When You’re Running Low On Gas (And God)

When You’re Running Low On Gas (And God) June 19, 2018

The fuel gauge on my truck doesn’t work. Even if you’ve just filled up, it still reads empty. “Low Fuel” is constantly lit up on the status screen. When we get gas, we reset the trip odometer to zero and when it gets to around 300 km, we refill again.

I can’t say I enjoy it. I mean, I really don’t like it. In fact, it’s terrifically annoying. Every day, I get in my truck and hit the button to display the trip odometer on the status screen. If I drive long enough, the high-pitched low-fuel chime will assault my ears, as the bright green “Low Fuel” status replaces the trip odometer. I have to hit the button again to sort out when I should get gas.

I suppose I could fix it, but that would cost money and it’s obviously something we can deal with for now, so why? I’d rather buy a block of gruyere.

But it’s grating (see what I did there?). It gets on my nerves. Every day I get in my truck and I hope that the fuel gauge fairy has visited in the night, but alas, I’m beginning to think she’s but a myth. Every day, it’s the same thing,

Low Fuel. Low Fuel. LOW FLIPPIN FUEL.

You might wonder why I’m telling you this. You might be rolling your eyes and thinking, we get it, your truck’s fuel gauge is broken. You might wonder what any of this has to do with general heathenry and being blindingly awesome without god. Just hold on to your shorts, bucko, we’re getting to it.

Yesterday, someone left me this note on my Facebook page:

Why are you attacking something if there is not anything to attack? You would be simply ridiculing people for being people.

Hopefully, now, you see why my broken fuel gauge is relevant. Like the constant blare of the little green lights screaming “low fuel!”, theists insisting I spend an awful lot of time talking about something that doesn’t exist get under my skin daily. If a day goes by and I haven’t heard this from at least one person, I find myself wondering if the entire internet broke. It’s repetitive nonsense fashioned into a crumbling straw man who may or may not have taken communion one too many times.

The reality is that I’m not criticizing god. That’s not what I do here. Sure, there have been times where I’ve pointed out how unpleasant the god character in the Bible is but that’s no different from me saying I loathe the Morgan character in the Walking Dead. That doesn’t mean I think he’s a real dude shanking brain-eaters as he waddles his way across America avoiding people. I know it’s not the zombie apocalypse and I know Morgan’s not a real dude.

Instead, what I’m criticizing is religion. Religion, my friends, demonstrably exists. I’ve seen people pray. I’ve been to religious events. I speak to religious apologists on the daily.

There’s even a church just down the street from me. It’s real. I can totes touch it. There’s another just down from that one, too.

Of course, the theists who say that I am criticizing something that isn’t real are being deliberately obtuse. They know as well as I do that I am criticizing religion, not God, the Jeebs or the Holy Goblin. They know I’m down on dogma and I’m not grumbling about god.

The irony of their comments is entirely lost on them, though. After all, they’re the ones arguing with a position that doesn’t exist.

And now, I’m off to get gas.

Hod do you respond to these accusations? Let me know in the comments!

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Image: Creative Commons/Pixabay

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  • Illithid

    Wait… you don’t like Morgan?!?

    Personally, I was kinda hoping Negan would off Rick. That guy really gets on my nerves. Plus, it would have made a million people freak right out of their skulls.

  • By the time I was 2/3 through I was fully anticipating a different conclusion than what you wound up with.

    I figured it would be about letting things in our life build up that bother us until we drive ourselves crazy, just because we aren’t making good choices around them.

    The gas gauge – it bothers you every day, yet you won’t fix it.

    Being upset with religion – it bothers you every day, but you won’t walk away from it.

    You kind of surprised me by not going there. It felt like you were headed that way the whole time. But then you weren’t.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    Some RWNJ was banging on about this very point last week, wondering why atheists are always on about religion, if we don’t believe in it. As an argument it is either willfully ignorant or blatantly dishonest, most often the later as any one who can read can figure out that atheists don’t really give a fig about god, its the religious idiots trying to force us to comport to their version of reality that we fight against.

    Its the same dishonest argument that is used when people whinge that american atheist only go after Christians, and not Muslims. It is not only factually incorrect, but also Muslims are not in the position of enforcing their madness on anyone else, it;s the Christians that are doing that.

    It’s all just part of their persecution complex that allows them to pretend that they are hard done by. the only appropriate response is to point and laugh

  • I usually just point out that I’m criticizing the belief itself and its consequences. There is some validity to the “ridiculing people” complaint, so it is important that we don’t stop there but seek to help others move beyond religion.

