Agnostic from Travis Air Force Base hates mockery, can’t spell ‘atheist’

The sign says “Have a safe holiday season”. But you’d think it said “I toss Christians into the Sun”, judging from the butt hurt coming out of this self identified ‘agnostic’ also stationed at Travis AFB (verified) who hated the signs.

“I think it’s more than a bit funny that you **NEED** christianity in order to define your faith (and yes, atheism is a faith). Nothing more than an asterisk on the end of Christianity. What’s the point? I am an agnostic…you’re all dumb. Should have just put a big blank sign up there. But that would have been too witty for the likes of most of you.”

… So making a blank sign doesn’t make fun of the religious signs? Do you think you’re the first one to come up with that? Atheist groups hand out blank pamphlets all the time. And then people say we’re being offensive or dumb…

Are you aware that atheism is a superset of agnosticism? Rarely ever are the terms mutually exclusive. I’m an atheist (without religion) and an agnostic (without knowledge of the existence of god). Many others are also anti-theist, humanist, apatheist, etc. You don’t have to just ‘tick one box’.

As for the lights and the “twice desecrated sign” — I am not an athiest (i tend to be a bit agnostic), but it has been noted by MANY people around that the athiest sign was the ONLY display that mocked all the others (your flying spaghetti monster mocks all faith). This is against EO regulations…frankly I think you made a mockery of your cause by putting that on your sign. I am surprised it hasn’t already come down.

As for SSgt Rawlings – he probably would have gotten the same response had he spoken with leadership. You guys haven’t really done much to help the situation at all.

The Nativity Scene mocks those who don’t believe it is true. Most forms of Christianity, like most religions, claim to be the only truth – and further claim that non-believers will be tortured in gruesome manners. Did you know that the entire concept of the Flying Spaghetti Monster represents agnosticism? (usage: “I can’t prove that god didn’t create the universe, but you can’t prove that god isn’t a Flying Spaghetti Monster.”)

Are you aware that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is compatible with other religions? My dad calls himself ‘pastafarian’ while at the same time never identifying as an atheist. But I do agree that in general, it can be considered parody. That doesn’t make it any less meaningful to us.

I was a creationist, and it was quite difficult to deal with such an easily defeated world-view. Having a fun parody like the FSM really helped me replace humiliation with humor. I’m not sure if you realize that the Flying Spaghetti Monster began as a specific type of Russel’s Teapot aimed at creationism.

I’m surprised that you call people you disagree with ‘dumb’, and are offended by spaghetti and meatballs. Pro-tip: A-t-h-e-i-s-t.

By the way, the problem is that this is all completely inappropriate to begin with. When the government allows one point of view to make a statement, they literally must allow all other viewpoints.  Ours is harmless compared to the potential Satanist sign that legally must also be allowed up.

Do you really think that SSgt Rawlings didn’t approach his leadership (repeatedly) to make this happen? As the Military Director for American Atheists, I have repeatedly said that all displays should be removed. But we don’t have a time machine. Your problem lies with the instigators, the Nativity Scene that crossed the line to begin with.

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  • HP

    I think next year, whether it’s on a military base, a town square, or a billboard, an atheist group should put up a sign saying, “You don’t have to worry about us vandalizing your display. Season’s Greetings from [local atheist group].”

    Or maybe just, “[Local atheist group] wishes you a vandalism-free holiday season.”

  • beerslayer

    I dunno about you all out there, but I’m just a wee bit suspicious of any post or mailing directed to an atheist/agnostic group that begins along the lines of “I’m an atheist, but you guys suck…” Let’s just say I have my doubts about the sender’s true agenda.

  • Does this “agnostic” not realize that he himself needs Christianity to deny his belief in God? Isn’t this a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black?

