you need is faith…”

Why would I invest any faith in a supposed "supreme being" that could be so deranged that it would even permit, much less encourage, humans to commit massive genocide over the mere guess as to who its favorite ancient prophet might have been; or whether it might prefer to be worshiped on a Muslim Friday, a Jewish Saturday, or a Christian Sunday?  Give me a break!  As they say: I was born in the night, but it wasn’t last night.  Were I in need of choosing one of these gods, your silly choice would be about the last one I would make.  Do you still believe in Santa Claus too?

“The Bible says…”

SO WHAT!  Let’s stop right here!  I’ve had enough.  I have probably studied more supposedly “sacred” texts of the ancients than you have, including your “Bible.”  I found nothing in it that would convince me in the slightest that it was divinely inspired, or even particularly accurate as history.  It sure got “Creation” horribly wrong from the first page.  Let’s not waste any further time with your Bible.

“I just don’t understand how you could not believe in a god…”

What a ridiculous thing to even say.  Of course you do.  There is any number of gods that you yourself do not believe in, and I would venture to say you find those who do worship these other gods to be horribly wrong and even ridiculous in their devotions.  Ask yourself what you think of the beliefs and rituals of pagans, idolaters, witches, devil worshipers, Scientologists, Buddhists, Hindus, or even Muslims and Jews and you will very well understand what I think of your own delusions and public pieties.  The only difference between us in this matter is that I believe in one less god than you do.

“Well, you are in the minority; most right thinking Americans disagree with you.”

Look Sir, life itself is not a democracy, and your numbers do not impress me.  The whole damn world could be hypnotized by some shaman to line up and march off a cliff two by two, but that wouldn’t make it right.  Nor would it prevent me, upon awakening in time, jumping out of the queue, and yelling "WAKE UP” to humanity; which is precisely what I am trying to do, if you haven’t noticed. 

If I have not given you any pause to reevaluate your irrational beliefs, surely I have given you enough information to realize that I in fact have; and there is nothing you could possibly say to cause me to reinstall that long ago discarded fantacy in my mind, any more than you could talk me into believing in the Easter Bunny all over again.

Let’s just agree to disagree without being any further disagreeable.  If in the future you refrain from confronting me, or anyone else in my presence, with your self-righteous pieties, I will leave you alone to indulge your childhood fantasies unmolested.  When you babble on about your delusions in public, it earns you no respect from me, Sir; quite the contrary.  Good day.

[Exit smiling: Stage Right]

The script is sure get out of sequence and the theater turn into Improv at some point, and I’ll follow it wherever it goes; but I never had to utter the unmentionable A-word to make my points, and if there was even a shred of intellect on the other side of the conversation or within earshot, I may have planted a seed.

In any case, at whatever point the conversation might end with the fundie in a huff, I’ll be sure my parting shot is to remind him that HE is the one who brought it up, and remains free to believe whatever he chooses; as long as he doesn’t pester the rest of us about it, or expect to be somehow respected for indulging in such self-deception publicly. -Dave


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