Adopt me! Adopt me!

Bill Donohue has a great idea on how to win the culture war: adopt-an-atheist!  Oh, this guy is just a treat.

Approximately 80 percent of Americans are Christian, and 96 percent celebrate Christmas. Of the 20 percent who are not Christian, non-believers make up the largest segment, though the number of self-identified atheists is tiny.

If you want to get an idea of what the numbers actually look like, click here.

Perhaps more would identify as atheist if not for the social penalties imposed on atheists by callous believers like…Bill Donahue and his ilk.  The problem isn’t that we’re ashamed, it’s that lots of religious people are assholes to atheists (see people being ostracized from their families and having life made difficult at work) and lots of non-believers don’t want to put up with it.  Religion doesn’t win by playing fair or being more reasoned, not by a long shot.  It wins by being the pushiest ideological bully.  The unfortunate thing for the Catholic League (but the awesome thing for humanity) is that the non-believers have begun pushing back.

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, knows this to be true, which is why he is frantically trying to inflate his base.

Click on the link above to see what our base looks like.  And we’re gaining.  Those not claiming a religion are the fastest growing “religious” demographic in all fifty states.  Our base is just fine and dandy and becoming more so.

Today we are launching our “Adopt An Atheist” campaign, the predicate of which is, “We want atheists to realize that there may be Christians in their community, even if those Christians don’t even know they are Christian.”

That makes absolutely no sense.  There are lots of people who have admitted to themselves that the pretensions of religion are the intellectual equivalent of simian shit, but who still call themselves Christian and who still go to church (to avoid the social penalties mentioned above).  Do you really think there’s people who think Jesus rose from the dead who just can’t bear to face the world with honesty on that front?  I long for a world where those people feel sufficiently shamed, rather than entitled, on account of their gullibility, but we’re not there yet.

Here’s what our campaign entails. We are asking everyone to contact the American Atheist affiliate in his area [click here], letting them know of your interest in “adopting” one of them. All it takes is an e-mail. Let them know of your sincere interest in working with them to uncover their inner self. They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.

That’s your plan?  You’re going to help us find Jesus?  Did you and your lackeys put the defense of pedophilic priests on hold and brainstorm all night to come up with that one?  You know what?

Bring it.

Adopt an atheist.  I think this is a delightful strategy.  Do you know why religion is on the decline and atheism is in ascendance?  Because your arguments and ideas are garbage, and more people are starting to speak up about it.  Being an ideological bully isn’t enough anymore, and religious people are having to try and defend their position through argument – and they’re losing.  By a lot.

Members of American Atheists are a self-selected group that’s more likely to be well-read on the subject and able to shred all the lame arguments for god and have an absolute ball doing it.  Feed us.  We want you to.  It’ll save us the effort of going to you.

Hell, adopt me.  Pretty please, adopt me!  I have a Jesus-shaped hole in my heart like you would not believe!  That thing’s big enough for the pope to crawl through.  Send me an email and I’ll tell your minions where to find me and convert me.

If we hurry, these closeted Christians can celebrate Christmas like the rest of us.

I would sooner eat glass.  You go plop yourself down in mass on December 25th for FSM-knows how many hours and give 10% of your income to a group that legally defends people who rape children.

I will be at home sharing gifts with my family, drinking egg nog, rocking out on the piano, building a snow man, playing board games with friends and being perfectly content with the fact that nobody has sold me on the idea that people rise from the dead, anything but celebrating Christmas like you.  Your traditions suck, your institution is evil, and your ideas are moronic.

As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing…

At the very least, we believe that protecting child rapists is morally reprehensible.

Atheists believe in a lot of things.  Personally, I’d put my stamp of approval on about 90% of the things on wikipedia.  The problem is not that we believe in nothing, but that there are smug agents of misinformation spreading that idea around.

…stand for nothing…

We stand against dumb ideas (like people rising from the dead) and defending child rapists.  We’ve at least got that going for us.

