Should Atheists Be Looking For A Fight?

My Facebook friend, Paul Jones, asked a question on my United Atheist Front, Inc., Facebook group.  Actually, it was more of a statement that was presented in the form of a question, but it is, nevertheless, a very poignant point of view.  As an atheist grows in their knowledge of what religion is doing in various parts of the world, our country, our own communities and in our own circle of friends and, in many cases, our own families, it becomes more and more difficult not to become totally, completely and unequivocally exasperated with the state of affairs.  It is only a matter of time before many of us find ourselves treading the waters of punditry.  We get to the point where we can no longer shake our heads and murmur our discontent to ourselves, but feel compelled to not only speak out about our disdain, but count ourselves as one of the “New Atheists.”  We actually look forward for opportunities to counter the poison that religion consistently foist upon our society.

Paul states:

“Is it bad that I find that most of my time spent on FB is spent ITCHING for a fight or debate? I find I actually WANT religiolards to sling bullshit status updates in my direction so I can crawl up there asses and publicly lampoon their deluded, “sky fairy belief system.” I fear I have come to the opinion that it is SO IMPORTANT to stamp out organized religion it has made my company undesirable even for somewhat like minded friends. Im only asking what you guys think as I value my peers input. Anyone?”

Well, Paul, you are in a place where I found myself about a year ago. I am not only still there, but my drive to expose the dark, crusty and pungent underbelly of organized religion only increases with every story I read about honor killings, abrogations of the First Amendment here in the USA and breaches of freedoms in other countries, holy wars, jihads, terrorist acts, child abuse in the name of one god or another, the dumbing down of our children via the utter stupidity of teaching myths as truth in our schools, thought police, morality police and how feelings of guilt at the hands of religion that cause many people to take their own lives.

Yes, Paul, sometimes I go looking for a fight.  Why?  Because I find myself compelled to.  I find myself with an unquenchable need to call people out on bullshit.  I find myself unable to keep my mouth shut when that “What The Fuck” light goes off in my brain.  I find myself with a need to stomp the shit out of the lies that religion propagates upon the world with the sledge-hammer of reason, logic and scientific truth.  I find myself smiling whenever I read of a fellow atheist intellectually body slamming a religious fucktard into the oblivion of reason.  I find myself gratified when that light bulb of logic goes off in the mind of the indoctrinated and they start down that path of reason that leads them to realizing that all religion is bullshit, a scam, a ruse, a lie and the single-most dangerous ideology that has ever been inflicted on our species.  Faith is fine, people.  But religion, doctrine, dogma and forced morality is not. Not by a long shot.

Does this make me a bad person?  To the religious it does.  I have lost friends, family, professional relationships and have even been run out of town for being as polemic as I am.  I have lost count of the threats of violence that I have received.  I’ve gotten countless death threats and am up to ten, count them, ten “fatwas” for my immediate execution by conscientious Muslims.  On sight. Those of us who find ourselves in this place have one response to those who would threaten us, and that is, “Fuck off.

So, Paul, my answer to you is “No,” it is not bad that you find that most of your time is spent itching for a fight or debate.  You are correct in your point of view that it is important to stamp out organized religion. The fact that it has made your company undesirable, even to some of your fellow Freethinkers, is a sign that you are doing it right.  Pushing people to think outside the box, even those who are like-minded, to step out of their comfort zone, is not a bad thing.  Being accommodating to those who believe in a fundamental religion that includes commandments for the execution of unbelievers is unconscionable.

Keep on truckin,’ Paul.


Al Stefanelli is the author of “A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World – The Rise Of Atheism On Planet earth.”  He also writes for the National Atheism Examiner and Yahoo! He is also the President and Founder of the United Atheist Front, wich can be found on the Web, Facebook, Twitter, Podbean and YouTube.

  12 comments for “Should Atheists Be Looking For A Fight?

  1. Alice
    May 7, 2011 at 10:01 am

    In my opinion, that would pretty much make you be on a similar level as the religious people who preach religion everywhere, and say everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.

