Hey Look, a Tired, Hackneyed Argument

Jeffrey Lord of the American Spectator has penned a predictable, tired, cliche-ridden column making the shiny new argument that atheism is a religion. Atheists, he says, worship the “God of No God.” He offers only one substantive argument for that conclusion and it doesn’t even come close to being logical. This is so trite that I suspect he phoned it in:

It’s Christmas. Our atheist friends are out there doing their thing. No to a crèche here, take down that cross over there, absolutely not to the Ten Commandments display somewhere else. And, of course, as the folks at GLAAD have just recently reminded us in the Duck Dynasty contretemps, there’s nothing like being out of the closet as Christophobes.

Christophobes being defined here as those with fear or contempt of Christians or those who believe in God, not to mention those who exhibit behavior based on that feeling of fear and contempt for Christians and believing in God.

It’s time.

Time to recognize that contrary to all the endless PR, atheists and Christophobes in fact have a God. It’s time to demand formal recognition of atheism and Christophobes for what they really are: followers of the religion that worships The God of No God.

As with the Judeo-Christian and Islamic gods, The God of No God is everywhere — both visible and invisible. He — and while The God of No God could be called She or even It, we will settle here for the irritating He — appears in a limitless number of ways.

Notice the town crèche that is the subject of controversy? What do you see all around that crèche — not to mention when the crèche is removed?

Notice that cross that was removed? What was in its place?

What replaced the crèche and the cross, and in fact is everywhere according to atheists, is The God of No God. Nothing. Or something… liberalism, the Democrats, being gay, abortion, having money, computers, the Internet, pornography, television, the environment, animals… the list is endless. But that interminable list always boils down to one thing: The God of No God. Wherever the object of worship is not related to Jesus Christ, the Almighty, Allah, Buddha — which is to say a spiritual deity… The God of No God demands…say again demands…your allegiance.

*yawn* Is this supposed to be clever? It sounds like the kind of thing written for one of those “alternative” conservative college papers by a dull frat boy who fancies himself the next P.J. O’Rourke (about whom Christopher Hitchens once said, “He thinks he’s a wit; he’s half-right”). Lord attempts to make one actual argument:

The Fundamentalist No Godders are, of course, always out there leading the fight for official recognition as a religion. Over at the American Atheists, for example, they are demanding official recognition of their faith with a fervor that would shame Billy Graham or the late Jerry Falwell. Says the AA: “American Atheists has filed suit against the IRS to challenge the special treatment given to churches in the Tax Code.”

Which is just another way of saying that the Fundamentalist branch of the Church of The God of No God, American Atheists, want equality of treatment and official recognition of their religion by the U.S. government. What’s good enough for the Gods of Presbyterians and Jews in the tax code must be good enough for the American Atheists and their passionate belief in The God of No God.

Pardon me, I need to retrieve my eyes, which have rolled into the next room. You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe that a demand that the government not privilege religions with financial benefits that are not available to other non-profit organization is simultaneously a demand that everything else be considered a religion. The tiny little kernel of an argument he is trying to make while not explicitly stating it is that since all religious non-profits are treated equally, there is no inequality here. Which is a lot like arguing that since white people were not discriminated against during the civil rights battles, the fact that black people were is irrelevant. It’s simply moronic.

But the real fun is in the comments, where straw men from alleged atheists (the good kind, they say, the kind that agrees with this insipid tripe) are met with deranged conspiracy theories. First the straw man:

I’m an athiest too, OJ, but I sure am pissed off at the GLAADBAAGS that try to impose the will of the minority (yes, I realize we atheists are a minority) on the majority. I will fight anybody telling me I have to go to church or practice a religion, but if people want to put up a manger scene or the ten commandments, or express their opinion on the morality of homosexuality, that is their right to do so. If they disagree with opinions expressed, let them argue, not try to silence those they disagree with. The left wing intolerance of anything that doesn’t conform to their religious belief that they are the only ones with the the view of the absolute truth and that they are justified in anything they do to promote their agenda are different from the islamic suicide bombers only in degree, not in principle.

