10 Things You Miss About Christian Fundamentalism

So you used to be a Christian fundamentalist, but now you’ve been born again in the fires of hell and baptized in the cold water of atheism. Congratulations.

And while you appreciate all your new free time and ability to think through a situation without superstitiously invoking a deity or fleeing to church, there are also some things you miss about your old faith…

10) Carrying Your Bible

Also known as your “sword,” you were never a moment without that precious cargo. It might have even had a handy carrying case (mine did).  In a moment’s notice you could whip it out and get daily insight from anonymous authors or set your friend straight about the theology of predestination.

Now you just have the internet and the LOLCat Bible.

9) “Free” Weekly Concerts

It was so nice to relax, praise your precious beautiful cutsy-wootsy invisible Jesus, and listen to a band play repetitive, simplistic, sappy praise songs. There was never a better time to let your mind wander and think about all the other things you could be doing right now.

And remember that one girl who shouldn’t have been singing? Everyone felt too bad to say anything about it. At least she was hot.

But even though there wasn’t a cover charge, they always passed that pesky basket around asking for 10% of your income… and you sure don’t miss that.

8) The Superiority Complex

There’s something wonderful about feeling like you’re better than everyone else around you.

Whether being too good to watch a certain movie (“they take my precious Savior’s name in vain!”), go to a concert (“is it Christian music?”), or just being weird (“sorry, I have to go to soul crushing witness training class tonight!”), it’s really a shame to feel like you’re just a regular person who doesn’t really know what the hell is going on. :(

7) Potluck

Holy fuck, just that word alone got your mouth watering, didn’t it?

Remember the long tables filled with pot roast, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cornbread, fried chicken, cookies, cake, cupcakes… ok I’m a believer again! Sign me up and pass me the food!

6) Community

I mean it’s cool and all to sit at home in your underwear and talk to other enlightened atheists on the internets, but there’s something nice about meeting regularly in a sacred place with people who think similarly.

Plus, chicks in dresses.

5) Free Daycare

Admit it — sometimes church was worth it just because they took care of your damn kids.

4) Being Told What To Think

Thinking is hard. Remember when a guy in a suit got up on a stage and told you what to think? Life was so much simpler back then.

3) Christian Cosplay

Who doesn’t love dressing up in a costume and pretending to be something you aren’t? Putting on some nice clothes, smiling, and spouting memorized Bible verses is a nice change for a lot of people.

Unfortunately, too often things went back to normal on Monday and you found yourself sniffing coke off a hooker’s ass (like Ted).

2) Christian Bookstores

…because where else can you get the latest PRAIZIN’ GOD VOL 23 CD, a “God’s Gym” t-shirt, a framed naked baby angel, and testamints?!

1) Jesus

Yeah, you miss the 2,000 year old mythical man-god. He was your make believe friend — he always listened to you (though never talked back), never judgmental (except when you ate too many M&M’s), and best of all, he was always on your side (mostly because he was a figment of your imagination).

Yet even though these are all things you might miss…

Reality is better.

* * * * *

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  • kentuckyfreethinker

    Wow, this brings back memories. Potlucks were the best. And chicks in dresses.

    One thing you didn’t bring out was that people had to be nice to you at church. Okay, sometimes they were dicks, but then you could always lay the “love one another” guilt trip on them. That was a hell of a lot of fun.

  • aproustian

    On the other hand, *I* was a “chick in a dress”, and I don’t miss that at all.

    (Do we have to always assume the people reading these posts are men/attracted to women?)

    It’s kind of unfortunate because guys in suits doesn’t do anything for me, other than wish they weren’t the ones setting the thermostat.

    • Daniel Florien

      No, but I’m a man, thus written from that viewpoint — sorry! ;)

      • UrsaMinor

        Well, there goes the Daniel-is-a-lesbian hypothesis- not that it ever had much data to support it.

        • aproustian


        • Daniel Florien

          Well, I do like women…

          • UrsaMinor

            Necessary, but not sufficient.

        • Dutchhobbit

          He is a male lesbian like Eddie Izzard

    • FO

      Yes, but did you sing horribly? =P

  • Hawkeye

    I do miss them potlucks. I was in Iowa last year and went to church with my fundie cousin because she said there was free food. Resisting the urge to poke holes in their theology was curbed by the weight of the plate. Having to listen to the sermon before eating was horrible because man, was I hongry!

  • http://abrahampiper.com Abraham

    You don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy a few of these… Superiority, daycare, cosplay, for example.

