Meme Time: Are you a hardcore atheist?

You’ve seen this sort of meme before. A list of things/items/places that you’ve done/own/visited where you boldface the ones you’ve done/owned/been to see how cool/nerdy/hardcore you are. This one is on atheism from the Friendly Atheist. I’ve added my notes where I thought they’d be insightful.

  1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge. – I haven’t done this, though I’ve thought about it. Truth is I’ve already done so much blasphemy in my time that this wouldn’t really amount to much for me.
  2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person. – I haven’t yet, but I’d like to. I don’t think any of them read my blog.
  3. Created an atheist blog.It’s not solely about atheism, but I think I cover it enough for it to count.
  4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone.
  5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic.Not so much offended as annoyed.
  6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron.Though that was true before he became an insufferable Christian snot.
  7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know.Though most of them are packed away someplace at the moment.
  8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc.I have one, but don’t know where it is at the moment.
  9. Have come out as an atheist to your family.
  10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering.
  11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization.
  12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony. – We had a non-religious wedding, but I don’t know if it was Humanist or not. Even so the Justice of the Peace still put a prayer into the middle of it. That annoyed me somewhat.
  13. Donated money to an atheist organization.
  14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins.
  15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism.
  16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize.
  17. Hid your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away.Didn’t so much hide it as not mention it. Which could be considered the same thing, though it’s hard to know me for any amount of time and not know that I’m an atheist.
  18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc).
  19. Attended a protest that involved religion.
  20. Attended an atheist conference.
  21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel.
  22. Started an atheist group in your area or school.
  23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism.Though not intentionally. I never engage with that as the intent, but I have had people tell me they deconverted in part because of talking to me.
  24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die. – Haven’t yet, but been thinking about it seriously. Saves a lot of cost on a funeral.
  25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction.
  26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex.  Or you said something else in its place.
  27. Lost a job because of your atheism.
  28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count).
  29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a pro-church-state-separation stamp on — dollar bills.I don’t make a habit of it, but I’ve done it a few times.
  30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
  31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!”It’s not that I have a problem with saying bless you, but religious folks never fail to point out that I’m saying it despite being an atheist and then claiming it shows I really believe. So I don’t say it just to avoid the hassle.
  32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying.
  33. Have turned on Christian TV because you need something entertaining to watch.Don’t do it often, but every now and then when the mood is right it’s good for a laugh.
  34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist.
  35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant.
  36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service).
  37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic)
  38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism. – Not yet at least.
  39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God.
  40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift.
  41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public.
  42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically because you wanted to argue with them.
  43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God.
  44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants).
  45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it.
  46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.”
  47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all.
  48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to…I’m on several including the AFA’s list.
  49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray.All the time. I don’t bow my head or close my eyes or recite anything. I will stand up and I will hold hands if asked, but otherwise I’m silent and respectful until they’re finished.
  50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you.

So about 26 out of 50. Not too shabby, but I suppose that means I’m not all that hardcore after all.

20 thoughts on “Meme Time: Are you a hardcore atheist?

  1. DH has recently come out as an Atheist so I am not sure many of these apply to him.  I consider myself a Buddhist though Buddhism can be considered more of a philosophy than religion…I would love to meet Richard Dawkins.

    We had a mixed ceremony ourselves…a little bit of paganism and Atheism.  The rules were that God was not to be mentioned and no prayers.  To us, it was a ceremony about our commitment to each other and had nothing to do with any God.  We did have her cleanse a sacred space for us.  We had a unitarian minister who respected our beliefs and customized our ceremony for us.  She was great.

    It threw the family off since his family is Catholic…only my dad, his wife, her sister and my sister showed up on my side and they belong to Baptist or Church of Christ…it was funny though because DH’s great aunt kept asking where the priest was.  LOL

