Friendly Atheist Contest #9 1/2 Atheist Limericks November 17, 2007

Friendly Atheist Contest #9 1/2 Atheist Limericks

From the sublime to the ridiculous, let’s go from haiku to poetry’s highest form, limericks! Create an atheist limerick.

Jared must be psychic or at least our logic flows in the same perverse way because on Contest # 9 he proposed a limerick contest the night after I started working on this. Go Jared!

As you probably know limericks follow a very set pattern, usually iambic with five lines in a rhyming pattern of a,a,b,b,a. I’ll give you an example, (not very good, I admit) to start you off:

An atheist’s outlook is sunny
‘Cause so much of life can be funny.
Without a hereafter
We cherish the laughter
And savor each moment like honey.

Uh-oh the Limerick Muse has been awakened:

A preacher who said, “Gay is sin”
Was caught being naughty with men
He said “I’m straight now,
‘Cause God showed me how.”
Yeah, straight as he ever has been.

Watch out, I’m out of control!

Ted Haggard created a shock
So his churchgoers said, “Take a walk.”
But he said that by livin’
In Christ he’s forgiven
For the sin of misusing his………flock.

The ten funniest or most creative submissions will receive a Friendly Atheist wrist band:
paper wristband
This is the genuine article. Beware of cheap knock-offs.
Judging will be done by the same anonymous mystery people who have judged the other contests. I’m certainly not gonna take responsibility. 🙂
Have fun,

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  • Michael B.

    The theists say they have the truth,
    and all was created ina poof,
    but I say I’m right,
    I’ll put up a fight,
    Spagetti’s a much better spoof.

  • Alyx

    Here’s a few…yay limericks!

    Sometimes theists are snobs,
    if they chase you with torches and mobs,
    but if they think we’re bad,
    it’s really just sad,
    at least we don’t kill people’s shrubs.

    Atheists say the Bible’s a spoof,
    to them there is just no proof,
    Christians say nay,
    just look the right way,
    and you’ll see the light through your roof.

    Atheists are stereotyped often,
    and sometime’s it’s just plain rotten,
    to call us names,
    is really just lame,
    I’ll be watching you out of my coffin. Dun dun.

    Things atheists are called are rude,
    some of which aren’t really new,
    heretic, blasphemer,
    heathen, masturbator,
    but if you think we kill kittens you’re a prude.

  • I just had to do a Nantucket one:

    An apologist man from Nantucket
    Had excuses that started to suck it.
    His mind twisted and turned
    And he feared he would burn,
    ‘Til at last he decided, “Oh, fuck it.”

  • There once was a fellow named Hitch,
    He advanced an irregular pitch:
    “That Mother Theresa?
    I’ll give her a piece o’
    My mind, that old, fraudulent bitch.”

    A two-stanza piece:

    There once was an unmarried Jew
    Who exclaimed, in a bit of a stew:
    “My belly’s expanding!
    Now Joseph’s demanding
    A good explanation or two.”

    Well, he bought it (the credulous fool!),
    And went back to his carpentry tool.
    And of all Catholics, most
    Love the good Holy Ghost
    And don’t know that He cleaned Mary’s pool.

  • There once was a fellow named Huck
    Whose friend Jim had run plain out of luck.
    Huck said, “Listen, if Hell
    Is for those who do well,
    Then, quite frankly, I don’t give a fuck.”

  • Ben

    After the twin towers fell
    My anger started to swell
    Theist’s invisible friends
    Yield such horrible trends
    To my atheist meekness, farewell

  • Matt

    walking by a filled-up church
    i looked up and stopped with a lurch
    to my surprise
    i saw with my eyes
    Jesus on the branch of a birch!

    There once was a pope named Ratzi
    Who dressed all hot n tottzi
    When the altar boys
    Started making some noise
    He zipped up his dress and said “gratze”

  • #1
    Should the celestial war be true
    I know precisely what I would do
    I’d tell God and then Satan
    That the war they are wagin’
    be kept from me through and through

    There once was a terrible pundit
    who used to claim “God he done it!”
    until with reason confronted
    he sees that the prompted
    natural order leaves God quite redundant

    Is there a limit to how many I may submit? I think it is a teriffic idea and I would possibly like to make more.


  • Julie

    I just kinda think there’s no god.
    Just me on the earth in this bod,
    With no outside powers,
    A few mortal hours,
    And then I get put in the sod.

  • Richard Wade

    Is there a limit to how many I may submit? I think it is a teriffic idea and I would possibly like to make more.

    Submit as many as you wish. Be warned however that once you start doing these you may end up composing them while driving, in class, while supposedly listening attentively to your significant other, etc. It could have dire consequences.