    Best of both worlds.

    • UrsaMinor

      Indeed. Even as an atheist, I’m a firm believer in potlucks.

    • Daniel Florien

      That’s true — and in fact I was gonna say that, but I found it distracted from the main point and wasn’t all that funny.

      Especially superiority… atheism has its own very special brand of that. :)

      • http://www.abrahampiper.com Abraham

        It could be funny…. An atheist who is a committed churchgoer for all the non-spiritual benefits. I’d watch that show. :)

        • Daniel Florien

          You could be the star.

        • Gary

          There are more of that kind of churchgoer than you might suspect, Abraham. Some of them admit it openly.

          • http://www.abrahampiper.com Abraham

            Don’t underestimate my ability to suspect. :)

  • Zinn

    In the first section “…it might of…” should be “… it might *have*…” or “…might’ve…” but that’s a stretch. Sorry, just the editor in me, Grammar 101 you know, especially when you’re comically lording your atheist superiority. ;-)

    • Daniel Florien

      The style is writing how I speak — very casually — thus I think it’s acceptable even though it’s not technically correct.

      (But I like ‘might have’ better, so I’ve updated it.)

      • Kodie

        When you say “might of,” you’re really saying “might’ve.” No problems writing how you talk.

    • Michael

      “Might of” was the standard way of spelling that colloquialism some time ago (about 75-150 years ago I think), before it got altered to the contraction “Might’ve” that is usually seen now. “Might have” is standard in writing when not transcribing speech or when transcribing careful speech.

      • chris

        Really? That would be surprising, do you have any links with more info?

  • Nicole Youngman

    Hey, Pagans have potlucks too, you’re quite welcome to come hang out with us! Just be sure you have a cool carrying case for your Tarot cards. ;)

  • Len

    Jesus never talking back (in point #1) was actually a plus point.

    • http://www.jeremystyron.com Jeremy

      Touche, Len.

  • http://www.jeremystyron.com Jeremy

    My top two would be potlucks and community. Pretty much dropped a whole sphere of people when I left. Nearly all “church” friends are just that. Once you drop the faith, you become an outsider. Never got into the cosplay though. No occasion under the sun is important enough for me to get into a suit and tie!

  • http://www.nicholascloud.com ncloud

    What, no mention of the CCM ghetto and the awesome radio stations that play endless streams of Michael W. Smith and the more mellow Audio Adrenaline songs (you know, to be *edgy* and draw in those rebellious youth)? Hell, one of our local colleges even plays Christian metal (!) every Saturday night, interspersed with sound clips of Darth Vader saying “Your lack of faith disturbs me.” And the concerts! I remember seeing Newsboys when I was, I dunno, 10 or something, and the (vertically) rotating drumset was pretty boss. Head banging for Jesus was pretty much my hobby for about a decade.

    • http://www.nicholascloud.com ncloud

      Oh, and what about CAMP! You know, getting a two-week spiritual enema while simultaneously fighting hormones at the pool (if you were lucking to have coed swimming), staying up late getting jacked up on candy and caffine so you could have heavy spiritual discussions around the campfire, after which you would sneak out to wrap community toilet seats in cellophane to be sure that the next day’s gossip teamed with condemnation from all quarters about the juvenile and decidedly un-Christian shenanigans for which the junior counselors would no doubt be blamed. The best part, of course, was finding your soul mate for two weeks, sneaking off to be alone and fight temptation together, then breaking up because you were from different churches anyway, and long distance relationships just don’t work out very well.

      • Daniel Florien

        Ooo I forgot about camp, good one.

      • TheMountain

        Apparently your enema didn’t work.

    • Len

      Somehow the idea of Christian metal makes me think of aluminium.

      • Custador

        I’d have gone for tin…

  • FO

    Never been Xtian but I feel that when I should witn… ehm, argue with Xtians **I** should always have a Bible ready. ^_^

  • Bill

    There is not a thing on this list I actually miss, and many I actively hated as a church goer.

    Pot lucks especially gave me the creeps. There was alway a ton of casserole involving marshmallows of some kind, and a shit load of jello.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Andrew Carmichael

    How about real lame and bland jokes, because no one can say anything remotely offensive? Expect for when the punch line is something like, “and then the evil doer went to hell.”

    Fear and Loathing in Damascus

  • http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com Michael Caton

    The great thing is that most of these things are not antithetical to being rational (potlucks, socializing, shared childcare) and can and are reproduced in rationalist communities. I was brought up atheist and never knew how much fun potlucks were until I started hanging out with atheist groups!

