Some time ago I posted an article on “Christian Speak”, the translation into English of crazy things Christians say. I also did one on how Christians try to give words in the Bible new meanings so as to better defend the absurd, contradictory, incongruent and irrational words of their God.
On a related note, and to round out the subject of Christians’ propensity toward playing fast and loose with incongruent linguistics, I offer the following observation and analysis. I guess you could call it the third element in a trinity of religious language perversion.
A rather innocuous and inoffensive Christian fellow recently proffered that "atheism is a religion." That activist atheists / anti-theists, such as myself, Dawkins, Hutchins, Harris, Meyers, et al, are “the most religious” people he knows. Evidently the basis for this is our out spoken opposition to religious ignorance; our distain for its negative effects on society both historically and currently; and the agenda that the religious have to force their beliefs on others and intrude on our lives and freedoms. But to call atheism a religion, or atheists religious is just moronic.
I tossed him the canard about how "atheism is a religion like baldness is a hair color" and how "calling atheism a religion is to akin to calling not collecting stamps a hobby." As I feared, the analogies were lost on him.
I referred him to dictionary.com to look up the definitions of “religion” and “atheism”. By definition, atheism cannot be a religion. Any educated person who can read and has the desire to use language properly knows this. I also explained that if not believing in something is a religion…then anyone who disbelieves in Bigfoot is part of the “non belief in Bigfoot religion.” [His will be done!]. Wham! It went right over his head.
This theist is confusing a “position” with a religion. I have any number of positions on things. Here are a very few among hundreds, perhaps thousands of positions I embrace:
- I tend toward liberal social politics, but conservative fiscal politics and I make that position known to my congressional representatives. [the religion of “Moderatism”?]
- I have a position on my right to own firearms, and am vocal on that as well. [the religion of “Pro-Gunism”?]
- I have a position on the stupidity of conspiracy theorists, and frequently write letters to the editor deriding and exposing their idiocy. [the religion of “Dismissal of Whack-o-ism”?]
- I have a position on the non-reality of vampires, werewolves, faeries, fortune tellers, space alien visitors, etc., etc. albeit, I don’t feel the need to espouse it to most thinking people. [the religion of “Non-Boogie-Manism”?]
- I have a position on the use of camel’s for food. [the religion of “Non-Camel Cannibalism”?]
Unfortunately, there are a few atheists who through their own stupidity feed theist misconceptions of atheism. Some of them, the most unthinking and vapid, call for an "atheist church," or at least see no conflict with the oxymoronic term. They typically have lower IQ's than the average atheist, and don't like to look up word meanings like "church" to understand why it's as absurd as a "Muslim Synogogue." These atheists are the Uncle Toms, the embarrassing mentally deficient relatives, of the activist atheist movement.
So what causes this peculiar need for religionists to redefine words from their clearly defined meanings? What can’t they understand the simple concepts that have been codified in the English language for centuries without reprocessing them to fit their personal agenda? In a word: ignorance. It’s their lack of thirst for knowledge, a disregard for learning, a limited intellect.
I’m not convinced religion causes believers’ this peculiar mental impairment and language perversion propensity. I think the people who are attracted to religion are predisposed toward it and that their religious training and fervor, externally imposed or self taught, simply reinforces it. That they are oblivious to it is just one more justification for my anti-religious position. I guess that makes me a congregant of the “First Church of Our Lady of No Patience for Stupidity.”