“Atheists attack…” I see this phrase a lot. I read it and I imagine Apache helicopters and seal teams dropping in on folks locked&loaded. …or perhaps a platoon of World War II era soldiers. …at least a gang of thugs with baseball bats and crowbars! Maybe a drone missile?
The reality is always so disappointing.
I’m told that my fellow non-believers have been attacking Mathew McConaughey of late, and certainly the twitterverse has come through with an exhibit or three of genuine uglitude. I’m not sure if any greater sources have opened up on Mr. McConaughey, but I suspect that he and his award are alive and well. Both of them, really. Mathew and his Oscar are alive and eating cold pizza while looking out of the sundeck somewhere. Both of them. The statue is saying to Mathew; “Mathew, can you believe what those impious assholes are saying about you and the speech you made when we first met?”
Mathew says; “Not at all, Oscar. Non-believers are like that you know, but when did you start talking?”
“Your Dad quickened me to get him a cold beer. It seems that the Duke drank all the Bud during at the viewing party on cloud 9 and Jesus only brings wine to parties. But seriously, can you believe those guys are upset over your speech?”
Mathew peers out the curtains, “It’s hard to believe, but you know those guys gotta attack someone. They’re just attacky people. Anyhow, I’m grateful for their attacks, Oscar, really I am.”
“Grateful? Are you out of your down-home slow-drawlin’ mind? How can you be grateful? They’re attacking you!”
“I know, I know, and truth be told I am a little worried about ninjas; I just figure gratitude is my best defense. After all, they will reciprocate.”
“Are you sure?”
“It’s a scientific fact.”
They stare at each other a moment, and Oscar gets a kind of pained expression on his golden face. Mathew continues; “So, how do I send my dad a beer anyway?”
Oscar replies; “You know how things keep getting lost in the bottom-left corner of your refrigerator?”
“Just put a six-pack there, and your dad will get it.”
Mathew thinks a bit and slowly nods his head, “…Alright, alright, alright.”
Anyway, I expect Mr. McCounaughey will survive the savaging of the godless. As I understand it Miley Cyrus came under great threat some time back, something about a terribly impious road. I think this attack may have struck home, really I do. Given her recent behavior, we can only conclude that Satan and his impious minions have talked Miley into doing something scandalous, …or at least the MTV version thereof.
Miley Cyrus twerks. Checkmate Jesus!
Yes I do realize that some criticisms are overboard, some are unwarranted, and some are just plain obnoxious. …and yes, some criticisms can be fairly described as ‘attacks’ (warranted or otherwise). Actually every argument can be described asn an attack; the argument-as-warfare theme is an oldie but a goodie, just ask Lakoff and Johnson. But folks don’t always seem to use the term with quite the same sense of urgency, which I find it fascinating to see just how easily the narrative seems to flow off some keyboards and out of some lips. If I am sometimes sympathetic to object of heathenous abuse, I am frequently frustrated at the effectiveness with which the ‘atheists attack’ meme seems to help people dodge the attack, so to speak. Many a point seems good and lost the minute one learns that it has been made by a mad angry atheist. …cause we’re mad angry people, it would seem, and full of angry power.
Sticks and Stones, Hell! Apparently bones should fear the words of a cynic! It’s tempting to think I and my fellow non-believers have stumbled into some ironic form of magical power. All we need do is disagree and a terrible pestilence will fall upon the land. The power is of course unevenly distributed; one sees it most in the prophets of critical doom.
Ricky Gervais tweets something snarky and temples fall. P.Z. Meyers says hello to a mother and puppies barf biscuits three states over. Hemant Mehta politely disagrees with a Priest and eight countries pledge troops in support of the Vatican. The spirit of Hitchens haunts every debate hall and devours the bees of the world. Sam Harris himself may yet cause California to fall into the sea, and of course all of this is in mere preparation for the appearance of he who must not be named. Resistance is futile believers. We will not stop until all feel the magical force of our negative naughtitude and all around general meanyositude.
– The unbeliever says ‘nay’ and flowers wilt.
– He demands evidence and bunnies cease to hop.
– He shakes his head and kittens everywhere become just a little less fluffy.
Such is the power of the skeptical word. None can escape it, not even on Sunday. Am I engaging in hyperbole? Yes, but in this case hyperbole is poetic justice.
Take that Jehova!
Postscript: I’m trying to be nice today, but if I ever have to write anything about Mathew McConaughey again, I swear by the Nullitude I’m gonna mispel his damned name. I know it’s cruel, but we atheists can be vicious like that.