The militant atheist

I’m pretty sure you’ve all met him: The Pharisaic, militant atheist. I mean the guy is more complex than I am. He’s full of aporias and contradictions, and that’s his blind spot. It’s crazy. He hates God with a vengeance that borders on worship. He’s obsessed with God. Each post or Facebook status revolves around the same nucleus: God. And you begin to wonder if this man is an atheist at all. It’s always God, God and God. God the genocidal tyrant, or God the vengeful Yahweh, or God the bloodthirsty civilisation wrecker. He knows his scriptures better than the religious or agnostic person, and just can’t leave the topic alone. He’ll quote verses and say, “See! What did I tell you. I’d rather drink booze in hell than worship a dictator,” and he’ll say there is no God, but strangely enough God is present in everything he writes out of anger or hurt or vengeance. It’s crazy. He just can’t get a grip. He’s obsessed with the deity. He’s like a man who stalks God. His anti-piety is so strong that it makes an apostle’s veneration seem weak. He breathes, eats and drinks God (albeit in a negative way). An anti-fundamentalist fundamentalist. He blasphemes, slanders and disregards God, cherry picks from postmodernism, and yet the singularity of truth or monotheism is imprinted in his DNA. What do you make of such a man? In his anti-salvation militant stance, he’s actually close to the real deal. The truth is that he worships using hate. But bring that up, and he’ll bark at you, and preach as powerfully as a prophet of wrath. He doesn’t succumb to nihilism, but an atheism that pries deeper and deeper into the mysteries of God, because he wishes to stand with his sword and shield and scream, saying, “You can’t touch me!” Even though he’s weak both physically and emotionally, and mortal. He hates absolute truth, and yet can’t get enough of the topic. He hates concepts like good and evil, and yet labels God as evil. He hates totalitarian notions, but thinks in black and white when it comes to God. He believes in science and fact, but talks more about religion. He doesn’t mind humanity living in a simulation, but disdains predestination and upholds free will. What on earth drives such a man? It’s mind blowing. He reads everything from the gnostic gospels to the apocrypha to the Bible and the Quran and the Vedas and eastern mysticism, and knows everything from early pagan beliefs to Buddha to Constantine to Luther to Calvin. He tunes into religious shows, and watches them intently for the sole purpose of dismissing them. In a twisted way, he seems to have more faith than any of us.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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17 responses

  1. Yes. Perhaps it is because a part of him wants to believe. Yet, no matter how he tries he cannot find a thing to convince him of the truth of religion. It frustrates him as people explain that he must just have faith. Very interesting and thought provoking post. Thank you!

      • Spurgeon had a bit of class (probably). I actually delete all proselytizers’ comments on my blog. It’s called “free speech” and I’m free to delete them…

      • Spurgeon did smoke his cigars and drink his ale. So yes, he definitely had class. Until he got gout that is. I usually don’t respond to irritating comments these days. I just let them be. Usually there’s one which keeps asking me to write for some magazine. Nowadays it automatically finds its way to good old spam. And it’s best not to talk about modern proselytisers lol.

  2. He perhaps tries to seek answers in religion, and no religion gives him an answer!

    Amazing, as always! You are one mighty writer Nitin! 💯

  3. Nitin, I appreciate your thoughts, and I think I can clear a couple of things up for you. First, let’s just get this out of the way. Militant Muslims cut people’s heads off. Militant Christians bomb women, children, and doctors. “Militant” atheists blog and write books. Maybe that means I’m a militant atheist, but I don’t kill people when they don’t agree with me.
    But back to the topic, I can see how it seems very odd to you that atheists, especially the ones like me that blog and write and debate, seem to talk about god so much, and study god so much. That really does seem like a weird thing for someone to do. People that don’t believe in fairies, for example, don’t spend hours researching fairies and plastering the inconsistencies and fallacies and downright scientifically impossible things that fairies do.
    But here is the difference. And if you honestly want to know why atheists spend so much time on this subject, this is what you really need to contemplate: Believers of fairies do not constitute a majority voting block in this country. Believers of fairies do not get a majority of people in this country to reject certain scientific realities. Believers of fairies do not enact laws to force other people to act in the way they see fit based on their fairy beliefs. People that don’t believe in fairies are not regarded as immoral.
    On the other hand, believers of Jesus have enacted laws that are detrimental to our societal health. Believers of Jesus have eroded good education. Believers of Jesus have created a hostile working environment for atheists all over the US, and the hostility confronts us every day in the workplace, in social groups, and in our families. Believers of Jesus have convinced people that it is a requirement for morality, and non-believers are immoral.
    If tomorrow, all the religiously based laws went away, if people respected each other based on who they were, instead of their belief in one question, if the health and education of all of us moved to the forefront, and belief took a step back, then atheists like myself would not care at all about whichever god anyone else believes in. I want my children to be free, not controlled by theocratic ideals.
    If you truly wish to know why atheists are blogging and writing and debating, I’d love to chat.

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