The Evergrowing List of Annoying Christian Clichés July 11, 2012

The Evergrowing List of Annoying Christian Clichés

Christian Piatt has a terrific list (and follow-up) of clichés Christians need to stop using:

“If you died today, do you know where you’d spend the rest of eternity?”

No, I don’t, and neither do you. So stop asking such a presumptuous question as this that implies you have some insider knowledge that the rest of us don’t. And seriously, if your faith is entirely founded upon the notion of eternal fire insurance, you’re not sharing testimony; you’re peddling propaganda.

“The Bible says it; I believe it; that settles it.”

If ever there was a top-shelf conversation killer this is it. You’re not inviting any opinion, response, thought or the like. You’re simply making a claim and telling others to shut up. Also, I’ve yet to meet someone who takes EVERY WORD of the Bible literally. Everyone qualifies something in it, like the parts about keeping kosher, wearing blended fibers, stoning adulterers, tossing your virgin daughters into the hands of an angry mob…you get the point.

“The Lord never gives someone more than they can handle.”

What about people with mental illness? What about people in war-torn countries who are tortured to death? What about the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust? And this also implies that, if really horrible things are happening to you, God “gave” it to you. Is this a test? Am I being punished? Is God just arbitrarily cruel? Just don’t say it.

What would you add to his list?

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  • Kahomono

    “I will pray for you.”

    A) So?
    B) I see you have a deep-seated need to prove your moral superiority 
    C) Betcha won’t – in ten minutes you won’t even remember this conversation you just murdered with that old chestnut.

  • Mystery

    “God works in mysterious ways.”

    Since the Bible, especially the commandment parts, is all about demystifying how God works, you have just negated the core message of the Bible. Congratulations!

  • gmorris44

    “It’s all part of God’s plan”. The idea that he/she/it predetermined everything. This takes all thought and free will out of the discussion. Now we’re just pawns in the game. What a jacked-up plan by the way. Goes back to you statement that we’re being tested or punished. What part of a loving Gods plan includes innocent babies being born with HIV.. and on and on and on.

  • MoriyaMug

    Pretty much any sentence containing one or more of these words:


    That about sums it up.

  • beatlefreak9

    Strangely enough, I wasn’t annoyed until I saw Ray Comfort’s face. Happens a lot.

  • “s/he is in a better place now”

  • 3lemenope

     “The Lord never gives someone more than they can handle.”

    This is my personal favorite, as the Biblical text goes pretty far out of its way to make the opposite point. Cf. Job, Psalms, Lamentations.

  • Kahomono

    She is, indeed!  She doesn’t ever have to listen to any more of your Jeebus-babble!

  • Scooter

    I would have been much happier if you hadn’t caused that deluded liar’s face to appear on my news feed.

  • advancedatheist

    “This could be the end of days.”

    Yes, for christians. Nigel Barber in his ebook argues that christians will disappear organically and that atheists will replace them.

  • Stev84

    If god has some huge master plan, why are people still praying? Why are they so narcissistic to think that they can influence his plan?

  • The notion that moral relativism equates to amorality.  Without a God given purpose, I have nothing to live for and I may as well kill myself.

    Oh, and the “your ego won’t allow you to submit to something greater” (cue The Pale Blue Dot)

    Oh Oh, and God of the gaps (cue The Perimeter of Ignorance)

  • mthrnite

    “If you can’t know anything for certain, how can you know for certain that you can’t know anything for certain?”

    …or some such drivel as that. Seems to be the new trend these days.

  • Randomfactor

    “Every knee shall bend.”

    I’ve got a good friend who’s quite religious.  And an above-the-knee amputee.  Think HIS knee’s going to bend?

    I stopped genuflecting when I left the Catholics.

  • “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

    You don’t love that sinner, you judge them with righteous indignation because they don’t conform to your values, but since it’s not ‘politically correct’ to HATE people these days you dance around it with this trite and disingenuous phrase…

  • Lacuna

    My personally most hated: “Most people believe in god. They can’t all be wrong. So what’s wrong with you?”

