Nuts of all stripes

selling_religionThanks to Pharyngula, I’ve learned that the nutcase who shot up a gym in California wasn’t just a nut, he was a religious nut, who wrote this in his online diary:

“Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus. At least that is what I was told. Eternal life does NOT depend on works. If it did, we will all be in hell. Christ paid for EVERY sin, so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for a sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid. People judge but that does not matter. I was reading the Bible and The Integrity of God beginning yesterday, because soon I will see them.”

What should be the reaction to this, if you’re an atheist who’s interested in being polite?

Well, obviously gloating would be impolite (not to mention kind of a dick move), and it’s equally impolite to go out of your way to bring it up as evidence of religion’s dangers. I’d say a better reaction is to save it up. Don’t harp on it, but don’t ignore it either.

Remember it, and keep it in your memory, just in case you find yourself faced with some religious nut who goes off on atheists for being immoral or whatever — particularly if he starts talking about how the kids who shot up Columbine High School were purportedly atheists.

At that point, the polite and respectful atmosphere that etiquette strives to maintain is already out the window. So you’re not causing a breach of etiquette by pointing out (politely if possible) that homicidal-suicidal nutcases can have all sorts of worldviews. And while you’re at it, you might want to make sure he’s not still buying into the false myth about the girl who was shot for saying “yes” when asked if she believed in God.

(cartoon via Chris Madden)

4 responses to this post.

  1. The majority of believers are, of course, perfectly normal people and don’t go about doing this kind of thing. But I do think that religions attract people with issues and is one of the reasons we do not see a proportionate number of these incidents perpetrated by atheists and that atheists/agnostics are vastly underrepresented in prison populations. I’ve always said that there is simply no evidence that religion is a guarantor of good behavior and it offers no therapeutic value to people with real problems despite its empty claims.


  2. Posted by satanhimself in PA on August 9, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Now that Sodini’s pastor has gone on the defensive, I think the time is perfect to blame Christianity for contributing to this tragedy. The Xians will deny and deny, but their religion is a license to kill. And it needs to be said in blunt terms. Enough is enough.


  3. Posted by Jessica on September 18, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I know I am coming in way late on this but Sodoni shot up an LA Fitness club on the east coast, not in California.


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