  2. 1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge.
      2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person. – I really want to though. I think James Randi should be a 5th.
      3. Created an atheist blog. -Youtube channel
      4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone.
      5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic.
      6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron. – Never liked it anyway.
      7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know.
      8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc. – The inside cover is filled with Atheistic quotes as well.
      9. Have come out as an atheist to your family.
      10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering.
      11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization.
      12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony.
      13. Donated money to an atheist organization.
      14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins.
      15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism.
      16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize.
      17. Hid your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away. -Then she brought up that she was an atheist and I am happily still with her.
      18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc).
      19. Attended a protest that involved religion.
      20. Attended an atheist conference.
      21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel.
      22. Started an atheist group in your area or school. – I started a group called Campus Cult for Cthulhu in an attempt to mock the Campus Crusafe for Christ. We follow them around and scream, laugh, shout Ph’glui Cthulhu Fatghn, and give out green cookies.
      23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism. – It was easier then I expected.
      24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die. – Actually I have had the plan to, once I become a noted Archaeologist, write a book on the longevity of human civilization and earn a spot to be preserved and stuck in the seed vault in Lapland. 
      25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction.
      26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex.  Or you said something else in its place.
      27. Lost a job because of your atheism. – Almost, but I won her over because I do magic and Juggle. Camp Counselor
      28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count). – Why I like my mothers boyfriend so much.
      29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a pro-church-state-separation stamp on — dollar bills.
      30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. – I just don’t say Under God. I still respect my country a little.
      31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!” – I just never say anything, it’s something your body does, why acknowledge it?
      32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying. – My OCD
      33. Have turned on Christian TV because you need something entertaining to watch.
      34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist. – My grandfather hates religion
      35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant.
      36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service).
      37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic)
      38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism.
      39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God.
      40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift.
      41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public. – FSM shirt
      42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically because you wanted to argue with them. – I’m not letting those nuts into my house.
      43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God. – All the time in high school.
      44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants).
      45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it.
      46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.” – Screamed at the TV while watching it. Same with Jesus Camp.
      47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all.
      48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to…
      49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray. – I get offended as all hell if I cook and anybody dare say grace at my table. I cooked for my Catholic grandmother and was a little harsh on her. She said Grace, “God thank you for the food we are about to eat.” I stopped her and asked her who cooked. I then apologized after dinner.
      50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you.

  3. Guess I’m not too hardcore, as I haven’t hit too many of the 50 items.

    4. Yes, but just for the personal amusement of ridiculing their feeble attempts to proselytize.
    9. Yes. They don’t like it, but most in my family respect my decision, if not my beliefs themselves.
    15. Yes. Their loss.
    25. A few times. A guilty pleasure perhaps, as I quite enjoyed the reactions.
    27. Was asked what church I attended in a job interview. Told the guy (company owner with a Napoleon complex) that I was a Frisbeeterian. When asked I explained what that was, and he was not impressed. It was OK, because by that time in the interview I realized I didn’t want the gig anyway.
    28. So far, only to the extent of my community involvement on SEB.
    30. Yes. I usually stand silent out of respect towards others.
    31. Once in a while just to practice my German. wink Sometimes I’ll ask if they “got any on themself” for comedic effect.
    49. I’ll sit silently, looking forward. If others want to pray, that’s cool. I just won’t be joining in. Once in a while an unknowing person will ask if I’d like to give the blessing at the table. I will politely decline and defer to someone else.

  4. I fail to see what most of the stuff on this list has to do with being an atheist, meaning to be “without theism”?

    I’m pretty sure I’ve done very little on this list. The list seems more intent with being an anti-theist than it does with being atheist. Which was and is my problem with atheist groups and organized Atheism. I don’t need to disprove or convert people away from their theism to justify my lack of theism. Their existence does not negate mine, yet if I get in their face about it, like they like to get in mine (if given the chance), that increases my chances of being a target of their hate, and therefore increases the chances of having my life negated.

    9. Have come out as an atheist to your family. – I’ve always been one to question any appeal to authority. Coming-out seems to imply a conscious making a big fuss about it. So I’m torn about including this in my list.
    10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering. For a brief period I hung out with the MN Atheists looking for a place to belong, discovered I didn’t belong there either. I’ve stopped looking for a group to belong to.
    11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization. Was, not anymore, see above.
    13. Donated money to an atheist organization. See above.
    24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die.  I am an organ donor, I need to find an orthodontist school to donate my skull to as I was born with a cleft palette. But I’m all for donating my body and mind to any and all attempts to being me back to life and keeping me alive, even if it means replacing everything.
    30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. -Not because of the religion in it, more because I’m an anarchist.
    35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant.
    37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic) -Used to, stopped. See above.
    45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it. I don’t expect gifts anymore, and am pretty much like a Jehovah’s Witness when it comes to holidays, except without the Jehovah.
    49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray. -And I usually catch someone else watching too. :o)
    50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you. I’m just not a joiner type anymore. I do not avoid churches, they are just buildings to me, and some of them are quite interesting. If anything I’d avoid a Unitarian church because they are architecturally boring. I don’t believe in Humanism any more than I believe is Socialism or theism. I have my own set of morals and beliefs based on my own values. Although it would be nice if others shared my values, they are not dependent on what others think or believe.