  • fett101

    If you can’t know anything for certain then how can you know for certain that you can’t know anything for certain.

  • Randomfactor

    He’s planning on prayer.  See?  Always one step ahead.

  • Tainda

    Rich Tillman summed that one up perfectly at Pat Tillman’s funeral.

    “Pat isn’t with God. He’s fucking dead. He wasn’t religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead.”  

  • my stock answer for “I will pray for you.” is

    “Great! I’ll THINK for YOU!”
    Credit to whomever came up with it, it wasn’t me, but I love that line…

  • Jennifermn21

    “If you don’t accept Jesus into your heart, you WILL go to Hell, and the only reason I’m insisting you accept him is because I care about you.”
    I don’t think hell is real. You’d be just as well of threatening me with giant, flesh-eating elephants of the pink variety.
    I do appreciate that you care, and understand that you’re worried, but rest assured, once you get to heaven that concern will cease to exist as in heaven, everything is splendid.

  • Randomfactor

    Certainty is an emotional state like sadness.  Whether or not something makes me sad is no indicator of its truthfulness.  Ditto for certainty.

  • Randomfactor

    It happens all the time.  It’s called “death.”

  • Pickle

    “You can’t get something from nothing” in reference to the big bang theory, evolution, etc…

    1. Then where did your god come from?
    2. Where did your god get the materials to create the universe? One can’ create something from nothing according to your own “rule”. 
    3. STFU and go read a science book. 

  • Chris Kilroy

    I’m glad to see him include this one:
    America was founded as a Christian nation. Honestly, I find it hard to believe we are still having this conversation, but here we are. Anyone with a cursory understanding of history understands that we were founded on the principle of religious liberty – not just the liberty to be a Christian – and that many of the founding fathers explicitly were not Christian. Thomas Jefferson, anyone?

  • I used to believe in God, Jesus, and all the other fairy tales
    found in the Bible. But since I became an atheist, I’m in a state of rapture knowing
    that there is no sin. I do feel sorry for the foolish followers of Allah, who believe they martyr
    themselves based on the empty promises of the Koran. They will find no Heaven and no Hell. We
    all make our own rewards and our own punishments, before we reach our
    non-living afterlife as atoms floating around the Universe.

  • “Jesus died for your sins.”

    Speak for yourself!

  • DealWithItBrah

    Whenever a kooky Christian is presented with some logic and they fall back on that whole, “Well, I know I’M going to heaven, nyah, nyah, nyah!  and I’ll pray that you somehow learn to stop viewing reality with a reasonable eye”.  They’re all peace, love and Jeebus until their endless fallacies cause too much brain pain and they start gloating with sinful pride in their heavenly superiority.

  • Garyrogergray

    “I couldn’t have done it without God.”  One of my favorites.  How do they know?  Have they tried?

  • newavocation

    Maybe a response could be most people use to believe the earth was flat and they were ALL WRONG!

  • Cris

    The answer I give to “The Lord never gives someone more than they can handle.” is “Then why are there suicides? Clearly, THOSE people were given more than they could handle.”

  • Sstx70

    The whole “free will” argument.

    Why does god let these atrocities in the world happen if he/she/it is omnipotent.

    I hardly think god gave us ”free will” is a good enough reason for why a supposedly omnipotent being would allow children to die of starvation and leukemia, and allow for genocide to happen and not intervene. 

  • flyb

    Does anyone have a good response to “God bless you” after a sneeze?

  • Bboryla

     My two standard answers are:

    1.  Oh yes, they can be wrong.  Most people once believed the world was flat and were wrong.

    2.  Most people don’t believe in YOUR god.  So what’s wrong with YOU?

  • Fargofan1

    “You just have to take it on faith.” How could this do anything but end the discussion, as well as any further rational thought?

  • rich h

     That’s an easy way to be condescending to someone who just took their own life.  Because according to their trite philosophy, they should have been able to handle it.

    However, none of the asshats that I’ve met who say that ever volunteer to do 3 tours in Afghanistan and come back to an empty apartment and divorce papers… and a good case of PTSD and TBI.

