Friendly Atheist Contest #9: Roommates and Religion November 16, 2007

Friendly Atheist Contest #9: Roommates and Religion

Last week, I ran this contest:

Create an atheistical haiku!

Here are the Top 8 answers (with submitters)!


Way of the Master:
Kirk Cam’ron and his friend Ray
Put their faith in fruit.

Ha ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Ha ha! Bananas!

(Reed Braden)


i am without god
but bananas fit my hands
i am so confused



Creationism —
Fill their young heads with nonsense.
But claim it’s science.

(The Exterminator)


Sunday morning and
I’m still in bed and comfy.
Atheism rocks!

(Masala Skeptic)


Religion? No thanks.
I prefer reality.
It’s more rewarding.

(Angela Lord)


My life without god –
Infinitely more lovely
Than my life “with” him



A harsh truth is much
preferred to a fictive tale
that cheapens our lives.



Pride is saying that
You have all of the answers
To life’s big questions

This life is enough
I don’t need eternity
To live each day well

(Old Beezle)

And I couldn’t leave out these fantastic entries:

Honorable Mentions|

It hurts. OH! It hurts!
The pain of a thousand blades!
George Bush is speaking.


Atheists are mean
They like to eat fresh babies
Get en mah bellay!


Hemant makes contest
We compete all day and night
For what? A wristband?

Friendly Atheist
Best blog in the blogosphere
Does sucking up work?

(Philosopher Jeff)

Hell yes, it works 🙂

Congratulations to the winners! The top three will be receiving specially-made Friendly Atheist wristbands (in the color of their choice), sent to me by blog reader Shauna and her sister Danni!


If you’d like to win your own wristband, here is the new contest.

Tell us your best “roommate and religion” story.

Maybe you once had a roommate who was a fundamentalist Christian. Or an *extremely* hard core atheist. Or a member of some fringe religion that required odd rituals in the middle of the night.

They make for the best memories.

Share your best stories with us (good or bad)!

The most interesting commenters will have a shot at winning.

Good luck!

[tags]atheist, atheism, contest[/tags]

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  • Great contest.

    My favorites were Stacy (I’m biased), RHawk68, Masala Skeptic & Alyx.

    Can’t wait for the Atheist Limerick contest. I would rule that one.

  • chancelikely

    Second the Atheist limerick contest.

    My roommate story:

    Freshman year of college I end up rooming with a guy named Ed. At this point I’m an agnostic making those last steps toward an out-and-out atheism. Ed, on the other hand, is… credulous. Gullible if you’re being less polite. He believes in crystals, and magic, and spirits, and energy, and Jesus, and Buddha, and UFOs, and damn near anything else.

    To finish this story you need to know that our beds were bunked, with mine on the top, they weren’t all that sturdy, and he had an inexplicably hot girlfriend who occasionally spent the weekend. Also that my home state of Michigan is not earthquake country.

    I’m slow to wake up to outside stimuli. I need to turn up my alarm clock to ‘earsplitting’ in order to wake to it.

    I slowly come out of a sleep stupor on a Sunday morning to note a weird light in the room, unlike either sunlight or the overhead light. Not worth waking up for. Back to sleep.

    I half wake up again, this time because of what I assumed was a small earthquake. The bed was shaking back and forth with increasing violence. As my sleep-addled brain is trying to work out how cause for alarm I should have, the smoke alarm goes off in our room.

    I leap out of my top bunk and onto, next to, and around naked flesh. I note the light from something like eighty candles in our room as the three of us, in a simultaneous panic, run out into the hallway. I’m in pajamas. The two of them are covering their nakedness with a bedsheet and a book. The book? “A Guide to Tantric Sex”.

  • Stephen

    I doubt this will win or anything, but I might as well bring up the roommates I had for my first two semesters of college. Our apartment was quite a melange of different beliefs and lacks thereof. In actuality, I was the only atheist there, but one of my roommates didn’t believe in God, either. He was Buddhist, or so he claimed.

    Three others were Christian, but one was the kind of conservative Christian who thinks Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are reasonable people. My last roommate was Muslim; I got along with him the best, though not because he was Muslim, though he was certainly more rational about his religion than the Ann Coulter fan.