Religious people say lots of things I disagree with, and I often argue with them, but I’ll never call for them to be silenced. If you’re afraid of debate, you aren’t very confident you can win the debate….

Yes, atheists are just like suicide bombers. I mean, aside from the fact that atheist suicide bombers don’t actually exist. And the response to that comment:

Homosexuals desire their own extinction and the Muslim animals are more than willing to give it them… I simply have no cause to interfere in the conflict between these devils…

Judaic Bolshevist Mammonism (Baphomet) is just as much of a devil as Mahomet.

Forcing everyone to buy Obamacare from Wall Street insurance companies owned by the big banks makes no sense at all.

“Occupy” exactly what?

The Golden Calf has grown up to be a hollow Bronze Bull.

The Synagogue of Sodomy and Church of the Stinky Donut Hole will not tolerate blasphemy of their false religious fággotry.

Sounds like a 12-year old got one of those Get a Better Vocabulary Desk Calendars.

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  • peterh

    Sounds like he’s a ghost writer for Glen Beck. People like that give stupid a bad name.

  • Wherever the object of worship is not related to Jesus Christ, the Almighty, Allah, Buddha — which is to say a spiritual deity…

    Buddha says “Whaaaa?”


    I mean, aside from the fact that atheist suicide bombers don’t actually exist.

    Lies! Why, just the other day one ran in to a public place, shouted “For Nothing!” and exploded. Well, not exploded, exactly. And he didn’t shout. Or run. But it was still pretty rude.

  • Cuttlefish

    Oh, yay! The God of No God!

    I wondered what all those invisible statues of atheism were about…


  • John Hinkle

    As with the Judeo-Christian and Islamic gods, The God of No God is everywhere — both visible and invisible.

    Sounds like one of those awful, mid-century, pseudo-philosophical French movies.

    “His thoughts were everywhere and nowhere…”

    Ugh. That crap can flatline your brain waves.

  • Randomfactor

    “we will settle here for the irritating He”

    As Steve Martin reminds us, “the ‘he’ is always lower case.”

  • I mean, aside from the fact that atheist suicide bombers don’t actually exist.

    Not technically true. Suicide bombers in the name of atheism don’t exist, but the Tamil Tigers were pretty antitheistic.

    Judaic Bolshevist Mammonism (Baphomet) is just as much of a devil as Mahomet.

    Hmm. Someone likes throwing meaningless buzzwords around. Mammon and Baphomet come from totally different mythologies, neither of which is Judaic (Mammon is mentioned in the bible, but did not originate there). And, of course, Bolshevism is deeply antitheistic, as noted above.

    Forcing everyone to buy Obamacare from Wall Street insurance companies owned by the big banks makes no sense at all.

    Well, no, it doesn’t. If actual liberals had been involved in the process at any time, we’d have had single payer, which makes excellent sense.

  • Deacon Duncan

    It’s time to demand formal recognition of atheism…[as] followers of the religion that worships the God of No God.

    Yes, and each of us is a priest of that religion, so we’re all exempt from paying taxes from now on. Thanks. Now I’ll go buy some hair dye for my bald head, and see if I can find a cure for that pesky disease called “good health.”

  • scienceavenger

    We also have the racism of no racism, the sexism of no sexism, and the elitism of the everyman.

    Sounds like a flunky from the Church of the Subgenius.

  • Deacon Duncan

    Sorry, one more:

    What replaced the crèche and the cross, and in fact is everywhere according to atheists, is The God of No God. Nothing.

    I have to ask: Is Nothing sacred?

  • Deacon Duncan “I have to ask: Is Nothing sacred?”

    After seeing Hard Atheists scrap with Soft Atheists over who’s Nothing goes there, they sure think it is.

    Then the Agnostics show up and say that they’re unsure that Nothing can be proven, and all pretense of civility is lost.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Theists worship the God of God.

    This makes every theist a polytheist.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    It’s also time to come out and recognize that the poor are extremely rich – in The Wealth of No Wealth.

  • stripeycat

    He really doesn’t get the difference between notworship_God and worship_notGod. Or is deliberately conflating the two, not sure which. Hard to tell if it’s bad logic or bad faith with a lot of this type.