  • 3lemenope

    You conversation stopper, you!

  • An awkward, “erm, thank you,” because the other person was being polite?

  • Bboryla

     Or how about this reply?

    We have never observed true “nothingness” so for you to assert it’s properties is presumptuous at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.

  • Bfundom

    So if you are an atheist you don’t believe in anything?

  • Sure. “Thank you.” I honestly don’t see the issue with this. Most people who say this aren’t really Christian, or even proselytizing to you.

  • “If I’m wrong and I die I loose nothing, but if you’re wrong and you die you loose everything.”  /facepalm

  • “I’m okay, thanks.”  Is usually what I say.  And if someone else sneezes, I usually say “Bless you”  because in my opinion, a blessing from me, a real live thinking human, is worth more than a blessing from any god.

  • Spamamander

    “God gave you this special angel” in regards to my child with Down syndrome. Yeah, good going god-dude, not only give an innocent child a lifetime of potential health problems and mental challenges, but give her to a woman with mental health issues and a minimum wage job.

  • Amazonfeet

    “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” pardon me a moment……..also, if you have a different point of view and express it, you are attacking people who are believers. Meaning that at age 51, I still can’t openly express my feelings in a family setting without somebody who is “a believer” getting intensely defensive and accusing me of attacking their right to believe, which is happening to me at the moment…if you have differing beliefs and you try to excruciatingly politely share your point of view and respect theirs, you are attacking/persecuting them and telling them they can’t have their point of view…does this ever happen to anyone else?

  • “Your disbelief does not make God go away. He’s just as real 

  • Yeah, what about the tens of thousands of other gods, goddesses, spirits, and the like?

  • viaten

    “Why can’t you just believe like everybody else?”  (“Just” is a key word.)

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    Religion enables people to deny science, why not history?

  • fett101

    I simply ignore it and don’t make any reply.

  • *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

    Right up there with telling me that I’m “so inspirational” or “so brave” for leading a mostly-normal life with a disability, like I’m supposed to just… what? Kick back and play the part of poor, miserable cripple? Fuck. That.

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    “No he didn’t, he died because he was a socialist rabble-rouser that ran afoul of conservative religious fundamentalists! If he came back today YOU GUYS would crucify him!”

  • *hugs*

    Family. Can’t live with ’em, can’t chop ’em up and hide ’em in the basement.

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    Actually, everything they ever tried, they tried without God…

  • viaten

     My “standard response” to 1. would be “That’s different.” with no further explanation.  For 2. “But they at least believe in a higher being.”

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    “Do you take it on faith when you get spam that says a Nigerian Prince is going to give you millions or that this pill will make your penis larger? Anyone who asks you to take something on faith is trying to con you. If they weren’t they wouldn’t need you to take it on faith, they would present evidence.”

  • Patterrssonn

    “Well Harvey Milk died for your sins.”

  • arallyn

    I’m not a big football fan, and I didn’t think much of Pat Tillman enlisting, despite all the news it generated. I didn’t even think much of his death (sorry, I’ve got a lot of my own issues to handle). But when his story came out and he was ridiculed for being non-religious on top of all the bullshittery involving the fact that he was killed by friendly fire, I wanted to scream every time I heard someone talking about it.

  • An entrant for the category of “Christian Cliches Which Contradict Other Christian Cliches”…

    Compare “The LORD never gives someone more than they can handle” to “Your behavior is a stumbling block to me”. One can substitute various subjects in that sentence, the goal being to whine about another person’s actions and freedom of choice impinging upon the whiner’s purity and ability to control himself, and shame them into stopping. Too much leg? Stumbling block. Mention of partaking in a delightful alcoholic beverage? Stumbling block. Hetero front hug? HUGE stumbling block.

    How dare you expect a tender, unsullied, potential raging sex fiend to bear such cruel temptation, you hussy devil.

  • arallyn

    This one sets me off, both because of people like Pat Tillman, and because of people who die when they obviously didn’t “deserve” it, especially kids.

