The world has seen a lot of chics over the years: casual chic, beach chic, The Iron Chic. Until recently my all-time favorite was easily heroin chic, popularized in the 90s by English supermodel and superwaif Kate Moss. But when Los Angeles Times writer Dan Neil coined the phrase “atheist chic” to better describe what Brendan O’Neill of Britain’s The Guardian called “the new atheism,” which has been pushed forward lately by best-selling authors Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others, I knew I had found my new chic.
Books written by numerous acclaimed atheists have been must reads for anyone who thinks the idea of God is just a bunch of hooey. With their success, what was once simple non-belief has turned into the celebration of human beings becoming merely worm food after death, and the mocking of Christians as being stupid. And with this, Internet bloggers who once might have been afraid to write about their religious beliefs now see the success of Dawkins and the rest and take note that atheism is the fashion. Atheism is cool, man. And you might soon see covers of Vanity Fair and GQ with photos of celebrities standing next to God while looking the other way as if nothing’s there. Maybe it’ll be one celeb goes this way, the other celeb goes that way, and God’s there saying, “Whadda ya want from me?”
Dawkins (NOT the former Family Feud host, frequent Match Game panelist and star of Hogan’s Heroes, as I once thought – see, that’s Richard DAWSON), whose book “The God Delusion” has sold 1.5 million copies in English, is even beginning a tour of the Bible Belt and the Midwest to spread the Good News of no supreme being in the house. Atheists everywhere will gather, get some popcorn, maybe a program (You can €˜t tell one non-believer from the other without a program), all to hear Dawkins speak and to worship nothing but the joy and intellectual superiority of being an atheist. Those who have long loved to make fun of preachers and televangelists are now following their own head muckety-muck, who himself is not only the atheist leader, but also thinks he can actually convert Christian believers. Such is the nature of the atheist chic: Darth Vader to the Christians’ Luke Skywalker. Mr. Dawkins is here to put an end to faith as we know it! Uh-oh, Christians! Better wax up them crosses and call Han Solo for help!
These books label Christianity, and religion in general, as not only stupid, but dangerous. In “God is Not Great,” Christopher Hitchens asks, “”How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?” My guess is that we can’t, at least not until we’re done tallying the psychological harm caused by video games and exposure to homosexuals. Like any group, the atheist chic have the children in mind, of course.
Dawkins, ever the scientist, conducted a morality poll for his book, and writes that atheists are just as moral, perhaps even more so, than Christians. This gives atheists intellectual and moral superiority to bask in as they sip wine not drawn from the blood of Christ, and cross themselves with all sorts of incorrect mockery. This morality thing seems to be true in Dawkins’ own case, as, like more than a few Jesus freaks, he is on his third wife. Nonetheless, I find it hard to believe that someone who married one of Dr. Who’s sidekicks can make anyone stop believing in God. Apparently, part of being atheist chic is landing a bride from the garbage years of some British Sci-Fi program. I think Hitchens himself is engaged to Holly, the on-board computer from Red Dwarf.
Brendan O’Neill referred to “New atheism” as “the surprise political hit of 2007.” (Just wait until 2012 when there’s an atheist chic presidential candidate.) Unlike the old atheists, such as Darwin and Marx, O’Neill says, the new atheist’s “distaste for anything that looks or sounds vaguely religious exposes the shallow anti-intellectualism of their new atheism…Their opposition to religion is (driven) by a dinner-party disdain and moral revulsion for the stupidity of the religious.”
The next dinner party you go to, do the sign of the cross and see who throws a stuffed mushroom or deviled egg at you. They certainly won’t let you play Cranium with the others, because Christians believe humans don’t have craniums.
Reviews of “The God Delusion” on Amazon.com are chockfull of anti-Christian sentiments. One reviewer wrote, “Following this book’s advice could help avert much of the religion-spawned violence we see throughout the world today.” Goodness gracious! The new atheism will help you fight terrorism! The same reviewer referred to the Books in the Bible as, “obnoxious propaganda pieces that reflect neither a decent moral code nor any semblance of historical accuracy.” You used to have to be a stoner in college to wax so eloquently about God, but stoner chic never took off, no matter how large the object you’d try to make a bong out of was.