  • T

    One thing I definitely don’t miss…the deacon in the pew behind me clipping his toenails during the evening service. One of them hit me in the head once, and it still grosses me out!

    • Daniel Florien


  • Ben A

    Well… I still go to church anyways…

  • T

    Does the old man in the first picture remind anyone else of the gatekeeper from “The Neverending Story”? How’d you like to go to a potluck at his house? Ew.

  • PastorJCPulgarin

    What most non-believers should miss is the POWER of the Holy Spirit! Only He can make you whole! Follow Jesus. #teamjesus

    • Noelle

      Nope. I’m ex-Lutheran. We acknowledge this Holy Spirit, for the sake of keeping things in a nice superstitious 3 is awesome and yay to prime numbers thing. But the revel in the spirit and lift up your hands and praise God? Not our thing. What you want is the AoG church down the road.

    • Len

      What most ex-believers have found (since leaving the church) is the far greater power of rationality and logic – and thinking for oneself. And we need don’t words all in upper case letters to express that power. Because it’s real.

      • Len

        Although being able to comment the edits would be good ;-)

  • Noelle

    Tried using church for daycare. Someone always came to get me or the husband, because our kids are a handful. Which then leads to me being the one giving other people free daycare.

    I miss potlucks. Jello salad needs a limit though. Like maybe a 3:100 jello to person ratio. Jello with miracle-whip can induce vomiting, in a pinch.

    Your bible had a case? Sounds like you were a fun guy, Daniel ;)

    Is the carrying a bible around for arguing purposes maybe a guy thing? I can’t remember ever seeing women whip out their swords and wave them around at each other.

    • Len

      It’s a guy thing – my sword is bigger than your sword.

  • TheMountain

    ALL atheists will rot in hell.

    • Daniel Florien

      Haha you sound like a peach, can we hang out?

    • TrickQuestion

      And ALL of everyone will rot in the ground.

      • Daniel Florien

        I hope you are eaten by worms!

        • TrickQuestion

          I do too! Recycle, kids :D

        • http://theascendancymemoirs.wordpress.com Wazza

          I intend to be cremated

          and then for good measure, I’ll have half my ashes compressed into diamond.

          • JK

            Heheh, imagine someone wearing you on a ring. “I got wazza with me all the time”. ^^

    • RationalThinker

      See you there! Save us a seat, OK?

    • Mogg

      Y’know, I think we’ve found a demonstration of one thing nobody misses about Christian Fundamentalism.

    • JK

      So will you – for taking God’s name in vain. Or do you say you know what the christian god ™ has in store for us? Oh and doesn’t it say “love your enemies”? So why all the hatred? That one will give you some hell time too. So see you in hell then, you bloody moron.

    • Len

      So, apparently, will all believers who believe in a slightly different version of ceiling cat.

      The scary question (for you, at least) is: is my god the right one? And how do I know?

      • UrsaMinor

        Silly atheist! It’s obvious. They know they’ve picked the right god because otherwise they’d be wrong.

        • http://parsleyvictorious.blogspot.com Parsley Victorious

          It saddens me that I can’t hit ‘like’ on this.

  • http://argama.deviantart.com/ Sunny Ng

    Hmm, I must have taken a wrong turn and ended up on Cracked.

    • TrickQuestion

      It’s easy to do. They keep changing the roads.

  • grumpygirl

    I’m a life long atheist. But I recently discovered Unitarian Universalism. Great way to get all the good stuff about joining a church without having to believe in god!

    • Isilzha

      Ewwww…I tried that. It was the most obnoxious touchy-feely, judgmental, woo infested bunch of snobs I’d ever encountered (and that’s even with spending some time trying out Wicca!). I was forcibly hugged on more than one occasion even though I hate being hugged by strangers and ALL my body language would be devoted to preventing it.

      The last straw for me was several paragraphs in their newsletter about how everyone should be using handkerchiefs instead of tissues at the next sappy sermon that made everyone weep. Seriously, an entire column devoted to the evils of tissue and the virtue of cloth hankies. I actually called someone and asked if the column was serious or tongue-in-cheek. I was then told that I was at the wrong church and shouldn’t come back. Yep, I was kicked out of UU for questioning the sanctity and superiority of cloth hankies over disposable tissue. That’s when I finally realized that I was done with religion of any form or flavor.

      • Ubi Dubium

        Yes, but at least the Unitarians have potlucks.