    I’m a fan of the half-snuff/half-crime reporting site Dreamin’ Demon, and I think the webmaster made a good point a while back, rougly paraphrased –

    “No, she’s not in heaven. No, she didn’t go to a better place to make up for the hellish abusive existence she lived on earth. No, that baby that was beaten until it was brain-dead didn’t “escape to a wonderful place” when it finally died three months later of pneumonia. Stop fucking using that excuse. They’re not in a better place. They’re dead, and their existence was miserable, and they died a wholely undeserved death, and THAT is why we need to focus on catching the perpetrators of serious abuse/neglect/homicide – not for any sense of retribution, or simply because it’s the law, or because your god tells you to, but because people need to understand that it’s not acceptable to remove another human from this world just because you don’t feel like growing the fuck up and dealing with your emotions like an adult [mentally ill offenders aside].  People need to stop thinking that these kids get some second chance in another world that’s so much better than this one and that we don’t have to do anything to make it that much better. People believe in heaven because they’re too lazy to make this earth a better place for other people. They want to think that they can do nothing but say pointless words to an invisible friend and everything will be ok. Well, it won’t be. These people are dead, and by saying “they’re in a better place”, you imply that you’re ok with the crime occuring to begin with.”

  • SphericalBunny

    Correct. I have no basement 🙂

  •  Or, to put it in short form, “The LORD never gives someone more than they can handle, except for women’s bodies”.

  • CelticWhisper

     My friend came up with a great retort to that.  She was stuck in a private religious high school and so had plenty of opportunities to hone her response.  She finally settled on “Uh, please don’t.  They prayed for Jesus and, well…look how THAT one turned out.”

    Said it left ’em speechless every time.

  • Kristina

    “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

    Most vacuous argument ever. Even if Creationism had any merit whatsoever, this would still be a non-argument.

  • Bluebiscuit00

    It’s a blessing in disguise..

  • CelticWhisper

    I was in a long, ongoing forum debate on Neowin with the resident godspammer – JasonC was the username – and he looooooooved that one.  “One day every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that he-with-a-capital-H is lord-with-a-capital-L.”  That and “open your eyes, it’s not too late, open your eyes.”  Buddy, if my eyes were open any wider I’d be Malcolm MacDowell.

    Finally got fed up and said that if that ever happened, if I was standing on the street and the wave of genuflection was headed my way as all the other bystanders dropped to one knee and repented, I’d eat a bullet as my final act of defiance.

    Predictably, he said I’d go to hell.  Perhaps equally predictably, I said it’d be better than an eternity in the company of a mass-murdering, sacrifice-demanding petty tyrant and his charlatan-harlot of a son.

    That reminds me of another xian cliche that aggravates the crap out of me – circular arguments.  Not circular logic, not begging the question, but the absolute inability to admit to faults in their lines of reasoning.  The constant revisiting of points that had been settled long ago in the discussion.

    I had gotten quite good at covering all my bases when proposing situations or making counterarguments, out of necessity to head this guy off before he could make some bogus claim that was one of his old standby retorts.  Had to anticipate every weasel reply he could make.  It took me and about 7 other forum skeptics to finally shake him into retreating to “do some research.”  Didn’t show up in the forum for a good few months after.

    You remember those rubbery, water-filled tube-worm toys you had when you were a kid?  The ones that flop around and are hard to get a firm grip on?  Arguing with christians is like jello-wrestling one of those things.

  • Sue Blue

    “Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?”  

    “No, but my neighbor hired him to mow the lawn – just before he and his brother Jorge got caught in that INS roundup and deported.”

  • Deven Kale

    Their god doesn’t care about removing free will anyway, just look at what he did to that Egyptian Pharaoh.

  • Deven Kale

     I usually say “No thank you,” or the occasional, “Thanks, but my soul isn’t going anywhere,” if I say anything at all. The latter response almost always prompts a question or two. Turns out most people don’t know the superstition behind the saying. It’s even funnier around those who know I’m an atheist. 😀

  • Lucy

    That’s a brilliant bit of text.