    Everyone automatically believes that they’re right, that what they believe is completely correct, and everyone else is totally wrong and deluded, and that by insulting other people’s beliefs, they’re actually doing them a favour, because it might make them see sense, and be on the “correct” side.

    I don’t think anyone, religious, atheist or otherwise, should go around specifically looking for fights just to call other people out on being wrong or stupid. 😛 It’s not nice. Atheistic people who go out and look for religious people to yell at are essentially just making people think that *all* atheists are like that, in the same way that some people tend to think that *all* religious people shove Bibles down people’s throats and hate gay people and molest children.

    Anyway, that’s just what I think. 😛 I know religion can be harmful or whatever, but I don’t think the world will ever be totally rid of it, no matter how many people start fights about it. Most people tend to be quite adamant in their position/beliefs on any issue, anyway, so arguing with people isn’t going to accomplish much.
    (If someone is swayed towards atheism by some arguments in favour of it, they’re probably quite easily swayed, and would be persuaded back to religion with some arguments in favour of that, probably)

    Anyway, so yeah. Fighting = not very nice. 🙂 Arguments can be fun, but you don’t need to actively search them out. 😛

    • Sandman
      May 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

      “In my opinion, that would pretty much make you be on a similar level as the religious people who preach religion everywhere, and say everyone who disagrees with them is wrong. ”

      The very definition of FALSE EQUIVALENCY (Im not shouting that…its in caps so you can look up what it means).

      Atheists do not turn planes into guided missiles.
      Atheists do not blow up abortion clinics and muder doctors
      Atheists do not tell women they cant have an abortion
      Atheists do not make Youtube videos of them cutting the heads off some poor shmo
      Athesist do not decide to become C4 bedecked suicide bombers
      Atheists do not try to ram patently stupid beliefs into school classrooms
      Atheists do not stifle valuable scientific research programs such as stem cell reseach

      … shall I continue with the list Alice or have you got the point yet?

      So, you sit there angel with the rosy tinted specs on while the theocrats sneak up behind you, f*ck you up your ass and dont even give you a reachround.

      Just dont come crying to me when it happens….because sympathy for the stupid, like turning the other cheek, is a hypocrisy I leave to the Christians.

      If you are an American I assure you your country is slipping into Iran land…a stealth theocracy. You can fight, or get f*cked.

      Your choice.

  2. oliver
    May 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Ten fatwas against you? Wow, I’m envious!
    I can’t wait until I receive my firt one.

    Now, funny thing, from the muslim people I’ve on FB, none of them has ever posted a single religious thing, while American-Jesus worshippers have this weird urge to post stuff about how Jesus wrote the Constitution on behalf of fallen soldiers and stuff, on a daily basis.

  3. Chris
    May 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I agree we don’t need to go looking for fights, but when the zealot rams his bullshit down peoples throats with the threat of eternal fire, molests kids, treats women worse than they’d treat an animal, rapes, bombs, murders. I take deep offence and rightly so. Religion IS poison and the sooner the world wakes up and stops giving it an undeserved privileged position in society and treats it with the contempt it deserves, the better.
    Until that day I’ll fight for all the above’s equal rights and the respect they all deserve. Fuck religion!

  4. Jeff Sherry
    May 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    When I first starting commenting on the internet it was at Dinesh d’Souzas AOL article page. I can’t say I was looking for a fight, but it was enjoyable taking apart d’Souza’s statements.

    What concerns me presently are local, state and national politics with the influence that the religious has pushed into the field.

    I’m not ashamed of the “new” atheists, because I am one.

  5. Jason
    May 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    An important thing to remember here is that it took millennia for religion to poison our psyche as humans and it will take a very long time to “stamp it out”.

    Institutionalized religion is as robust a meme as any.

    I get just as disgusted at the grip it still has on people but I think it’s pretty clear that we as atheists need to do two things. First of all, keep the rage and hatred out of it. Suppress and then re-articulate that anger into real, constructive activism, let your frustrations show themselves in another form that they can’t rail against with their own fairy magic. I know that’s easier said than done and I also know and hope that all of you are doing that in your own way. Fighting such an entrenched and retarded value system with angry rhetoric of our own will. Not. Work.

