How Are Atheists Like Smokers? September 21, 2008

How Are Atheists Like Smokers?

Rev. Keith Crosby from Green Bay, Wisconsin provides the answer to that question with the worst comparison you’ll hear all day:

Atheists are like smokers. Smokers know that smoking is harmful and yet they smoke while consciously suppressing the fact that harm will come to them if they persist. Atheists act as if their feigned unbelief somehow grants them immunity from responsibility vis-à-vis what politicians in the Watergate era once called “plausible denial.” Plausible denial won’t work with God.

As the passage above indicates, they will concoct theories and create their own little gods and myths including things like earth worship or UFOs … anything to suppress the truth from which they run. They are not fooling God. That’s why atheists get so angry about “religion” and pursue dead ends like “freedom from religion.” They don’t like to be reminded of what is true and the consequences of their self-delusion.

If you are reading this and you are a professing atheist — stop suppressing the truth. Embrace the forgiveness and restoration God in Christ offers.

Of course, no harm will come to atheists if they continue to not believe in God. In fact, I promise you’ll feel liberated if you stop believing in the supernatural.

Atheists are not immune from responsibility. In fact, we take full responsibility for our actions — it’s not like we can blame the devil or anything.

And since when do we create myths of our own (UFOs?!)… We stay away from that nonsense until we have more evidence.

Do these reverends read over what they’re writing? Do they do any bit of research at all? Why don’t their congregations call them out on their bullshit?

Maybe that’s why atheists appear angry: Things that seem perfectly obvious to us are completely shunned, ignored, or misinterpreted by the religious among us.

Or their representatives all too often make stuff up and just say it’s fact.


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  • Adam Nunez

    Atheist are like smokers, you can’t be one in a public place in Texas.

    sad, but true

  • mikespeir

    Oh, well, this is just ignorant.

  • Loren Petrich

    It would be fun to turn the tables on him and ask if he turns funerals into celebrations of the Dear Departed’s arrival in Heaven. And if he intends for his last words in this life to be “See you in Heaven”.

  • Atheists are like smokers, they enjoy their atheism especially after meals or on the toilet.

    True for me, anyway!

  • Since christians think they can tell me what I think, can I tell them they are stupid?

  • Jen

    Atheists are like smokers because we stick Christians in our mouths and set fire to them.

    Wait, what?

  • Well, not all atheists are skeptical about UFO’s and conspiracy theories. For some, atheism is just a disbelief in God and not based on a purely rational examination of religious claims about Gods.

    That being said, I really take issue with this preacher’s assumption that we are denying our innate knowledge that God exists so that we can weasel our way out of Hell.

    Some of the reasoning of preachers about atheism reveals they can only see the world through a presupposition of the existence of God. They make perfectly rational arguments, but don’t understand that reason can be pure and still lead to faulty conclusions if the wrong facts are used. For example, I saw the video of a preacher who said that atheists married to Christian women should become Christians because they are dooming their wives to Hell. You see, the man must be the Head of the Household and if he doesn’t do his duties through Christ (whether he believes them or not) then the Christian woman is not getting the true word of Jesus and isn’t able to experience Salvation.

    I kid you not. Atheist Husbands Spiritually Neglect Their Wives.

  • Richard Wade

    (sigh) There is no end to the psychoanalysis given to us unbidden by self-appointed “experts” on our psyches. This guy clearly has never gotten to personally know an atheist. Of course not. He thinks his knowledge is handed to him straight from his god, so he doesn’t have to go through the tedious process of using his eyes and his ears. He wouldn’t stoop to getting his hands dirty by actually talking to several atheists at length. Ewww!

    This is cowardice behind a smug mask.

    Hemant asked,

    Do these reverends read over what they’re writing? Do they do any bit of research at all? Why don’t their congregations call them out on their bullshit?

    Yes, they read over their writing again and again, in a kind of literary narcissism, loving what they read. No, they don’t do any research out in the field for reasons stated above. Their congregations don’t call them on their bullshit because they have been raised to think that believing everything that comes out of the guy’s mouth is true and that blind faith is a virtue. Actually checking out one of his statements would be seen as a lack of faith and therefore a lack of virtue.