    One day, I walked into my living room, and my Muslim roommate and his Muslim friend were crouching in a corner with their asses in the air, so I instinctively said, “What the f**k?” Then I realized what they were doing, and I said, “Aw s**t, sorry.” I felt pretty foolish, but as soon as they finished praying, they burst out laughing and said it was okay.

  • Hmmm, well I got a few from living with a liberal Catholic back during my first year. Most of were not particularly amusing, most of them were him and his girlfriend getting upset at me chuckling at them discussing the merits of the bread as a reflection of “the actual body of Christ.” Ok, I admit, I was a bit more militant back then and Sam Harris came to mind when they were discussing it. And then there was that time when he admitted that I and four other billion people on this planet, including two that he’s rooming with this year, are going to hell.

    Anyway, my story. Don’t remember how it came about but it was the time where his girlfriend, who lived in a different residence, was telling me how he lost her keys and couldn’t find them. Alright… She said she searched everywhere in her apartments until in the end she opened the freezer door and her keys fell out. Yep… She also said that it was “impossible” for the keys to be there since that would have meant that no one else in her apartments would have opened the freezer since she got back early the previous day (which apparently was also impossible). She and my roommate had to go then but she concluded that it was because of that that she thought that God exists since “there has to be a reason.”

    I was a bit speechless at that statement, that’s probably the worst proof for God since the banana, but then I reflected on it. So God, the omniscient, omnipotent, omni-benevolent creator of everything in the universe reveals his eternal and immutable plan to bipedal, carbon-based, ape-descended organisms on a small blue and green planet in the boonies of space by… hiding keys in freezers. God, obviously, has too much time on his hands.

  • Stogoe

    I don’t have good crazy roommate stories, sadly. My first college roommate and I weren’t friends and didn’t hardly speak; we merely had beds in the same room. Then I lived with a non-practicing jewish friend for two years, followed by a stint with a liberal christian punk rocker/total geek. Pretty boring, although in a good way.

  • es

    My religious roommate was my boyfriend. I was sort of New Agey and he was a rabid atheist. He (and his kids) used to annoy me with his constant sniping and laughing at religion. As a result, we didn’t talk much about religion for 7 years or so. Secretly I thought he would spoil things for me. Then I went to study my own religion in depth and came home with -surprise! – questions the minister couldn’t answer. We started discussing stuff and I began researching online and readings lots of books about the origins of Christianity and so on. Upshot is that 3 months later I was an atheist as well. Now, having deconverted, I’m more of a militant atheist than he ever was.

    I vote for limericks, too!

  • Freshman year of college, and I was completely open about my atheism. My roommate and I got along well and developed a lasting friendship that would last throughout college. He claimed to be agnostic but loved to make fun of fundies. You see, many of the other students living in our hall were fundies. My roommate absolutely delighted in watching the televangelist, Robert Tilton, each morning before we’d trudge off to the required religion class we had together. Thing is, he had to have the door to our room open and the volume on the TV turned up all the way in order to watch. So one day, a pair of fundies walk into our room without warning and stare at the TV in disbelief. “I didn’t know you guys watched this” they said with delight (somehow not realizing we were laughing hysterically and making fun of the jackass on the TV screen). The expression on their faces was priceless when my roommate pointed at them and started laughing hysterically. Ah, so many fond memories pestering Christians in college!

  • This isn’t really about my roommate, but its still kind of a funny story. Immediately after graduating High School, I took six months off before starting college, during which time I spent living with a friend of mine in an apartment we shared. I was outspoken about my atheism at that point, and he was a somewhat liberal christian, but enjoyed making fun of fundies just as much as I did. One Saturday morning, about 7 a.m., a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses came to our door, waking us both from a deep sleep induced from a late night of drinking. I opened the door, they introduced themselves and asked if they could come in and talk for a few minutes. Having nothing better to do, I invited them into the living room, and they sat across from us, bibles in hand. After a few minutes of them explaining the church and ‘god’s plan’ for us, I motioned to my friend, who pulled out a full standing water bong we had purchased together a couple of weeks ago. He lit up s full bowl, and we started passing it between us. The two Jehovah’s Witnesses, obviously startled, stumbled at first, but quickly regained their composure as they continue talking about what “god demands of all of us”. After probably five or ten minutes of us blowing smoke in their faces, one of them stopped the speech, and said, “If you’re serious about joining the church, you’ll have to give that up,” motioning to the bong. We both laughed and I told them that I was an atheist, and my friend was firmly set in his own beliefs. Soon after, they left with nothing more than disappointment and a contact high.