In October, members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (or Ffrf!!!) met in Madison, Wisconsin, of all places, to discuss that which they do not believe. A Boston Globe article quotes Bill O’Reilly, discussing the gathering in Wisconsin, as saying, “You expect those people to be communing with Satan.”
This is probably why atheism can be so chic. Well, no, you don’t, Bill. Because atheists don’t believe in God or Satan. I myself was twelve when I stopped equating atheism with devil worship. Grow up, Bill!
Blogger David Horton had something to say about Christians like O €˜Reilly. “Strange the mentality of religious believers who refer to atheism as a €˜religion.'” Horton doesn’t offer any examples to back this up himself. Is it the Satan worship thing? Christians, you have to understand: Satan equals religious; atheist equals not religious. You’ll never be Christian chic if you can’t keep those separate.
Atheism, however, has become rather ironic in that it’s indeed practically a religion now. Believers and non-believers alike are now violating the imaginarily-written amendment of the separation of church and state. Maybe the power atheists can cash in on the new atheism with tchotchkes mocking religious baubles; however, O’Reilly could be right. The third wheel here is Satanism. They may not like atheists horning in on their disrespecting God business. They’re very sensitive.
Horton, and the like, as the name calling atheist, however, cannot possibly match the absurdity of the victim atheist. Soon there will be anti-atheism discrimination suits filed. Just look at About.com‘s atheism blogger Austin Cline getting his panties in a bunch about Mitt Romney. Romney’s response to an anti-Mormon heckler last year included, “…the nation does need to have people of different faiths, but we need to have a person of faith lead the country.”
Cline, in response, takes on the role of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of atheists, accusing Romney of “equally vile bigotry,” and saying that he’s “unwilling to accept irreligious atheists as equals.” If the religious are such fools, why do you want to be equals? An atheist would have to be pretty stupid to want to be equals with someone they already deem to be stupid. Is atheist chic all about the bully who just wants acceptance? Do atheists just want a hug and a Christian to say, “I understand. Let me tell you about our God.” Maybe then we can all hold hands and spin around until we do see Him.
Couple this with Richard Dawkins saying, “We have the €˜Out’ campaign. We do see an analogy with gay rights. There are a lot of people in the closet in America.” The next thing you know, punching an atheist will be a hate crime. These non-believers will soon want to get married and drink from the same fountains as us Christians. Go back to your country, atheists!
When you really think of it, I suppose Christians brought all this good ole atheism on themselves, what with our gay marriage bans and our “moral values.” The whole “atheism as religion” thing could very well be Christian backlash. When you keep referring to a “culture war,” and fighting about silly things like gay marriage, “the war on Christmas,” and a little sex on television, the other side will eventually get fed up and say, “Oh, yeah? Not only are you wrong, but your God ain’t real.”
Or maybe the non-religious finally want a little piece of the spiritual action. They want to be accepted, like those nice Scientologists, and Richard Dawkins is their L. Ron Hubbard. They want their own atheist holidays, their own brand of rock music, and maybe a little Davey and Goliath type cartoon in which Goliath says, “Gosh, Davey. I don’t know how you sleep at night thinking there’s a boogeyman under your bed and that you might die before you wake. Prayers are retarded and there’s no God, you stupid asshole. Now pick up my feces and let’s go play Halo.”
I have two best friends who are atheists. We’ve always gotten along fine because I couldn’t give a shit whether they burn in hell for eternity. One of them is kind of an atheist the way most people are Christians. No, he doesn’t believe in God, but don’t try to hand him any books or atheist brochures, or take him to your Godless meetings, because he’s not interested, thank you. The other actually handed me “The God Delusion,” like it was the new Harry Potter, and I thought: Why not just hand me a book titled ‘Mike, Your Mother is a Whore?’ And I left his atheist dinner party, but not before jotting down the recipe for those delicious deviled eggs from his Atheist Cookbook.
Michael Frissore is a writer; a humorist; a surrealist; a matador; a black ninja; a guitar god; a political independent; a voracious reader; a Chinese food enthusiast; a Marxist (Groucho); a Lennonist (John); a coffee drinker; a devoted husband, son, brother, and uncle; a loyal listener of The Opie and Anthony Show; a hoagie aficionado; an Arizonan, but still a New Englander at heart; a future peddler of the Swede movie series; the Philistine avenging devil of the sea; and just a sweet dude whose writing is published throughout the Internets and, magically, in print as well.