  • Julie

    My grandmother is still alive and quite clever. She’s an agnostic and a very funny writer. She wrote this many years ago and recited it for me. I’ve never forgotten it. I’m submitting it for her. She will not mind.

    One theory I find mystifying
    Is whether there’s life after dying.
    I may never learn
    Whether I shall return,
    I can only be sure I’ll be trying.

  • Richard Wade – Submit as many as you wish. Be warned however that once you start doing these you may end up composing them while driving, in class, while supposedly listening attentively to your significant other, etc. It could have dire consequences.

    I am quite aware of the addictiveness of this because I have been making similar little rhymes for ages. Although this is the first time I have thought of making them into Limericks. My old ones usually look something like this:

    Unconditional love at Heaven’s fields
    Indeed a good hope to live by
    Better still is the hope
    That we’ll receive it before we die

    Eternal damnation in Hell residing?
    What bothers me more is this;
    To live a life in fear and hiding
    from something that doesn’t exist

    They’re based on Piet Hein’s Grooks. (Something I would recommend even though they’re not explicitly atheistic.) But Limericks are also quite a good medium.

    And since I regrettably do not have a significant other, I decided to make two more:

    A man by the name of Flew
    Decidedly accepted as true
    Behe’s teachings of complex
    In spite of reeking of nonsense
    Now he’s speaking as’f 1 plus 1 is…three

    A God of great subterfuge
    Played a great game of peek-a-boo
    With his hands on his eyes
    He prepared the surprise
    But forgot to peek again after the ruse


  • Stephen

    The Atheist Longhouse is grand
    Setting proudly on the non-belief strand.
    They’ll welcome you inside
    with arms open wide.
    Unless, of course, you read Ayn Rand.

  • R.L.Rovakur

    Spanning the spectrum from idealism to sardonicism… It may look like a “negative” trend, but rather I begin with my favorites.

    Today this notion is odd:
    There once was belief in “god.”
    People argued and fought,
    Waging wars–all for naught.
    Thank goodness we’re past that facade.

    People once cared nary a smidgen
    For any views beyond their religion.
    Reason, given a chance,
    Allowed abandonment of that stance
    And civility without division.

    Not evolution, but “intelligent design,”
    Is where the religious often align.
    They see gaps they claim science cannot tackle,
    Then fill them in, with their god as spackle–
    What a way to treat the divine!

    I once heard that god loves us, each and every one,
    Yet sends us to hell, just for having fun.
    But if I repent, never question, never stray,
    Accept Jesus, blind faith, and not be gay,
    I’m headed for heaven when all’s said and done.

    Of all the vast philosophical views,
    Only religions make the evening news.
    All are convinced that theirs is the one;
    Some preach from books, others with guns…
    Wait, I forget–which god is whose?

    How about “Contest # 9.75: Atheist Sonnets”?

  • I’ll get even with you, Richard Wade!

    Limerick 1
    A pain in the ass named D’Souza
    Thinks God Is Not Great is a louza.
    But by hitchin’ his game
    To Chris Hitchens’s name,
    He’s managed to stay in the nouza.

    Limerick 2
    A gene that was selfish, but boomin’,
    Was looking for someplace to room in.
    It fused with another,
    Created a mother:
    In four billion years, it was human!

  • Richard Wade

    I’ll get even with you, Richard Wade!

    Even with me? I thought you were already way ahead of me. 🙂

    Whad’ I say, whad’ I saaaaaay?

  • Okay, just one… then I have to go to bed.

    A limerick, he said on line
    I’ve been saving my words so fine
    But my brain is shot
    From smoking the pot
    I inhaled, and I must resign

    Good-night! 🙂 Well…. alright! Just one more…

    An atheist limerick said he
    But how can it possibly be
    I belive in God
    With my soul and bod
    These contests are never for me!


  • I said, I’ll get even with you, Richard Wade!
    By way of explanation, I offer:

    Oh, Richard, you’ve caused us afflicion
    ‘Cause limericks are an addiction.
    Your contest don’t please us —
    We’d rather be Jesus
    And just have to face crucifixion.

  • Two more from me before I tuck in! I hope you guys are not tired of me yet.

    A ‘pologetic had tales at my strewn
    How God sentenced Cain to his doom
    With a mark on his head
    So his life not be shed
    But he never would tell me by whom?

    A theist was promising me
    Epiphanies if I’d just believe
    I said: ‘You’ll think that it’s queer
    That my God is Beer
    But at least it is one I can see!’