…and are good for nothing.

Ain’t that just adorable?  The same guy who went apoplectic when a student failed to swallow a cracker thinks atheists are good for nothing.  If nothing else, we’re good at trying to hold child rapists accountable, since the Catholic church has proved pretty lousy at policing their own.  You should thank us.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Dana

    Excellent. You rock, JT.

  • unbound

    “Perhaps more would identify as atheist if not for the social penalties imposed on atheists by callous believers like…Bill Donahue and his ilk. The problem isn’t that we’re ashamed, it’s that lots of religious people are assholes to atheists (see people being ostracized from their families and having life made difficult at work) and lots of non-believers don’t want to put up with it. Religion doesn’t win by playing fair or being more reasoned, not by a long shot. It wins by being the pushiest ideological bully.”

    Pretty much this. Although religion is not overt where I work, I have absolutely no doubt that coming out as an atheist would be career suicide…even if my immediate superiors didn’t have an issue with it (I think 2 or 3 of them would be fine with it), I work in the consulting industry, and I know that many of my primary client contacts would ask for my job to be turned over to someone else the moment they found out.

  • Randomfactor

    I’m good for nothing. I don’t charge a cent, and don’t expect a reward.

    What is Donohoe’s pay for running his Handful-of-Catholics “League?”

  • Greta Christina

    You know what gets to me about this? Apart from, you know, everything?

    they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing, and are good for nothing.”

    It’s the “looked upon” part.

    Donohue acknowledges that atheists are seen as lesser human beings. And his response to this is not that we should stand up against this sort of bigotry, but that we should give in to it, and assimilate.

    What would he say to, say, an Jewwho was looked on as someone who believes in nothing, stands for nothing, and is good for nothing? Would he tell them that the answer to anti-Semitism was to convert to Christianity? And if not — then how is it a remotely acceptable thing to say to atheists?

    And I’m with you, JT. I want them to bring it on. I totally want a Catholic to adopt me. I want a Catholic to take on my conversion as a project. I’ll happily post their persuasion attempts in my blog, and… er, engage with them there.

    And I bet you that within a year, they will either have fled for the hills, or will have become an atheist.

    Hey — shall we pitch this to David Silverman? Atheist Bloggers Put Themselves Up For Adoption?

    • Aquaria

      What would he say to, say, an Jewwho was looked on as someone who believes in nothing, stands for nothing, and is good for nothing? Would he tell them that the answer to anti-Semitism was to convert to Christianity?

      Given the particular delusion he follows, and what it’s actually done to Jews for millennia?

      Yes. Yes they would do this to Jews, if they thought they could get away with it.

  • JesseW

    I think it’s worth explicitly stating that the quotation of statistics by Mr. Donohue does agree the link JT gave to the Pew survey. I know JT didn’t exactly say otherwise, but it’s good to be clear.

    Specifically, the Pew survey shows 79% of the US identifies as Christian, and 16% as unaffiliated, which matches Donohue’s “80%” and “largest segment” claims. The number of atheists, and the number of people who celebrate Christmas, did not appear to be mentioned on the page JT linked to.

  • feralboy12

    I’m imagining three or four munchkins shuffling forward and singing:

    “We represent the Catholic League,
    The Catholic League
    The Catholic League!
    And in the name of
    The Catholic League,
    We’d like to shove this cracker
    Down your throat!”

  • JesseW

    I should mention, also — this was awesomely stated, and JT (and Greta’s) point is Damm Right. (pun partially noted)

  • CoderHead

    Sign me up! I’m up for adoption too!

  • kagekiri

    Aren’t people who deny that they’re Christians explicitly excluded from Christianity?

    E.g., the verses saying “if you deny me before man, I’ll deny you before the Father”, spoken by Jesus himself?

    So no, Billy buddy, if these people tell others they’re not Christian, the gods-damned Bible and fig-tree-killing-asshole Jesus say they aren’t Christians.