    Now, if some theist would like to challenge me on that psychoanalysis I tossed out, GREAT! Then we’d have an actual dialogue rather than this slanderous, ignorant effluence coming from the bowels of bigotry of another man of the cloth who seems to think he’s too righteous to be wrong about us.
    ASK us about ourselves, and stop pretending to know us. You don’t.

  • Bubbaj

    Its all they really have isn’t it. To layer on unjustified guilt and to make appeals to your emotions. They are in sad shape.

  • Badger3k

    Isn’t it ironic that he derides belief in UFOs while not mentioning his own beliefs, which clearly fall into the same category. I also think it ironic that most believers in UFOs are Christians.

    I do agree that being an atheist says nothing about whether you believe in other BS or not. I’ve known atheists who believe in that – there are many reasons for atheism, not all of which involve critical thinking, and there is always cognitive dissonance.

  • Epistaxis

    Christians are like smokers. They think what they do isn’t harmful, and while they’re welcome to do it to themselves behind closed doors, a subset insist on their right to do it in public places where it affects other people. Thank god we’ve banned them in California.

  • Dude. I am SO addicted to my atheism. I need another fix!! C’mon c’mon!!

    …Ah. That’s the stuff.

    -Ashes, ex-smoker and ex-christian

  • Richard Wade

    Most of the atheists over at the Green Bay site are fenestrating Mr. Crosby a new orafice while the theists are mindlessly spewing scripture like Biblical Chatty Kathy dolls. After calming down I wanted to see if anything constructive could be started, but after 90 minutes of trying and failing to register and to log in so I could post an appeal for dialogue, I gave up. Just to satisfy myself because I worked on it most of the evening, here is the letter I wish I could have posted over there. I expect no one whom I wished to read it will ever see it. Oh well.

    Mr. Crosby, I open-heartedly invite you to actually talk to atheists and actually come to know what you are talking about.

    It is evident that you do not know any atheists closely, because what your are saying is so consistently incorrect. Rather than telling us about ourselves, I suggest that you ask us. If you have never gotten to know several atheists on a close and personal level, then you don’t know any more about atheists than you know about Martians. (and no, I don’t believe in UFO’s.)

    For you to make your statements based only on your own belief about us rather than actually experiencing us, discredits you in our eyes and severely limits your ability to have any influence on us. Are you actually addressing your remarks to atheists, or only to your congregation who already share your misconceptions? For you to willfully continue to tell them things about atheists that are simply untrue is to in a sense bear false witness.

    So I invite you to talk to us. I invite you to learn about a group of people you do not understand by entering into an extended dialogue with several civil, well-mannered atheists who would be delighted to help you understand them. I think that you will be both surprised and pleased to learn what we really think, feel and do.

    It will take only one thing for you to do this, the courage to find that you have been wrong and that you have been slandering people who bear you no ill will.

    You can talk with us at http://www.friendlyatheist.com or you can contact me through my email, which I assume is available to you through your site.

    Most sincerely yours,
    Richard Wade.

  • Polly

    Deep down, I think the good Rev. Keith Crosby knows it’s all horseshit. That’s why he feels the need to attack atheists. He secretly is one. I know because I, like all atheists, have amazing perceptive abilities to see into the depths of people’s hearts and minds.

  • Vincent

    Atheists are like smokers: everyone who isn’t one reviles them and wants to keep them away from their children.

  • Shane

    I really only have to consciously suppress belief in Odin. Belief in the Jesusmeister is really too ridiculous to need much effort actively disbelieving.

    Victory or Valhalla!!!

  • Yeah, this comparison is nonsense, but I have one question: “Of course, no harm will come to atheists if they continue to not believe in God.” This statement is clearly matter of belief. How do you know? 😛

  • Atheists are like smokers because we stick Christians in our mouths and set fire to them.

    OK, you got my attention Jen… details please. 🙂

  • justin jm

    I didn’t know this kind of idiocy could exist in Green Bay. That’s right on my doorstep! I don’t feel safe anymore…

  • Tim Bob

    “Maybe that’s why atheists appear angry: Things that seem perfectly obvious to us are completely shunned, ignored, or misinterpreted by the religious among us.”
    I definately relate to this. it’s so frustrating, i know i’m probably an aweful spokesperson if you will for atheists because i have a severely short temper when it comes to stupid people hahha seriously i cant handle them and don’t even know where to begin. i just can’t keep my mouth shut when approached by “jebus folk” i used to be extremely pissed at my atheist counterparts as well, for not speaking their mind. i saw them as “sitting around while our world goes to shit” idk how i feel about that now, but im definately not angry at them anymore… anyone else relate to this at all?