  • pocketnerd

    I must be an alcoholic, because I drink an infinite amount of no beer almost every single day.

  • Cuttlefish
  • frog

    I still say we’re missing a tremendous opportunity here. Let’s say we were to go along with the designation of atheism as a religion. Then:

    1. No more “freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion” bullshit. Suddenly we can say, “Yes, we’re imposing our religion on you, just like you impose yours on us. SUCK IT!”

    2. We declare any atheist household a church–what’s a more decentralized religion than the religion of no religion? Whoa hey, no one pays property taxes anymore!

    3. Similarly, any scientific research facilities become places of sacrament, and also don’t pay property taxes. Holy shit, imagine Silicon Valley and chunks of Washington DC! To say nothing of numerous private universities.

    4. We get to claim 99% of the GOP’s elected officials are committing anti-religious hate crimes!

    All we have to do is give up the defining characteristic of atheism. Darn that “intellectual consistency and honesty” thing.

  • frog

    Argh. I of course meant Washington STATE, not DC. Though Northern VA might land in this zone.

    Nothing ruins a not-so-great joke like screwing it up unintentionally.

  • caseloweraz

    Sure it’s clever — in fact it’s too clever by half.

    Behold: The “God of No God” is everywhere, visible and invisible at the same time. His is the essence of existential nonexistence, which can only be understood in the context of subliminal consciousness.

    And how can this be? Because when you remove the symbols of the Christian God, there lies Nothing undergirding them: the ineradicable presence of the absence of the “God of No God”.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to look up Cugel the Clever and find out if he’s located Nullity as yet.

  • grumpyoldfart

    He could say that Christians are as smart as atheists, but he goes the other way and says that atheists are as dumb as Christians.

  • Alexander

    @sigurd jorsalfar:

    I spent several hours today watching the television channel “off”. I think they’ll claim the title of “Must See TV” from NBC; it’s really far superior to the alternatives! I’ll admit I had to turn on close captions, because I had my radio playing silence at full volume, so I couldn’t hear anything. However, the drama was riveting, as several characters explained the rigors of their new career in unemployment.

    Later tonight I plan to read the new bestselling novel “Blank Pages”. I’m a little disappointed though; I’ve already been told all about the surprise plot twist (nothing unexpected). Then I’m going to get dressed in my Sunday-best birthday suit and try to sleep. All this activity is just too exciting!

  • Shatterface

    If atheism is the God of no Gods then Christianity is the God of Not All those Other Gods.

    I’ve never yet encountered a good answer to the fact that everyone disbelieves in gods but that atheists just disbelieve in one more.

  • John Horstman

    @stripeycat #13: Indeed, the distinction between secularism and anti-theism is entirely lost on this crowd. For most of them, it is simple ignorance and projection (with some false dilemma fallacy thrown in there: as with the debate over abortion rights, one ‘side’ is arguing for the compromise position while the other ‘side’ is arguing for an extreme; most people don’t ever consider what actual anti-theist or pro-abortion messaging or laws would look like), though there are certainly some who make the argument in bad faith as well.

  • Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    For some reason I’m reminded of the teacher who says, “I’m not going to go on until I hear silence!”

  • “Forcing everyone to buy Obamacare from Wall Street insurance companies owned by the big banks makes no sense at all.”

    Did this statement have ANYTHING to do with reality?

    An updated Niemoller:

    They Came for Nobody

    They came for the polytheists, and I

    didn’t object – For I wasn’t

    a polytheist;

    They came for the triune monotheists, and I

    didn’t object – For I wasn’t a triune monotheists;

    They came for the mono-monotheists*, and I

    didn’t object – For I wasn’t a mono-monotheists;

    Then they came for me, the atheist, –

    And there was Nobody left to object.

    democommie, social commentatortot 1949–

    (TM)(Sm) (c) 2013 democommie ministries and media, LLC, LSD & PCP–Not to be confused with democommie media and ministries, PCP, LSD & LaLaLa.

    * Joos, mooslims and some flavors of KKKristianity

  • dustbunny

    ‘Synagogue of Sodomy’ is so the name of my next doom metal band.