    Hell, the Bible also says many people who say they’re Christians and think they’re Christian sheep are actually goats who will burn in Hell despite thinking they’re saved, so the “true Christian” numbers are predicted by Scripture to be inflated and over-reported.

    Fake Christians are biblical, not fake atheists.

  • Alethea H. Claw

    Would he tell them that the answer to anti-Semitism was to convert to Christianity?

    I don’t see why not. I’m seeing this going on right now, on one of my FB friend’s wall.

  • Stevarious

    I am totally up for this plan. Where do I sign up to be adopted by a christian?

  • Randomfactor

    Can the paperwork go through before the 25th? I’d really like the extra Christmas presents.

  • Stevarious

    I’m so totally for this plan that I sent an email to my state rep (that Bill has kindly listed for us here:
    and let him know I’m up for being adopted.

    I sure hope Bill gets some response on this!

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Unfortunately I’ve already been adopted. My brother, who is a staunch Catholic* has been trying to reconvert me. His efforts have become quite annoying.

    *My brother is not a member of the Catholic League. He thinks Donohue is a jerk who became a Catholic apologist because being the conservative commentator field is overly saturated.

    • sunnydale75

      Color me curious. If you care to share details, how have you dealt with your brothers’ attempt to reconvert you?

  • Sam Salerno

    I’m up for the cause. I’m an X indoctrinated catholic. I’d love the chance to let those nut jobs try and reconvert me. I agree with Greta they’ll either run for the hills or we’ll have more Atheists in our community.

  • papango

    My sisiter-in-law’s parents are trying to win her back into the fold with the ‘God won’t give you a baby because you abandoned the Church and married and atheist’ gambit. As a sales pitch it leaves something to be desired.

  • dcortesi

    as of 8pm PST seems to be down. too many responses?

  • Cuttlefish
  • Janee

    I want to play!
    Can you imagine how many Christians will be Atheists by the end of this? It’s going to be glorious!

  • Mike de Fleuriot

    Atheist cooties, don’t these guys ever think? Lets infect them all.

  • cag

    I’ll go along for a 10% fee.

  • Richard

    I think its funny, they’re all about talking about “adopting an atheist”, however I have yet to find a form on their site or any way to volunteer as an atheist desiring “adoption”.

    Oh wait, they expect us to do all the work and be the punching bags.
    I wonder, did they get permission to post all those emails on their site?

  • Sean

    JT, you are no different from any other brand of bigot who has to blame “the other”.

    Some blame blacks, some blame Jews, some blame Immigrants, some blame atheists.

    You happen to blame Christians.

    A bigot is a bigot, sport.

    • dfl42

      Right. Holding bigots accountable for bigotry and saying child rapists should be accountable for rape is the same as racism. Brilliant. A+.

      Try thinking before writing. Seriously, PLEASE try it. Please.

    • jamessweet

      @Sean: Riiiiiight, because speaking out when somebody says you are “good for nothing” totally makes you a bigot.

      Yeah, um, fuck you.

    • Aquaria

      A religitard piece of shit is still a religitard piece of shit, as you should know, you religitard piece of shit, scumbag. Fuck off.

    • Ganner

      Sounds like the same sort of attempt at silencing people who call out racism. “Why are you using the ‘race card’ huh? I think YOU’RE the racist!”

    • N. Nescio

      You know what? I’ll give you a fair hearing. Tell me your side. Seriously, go ahead and point out the factual errors in JT’s article, and you and I can discuss them and I won’t even swear at you!

      Can you?

  • Mr.Kosta


    Awww… Some poor christer here has had his fiddle feelings hurt. Poor, persecuted christian.

    Tell us, what has JT got wrong? Isn’t it true that the catlick church has protected shild raping priests? Or isn’t it true that religion, christianity in this case, bases its underserved privilege not on solid facts, but in shaming the opposition?