    I think I am getting better at nailing the iambs. 🙂


  • OK, I GOT IT!! – As “atheist” as I can get…

    You’re rejecting the religion
    saying God is not omniscient
    My heart is with you
    Religion is poo
    Perhaps Science will prove Creation


  • Julie

    Linda, here’s a compromise one.

    Although I myself won’t ever move
    And get in the religion groove,
    When you get right down to it
    And sift and sort through it
    I guess this God guy I can’t DISprove.

  • Julie, she doesn’t disapprove
    The nice gesture that would behoove
    those with claws and fangs
    guns ending with *bangs*
    I, too, often end up a boob… (well, it almost rhymes) 🙂

    Thank you, Julie!! 😉

  • Karen

    Exterminator, yours are priceless! Well done. 🙂

  • Hold up! Aren’t Limericks supposed to be a bit naughty?

    God allegedly ‘pregnated Mary
    I do find it quite contrary
    That They do abhor
    Us who do “whore”
    While God unweddedly took her cherry

  • Cameron

    Science has killed need for more
    Yet Christians still cling to folklore
    If the things in the heavens
    Can’t be explained with mere evidence
    Then why not give life up to Thor?

    They say atheism is just being snobby
    That we’re all in the very same lobby
    But if unbelief is religion
    I take offence to the definition
    And not collecting stamps is a hobby!

  • Valvilis Cormaeril

    Two, I can do two, right?

    It’s so hard to avoid aggravation,
    As ignorance strangles our nation,
    But no need to despair,
    For we wise few are aware,
    Of the miracle of our godless creation.


    And for you purists who feel limericks have to be unsavory:

    It’s difficult mucking the front,
    Atheists ducking the brunt,
    But it seems that you faithful,
    Remain always unable,
    To see your god’s just a big mistake theologically.

    Where did you think that was going? Dirty, dirty minds…

  • Two, I can do two, right?

    It should be allright. I have done 7 so far and Richard Wade said we could submit as many as we want. (I bet he regrets it not, though hehe)

  • Richard Wade

    Well, it’s kind of a Dr. Frankenstein moment… 🙂

  • Matt

    John, my friend, was a theist.
    He decided to become a priest.
    He saw the decay,
    and he said “No way”
    Thus, he turned into an atheist

  • Valvilis Cormaeril

    Submit as many as we want?! Don’t tell me that.

    A young gal lived in times quite hoary,
    She lived life with a passion and glory,
    But her nights were too wild,
    And she soon was with child,
    Forced to concoct for her Joseph a story.

  • There once was a novel by Brown
    That made many a Christian frown.
    With expectations soaring
    Said dialog was boring
    But there was never a Jesus in town.

  • Oh, what you seem to imply
    is filled to the brim with Lie
    The serpent said, “Look.”
    He put out his hook
    Causing our future to die

  • Valvilis Cormaeril

    John was a true bible subscriber,
    And therefore not a shellfish imbiber,
    He burnt offerings and beat his kids-es,
    Just like he had learned in Leviticus,
    And he never wore a shirt of two fibers.

    In Eden, you wouldn’t believe,
    The problems Adam always had with Eve,
    She stormed out in a stir,
    Adam said, “What’s with her?”
    “I’ve got no idea,” replied Steve.

  • Richard, you suck. I actually have work of my own to do, you know.

    Why reject our dear Lord’s great command
    When the reasons for faith are so grand?
    There’s the Bible so sweet
    The flagellum so neat
    And bananas fit right in your hand!

    Said the Reverend, “I know I’m too smart
    To rely on just faith a la carte.
    My belief isn’t treason
    It has evidence and reason —
    Like this warm fuzzy glow in my heart.”

    Harry Potter’s a sin? Quick! Escape!
    From the Christians who’d whip me in shape!
    But I’d join any church
    Leave my pals in the lurch
    If it meant I could do it with Snape.

  • Oh, BTW: Limericks aren’t iambic. They’re (usually) anapestic. An iamb is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (da-DUM). An anapest is two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable (da-da-DUM).

  • Greta Christina:
    Salute. Right you are. My mistake. (Or was it Richard Wade’s?) Personally, I am better at hearing and making these things than actually naming them. I should have known better though since I have written dissertions about these things before, so I bow my head in shame before you.


    (That being said I don’t think everyone here even tries to make these anapestic anyway *ahemm*)

  • Richard Wade

    Richard, you suck. I actually have work of my own to do, you know.

    LOL! In this context I take that as high praise. Thanks!

    Thanks also about the correction of iambic to anapestic. I thought something was wrong, but iambic was the only one I could remember from the seventh grade. We wrote with quills back then.

