Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

AN ATHEIST’S GUIDE TO BECOMING RELIGIOUS

AN ATHEIST’S GUIDE TO BECOMING RELIGIOUS

by Troy Conrad

TroyconradLately, I’ve had many atheists write to me, asking if now is a good time to become religious again.  It seems that the departure of the Bush Administration has awoken the vast majority of the atheist community to the simple fact that theocracy is no longer a threat here or abroad.  It is high time to embrace what we once called superstition,  dust off that Bible lifted in protest from the Holiday Inn, and delve once more into the church, dear friends.

For some, a conversion or reconversion to reverence seems a daunting task.  As freethinkers, we’ve gotten a bit rusty in the worship department.  When working out the faith muscle, we must start slowly so it doesn’t get overtaxed.  Start out at the Joel Osteen level, before you consider going full Falwell.  If you’re one of the 5% still on the fence about taking this sacred surge, ponder the inarguable, massive benefit of taking the faith train to Godville.

Huge time savings. Take into account how much time you spend thinking.  Now cut that in half.  Now cut that in half, and repeat until you reach zero, because you now have a handy-dandy book that makes your decisions for you.  As Ted Haggard said: “We don’t have to have a debate about what we should think about homosexuality.  It’s written in the Bible.”  Add up the time it would have taken you to mentally debate this, and use it to go golfing.  It is estimated that by eliminating thinking by 95%, the average American would save 14 hours per week.  Based on the new U.S. minimum wage increase, that translates to $5,278 per American each year.  That’s almost enough to purchase a Smart Car.

It should be quite clear that there has never been a better time to stop and smell the rosary.  Though there are obstacles ahead for the skeptical mind, here are some simple, tested guidelines to help you go from “infidel” to just plain “fidel” in just a few short weeks.

Make meaning out of small things, so that you can be trusted to make meaning out of large things. Before you can calm your inquisitive mind and embrace the idea of a loving, caring, and jealous God, you’ll need to start with baby steps.  Reading tea leaves and taking fortune cookies literally is a good start toward making meaning out of everyday situations.  Is a tearful image of God’s only Son right there in your bag of Funyons?  Has an outline of the savior shown up on your shower curtain?  Did your lawnmower leak lubricant, only to leave a loving image of God’s only Son on the garage floor?  Course through all snack foods, pre-made burger patties, tortillas (both corn and flour), breakfast flakes, nut mixes, or hastily topped frozen pizzas.  If the image of Christ or Mary appears, remind yourself that it is not simply coincidence.

Re-read The God Delusion with a more critical eye. Maybe Richard Dawkins himself was sent to test your faith.  Have you considered that maybe the only reason Dawkins even writes books is because he thinks he’s better than you?

Develop your ability to follow orders. For freethinkers who have not been in the military, you have a problem with obedience to authority.  This can be remedied by wearing a rubber band around your wrist.  Simply snap it against your flesh each time you become inquisitive.  Do this every day for 21 days, and obedience will become your second best friend.  The virtue of obedience will also prepare you quite well for the workforce should something open up.

Watch The Flintstones. Seeing humans and dinosaurs co-exist again will help free the mind from any previous knowledge of anthropology, paleontology, or history.  Likewise, shows like Two and a Half Men will leave you with no compulsion to watch documentaries and other shows that contain information.

Be stingy with your new virginity. Since virginity is restored when you become a Christian, don’t just go and give it away now.  You need to save it for marriage or Senior Prom. Post a pledge to Bristol Palin’s abstinence organization, and join Promise Keepers right away to build a solid, iron-clad moral and ethical foundation.  Additionally, the purchase of a Smart Car is a great way to keep from losing your virginity in the backseat this time around.

Invent a new controversy. If it’s possible to revive a formerly settled debate such as creation vs. evolution, surely there are scores of other settled controversies to renew.  These new debates will bring more validity to your newfound belief system, and balance out all the science that’s stuck in your head.  Next time you hear people arguing about abortion, say something like: “Whoa!  This is almost as heated as the ‘prayer vs. single payer health care’ debate!”

Use the “caps lock” on your keyboard. Many atheists are prone to using a lower case “g” when typing the word “God.”  This habit, left unchecked, is an embarrassing mistake for the newly anointed.  Using the caps lock is a foolproof solution, making it impossible to mess up a phrase such as:  “MAY GOD BLESS E. E. CUMMINGS.”

White-out the violent parts of the Bible. Let’s be honest.  Any book that condones rape, murder, genocide, and incest can be a real bummer.  Just memorize the parts with the word “love” if you want to really make a difference.

Put “under God” back in the Pledge. You may have loudly objected to the addition of those two words added to the Pledge of Allegiance during the McCarthy era.  Noble at the time, but you’re a believer now.  Besides, why not prepare yourself for a visit to Ireland?  They’ve just passed a bold new Anti-blasphemy Law.  It would be rude and illegal to omit “under God” when saying the Pledge in the Emerald Isle.

