atheists and acts of God

atheists and acts of God cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward


For some twisted reason I find this funny. Right in the middle of a man’s defiance against God, he’s struck by lightening. Most people would see a connection.

Our minds demand cause-and-effect relationships between events.

This is not necessarily true.


About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • klhayes

    I think many Fundamentalists would like to see that connection. It would make it very easy to say “this is what happens when you don’t believe.” People still believe bad things happen to people b/c they sinned even though God reprimands Job’s friends when they suggest that is why Job is having a streak of really bad luck. People even suggested the massacre at Sandy Hook occurred b/c of gay marriage. People come up with all kinds of reasons to make sense of bad things that happen.

  • Sabio Lantz

    David, though I agree with your comment below the cartoon — the cartoon itself just seems to reinforce old bigotry, in my opinion. Imagine people cutting and pasting the cartoon somewhere without your comment below.

    I enjoy imagining changed words in your first two frames.

    (1) Hey Dad. Do you think our belief in God makes us special?

    (2) Of course I do, son — and so should you. We are God’s chosen people. Our scriptures tell us how much God loves his chosen and how he will care for us.

    This wording would illustrate the silly “Good-Luck Religion” concept many religious believers have. And all that without frying another atheist.

    Such a cartoon would make me smile, and my reason would not have to be twisted! ;-)

  • dapowellii

    A “lightening” what? Like a lightening sense of foreboding? Or a lightening of the son’s day?
    (Might need to check your spelling, LOL.)
    On a more serious side, I have do have a problem believing in a personal God who supposedly has my best interests in mind — especially when I see thousands of certainly devout Christians rendered homeless by tornados, or dozens randomly killed by so-called “acts of God.” Especially when I haven’t attended church in a dozen years.

  • seba

    WHY on earth would this dad have such a nice chair outside, during the storm?

  • Jeff P

    Experience seems to show that God tries to zap atheists (or gays or people of the wrong faith) all the time but His aim is bad and He keeps accidentally zapping the preferred believers. That is the way it usually seems to paly out. ;)
    But yes, people are masters at pattern recognition. When there is actually no pattern, we will see one anyway. Just like ink blotches, tea leaves, or images in burnt toast.

  • Sabio Lantz

    I’d love to have a nice chair like that. But now, as an atheist, I am afraid to buy one. This fellow’s is probably lawn furniture and Yahweh would not need a storm to make lightening. His son probably just came outside to give his dad another can of beer.

  • Shira Coffee

    There was a case where a guy actually went out on a boat in the middle of a thunderstorm and shouted for God to strike him down. He was hit by lightning and died, lol. I believe he was honored with a Darwin award that year…

  • Sabio Lantz

    I jumped into the lightening mistake — but then I ain’t too enlightened.

  • dapowellii

    Seems some of those Fundies ignore the NT’s warning: “It is appointed unto man once to die, and then comes judgment.”

  • Lothar Lorraine

    Hello David.

    John Piper is guilty of having made such as connection as he told that a natural catastrophe occurred to punish the Evangelical Lutheran Church for having honestly struggled with the issue of homosexuality.

    The atheist father raises a very valid objection against God’s existence, namely the problem of evil.

    There is no easy answer and I’ve written (as best I could) a kind of response to a video made by three atheists arguing that evil makes God’s reality extremely unlikely:

    But I think this is undoubtedly the best atheistic argument out there and I deeply respect people having given up faith after having honestly wrestled with this problem.

    Lovely European greetings.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

  • R Vogel

    I was watching Pulp Fiction this weekend, this reminds me of the great scene when Vincent and Jules are surprised by a guy who empties his revolver at them from 6 ft away an misses with every shot. Jules is sure it is an act of G*d, Vincent witnessed a freak occurrence…

  • René

    I love the fact that you watched Pulp Fiction xD

  • René

    I would love to go like that .. I hope I won’t be screaming at God like he did but you never know, right ? xD

  • René
  • Worthless Beast

    Your father-character reads to me almost … not so much an atheist as a misotheist. The concept of misotheism doesn’t seem to be very well known, it’s the position of “I believe that God exists (gods exist) but think they’re utterly evil.”

    A related concept is “Nay Theism” or so I’ve seen it called. That’s when someone believes in the general existence of God(s), but doesn’t have much of an opinion of them and doesn’t actively follow any because they just *don’t care* one way or the other.

    These two concepts come up in fiction (such as those with fantasy pantheons) much more often than in real life.

  • Sabio Lantz

    Fascinating distinctions, WB. I think lots of us hold contrary beliefs simultaneously. Thus, for some former believers, though now an atheist, may have parts of themselves that hate their former god which the new part as no belief in at all. Ya got me thinkin.

  • Worthless Beast

    Without getting into my own complicated, in-flux kind of beliefs, it’s just that I’ve seen a lot of what looks like contradiction in some people and they don’t have terms for it. The atheist who curses a god they don’t believe in doesn’t make much sense to me… *unless* I think of it in terms of “Even if a God were to prove their existence to this person, they wouldn’t follow him/her/it because of their issues with ancient texts and/or the state of the world” – In such case, “misotheist” would be the correct term.

    As I’ve said, this kind of thing comes up more blatantly in fiction, in fantasy and so forth. (I’m a wannabe writer and lover of fiction). A good example: I’ve been playing a videogame of late with a combination Greek/fantasy pantheon in which the player-character is a very faithful servant of a particular goddess, knows other gods exist (because killing them/beating them up is the main plot of the game), and winds up with an ally who can clearly see that the gods exist but only cares about following himself – so there’s a mix there of misotheism with a few of the gods (they are there, but they’re evil), faithful worship (serving a good goddess), and nay theism (“You gods are selfish jerks, I’m going my own way!”).

  • Sabio Lantz


    Well, we also have to distinguish between an atheist that curses the imaginary figure that others build in their heads and use it to do damage in the world, vs an atheist that has a part of themselves that is still angry at god.

    I work with a very intelligent woman who is angry at the Church (and God) for deserting her in time of need. She is sort of an atheist, sort of not. I don’t even think she gets her own complexity on the issue. But she does very well in other arenas in her life, so I don’t think it matters. But the complexity is interesting.

    The fictitious game playing stuff you bring up is fascinating. Thanx for sharing.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Your father-character reads to me almost … not so much an atheist as a misotheist.

    I agree and I think that’s what makes it funny: the God of this cartoon takes a break from larger scale destruction to prove the father correct about Its nature.

  • islandbrewer