  • Well, ok since we opened up the Pandora’s box anyway, the Limerick is usually a variation of several kinds of metric feet. As you said, Greta Christina, the anapest is one and another frequently used is the amphibrach. Actually the Limericks I personally try to write look a bit like this:

    amphibrach amphibrach bacchius
    amphibrach amphibrach iamb
    amphibrach iamb
    amphibrach iamb
    amphibrach amphibrach iamb

    or if you prefer:

    x / x x / x x //
    x / x x / x x /
    x / x x /
    x / x x /
    x / x x / x x /

    I am not sure if it is more correct to call the first line there “iamb anapest minor ionic anapest” or “amphibrach amphibrach bacchius” but I do think the latter is a tad more tidy. However, I will give you the benefit of the doubt in regards to your objection that Limericks are more anapestic than iambic.

    I am quite sure Richard Wade is going to kill us now and I am sure he would have preferred to avoid being entirely pedanthic and just call them iambs. 😛

    (Sorry, Richard. This seems like yet another Dr. Frankenstein moment, doesn’t it?)

  • Richard Wade

    Dr. Frankenstein removed his glasses and gently pinched the flesh between his eyebrows as the Creature discovered the amphetamines in the drug cabinet…

  • stogoe

    Well, here’s mine, though it’s a day late and a dollar short. Guess that’ll learn me not to skip FA on the weekends…

    Awash in reality’s splendor,
    Jake turned to the old hot dog vendor,
    Remarked, “ain’t it grand?
    We’re a small grain of sand.”
    Asked the old man, “Are you on a bender?”

  • This is in reply to all the debate over technicalities:

    Again, WHO CARES? I do protest
    This isn’t a “rules” contest
    I’m here to have fun
    and put down the gun
    Can faux pas escape arrest?

    Crea-tivity turns to mokery
    OCD can be slavery
    Poetry with the rules
    Turns us into fools
    Let’s escape penitentiary!

    (…and be free to break the rules. There is such a thing as “anti-limerick.” No joke! I looked it up.) 😀

  • Curse you Friendly Atheist! These disrupted my sleep last night and forced me to crawl out of my nice warm bed to write them down.

    There once was a preacher named Jim
    Whose wits were a little bit dim
    He believed it on faith
    That from Hell he was safe
    Because he had sung the right hymn.


    The christians all wish they could sin
    If atheists only they’d been
    But my life’s a bore
    I should really do more
    Do something worth rubbing it in.

  • An amphibrach said to an anapest,
    “I think that this Wade guy is, man!, a pest.
    And I won’t be back till
    He credits the dactyl.
    (Now find me a rhyme for ‘banana pest.’)”

  • My first try…

    There once was a man from Galilee,
    Who once was seen cursin’ a fig tree,
    Though His family deemed Him mad,
    He was SURE He was His own Dad,
    Yet they heard — Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

  • Richard Wade

    (Now find me a rhyme for ‘banana pest.’)”

    manifest, ban a guest, can a pest, an arrest, bandana fest, ran a test, manna best, man a-blessed, Vanna’s chest,…

  • Kyana West? 😛

  • Julie

    I’ve been readin’ and doin’ some ratin’
    And also been participatin’
    And here’s what I know
    I can tell it is so
    These limerick’s prove there’s a Satan.

  • RIchard:
    I asked: Now find me a rhyme for ‘banana pest.’

    You wrote: manifest, ban a guest, can a pest, an arrest, bandana fest, ran a test, manna best, man a-blessed, Vanna’s chest.

    Most of these — with the sole exception of “can a pest” — are not rhymes in strict limerick construction, in which only the accented syllable in the last metric foot is changed to make a new rhyme. Since the rhyming feet of limerick lines 1, 2, and 5 could be single syllables, two-syllable troches, or 3-syllable dactyls, you have to look for the accent.

    man!, a pest
    banana pest.

    can a pest” works. But your other terms all substitute different consonants for that “p.” Those would all be perfectly good rhymes in another poetry form — but not in a limerick.

    That’s why it’s so hard to write a good one.

    Class dismissed.

  • Richard Wade


  • Analysis is plucking the wings off a butterfly. I think we killed the Limerick now.

  • Analysis is appreciating the butterfly in a profound way.

  • Danny

    Here is my stab at it.

    Religion can make you a fool
    Even though you’ll think you are cool
    So reason it out
    And you’ll have little doubt
    That abstaining should now be your rule.