        • Isilzha

          Well, if hankies are serious business, I can’t imagine UU potlucks! ::shudder::

          • Elemenope

            As a youth I attended a UU chapel with my parents, I can say at least that one’s experience in a UU congregation can vary *extremely* from one to the next.

            One positive thing I will say about the UUs (or at least the congregation I attended) was that they were very accepting of people without precondition. At a time when even the more progressive Christian denominations were keeping their acceptance of homosexuality tightly under their hats, UU congregations were (and I imagine still are) safe and welcoming communities for out homosexuals.

            I can’t speak to the compulsive, creepily mandatory hugging or the handkerchief politics, but it doesn’t go so far as to shock me. UUs *are* indisputably weird even under the best circumstances.

    • http://volunteer11.blogspot.com Vol-E

      I was just about to say that when I saw your reply. Yes, all that and a bottomless pot of fair trade coffee. At the one I go to, you get dudes in kilts! :)

  • Lynne

    This was some seriously awesome reading. I grew up Catholic and spent my twenties involved in craptacular New Agey stuff, so this post is a lesson in itself.

    I now see how much I was deprived. I’m joining a Christian church just for the potlucks. Could someone please post their best chicken pot pie recipe?!

    • http://fugodeus.com Nox

      The potlucks are the only thing on this list I miss. I’d go back now, but it turns out you can just buy cornbread at the store.

      • UrsaMinor

        Ewwww! Dude, that’s not cornbread! Do yourself a favor and learn how to make it at home. The real stuff takes five minutes to mix together and thirty minutes to bake.

    • RavynG

      Quick Chicken* “Pot-Pie”

      2 pounds raw, thawed chicken cut in cubes
      ½ bag (approx 1 pound) frozen “Southern-Style” cubed hash-brown potatoes
      1 cup chopped onion
      1 cup chopped celery (optional)
      olive oil

      In large oven-proof pot (dutch-oven) cook chicken cubes in a little olive oil and add frozen potatoes, onion and celery and continue cooking until they are heated through and soft. (It is faster if you put the heat on medium and cover the pot for a few minutes to steam, but stir it often.)

      1 can sliced carrots drained
      1 can sweet peas drained
      1 can mixed vegetables (the mix with lima beans rather than the one with potatoes) drained
      2 small cans or 1 large can cream of chicken soup
      1 can refrigerated FLAKY BUTTERY GRANDS-style biscuits (8 large biscuits)

      Add to pot with chicken and potatoes the carrots, peas and mixed vegetables and mix gently. Add both cans of cream of chicken soup and mix thoroughly but do not break up the vegetables. Even off the top of the mixture and scrape the top edge/sides of the pot, then place the refrigerated biscuits to cover the top surface, lightly placing them on the
      mixture (do not press down.) Bake uncovered in center of 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until biscuits are golden. Makes 4 hearty servings of 2 biscuits each or 8 single biscuit servings.

      *This recipe can be made with turkey; or beef/pork, (even ground) but I would probably use cream of mushroom soup instead with some “Kitchen Bouquet” liquid browning extract to make the gravy brown.

      • RavynG

        but this one is better for potlucks:

        Thanksgiving Casserole

        1 package/envelope (4-serving size) instant mashed potato mix (“butter and herb” works well)
        1 box turkey flavored stuffing mix (makes 3 cups)
        1 box cornbread stuffing mix (makes 3 cups)
        1 envelope of dry turkey gravy mix
        1 pouch/pkg. of dried cranberries (not the snack-sized!)
        1 pound ground turkey
        1 cup of chopped onion
        1 cup of chopped celery
        1 stick of “butter” (4 oz.)
        1 1/2 cup of milk
        boiling water (4-5cups)

        Grease the bottom and sides of a 13×9 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl add the mashed potato and stuffing mixes with the dry gravy and cranberries. In a frying pan, brown the turkey with the onion and celery until they are transparent—may need to use a little olive oil because the turkey has very little fat—and set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave and add to the milk. Pour the butter/milk mixture into the pan with the meat/onion/celery and stir to loosen anything that might be on the pan bottom, then pour into the bowl with all the dry ingredients. Add 4 cups of boiling water to the bowl to start with and mix well. There should be enough liquid to moisten everything and cover the top by about ½ inch–add 1 more cup if needed. Let set up for about 5 minutes and re-mix. Then spread into the baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden and crusty on top. (Adjust temperature lower if it appears to be browning too fast.)