  • wolfypuppy

    This is a good question. I think that our world right now has stopped using our frontal lobes/rationality, and everyone is interacting from pure emotion. I stop that by doing math in my head: It forces you back into your reasonable front lobes. Count backwards from 100 by 7s, calculate square roots, try to remember your 11 and 12 times tables. Right now I’m parenting teenagers and trying to develop scripts. The good thing about a script is that you repeat the same thing automatically every time it comes up. There’s no emotion involved, no need to choose your words and anticipate reactions. You go into robot mode (search Grey Rock). “As your mother, I know what’s best for you.” And that’s it. Sometimes I feel provoked into a snide comment, such as “I have 36/38 years more life experience than you do,” but I know I’ve stuck a toe out of pure rationality and back into emotion there. Like children, religious apologists who use this tactic are trying to push your buttons to get an emotional reaction. Don’t give it to them. I don’t have the online presence you do, Courtney, but generally, I just ignore them. Sometimes I choose to play along and say something like “You’re asking the wrong question” or “Tedious. Next question”or “Boring and unoriginal.” The U.S. is run by a middle schooler, and his supporters have regressed to act like petulant, bullying, tantrum-ing, whiny children. It seems like ‘liberals vs conservatives’ has turned into ‘parents vs children,’ so parenting techniques, I’ve found, are so much fun to use in interacting online–if you can keep that wall up between reason and emotion. I spent a year substitute teaching in a middle school, and I tell you, at risk of sounding like a broken record, that experience has left me with skills that have become so spot on since Nov. 8, 2016. I’d love to hear anyone else’s even-less-emotional robot-answer!

  • My father in law said atheists hate god. I responded that we don’t hate god, we just don’t believe one exists. We hate religious people trying to force their religion and beliefs on everyone.

  • Otto

    Here is how I generally respond:

    I can’t go 6 blocks where I live in any direction without seeing some sign promoting Christianity, telling me that ‘Jesus loves me’, and/or if I don’t love him back there will be consequences. I can’t pick up a newspaper or get on the internet without seeing some Christian group or politician trying to get laws passed based on their religious belief. Christians will knock on my door without warning spreading their ‘message’. Businesses in my community promote Christianity on their signs. I am fine when people treat their religion as their personal hobby, but when they expect everyone else to defer to that hobby that is where I draw the line. I will be happy to shut up about Christianity and religion in general…but you (Christians) have to shut up about it first. Deal?

    The bottom line is they want their religious views to be privileged above everyone else, and asking us ‘why do you even care’ is nothing but an attempt to let them continue having a one way soapbox and asking us to please shut the fuck up. No…I won’t do that. That is what abusers try and do and it is not acceptable.

  • Martin Penwald

    An annoying shit I had on my truck : the switch inside the belt buckle stopped working, so the computer considered that the seat belt was not buckled, and started beeping as soon as the truck moved over 30 km/h. When I tried to get it fixed, they wanted $250, so, I said no, and after looking into it, I connected the two cables before the buckle belt together, so the computer think the seat belt is always buckled.

  • Drenon Larie

    A little obtuse.

  • Drenon Larie

    It’s not privileged, it’s something else, but I agree with you. There’s just a majority of us that don’t like being told what to do.

  • Drenon Larie

    Ikr, lol. I mean if we going to watch graphic skull busting, let’s go ahead and get everybody.

  • Otto

    In what sense is it not privileged?

  • I am late to the party, but I have a suggestion: to stick with the automotive metaphor, just put the names/pics of these folks on your car pedals! 🙂

  • Cozmo the Magician

    OT a bit.. but…

    I was on my way home from shopping the other other day. This is a trip I make every week or so. Since I broke my hip, I use rolling walker. Can’t really walk with my cane and carry groceries. So I use the walker. Put a box on the seat to hold my purchases and go on a long fucking trip. I go to the pharmacy, the deli, and the stewarts shop. Its a loooong trip that tires me out and cause no little bit of pain. But hey, I do what I gotta do.

    So I was just about home when out of nowhere some woman just stops and says to me “God loves you, Jesus saves”. FFS, really? I am in constant pain. It takes me a few hours to do something that I used to be able to breeze thru in an hour with no effort. And this sanctimonious busy-body decides to tell me that her imaginary friend is my BFF? Fuck that.

    I just burst out laughing. Right.In.Her.Face. Laughed my ass off. Ohh, she was SOOOOO offended. How DARE I laugh at her message of ‘love’.

    I looked her right in the eye and said ‘Almost every abusive asshole in history has told his victims how much “love” he has. So take your love and shove it. I don’t need. But, smile, the flying spaghetti monster doesn’t hate you’

    Sanctimonious twits think they have a right to fuck with me while i’m just trying to get home and get off my feet.

  • Well, at least she did not tell you with contempt that you’d burn in Hell.