    As for the FSM, the Christians have there “make believe” God and we have the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We are doing nothing different than what the Nativity scene is: Showing our “savior and Lord”. The only difference is ours isn’t the God and Savior” accepted by 78% of the U.S., according to a Gallup pool conducted from January to November of this year. What I don’t get is AthEIsts and agnostics (grouped together in the poll) make up 15% of the population, but we are ALWAYS treated like the anti-Christs of the U.S. citizenship.

  • Don

    Whenever anyone identifies themself as an “agnostic” when speaking to me, I always counter with “Great! You’re agnostic…so are you an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist”?

    It’s amazing how many so-called “agnostics” don’t even know what the word means.

  • Phledge

    I before E except after C, and weird atheists?

    Thank you, Justin, for all the hard work you do to a) help our servicepeople have the equality they deserve, and b) bringing the news to us in such a clear and entertaining fashion. Rock on!

  • AnonAtheist

    Aside from the author’s attempt to tell us what we believe, I’m not so sure his mispelling of “atheist” is anything more than an accident. He did spell “atheism” right, after all.

  • Justin Griffith

    @AnonAtheist #6 he said he was against mockery. Then he called us dumb (mockery).

    So I picked a cheesy thing to point out that mocked him, is actually true, and illustrates that perhaps he is wrong about us being dumb.

  • Lycanthrope

    I don’t need Christianity to define my atheism. Watch as I fail to believe in Allah and Ganesh too. My disbelief is actually very inclusive!

  • I’m an agnostic, I kinda believe in God, and I kinda don’t. Thus I’m not an atheist, and I’m not a theist.

  • Jurjen S.

    “Athiest”: superlative form of “athy.”

    Problem is that Athy is a town in County Kildare, Ireland, and not genuinely an adjective.

  • Phledge, “I before E” refers to verbs, not agent nouns.

  • Ah, thank you for sharing this Justin, I needed a good laugh today XD

    But seriously, I love how this agnostic said he doesn’t like mockery but then engages in it himself….oh the hypocrisy!

  • Ant Allan

    @ martysullivan



  • Ben

    You know what really gets me about the ‘militant agnostics’? It isn’t so much the hypocritical bullocks, but how they lug around old semantic technicalities (that most ‘athests’ are well aware of)as if they have independently developed an air tight philosophical argument.

    Ugh. Can’t these ignorant assholes just go back to their broad-but-humanities-focused BAs?

  • @Don (#4)

    What about the agnostics who just. don’t. care?

  • F


    Good question. I took the statement in relation to the nature of the agnostic in the OP. Agnostics who just don’t care won’t be crawling up your fourth point of contact about your atheism or activism for religious freedom. But Don could have meant it in a broader sense.

  • Justin Griffith


    In case you aren’t familiar with the term ‘fourth point of contact’

    been reading your comments for years, but not typically here… thought I’d explain the jargon.

  • @Justin Griffith — Thank you for the explanation. (I has an amused!)

  • jamessweet

    I am an agnostic…you’re all dumb.

  • jamessweet

    Um, that sentence was supposed to be in a blockquote, to be clear. Not sure what happened. I am not an agnostic! (At least not by the popular definition… I suppose I am technically agnostic, just as I am agnostic as to whether Justin Griffith is really a hyperintelligent computer program simulating a blogger…)

  • beerslayer

    @WMDKitty (#15):

    I have a term for anyone who just doesn’t care about religion one way or the other. I call them “apatheists”. (Or “apathyists”, if you prefer… either spelling is OK.)

  • I’ve seen that one thrown around a lot this week, actually. It’s a good word.

    Religion-wise, I am vaguely Kemetic, but it’s not a “the gods are literally REAL” thing. I find that their existence is largely irrelevant — has no impact on how I live my life, I just try to be a decent human being.

  • Don

    @martysullivan (# 9)

    “I’m an agnostic, I kinda believe in God, and I kinda don’t. Thus I’m not an atheist, and I’m not a theist.”

    The question would be “Do you believe in a god or gods?” – if the answer is YES you are a theist.