      • RavynG

        LOL–this is fun! (I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness…)

        Tamale Pie

        Grease the bottom and sides of a lasagna pan.
        Need a large pot and a large mixing bowl.

        1 pound of taco-flavored ground turkey (they have it at the super walmart there I saw it—but you can also use regular and an envelope of taco seasoning)—browned in pot

        1 large onion chopped and cooked until soft (can cook with the meat^)

        I can corn-preferably white and Green Giant has a white corn and chipotle I use

        1 larger or 2 tiny cans of chopped green chiles (in the Mexican section)

        1 can of you favorite canned chili with beans (I use Hormel Turkey with beans)

        1 small box of JIFFY Corn Muffin mix

        1 cup of whole milk

        3-4 eggs (Large or Jumbo—only 3)

        4 cups shredded cheese –I use the Fiesta Blend

        1 large can of enchilada sauce

        sour cream

        Add the meat, onion, corn, chiles, chili altogether in pot and mix and heat to simmer to boil away some of the liquid. Meanwhile in mixing bowl mix muffin mix, milk and eggs thoroughly and set aside. In the lasagna pan put the meat mixture in the bottom and spread evenly, then top with the cheese and carefully pour in the muffin batter to cover it evenly—can use a spreader. Bake in over at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden on top and a knife comes out clean. Serve with enchilada sauce and sour cream.

        • Lynne

          OMg! OMg! Thanks, you guys! I’m totally geeking!

          It’s almost 4am on a Monday, and I’m making a shopping list!

          Chicken pot pie. Tamale pie. The Christians won’t know what hit ‘em. (Smiles smugly.)

  • vasaroti

    “If u make mistayk with PENIS GOES WHERE?!, thn u wull not b abel to eat saycrd cheezburgrs.”
    Even in LOLspeak, it’s still a downer. srsly.

    This takes care of any party/music/gabfest/community service urges I get:

    The United Coalition of Reason is a national organization that works to raise the visibility of local nontheistic groups all over America. Nationally, we do this by conducting campaigns which highlight the fact that nontheists live in every community across America. Locally, we do this by promoting informal cooperation among local groups, hosting local coalition websites, training group leaders, and funding publicity campaigns.

  • Di

    I go through phases of going to church and not. When I do go, I prefer a nice quiet Cof E service, with a cup of tea and a biscuit afterwards and a cheery see you next Sunday. Very peaceful. My daughter on the other hand goes to a strange church, I went once and once only. It was all “Praise the Lord” laying of hands and a lot of preaching of Hell. Not my scene at all. I prefer a private relationship with God.
    I’m new to the site and I’m enjoying it very much. I work nights and my job can be very slow so to keep my mind from turning to mush I surf the net and came accross this site and have hardly left it. Thanks for the discussions, they really make me think.

    • Bill

      “Cake or death?”

  • Rich Wilson

    That’s same sex hooker’s ass, thank you very much! (e.g. Ted)

  • Jasen

    I do like chicks in dresses.

  • Ubi Dubium

    I noticed that the photo of the potluck showed two bowls of raspberries. I’d like to go to THAT potluck thank you, and dibs on the berries. Somebody else can have the green gloppy stuff, though.

  • http://leetsee.com Leetsee

    I started carrying the bible only as an atheist :D Now I have it on my cell phone, as an android application…. just because somebody comes with the speech on how great is god, I can show them a few quotes exactly about their mythical godfather … here where I live 80% of the believers believe in some fairy tales told them by the local preach and have absolutely no idea about what is written in the bible… I have seen a few very very puzzled faces… It is priceless :D

  • Jim Howerton

    The best reason to go to church? Some of the best twisted, deranged heart pounding sex ever. Either they were at church looking for action or had these pent up desires that eventually had to burst forth. Thank you Jesus.

  • mints

    I can’t deny there’s a lot of good memories, what I miss the most is the community and the music!
    well esoecially the music, or sort of music, we weren’t allowed to play any kind of instrument so everything had to be a capella. I looooved (and I still do) so much!
    We would have singing lessons on Saturdays before the youth meeting. we even had an annual contest where all the youth groups would sing and we won almost every time.
    I have only been on funeral services and some weddings since I left religion, and still enjoy singing with them the classic hymns each time, both my husband and I are atheist and since he was brought up catholic, he doesn’t quite get it why I still sing, they are meaningless to me now, but shit we sound amazing!

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    It is best to participate in a contest for top-of-the-line blogs on the web. I will advocate this website!