  • K

    For 1 semester, I had no roommate. I got spoiled. The second semester I got stuck with a fundie roommate and tried to settle into sharing again but she insisted on things like having her family members sleeping over when they couldn’t afford a hotel, even though I said, “Oh hell no!” She’d do her nails while I was trying to sleep and the fumes in the tiny dorm room would make me gag. Finally, I spoke to my friend, Brian. Now Brian was…different. When an ex-boyfriend of mine made me angry, Brian broke into his van in the parking lot, urinated in the interior, and lit a flaming pentagram on the hood. Our dorm room doors had vents on the bottom half and Brian would periodically spew alcohol fireballs into random rooms. For fun.
    Brian had flash paper and a talent for speaking fake Latin backwards (heavy metal will do that) so, since she was an uber fundie, we decided to perform a fake Satanic ceremony in the center of my room. There we were, me and Cindy (my best friend and his girlfriend) trying not to laugh, candles, and Brian rocking back and forth, “summoning,” the devil. The girl had stopped speaking to me weeks ago but suddenly she’s trying to ask me questions, (“Have you seen my keys?”). Once the flash paper came out, she was out of there and never came back. I got into trouble with the RA for having a religious ceremony on campus property but reminded her that:
    A) we were faking it and
    B) prayer groups meet on campus every week
    so nothing really happened except that I got my own room again!

    The only weirdo late night religious goofiness I ever had was the time I had to spend the night at my bosses’ house because she wanted me to babysit her kid the next day. She said, “Oh by the way, sometimes my husband sometimes gets up in the middle of the night and prays so if you hear hollering in the hallway, it’s just him.” Um….okay…? He didn’t though so I didn’t directly experience the crazy.

  • Maria

    Well, this didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to a good friend of mine, and I thought it worth sharing. My friend was going to Virginia Military Initiate in Lexington, VA (the heart of fundie country unfortunately, and he being from this liberal area, it was culture shock). He had 3 roommates. One was non-religious, one was a very hard core fundie, and one was not really fundie but religious and very gullible. My friend at the time was a lapsed catholic who hardly ever went to church and was beginning to lean towards deism/agnosticism. So anyway, the fundie roommate would lecture them all about the bible being the literal truth and he would get really annoying.

    Now, what would happen at night very often was the people on night watch would quickly check the rooms with a flashlight to make sure everyone was in bed (basically to keep people from sneaking out). This usually consisted of the door opening slightly, a flashlight quickly coming in and around the room, and then the door closing. My friend noticed it half asleep many times and it never bothered him. Apparently though, the fundie roommate must have slept through it b/c the first time he noticed it he freaked out-one night it happened, as usual, my friend noticed it half asleep, the door opening a crack, a beam of light circling the room, and then the door closing. No big deal, he went back to sleep, but not for long.

    He suddenly heard screaming and then chanting-apparently the fundie roommate had decided that the light (which he apparently had just noticed for the first time) was satan trying to enter the room, and he had to exorcise the room. He got the gullible guy to go along with him-so my friend fully wakes up to the two of them running around the room chanting, blessing water to make it holy, and then sprinkling this water all over the room. At one point they got down on their knees and prayed before their beds for the room to be cleansed of evil. At this point the 4th roommate is awake too. He and my friend just looked at each other, shook their heads, started to laugh, and tried to go back to sleep.

    The exorcism lasted about an hour before anyone could finally sleep. My friend and his other roommate had a huge laugh over it the next day, as did some of their fellow students, and many of us back home. I don’t know if the fundie and the other guy ever did figure out what it really was. I think my friend tried to tell them once, but they didn’t want to listen. We still laugh over that story.

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