    Second, never give up consolidating the atheist component of our societies. We are many, and we are very strong.

  6. Sandman
    May 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Adapting Winston Churchill…

    You must fight them in the courts, fight them in the classrooms, fight them at the ballot box, and you must never surrender.

    or a direct and apt quote

    “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

    Hammer on at the anvil brothers !

  7. May 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I often look at this important question by asking myself what is at stake. When some Christians are determined to take away our rights and reduce us to second-class citizens, then yes, we must fight. It is easy for them to preach “live and let live” because they are the privileged majority.

  8. Linletta Woodruff
    May 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I read your post on an atheist friends’ wall, and it intrigued me. I must say, that I don’t believe that atheists should strive to stamp out religion any more than I believe that the religious people of the world should stamp out atheism. Why can’t we strive for peaceful co-existience?It will be difficult to achieve, But I think that is the real goal. To have mutual respect for our fellow man, and If anything should be ” Stamped out” It is the wrong behavior of the FEW religous people, who kidnap entire religions and use them to oppress others.IF religious and atheists alike worked together to end ” Bad Behavior” instead of put an end to eachother, then the world would be a better place.I say “FEW” because they are usually the loudest, most well funded, and yet most wrong in their actions and words.The rest of us religious people speak up, and our voices are drowned out by their yelling.

    • May 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm


      Religion needs to be stamped out by virtue, or lack thereof, of it’s long and bloody history of violence, murder, discrimination and bigotry. With that said, please understand that I am not referring to faith, belief in something larger than ourselves, etc. It’s not belief or faith that is at issue, but doctrine and dogma.

      Additionally, one cannot stamp out atheism, as it is not a thing, set of beliefs or system of rules. It is simply a lack of belief in diety. The default position at birth.


  9. Barry Tucker
    May 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I agree religion is poison, but arguments against it are pointless when all they do is fire off bursts of anger and frustration. To have any effect we must say why religion is bad (eg: it relieves you of the responsibility to think for yourself and to accept reality, which limits your personal development). Then, we must describe what could replace religion; offer attractive alternatives. You are wasting your time battling rhetoric and fantasy with anger and insults. Most aetheist posts I’ve read are immature outbursts. They display a lack of understanding of human nature and the evolution of religious ideas. People react badly to being told they are wrong; it usually hardens their resolve. I’m not saying you are wrong to want to dismantle religion; I’m saying angry frontal assaults will get you nowhere. How many religious have you converted? A good general won’t get bogged down in a battle plan that’s not working. He will change tactics, do something unexpected and completely undermine the enemy. You will only defeat *belief* in sky-fairies etc by proposing believable, attractive and reality-based systems and lifestyle choices, eg: focus on leaving this world a better place by reducing poverty, pollution, corruption … I suspect that (like other bullies) some aetheists enjoy doing battle with a target that doesn’t know how to fight back.

  10. June 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    i think it’s possible that most religious people don’t “fight” with me because I always ask them something like…

    “what does [whatever it is you are bullshitting about] have to do with Jesus’ teachings of tolerance and love for everyone?”

    for example, those people who tout creationism

    well…. what does god making the universe have to do with the fact that this religion of theirs supposedly teaches them to be good people?

    it has *nothing* to do with them being “good” people, god making the universe does NOT teach the believer any moral lessons, so it is meaningless because it is some arbitrary *thing* to do with that religion, I mean, just because someone believes that god or Jesus or whatever made the universe, then so fucking what?

    who gives a rat’s arse if god made the universe? this “fact” does not make you a “good” person which is what many of the religious seem to be trying to say by going on about all the things that god supposedly did.

    but using some *thing* as a means to prop up your religion is idolatry and that’s pretty much where I am with religion (at least with christianity) …

    in other words, i now regard *everything* that the religious go on about as idolatry, (miracles, disasters, gays, abortions, prayer, seeing Jesus in toast… etc) because the whole point of christianity was to teach people to be nice to one another, right? so everything that is lumped in with christianity that is *not* to do with being nice to other people, is beside the point, and is mere bragging that the person is a believer and that somehow, that makes them a “good” person

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