It’s never good when a religious publication puts out an article about the problems with atheism. I’ve just come to expect I’ll read false stereotypes (Atheists have no basis for morality!) and repeatedly debunked religious “arguments” (Have you ever heard of a little thing called “Pascal’s Wager”?)… but this article in the National Catholic Register is a special kind of awful.
Let’s just start with the title.
Atheism is the Uncoolest Choice Ever, and I Can Prove It
8 Reasons Christianity is Cooler than Atheism
Got that, kids? Atheism is uncool and daddy over here knows we shed our faith only because it was the “in” thing to do, not because our own questioning and search for answers led us away from religion.
How can author Matthew Archbold make it worse?
Well, let’s look at a few of his “arguments.”
Do you really don’t want to be a part of any group that includes the actor formerly known as Harry Potter. Or maybe you do because that’s how uncool you actually are.
Bad phrasing aside, who knew that you were only allowed to appreciate artists who share your religious beliefs? Does Archbold refuse to watch Daniel Radcliffe movies because he’s an atheist? If that’s the case, does he watch anything funny on TV? Because I guarantee that writer’s room is full of atheists.
And Michelangelo really missed out by not posing like that in front of a camera that wasn’t invented when he was alive.
Also, that photo is badass. (Top that, Pope Francis.)
Archbold also points out that Catholics have Mother Teresa on their side as an example of an “extreme Christian.”
Mother Teresa, who opposed contraception, used substandard medical facilities, mismanaged money donated to her organization — just to name a few of her glossed-over flaws — made a lot of people suffer far more than they had to.
And if you want to know what an “extreme” Christian looks like, what about Westboro Baptist Church turning other people’s funerals into promotional tools for themselves? What about the Christians who shoot abortion doctors? What about the Church leaders who burned people at the stake for being “heretics” when they were merely advocating for science? What about the Catholics who participated in the Crusades?
“Extreme atheists,” as the joke goes, drink coffee, write books, and have debates with their opponents.
Religious extremists kill people who disagree with them. Even if you think that’s a rarity in the Christian world today, many religious leaders still advocate policies that prevent other people from being happy and healthy.
But all of that pales in comparison to this next example.
Read it slowly.
It’ll be a long time before you read something this horrible again.
As a Christian, my wife looks at me like I’m a gift from God. Seriously, to her that’s what I am. Your atheist girlfriend (should you ever get one after you move out of your stepdad’s basement) will see you as a gel-haired accident in skinny jeans on a lonely rock orbiting a meaningless sun in a mistake of a universe. See the difference? It’s kind of a big one.
If Matthew Archbold is a gift from God, then we should all pat ourselves on the back for becoming atheists because we clearly aren’t missing out on anything.
I’m sure some of this is exaggerated for effect and he thinks he’s just being funny. But the underlying idea here — that atheism makes no sense — is absurd. If I wanted to make fun of Catholics who mock atheists, this is the piece I would write.