    ANY OTHER ANSWER (including “I don’t know”) and you are an atheist.

    That’s it, really quite simple…the theist/atheist part, that is.

    I don’t even want to get started on gnosticism/agnostism!

  • Justin Griffith

    @WMD Kitty

    I actually work with a soldier who is Kemetic. He was really obnoxious about it though, and knew nothing about it. No shit, he actually said he was agnostic, then explained that this meant ‘he worships the older, egyptian gods.’

    I literally had teach him what his own religion said. He then started claiming that his elders told him not to go to the chapel for training (secular, safety-related training). The building does not have crosses or anything, it’s just a building.

    I repeatedly asked for the phone number for his elders that were telling him this, and he kept promising to bring it in for me.

    Then he started making up holidays and trying to get out of work. He once said he needed the day off for the ‘festival of anubis’ or something like that (which we found out is a real thing). But we googled it and he was several months off.

    The amount of shit he gave everyone for it, though, pushed us all to the limits of toleration. It was fucking annoying as hell. But I always strive to give the respect that I demand, especially to minority religious perspectives. I’m telling ya – it was hard with this kid.

    I asked him which era / dynasty of god(s) he worshiped and he said “it depends. It’s complicated,” without the ability to elaborate further. I then asked which city’s god he preferred, explaining that during some eras that each city pretty much worshiped a single ‘local god’ – a tradition found in many other religions of the antiquity.

    FYI: His official records had him listed as “Christian non-denominational”.

  • @Justin Griffith — Wow. Sounds like his official records should have listed him as “confused”. I honestly can’t be arsed to pin down and celebrate every little festival and holiday. Too much work. I’ll do it for deity-specific things (Bast), but other than that, I just mark the solstices and equinoxes. Privately. I refuse to be one of those obnoxious asshats who find any and every excuse to play the religion card. I just wanna travel my own path in peace, and try to respect others’ individual paths as well. (That can be very hard to do, sometimes.)

    It’s frustrating when you encounter people who aren’t content with their own journey, and feel the need to (try to) interfere with others’ journeys.

  • Andrew G.

    Phledge, “I before E” refers to verbs, not agent nouns.

    Of all the various attempts to “fix” the virtually useless I-before-E “rule”, that’s one I’ve not seen before.

    If you’re trying to say it applies only to verb forms in -ed/-er, then that doesn’t work, because those are always -ed/-er even when there’s a C before the I, e.g. “fancied”/”fancier”.

    Otherwise, there is no connection between whether the rule works or not with whether the word is a verb or not. (One of the best known exceptions to all variants of the rule is “seize”, which is a verb.)

    The most you can say is that when I+E represents the sound /i:/ (that is, “ee”), then the rule applies with relatively few exceptions (“seize” being one of them). When it represents the sound /ei/ (“ay”), then it’s E-before-I instead. When it represents another vowel, or is disyllabic (as it is in “atheist”), then there is no generally useful rule.

  • @Andrew:

    “I before E, except after C, or when it’s ‘ay” like in ‘neighbor’ or ‘weigh’.”

    Though, heh, I always initially read EI as a long-I, and IE as a long-E. One thing I loved about German, man, is that things are usually pronounced just about the same as they’re spelled. With the exception of the fucking umlauts, of course. >_<

  • Andrew G.

    WMDKitty: like all attempt to fix the rule, it doesn’t really work.

    Examples: protein, ogreish, [a]theism, plebeian, preimage, reify, surfeit, therein, weird, wherein, absenteeism, canoeist, heir, cuneiform, dyeing, foreign, freeing, caffeine. (There are many others, I just picked those out arbitrarily by grepping a dictionary for “[^c]ei”)

    None of those are the /ei/ sound (“ay” as in neighbor etc.), some of them are even /i:/, though I admit that most are disyllabic. (Some, like “protein”, were originally disyllabic ( but have changed over time.)

  • *sigh* Dammit. There goes that.