  • anti-nonsense

    Those who reject evolution
    say that ID is a better solution
    but it goes off the rails
    for as science it fails
    and it violates the US constitution

    There is a guy named Kent that says
    that the world was made in 6 days
    But he doesn’t know his facts
    and he didn’t pay his tax
    His stupidity does often amaze

    There was an old maan in Dover
    who thought he’d do the school system over
    and tamper with science
    in direct defiance
    of evidence and law, moreover.l

    The bible has a great many pages
    it should have been left in the Dark Ages
    for Luke, Mark and Paul
    and John, and them all
    were not what you could call sages

  • How convenient for any old wretch
    To be able–with one genuflex
    to have a clean slate
    each time sins they create
    Theists think they’re divine Etch-a-Sketch.

  • Here’s a quick way to insanity:
    Believe (in incredible vanity)
    An omnipotent being –
    All-knowing, all-seeing –
    Would care one small whit ’bout humanity.

  • Brad

    There once was a man from Galilee
    Who preached love and harmony
    But two thousand years later
    there’s still many a hater
    Who’ll ban “And Tango Makes Three”

  • Erin

    There once was a Gubna named Sonny
    Who wasted his taxpayers’ money
    On teary-eyed prayer
    For some rain in the air
    A week later, it’s still dry and sunny.

  • Brodie

    This was inspired by a line of Greta Chistina’s:

    That bananas fit right in the hand,
    Shows that God is at work in the land,
    But I’m going to hell,
    Cos my cock fits as well,
    I love sowing my seed in the sand.

  • John B Hodges

    This one is not mine; I suggested a limerick contest on an email list ( and (as I recall) Emma Waghorn offered this one:

    Once a Lutheran pastor named Herman
    lost his faith in the midst of a sermon.
    He tumbled from grace
    with a smile on his face
    and began quoting Nietzche, in German.

    There were a few more good ones. I’ll dig them out of my “attic” and revisit.

  • Joe King

    There was a young man Edmund Rice
    Who liked the odd bit of vice
    He founded the Christian Brothers
    To roger the others
    Now that wasn’t very nice

  • Joe King

    A priest far from his native shores
    Deceided he’d visit the whores
    Not to hear confession
    Just to fulflil his obsession
    But his dick got covered in sores

  • Joe King

    The collection box filled to the brim
    The priest asks who’s the kind limb
    It’s me said the queer
    Priest say’s pick a hymm we can hear
    And he points to him him and him

  • Walter Strong

    The Holy Ghost and Mary were hump’n,
    Her ass was vigorously pump’n.
    The Ghost cut a fart,
    Woke Joseph with a start,
    And he gave that old spook a thump’n

  • Ur Mother

    On the glorious day of easter,
    i got drunk off my keaster,
    i was drunk as a skunk
    and puched a monk
    and they said “you must leave mister”

    Easter Drunkeness FTW

  • Ur Mother

    If god is such a good guy,
    then why doesn’t he come down from the sky
    He hides up above,
    just like Santa does,
    And his BS makes me want to cry

  • Ur Mother

    There once was a boy named keith
    who was ass raped by a priest,
    he wanted an apology
    and some serious money
    but the pope said no deal, you thief!

    (Srsly tho…How come religious dudes get away with child molestation? No one else can! I’m pretty sure that Jebus -praise JEBUS- never said, “let he without sin, rape the first boy!”)

  • Ur Mother

    Christian vs. Atheist responses to common statements

    1. Can a Woman who has been raped get aborted???

    C: Short answer, no. long answer, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    A: Why should I give a flying Fuck??? she could have a baby dragon frenchman and call it bob and abort three years after its born and I honestly wouldn’t give a shit

  • Ur Mother

    An old man sat in a chair,
    he didn’t really care,
    when his friends said “you’re doomed”
    “unless god saves you!”
    in which case he hit ’em with a pear

  • I know this is way late, but I thought I’d post it just the same. I’ve begun posting them to my blog.

    PZ once enraged a whole slew
    of religious fanatics – he threw
    a Qur’an in the trash
    and then with a dash
    of élan, he threw in Dawkins, too.


    – for Ayaan Hirsi Ali


    There once was a actress named Weisz
    whose bashful, compassionate eyes
    inspired us to rate
    her Hypatia as great
    and to weep when the heroine dies.


    What little we know of her life
    is bound up in trouble and strife
    of an era in which
    they thought her a witch
    because she was nobody’s wife.


    Neither Christian nor pagan nor Jew
    she was one of the relative few
    who today we would call
    a freethinker, et al.
    then degrade in the New York Review.*

    * of Books

  • Janice Weinberger

    There once was a rabbi named Jesus
    Who had a bad case of the sneezes
    He was known as the jew
    Who spread ’round the flu
    And brought us all down on our kneeses!

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