Monday, July 7, 2008

"Why Do You Hate God?"

I have not been asked this question, yet, but I am sure sooner or later it will be. I will grant it’s a perfectly natural assumption for True Believers to think that I must not not believe in God, but instead have some personal grievance with Him/Her/It that causes me to deny. I’m sure they must picture the typical atheist to be somewhat like a small child hearing from his or her peers for the first time that Santa Claus does not exist, and the only reaction possible is to clamp the hands over the ears and scream: “No! No! No! It’s not true! I don’t believe you!”

Sorry, folks: it’s just not that simple.

The only answer I, or any other atheist who arrived to the same conclusion I did through reason and careful thinking, can give is: I cannot hate that which does not exist.

I do not hate Santa Clause. Neither do I hate the Easter Bunny. I also harbor no ill will towards leprechauns, unicorns or David Icke’s Illuminati-based shapeshifting reptile overlords. I have no feelings of spite or anger for Zeus or Hercules. I do not plot any retribution towards Quetzalcoatl or the pantheon of Valhalla.

Just so, I do not hate God because the burden of evidence shows, as it does with all the mythical beings and creatures I mention above, such a being is simply not there.

Now, this is not to say I did not hate God at a certain point in my life. I did. Greatly. I had a rather difficult childhood (my wife would say I’m downplaying this a great deal), and while it was not safe for me while young to express my anger - and other feelings - towards those that made growing up such a traumatic experience for me and my sisters, there was one thing I could safely direct my ill feelings towards. Something my Catholic upbringing drummed into my head must exist and was ultimately the cause of all things: God.

But I was not an atheist then, either. Once I came to the realization that there is no Supreme Being, the anger and hatred left me. What it was replaced with was a burning desire to hold those who hurt me and my sisters accountable for their actions (and inactions).

You see, when there is no God, suddenly everyone is responsible for their own actions and the consequences of those actions. It is, frankly, liberating and unsettling all at once. It frees one from fear of divine retribution, but it also makes one realize it’s harder to justify horrible acts against others when there is no Judge Supreme dictating who is deserving of reward or punishment. One can no longer sit back and “just accept” one’s lot in life. One must take control while considering others. Under those circumstances, 9/11 was performed by a bunch of delusional modern-day kamikazes, Fred Phelps is an emotionally stunted old man screaming for attention like a tantrum-throwing toddler, and Barack Obama’s sudden promise to dump more money into faith-based programs is just an obvious ploy to get votes. (Don’t believe me on that one? Then watch this video of a speech he gave some years back… he’s maturing into a true politician, which is sad.)

So to any Christian reading this who is still wondering why I hate God, I’ll throw the same concept back at you: why do you hate Allah?

Yeah. Thought so.

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