Write down what you would like your City of Gold to look like. You’re going to get one when you die (Revelation 21:18), so sit down and design your city intelligently.  Gold is currently near an all-time high, so guess who just picked a great time to be a Christian?

Purchase a firearm. God loves you now, and you’ve taken an oath to “treat your body as a temple.”  If someone is loitering near your temple, you better have the stopping power to keep it looking good.  A .50 caliber Smith & Wesson will clear out anyone’s temple.  Though Christianity is a religion of peace, there’s a nugget of wisdom in the phrase: “Kill ‘em all, and let God sort ‘em out.”

Try a night of gay sex. If you end up liking it, you will meet more people to share your faith with.  If you end up disliking it, then your repentance and faith will just get stronger.  Either way, God wins.

(Note: Though it’s our responsibility to vote against same-sex marriage, same sex-one-night-hookups are not specifically forbidden by name in the Book of Leviticus.)

It is my hope that these steps to religiosity can help spark a return to the peacefulness of the Middle Ages.  I am currently compiling some tips for nonbelievers with a background in Islam, so that they, too, can enjoy the massive benefits of a religious society.  So, my fellow former-faithless friends…  I am glad that we can all be a part of this new “beginning of faith” together, and I look forward to seeing you all at the Sunday meetups.  I’ll be the guy in the Smart Car.

Troy Conrad is a comic, writer, and filmmaker living in Los Angeles.  He is the creator of The Comedy Jesus Show, which toured internationally, and has just received distribution on DVD.  He is featured in the upcoming Paul Provenza book “Satiristas” with Janeane Garafalo, Stephen Colbert, and George Carlin.  To see videos from The Comedy Jesus Show, go to www.atheistcomedy.com or subscribe to “comedyjesus” on Youtube.

July 17, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Blurb, Christianity, creationism, evolution, god, Jesus, Jesus Christ, religion, Satire, Troy Conrad | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Holy Money

Heres great work of satire by our friend and mentor Riki Mathews. Check our her blog, The Trickster Tells.

Joyful and triumphant

O come Ye, O come Ye to the altar,

of the al mighty dollar

O come let us adore it

O come let us adore it

O come let us adore it

Money, and, Our Lord

Let me preach it, brothers and sisters! Are we losing our faith? Have we forgotten the power of our joint saviors so intertwined that we have stamped “In God We Trust” on our money. A religious revival after the Civil War got the ball rolling, and we persevered. That’s what Christians do! And so finally, threatened by “Godless Communism,” as one particularly pious letter asked, “ … relieve us from the ignominy of heathenish. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.” Congress concurred because “In these days when imperialistic and materialistic Communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper” to “remind all of us of this self-evident truth” that “as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail.”

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Now, just because our founding fathers did not do so from the beginning does not mean that they disagreed! Just because the Constitution never once mentions God and the Bill of Rights strictly calls for the separation of church and state does not mean they intended us to leave God out. Absolutely not! Don’t you believe that factual mumbo jumbo for one minute. And never you mind that the most significant founding fathers wrote that they were Deists, believing only in a prime mover that had no personal engagement with us! And you can just ignore all the letters and treaties and statements they wrote saying how much damage Christianity did to freedom. You only have to remember one thing: like God, they meant it all to test our faith and see if we would persevere in spite of all the facts to the contrary. Why, it’s just like testing our faith with all the garbage manufactured by the scientific community to get us to believe the Earth wasn’t created in seven days when we know it sure as all get out was. Or in attempting to convince us that global warming is an issue. We know that faith conquers all and that God works in mysterious ways so we just have to trust. And for our trust, God provides protection.

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Is this not why we pray, pray for divine salvation and protection from our enemies? Our spiritual leaders know the heavy prices for building proper churches, that Glory must be displayed according to its power, and that takes money, money to establish a hierarchy, to outfit a bishop in the style his faith tells him he’s due, to hang a gaggle of golden crosses around the Pope’s neck—and wield the power to make and take down governments. We have been instructed to tithe, to give one-tenth of our income. (Never mind the minor abuses over selling indulgences and other matters throughout initial history of the Catholic Church. After all, we all make mistakes. Oh, and some of those televangelists who mismanaged the funds; I know that God has them crying out with pain and suffering in hell as we speak.) The Bible tells us that this ten percent of our income belongs to the Lord (Leviticus 27:30). A person is stealing from God (Malachi 3:8) if he fails to give to his church hierarchy so that it may be used for the purposes of church support and growth.

