Or Else!

In my circles, I have to do a lot of eye rolling.

A friend mentioned a meme that has been going around:

“What if you woke up tomorrow and the only things you had
were those you thanked God for today?”

To which others responded, “Oh yes!  How thought provoking!” And, “Oh my!  I would have my family for sure, but nothing else!”  “Powerful!” “Oh wow, something to think about.”


It is just completely and utterly dumbfounding to me that these people take a statement like this and internalize it as a negative reflection on their behavior and not on their god’s.  I can’t hear talk like this without hearing a threat.  Essentially, this statement says to me, “God is a capricious, egotistical narcissist who requires constant praise and adulation. Or else.”

It’s so odd, because the people making these statements are good people.  But if I said to them that I wasn’t ever going to make them another batch of cupcakes unless they thanked
me profusely, and I wasn’t going to do one more thing for them until I was happy with their level of gratitude over my baking, and I behaved like this over and over, they would probably tolerate it for a while but would eventually stop all interaction with me.  The double standard is simply not recognized.

I have a hard time doing anything more than eye rolling, because once I open my mouth to the absurdity of such a statement I become a pitbull.  I get really loud and ugly and
my words vomit out all over them. I wish I could just make a witty and pointed
statement a la Christopher Hitchens.

The best I can do is remember to have gratitude for the accident of my birth.  Not to any supreme gift giver, but just to life.  It is right to be aware of the goodness that surrounds us, so to acknowledge that the privilege holds a certain responsibility to our planet and to our fellow humans.


About Brick Window

A mother and an atheist--Just trying to do the best I can in a suburb full of believers.
This entry was posted in Double Standard, Fear. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Or Else!

  1. fribnit says:

    It has occurred to me that humans have ascribed to their gods the worst aspects of human nature:
    To the religious this is a loving father
    In a real father this would be called abuse

  2. prosey says:

    Another two FUN book recommendations:

    Lies My Teacher Told Me (the updated version)


    Jesus Potter Harry Christ (funny name, serious book)

    I wonder if those folks who think such a stupid statement is thought-provoking would take the time to read either of the above-mentioned books. *giggle*

    • Brick Window says:

      Great recommendations, Prosey! And each are under five bucks to download! I still have Liars for Jesus to read, but these two are getting in the queue.

      I noticed the whole Potter as Christ thing when I was reading the series. I read the first seven books straight through, so it was evident to me, and by the last one, I was completely expecting him to die and come back to life. Spoiler alert: I was not disappointed.

      • prosey says:

        *nod* I love the HP series, and was quite pleased also with how the last movie was presented (even if I still enjoyed the books more) 😀

    • Brick Window says:

      I have avoided all the Harry Potter movies because my vision of this whole world is so vivid in my head. People are always giving me a hard time for not seeing them–we even own some of them– but I just don’t want to mess with it! Maybe later, when it starts to fade, I will watch them. A lot of people tell me I will not be disappointed, but I just am not ready to take the risk.

  3. Jay Walker says:

    I had an interesting FB conversation with a couple of fundie friends of mine. I had posted a quote to the about the ineffectiveness of prayer. One replied with how she has prayed to God and that because of that she now is with a wonderful man who treats her and her kids great. I responded that I am with a wonderful woman who treats me and my kids great, and I never prayed for anything. The other friend then replied that he had prayed for me, implying that it was his prayers that brought me this wonderful woman.

    Believers will ascribe all the wonderful things in their lives to God. The fact that others who don’t believe in God, or in their particular god, also have wonderful things in their lives doesn’t seem to have an explanation within their world view. A rational view of this data would indicate that good things happening are random throughout any given population (as are bad things). Another factor is how specific people view the things that happen to them. What seems a good thing to one person could be considered not to good to another. It is a matter of one’s outlook on life. Is the glass half empty or half full?

    For me, knowing that events are basically random makes it easier to deal with bad events because I don’t have to worry if I am pissing off some invisible sky man. Conversely, I also don’t have to waste my time and effort trying to please said sky man or thank him for a random event. I can then focus on how I must deal with things.

    That’s not to say that I don’t feel that I’m about due for some good things to happen in my life after all the shit I’ve been through. Some would take this as a sign of karma. Personally, I see it as a sign of the law of averages. Since the past 20 years have pretty much sucked. With all things being equal, the fact that good things are now happening (and I believe, will continue to happen) is pretty much a matter of things averaging out. Regression to the mean. Mathematics and statistics are much better and more consistent at explaining the why good or bad things happen to us than is the idea of some benevolent (or malevolent, depending on how you look at it) god making things happen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s