  5. 1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge.
      2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person. /Nope. I would put Phil Plait on the list.
      3. Created an atheist blog. /thought about it
      4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone.
      5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic. /nope. I wasn’t always sure if I was agnostic or atheist. I look at all possibilities but decided that believing in a god is illogical and irrational, therefore I’m an atheist.
      6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron. /Never liked it anyway.
      7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know. /no. I think I have a bible around here somewhere.
      8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc. /never bothered to waste my time like that.
      9. Have come out as an atheist to your family. /Yes, to close relatives only.
      10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering.
      11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization.
      12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony.
      13. Donated money to an atheist organization.
      14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins.
      15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism. /Possibly
      16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize.
      17. Hid your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away. /I never talk about religion unless it’s brought up and then all hell breaks loose.
      18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc).
      19. Attended a protest that involved religion.
      20. Attended an atheist conference.
      21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel.
      22. Started an atheist group in your area or school.
      23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism. /No. No one ever listens to me especially if they know I’m an atheist.
      24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die. /No but thought about it.
      25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction.
      26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex.  Or you said something else in its place.
      27. Lost a job because of your atheism. –
      28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count).
      29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a pro-church-state-separation stamp on — dollar bills.
      30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. /I would under principal. It’s unnecessary. Idolizing a piece of cloth is ridiculous. Not citing PoA as nothing to do with lack of respect.   
      31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!” – I just never say anything, it’s something your body does, why acknowledge it?
      32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying.
      33. Have turned on Christian TV because you need something entertaining to watch.
      34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist.
      35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile.
      36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service).
      37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic)
      38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism.
      39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God.
      40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift.
      41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public.
      42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically because you wanted to argue with them. – I’m not letting those nuts into my house.
      43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God.
      44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants).
      45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it.
      46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.” – Screamed at the TV while watching it. Same with Jesus Camp.
      47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all.
      48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to…
      49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray.
      50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you. /What’s a Unitarian Church?

  6. My husband and I had a secular wedding ceremony and the JP put a prayer at the end (fortunately it was a Native American prayer so I didn’t find it too offensive but still…wtf?)

  7. I don’t know if we made it clear to our JotP that we didn’t want any prayers so I can’t really fault him. He was excellent otherwise and it was but a small intrusion on an otherwise secular wedding. If nothing else I figured I would consider it a small consolation for those family members that are religious that were attending.

    Truth is I was so happy just getting married that it wasn’t something that could ruin the moment for me.

  8. So about 26 out of 50. Not too shabby, but I suppose that means I’m not all that hardcore after all.

    Well, my score was only 3 or 4 points behind yours, and I AM religious.

  9. I agree with you totally on the labeling thing, Les.  And I’ve found over the years that people who claim they don’t wish to label themselves tend to be those who are most afraid of being “found out.”  (This seems to be especially true of closeted gays and atheists, perhaps because being known as either is still so seriously taboo in many regions.)

  10. Josh says:

    I do not get the logic behind labeling yourself.

    Labeling yourself gives others a practical handle to deal with, which simplifies interactions.  For instance, if someone labels themself “Christian” I can cheerfully ignore anything they say, because they are deluded by their Bronze Age beliefs.  Conversely, if I label myself “atheist”, the Christians can cheerfully ignore anything I say, because I am deluded by Satan.  Similar strategies are applicable to Democrat/Republican, Socialist/Capitalist, Man/Woman, Black/White, and so forth.  It streamlines conversations greatly, and obviates unpleasantly strenuous thinking and the need to take others seriously as individuals.

  11. The whole labeling idea is like putting on a mask and being part-of a crowd.  Kind of takes away from being an individual.

    So which groups do you belong to, the Unified Atheist League, the United Atheist Alliance , or the Allied Atheist Allegiance?

  12. Quote from “The Prisoner” :

    Number 6: Where am I?
    Number 2: In the Village.
    Number 6: What do you want?
    Number 2: We want information.
    Number 6: Whose side are you on?
    Number 2: That would be telling. We want information… information… information.
    Number 6: You won’t get it.
    Number 2: By hook or by crook, we will.
    Number 6: Who are you?
    Number 2: The new Number 2.
    Number 6: Who is Number 1?
    Number 2: You are Number 6.
    Number 6: I am not a number, I am a free man.

    As relevant today as in 1967.

  13. Josh- I don’t belong to any of those groups.  I am a member of the Instrument Maker’s Guild here in Vienna, but only because it’s obligatory.  And I’m a registered Satanist, I mean Democrat, but also only because it’s necessary.

    EyesOnly-  But look where being a “free man” got The Prisoner: instead of being integrated in a community with nice band music and cute architecture, he ended up setting off missiles and hitchhiking aimlessly about.  He should have stayed Number 6, and we could still all be enjoying the series.

  14. That’s one way to look at it Josh and there’s a certain truth to it, but at the same time there’s so much information to sort through in any given day that labels are almost necessary.

    Yes, people may make wrong assumptions about me as an individual based on my label of atheist, but they’ll also make many correct assumptions as well. If they’re really concerned about knowing me as an individual then they’ll take the time to learn about me, if not then they won’t.

    I often have a beef with Christians as a collective whole, but there are a thousands of individual Christians that I have no beef with at all. I can make certain assumptions about someone based on their statement that they are a Christian and many of those assumptions will be true, but I have to take the time to ask to learn more about a particular individual Christian and how they differ from the group. You will note that many times I will do just that when someone who self-identifies as a Christian starts telling me how I’m wrong about something or other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.