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Even Mormons must give this amount to the church or they may be barred from temples where ceremonies take place. And I openly applaud those evangelical Protestant churches that require new members to sign covenants, promising to tithe or give generously. And those who openly refuse to tithe should indeed be denied leadership roles or asked to leave the congregation. As God is my witness, I can say Steve Sorensen, director of pastoral ministries at Cornerstone, acts righteously when his church demands its paid and volunteer leaders to tithe, and teaches new members to do so, with or without proof of income. “When you tithe, God makes promises to us, that He … is not going to let anything bad or destructive come about,” says Mr. Sorensen. For those who don’t tithe, he states, the Lord “is not obligated to do those things for you.” Sorensen is right, true believers; he is right, and he is practicing God’s justice. “In God We Trust”; it’s on our money: therefore, our money belongs to God, to do God’s work. And you must give! Give down to your last dime!! For how else will Jesus know that you are with him, not against him?

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What more proof do you need?

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Rev. Rob Peters, trained by Crown Financial Ministries to teach parishioners to, manage debt and still make giving a priority, states, “When they obey His word, that is to give, God creates opportunities supernaturally for them to save more and spend less.” A true miracle: giving to the church rose 31% the first year the classes were taught compared with the year before. Of course some members objected, but just as God does not show mercy if we do not do His bidding, neither did the church, quoting stern scripture from Hebrews 13:17: “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls; as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” The key word, as I’m sure my God-fearing worshipers have discerned, is profit. In obeying the Lord we will profit.

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We know in our hearts, people, that our God is a vengeful God, that our God is an “eye for an eye” God, a tit-for-tat God, who rewards the golden-tongued preachers who trust in money: Cadillacs, silk suits, multi-million dollar houses…

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God bestows his gifts on the wealthy; just look around you—at the CEOs, the politicians, the judges that have heard the word and listened to the money of the Focus on the Family Action lobbying arm (Praise be!, they raised $9 million in only 6 months) or American Family Association or any of our other vigorous, vital, well-funded action networks. We, and they, place their faith in the power of money, in capitalism. Oh yes, dear followers, those without faith have money, but it is Godless Money, just as their politics are Godless communism or Godless socialist democracies or some other offshoot, but most certainly not God Blessed Capitalism, and in time, they will suffer. Now I’m sure some of you are confused right now as to what the difference is, given the lies you have been told by various leftists that try to undermine our great country, pointing out that in reality we are a “representative republic.” [“A government under the rule of people acting on the behalf of and, to a lesser extent, in the interests of the voting blocks by which they were elected.”] And others who try to confound your senses claiming that capitalism is the economic system and the two, as those of little faith would have you believe, do not go together like peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese or a hamburger and fries.

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Shock time. Breath, breath, breath. Shake your head. (Lies I tell you! Words of the devil! Ignore them when they ask why the conventional wisdom that if we export capitalism, democracy will follow hasn’t worked.)

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Faith in God and Money has made us Great, has built this country. Desire for money is good; money is the incentive that makes us produce, for without the fear of where our next meal is coming from, we would just be lazy bums, slothful and weak. And that is why we must resist universal healthcare, taxes on God’s chosen rich, spending collectively to keep education public, to fund the FDA, or any other watchdog agencies and other such dangerous socialist notions. It is fear that keeps us from giving in to our vile natures, fear that forces us to deserve healthcare, to deserve education, to deserve a job, to turn to God to protect us from salmonella in our food supply, and so on. Just look at filthy socialism [the economic system of “social and economic equality, collective and public control of productive capital and natural resources”]. It has produced happy, guilt-free, high-quality-of-life, little debt, universal healthcare, democratic nations.

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Godless nations I tell you! For only those who do not believe in the Christian God could possibly think themselves happy! A proper Christian knows he is full of sin, that his nature is evil and base and that only through prostrating himself before God, begging for forgiveness, and trusting in what money can buy may he even hope to possibly avoid God’s wrath and hell. Enjoying their work? Enjoying a high standard of living? Enjoying quality medical care? Living without fear? Spending more of their national budget on foreign aid than the less than one half of one percent that we do? This is Godless I repeat! GODLESS!!! Sacrilege—it isn’t capitalism.

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And China with its strong economy based on buying our debt and our high consumption of their goods. So they aren’t democratic yet. And they have human rights violations that God cannot forgive, unlike us, a Christian nation. Have faith. That’s what religion—and money are for—to have faith. We will buy this country and then we can force God’s agenda on everyone living there, just as we are here. Just as we have bought judges to break down the barriers between church and state, bought politicians to pass bills so we control what a woman can do with her body and who we can discriminate against, bought preachers to scare their flocks into voting the right way…

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And the liberal-commie-peace-tolerance Christians that don’t agree? We will eradicate them; we need a crusade to bring us together. And have faith, God is always on our side, as is Jesus: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword. -Matthew 10:34 (KJV)

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, Politics, religion, Satire | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment