Poor Little Atheist

I love this poem by Charles Strouse and Dan Barker. Here’s an excerpt:

Lutherans have liturgies. Calvinists have creeds.
Muslims have their minarets. Catholics have their beads.
Methodists have methods, Holy Truth to ascertain,
But poor little me, I only have a brain.

Bishops transubstantiate. Shintos ring their bells.
Transcendentalists meditate. Wiccans weave their spells.
Hindus chant a mantra when they can’t relieve the pain,
But poor little me, I only have a brain.

Your turn to write the next verse!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Fog Horn

    Hello,

    I used to live in a muslim ghetto in Leicester. I’ve spent many years trying to wake people up to Islam but knew deep down I was wasting my time. You cannot beat Islam with might.

    What you can beat Islam on though is what we are better at than they are…..humour. What better way to humiliate them and make then cringe with regret is to let them know they worship a volcano god?

    Yes, the Abrahamic religions were all based on the very common human error of seeing the divine in volcanoes. The ancient Hebrews worshipped Yahweh, the imaginery volcano god inside Mount Sinai in Arabia, most likely NW Saudi. They camped at the base of it, they slit animals’ throat to appease it and they established a law to keep the clan inline so as to not upset their fire and brimstone spewing wrathful and vengefull volcano god.

    The ten plagues of Egypt were caused by the fallout from the Santorini eruption, the burning bush was a flaming gas leak on the slopes of Mt Sinai, angels were smoking vents, the lake of fire was the lava filled crater.

    So, we have in our hands a very real way to make Islam crumble in a day. Who would carry on their jihad knowing we were all laughing at them and making cartoons of ancient nomads bowing down to a volcano? The potential humour is endless.

    Unfortunately, this get-out-of-Islam comes at a dear price and this price will be too great to pay by a lot of the anti-Islam community. Take another look at the name of the blog I used to run……GOD HELP BRITAIN. I used to be a Christian until I realised god was a volcano. But how many Christians in this community do you know who would be prepared to accept the price…..to forever give up on their god? Not many…..only the very very honest ones who really, truly, deeply put liberty and freedom before all else.

    So, I leave it up to you to decide what is more important to you…..freedom or holding out hope for god?

    http://ohmyvolcano.blogspot.com

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Hindus have Vishnu and Ganesh with an elephant head.

    Norse had Thor and his hammer heavier than lead.

    Native Americans danced, to try to make it rain.

    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

  • Question Everything

    The Greeks had Zeus, and he was running about,
    Changing into different critters, as he was a horny lout,
    And of course the Hyades, bringing all their rain,
    But poor little me, I only have my brain.

    (apologies to any actual poets)

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Christians have which burnings, and priests that touch your child.

    Mormons have magic underwear and planet Kolob is beguiled.

    Scientologists have e-meters that cause your cash to drain.

    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    Shintoists pay homage to their dead ancestral kin.
    Janists pay attention – killing anything’s a sin.
    Mormons’ magic underwear will baffle every stain.
    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

  • Cuttlefish

    Catholics like to sprinkle, whereas Baptists like to dunk;
    Jesus’ blood is grape juice, or it’s wine that gets you drunk
    Brethren give your feet a bath, and wash sin down the drain
    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

    Trinity or unity, the schisms difference makes,
    One group speaks in holy tongues; another handles snakes
    And each group holds the other in the utmost of disdain
    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

    a bit clunky with meter, but hey.

    I do know someone who did a similar thought much better (not me, I assure you!), but that book is at my office, so I’ll have to try to find it.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    pagans do their chants and dances
    Mitt, almost president, wears holy in his pantes
    The Inquisition in Spain stays mainly in the Plain,
    but all i have Hemant, and my little brain.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    Moses had his mana, milk and Honies,
    Mormons have their gay celibacy, and monies.
    Pentacostalists love snakes,
    and Catholic love rakes,
    and Aaron had a Holy cane.
    but all i have, is my little brain.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    Ganesh had a herd of elephant headed wisdom.
    Buddha had a whole sound of talkin dolphin kingdom.
    Jain ate a bug,
    and Inanna was a thug,
    but on their worshippers, the their worship was a drain
    a true and serious on the pocketbook strain,
    and i all have, is my little brain.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    heh, don’t even do this to me, Hemant. i can do this all day. i’ve been practicing my Battle Rapping lately. come on believers, bring it on. ;-)

  • anniewhoo

    So which came first… this poem or Steve Martin’s ‘Atheists don’t have no songs’? They seem to be written in a similar vein.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFWA1A9XFi8

  • JGoertzen

    Believers get to choose their facts to fit their favourite creeds–
    More special pleading going on than prayers said on their knees;
    But even if I wanted to, I’d specially plead in vain;
    Such is the burden of someone who only has a brain.

  • Greg G.

    Scientologists have their audits, Dervishes have their whirls,
    Mormons have their underwear, Hasidics have their curls,
    Rosicrucians link their circles to reach a higher plane,
    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

  • Greg G.

    Cao Dai has Victor Hugo, Rasta has Selassie,
    Mormons have the Latter Day, Hindus have a swami,
    Football has Drew Brees and his passing lane,
    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

  • Greg G.

    Hindus have no beef, Jains no meat, for sure,
    Muslims have no bacon, meat with milk unkosher,
    Faiths have no bacon cheeseburgers, differently profane,
    But poor little me, I only have a brain.

    • Greg G.

      with fava beans.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        and a nice chianti. ;-)

  • Blacksheep

    My brain tells me clearly, they all can’t be right,

    I don’t want religion, just peace love and light.

    That’s why I turn to Christ, and the good news of the cross,

    Simplicity is golden, the rest mostly dross.


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