  • Lucy

    Women’s bodies are delightfully easy to handle, if you ask me

  • Evd

    “Have a Blessed Day”.
    Shut. Up.

  • Amazonfeet

    LOL! Nor do I…

  • Mdwelch27

    These cliches really don’t bother me at all because these people are fuckin’ delusional.  Why would I care at all what they think.  They don’t think.  I am willing to spend my time and energy to keep them from holding back our progress, but if they just want to be ignorant and stay out of the way – I’ve got better ways to spend my time and so do you.  Let’s stop letting these medieval morons distract us from bigger and better things.

    Mark Welch

  • machintelligence

    Faith is the little voice in your head that says you should believe the little voice in your head.

  • Well, since God isn’t real, they have. They just don’t want to admit it.

  • Kahomono

    Harvey Milk and Barnett Slepian, to name two of millions.

  • Kahomono

    That’s a perfect time to pop out the list of just over 4,000 deities… every one of which people have failed to make real by believing in them

  • Yes, the bible does say those things but you’re taking it out of context

  • JT

    That was mine, too. I understand the sentiment, but the lady at the grocery store with the overly-permed hair, fake pearls, and freshly-manicured nails wishing me a blessed day is just too much by half. I usually ignore it, but if my dander is already up, I’ll typically respond, “no thanks, I’d prefer a day free of religion today.”

  • Kahomono

    True enough but the only way to take the Bible *in* context is to return to the Bronze Age, when men were men and women were chattel.

  • People only say to me “I will pray for you” after I’ve so completely dismantled their argument or assertion that even they can see it’s dismantled.  So depending on my mood, my reply ranges from:

    That’s nice of you, but not necessary.
    How about donating five dollars to the Red Cross instead?
    Oh, an imprecatory prayer? Cool!

  • Uh, with the utmost respect, is the ambiguity of the meaning of  the phrase “if you ask me” deliberate?

  • AxeGrrl

    Point to ANY suicide.

    Assertion decimated.

    Honestly, it makes me wonder if anyone who utters such drivel gives any significant thought to it at all.

  • AxeGrrl

    That reminds of this great bumper sticker I want to get:

    “If you don’t sin, then Jesus died for nothing”


  • AxeGrrl

    It boggles my mind how much mental gymnastics some of them go through to try to twist “God hardened Pharoah’s heart” in order for it not to mean what it obviously means.

  • AxeGrrl

    And if someone else sneezes, I usually say “Bless you”

    I say “gesundheit” for ALL audible bodily functions 🙂

  • that’s already 3rd on Christian Piatt’s list.

    “He/she is in a better place.” This may or may not be true. Again, we have no real way of knowing. We may believe it, but to speak with such authority about something we don’t actually know is arrogant. Plus, focusing on the passing of a loved one minimizes the grief of the people they left behind.

  • that’s already #1 on Christian Piatt’s follow up:

    Love the sinner, hate the sin. This is a backhanded way to tell someone you love them, at best. It also ignores the command by Jesus not to focus on the splinter in our neighbors’ eyes while a plank remains in our own. Bottom line: we all screw up, and naming others’ sin as noteworthy while remaining silent about your own is arrogant.

  •  Christian Piatt, who came up with this list (including Chris Kilroy’s post) is a progressive Christian.

  •  that’s on Christian Piatt’s list at #9

    “Jesus died for your sins.” I know, this is an
    all-time Christian favorite. But even if you buy into the concept of
    substitutionary atonement (the idea that God set Jesus up as a sacrifice
    to make good for all the bad stuff we’ve done), this is a abysmal way
    to introduce your faith to someone. I didn’t ask Jesus to die for me,
    and if I’m not a Christian, I really have no concept of how that could
    possibly be a good thing. he whole idea of being washed clean by an
    innocent man’s blood is enough to give any person nightmares, let alone
    lead them into a deeper conversation about what Christianity is about.