    Are you suggesting we just should shut up while sacks of shit like Donohue say that atheists “believe in nothing, stand for nothing, and are good for nothing”?

    Fuck that and FUCK YOU for supporting that.

  • TV200

    I’m not a blogger, but I would definitely start one if I could be adopted. Unfortunately, in day to day life, I don’t encounter believers. At least none that make it their mission to convince me of the error of my ways. The last time that happened to me was a decade ago.

  • kaorunegisa

    Hey, JT, I think you’re being incredibly unfair by focusing so heavily on the pedophilia in the Church and their coverup. I mean, the Church has also caused countless deaths in Africa by discouraging condom education, use, and distribution. You’re not accurately representing the depravity of this institution, and I really think you should consider the numerous needless deaths on their heads as well as the lifelong trauma they’ve encouraged over the course of who know’s how many years. They’re not just pedophile-enablers, they’re basically murdering people with ignorance and superstition.

    Thought I’d add another arrow to your quiver. You let them fly so often, it’s good to be able to mix things up.

    • JT Eberhard

      Your comment made me smile. :)

      • kaorunegisa

        Then my job here is complete.

    • Jehapters


    • Aquaria

      And don’t forget the Cathars. At least one million dead in the Languedoc region.

  • Surgoshan

    Do you really think there’s people who think Jesus rose from the dead who just can’t bear to face the world with honesty on that front?

    Now I’m picturing a middle-aged man sneaking out of the house first thing of a Sunday morning in his jogging clothes, jogging to a dingy little bag, and skulking into the back room where he changes into a suit he keeps in a locker. He pops out the back door and down the alley into another building where he and a bunch of other shame-faced faithful whisper hallelujah at one another, fearful of the atheist gestapo coming by and forcing them to read pamphlets detailing the formation of molecular orbitals.

    • ‘Tis Himself, OM

      To hear certain folk like Rick Perry talk about persecuted Christians, your scenario isn’t far from the truth.

      What Perry & Co. are really complaining about is (1) the lack of overt government support for their cult and (b) no longer being able to burn non-believers at the stake.

  • stonyground

    Don’t you all think that it is a generous gesture by Billy to offer himself up at the festive season as a chew toy for the atheist community? He is self evidently too brainless to even recognise how brainless he is. Does he really think that if Catholics pair up with atheists in order to convert each other that his side will win? The best that he can hope for is that every single Catholic in the race is so completely unteachable that there is a draw, or possibly stalemate would be a better word. In reality his side are going to have to defend belief in zombies, magic food, talking animals and the notion that the Earth has edges, corners and pillars, against informed opponents living in the twenty-first century.

  • Mara

    I agree completely! The Catholics (any Christians, in fact) should feel free to adopt me. I’m more than happy to explain exactly why they’re wrong, in bullet points with arrows and blinking lights and footnotes.

    All of which is to say: Bring it, Christians. Feel free to come to my blog and adopt me.

  • Sastra

    I hope I am not too late to offer myself for adoption in the “Adopt an Atheist” campaign. Since I don’t see a way to sign up on the campaign site, I’m hoping a stray Catholic will see JT’s Very Big sign here.

    I wonder if they thought the atheists would glower and sulk, offended that our personal beliefs are in danger of being violated and our sacred space trespassed upon? No, that’s the I’m-Spiritual-Not-Religious crowd chilling out at the holistic granola store. We’re the ones in the coffee shop drinking espresso, reading pop apologetics, and scribbling sarcastic notes in the margins with big fat pens. Yeah …. c’mere.

  • fastlane

    Fuck Donahoe in the ass with a dead rusty porcupine…sideways.

    On the bright side, it’s nice to know there’s another boardgamer and musician (sax here) atheist. I’ll be gaming at some friends for the holidays quite a bit as well.


  • Cynthia

    Can we get a follow up here? I signed up to be adopted but was never contacted. Anybody get a call back?