Perhaps you know that Madelyn Murray O'Hair (76), her son Jon Garth Murray (40), and her granddaughter Robin Murray O'Hair (30), were murdered, dismembered, and buried in shallow graves in 1995. They were not located until more than five years had gone by.
The fundamentalist Christians claim that O'Hair herself had become a victim to a godless world that she helped to create. This is typical Christian illogic:
1. O'Hair did not "kill" any "god." There never has been one in the first place.
2. Neither did she "kill" otherwise "godly people" and turn them into evil monsters. (a) Any "Christian believer" would not have believed anything O'Hair said, and could not have been converted (unfortunately) so easily. (b) Furthermore, any attempt to claim that some church-goer, who just needed that little extra bit of prayer-in-school to keep them from going ballistic, became, then, O'Hair's murderer, is, it would seem to me, a rather pathetic indication as to how unstable Christians are: without their god-belief fully supported by society, they become crazy psychos, apparently, if this theory is held.
3. The evil attribute of O'Hair's murderer existed, period, regardless of whether O'Hair ever existed, or whether she ever worked on behalf of an America without forced prayer in public tax-paid-for schools.
4. There is no debate as to the existence of the evil attribute of O'Hair's murderer. There is debate over the existence of some god. It is a fact, whether god exists or not, that O'Hair and her relatives have been murdered, and in a particularly revolting manner. Are we supposed to believe that if god exists, then this did not happen; if god does not exist, then this did happen? What nonsense. It did happen, period. Her murder is no more a "proof" of god's existence than any other absurd "proof" that fundamentalists dream up. Her murder is proof that there is a great deal of discontent within humanity. The acceptance of this discontent, by fundamentalists, as being "inevitable," is a "blame-the-victim-type" self-rationalizing attitude; it assures that hell will remain on earth while they smugly consider themselves to be "saved" at some post-mortem time.
5. Fundies keep insisting that O'Hair was not a "true atheist." (Though somehow it never occurred to me that these people were expert in identifying "true" atheists from "false" ones.) They say she was an "anti-theist" and actually "hated" god, rather than "not believe in" god. This, however, is another bit of irrelevance for thinking persons. The fundies define god "to exist," and then they define people that do not accept this "fact" as living in "separation from god" (i.e., living in "sin," which is then spoken of as a form of "hating god.) So, eventually, it is obvious that they would claim that any sincere atheist, who hates the current religious domination in mentally-superficial America, does actually "hate god." Perfect religious circular reasoning. (They are so good at circular reasoning, and so continuously unaware of how good they are at it.) O'Hair did not hate any god. There is no god to hate. What she hated was Americans that never attempt to build heaven on Earth, because they are so determinedly waiting around to build heaven in some supposed "heaven." She hated (and I, too, hate) when Americans live by the self-fulfilling prophecy that no good can ever come of this Earth. Their religion says it's so, they believe it's so, they live in a way that guarantees that this remain so, and then they say, "see, we are right, because, look, it is so." They accept massive capitalistic wealth inequity, and then say it is some god's will. They destroy Earth's ecology with their businesses, claiming that some god gave the planet to mankind to do whatever they want to it, and that, if anybody really does anything "bad," god will punish them after death. Atheists want evil ended now! There is no later. It is no wonder that atheists detest "status-quo Christian" ideology. And, it is no wonder that these Christians, then, misinterpret this anger, and label it as "being angry at god."
6. One gets the impression that Christians go out of their way to misinterpret everything around them. Any people that rely on faith, rather than on their senses, tools, and power of reasoning, can forever believe whatever rubbish they wish. The god-theory has failed. It is rubbish. And no matter how big of a majority "freely" believe this rubbish, it doesn't change the fact that it is RUBBISH.
7. Mr. god, strike me dead as a sign to all your "true" believers that you exist . . . .
I'm still waiting.
I'm still here . . . .
Oh well. Missing god. So much for the god-theory.
Now, let's consider Newton's theory of gravity. Yep. Just dropped my pencil. That one works, at least . . .
P.S. Oh, how silly of me. I should have remembered. The believer will conclude that it is not a loving god's "will" that I should be struck down quite at this time. The circular reasoning is air-tight, isn't it? There is no way to break this circle, I'm afraid. When inside a bubble, one presumes his perspective includes all the universe. When outside the bubble, the bubble is just a bubble. The faith of theists is, indeed, their principle shield, a shield which prohibits rational thought from ever entering their brains. The infinite gulf "that separates believer from non-believer," appears just as huge from the atheist's side of the ravine.
Jody Nagel (b. 1960)
September 12, 2004