  • Dan

    Religion is a lot like my medication. They give me fake emotions and a sense of false hope.

  • Marc

    As a person who loves Jesus, I was reading this blog, and was saddened by this pastor’s remarks. I was also saddened by the responses. The reason is that there seems to be so much anger and misunderstanding on both sides, and while we feel good ridiculing those with other viewpoints or those who ridicule us, it really does nothing towards open dialogue, understanding, and/or reconciliation.
    My purpose in writing here is to extend an invitation to any who read this post, and want to share their feelings, frustrations, beliefs, and stories, with a disciple of Christ, and a fellow human being. I am not interested in trying to persuade anyone. I would simply like to hear your stories and get to know you better. After all, we are all one in our humanity, and I am not so much interested in creating divisions based on our beliefs, nor pigeon-holing and labeling one another, but on listening to and learning from each other.
    I think I was especially touched by your letter, Richard Wade, and I think it sparked my interest to get to know you better. Especially since you felt so misrepresented and slandered by that pastor. I do know how that feels, and it is quite frustrating.
    So, please reply at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • “Do these reverends read over what they’re writing?”

    Nope! It’s divinely inspired. They don’t question it, they don’t even try to understand it. That’s kinda like their whole world works!

  • Oh, and you will probably burn in hell for saying that…and me too!

  • Richard Wade

    Tim Bob,
    What makes me angry? Someone telling me I’m angry rather than asking me, and then telling me why I am angry rather than asking me. So it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy and a trick. They can say “See? I knew you were angry.” Which of course is infuriating. I have to use all my patience to not fall for it. The rest of theist stupidity, such as twisting science into a knot or their blather about morals or their idiotic appologetic arguments are just annoying at worst. I usually can contain myself and keep a civil tongue, but I won’t ever be silent.

    When the anger starts, take several deep, slow breaths. The original Latin meaning of the word “spirit” means “breath.” Want to have a better spiritual life? Just improve your breathing. No gods, spooks or magic required. Oxygen is free and better than sedatives.

  • Wow. This guy can’t even make a cogent argument. I’m seeing nothing but some unfounded and fairly idiotic assertions.

    Seminary must be the “special education” alternative to actual schools, based on this knuckle-dragger’s scribbling.

  • I think that religious people are like smokers in certain ways. religious people need religion in times of stress; smokers need a cigarette in times of stress. atheists and non-smokers are not worse off at all not smoking.

  • timbob

    Richard<
    thanks, i guess i just have a hard time, like the guy that posted about “we can learn from one another” i dont feel that he can teach me anything, he cant teach me morality my parents taught me what i didnt understand about that i mean i used to be a youth pastor i was a camp counselor for young life, im sure as hell not gonna learn anything i havent heard before about faith nor do i care to learn anything else about it. it’s a waste of my time. the thing that urks me is the blinders that go up towards proven things… freakin dinosaurs roamed the planet well before the creationist 6 thousand year marker… how can you santa claus that away and be ok with that?? i mean their poor kids are gonna be ridiculed in school because of their parents blind beliefs… its frustrating and i grow ever more intolerant of morons running our society. secular government is the only one that makes sense. why is america so behind the curve on this?

  • What is “feigned unbelief”? There is nothing feigned about my unbelief.

    It’s Pascal’s Wager with added insult. Git! And he wonders why atheists get angry.

  • I was a smoker for ten years until finally quitting three years ago.

    I was also a Christian/Deist until making the move toward atheism two years ago.

    I felt both were similar in that they kept me down, kept me worried about my health, and kept me from pursuing what I really wanted in life.

    When I quit smoking, I could breathe more easily. When I decided I was an atheist, I could breathe even more easily.

    Atheism has given me much more comfort in life than being a believer ever did. It is knowing that this is the only life I have, and that I need to live it while loving and being kind to others – not because of any great reward that will come to me, but just because it’s the right thing to do.