  • Christian Piatt has this one at #8 of his follow ups:

    It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. This is a little “joke” some Christians use to assert the superiority of opposite-sex unions over same-sex ones. But here’s the thing: if you really believe the first and only two people on the planet at one point were Adam and Eve, who did their kids marry and have babies with? This, my friends, is incest (happened again if you believe Noah’s family members were the only survivors of the great flood). This just demonstrates the selective moral blindness many of us Christian have and seriously compromises our credibility about anything else.

  • that’s kind of a mix between 2 Christian Piatt has on his list at #6 and #7

    “Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” As many times as I’ve heard this, I still don’t really know what it means. why my heart? Why not my liver or kidneys? This also makes Christianity sound like a purely emotional experience, rather than a lifelong practice that can never entirely be realized. But yeah, asking someone if they’re engaged in a lifelong discipline to orient their lives toward Christlike compassion, love and mercy doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it.
    “Do you accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior?” Again, this is not in the Bible. Anywhere. And for me, it goes against the whole Christlike notion of the suffering servant. People tried to elevate Jesus to the status of Lord, but he rejected it. So why do we keep trying? Plus, the whole idea of a lord is so antiquated, it has no real relevance to our lives today. Be more mindful of your words, and really mean what you say.

  • Sindigo

    “You shouldn’t try and guess God’s motives.” or “Don’t try and guess the mind of God.” – So, do we just abandon the whole fields of Bible interpretation and Theology then? Because, that’s pretty much what those subjects are.

    For the record, I’m fine with that. I have about as much respect for someone who studies Theology for a degree (except as part of a literature course) as I do for someone who studies Klingon (except as part of a modern languages course).

  • trj

    My reply to that:

    “Adam and Eve were not married. Their children were born out of wedlock, and their grandchildren were the product of incest. How exactly is this a model for marriage?”

  • Graham Turner

    There is no innocent suffering even children will be sinners one day (so get your punishment in first)
    there are no good peoplethere are no good people

  • Azel

    That one annoys me, atheism only informs on what one do not believe…My usual response to that is “So you’re not a socialist/democrat/republican/liberal/feminist/[insert political or social belief of your interlocutor] ?”

  • When my dad’s cancer returned, after just 5 months in remission, someone visiting us said “He must know you’re a fighter”. I had to leave the room. The very idea that all of the unfortunate things that have happened to my family in the last 2 years are because we’re being tested, challenged, or because we’ve proved that we are “fighters” is actually so appalling that I can barely even speak about it without becoming angry.

  • Stev84

    Although he really doesn’t get why it’s such a bad phrase. He even reiterates that it’s a sin, but I guess that would have been expected too much

  • Len

    Wow – gotta remember that.

  • Len

    Because your god is clearly so stupid that he wouldn’t recognise the insincerity of my just pretending.

  • Len

    If it’s a relationship, do you actually communicate with each other – like in a real relationship? Does god ever tell you anything that you didn’t already know?

    Re attacking your family, have you ever tried debating the merits of Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism with them? It may be worth seeing whether your family accept the views of another religion, rather than the mad-axe-murderer-heathen-baby-eater-atheist that you so clearly are.

  • God doesn’t send people to hell, people send themselves to hell. I HATE hearing that.

  • Tim

    He is quick isn’t he?

  • Len

    But what if it’s the Nigerian prince who’s trying to sell me the penis enlargement pill? That must work, right?

  • Oh, hey, do Muslim ones next!

  • Guest

     I believe it was Christopher Hitchens who coined that phrase.

  • Verysecret666

    In a natural disaster or accident etc when people say “Thank God nobody was killed, or only a few people were killed etc.     Well maybe God is one malicious SOB and he is just a poor shot and missed killing you or your friends this time!!!!

  • Verysecret666

    “You have to believe in something!!!!!?????” 

    Yes, I believe in myself.

  • Mary

     Or, as Homer Simpson once put it, “But, Marge, what if we picked the wrong church? Every week, we’re making God madder and madder!”

  • “And what if we picked the wrong religion?  Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.”

    – Homer Simpson

  • Momma Jay

    Wait, that response was actually “coined”? It took one of your geniuses to figure that out? Oh boy.

  • Momma Jay

    How can you know how someone thinks about another person and their beliefs? I’ve spent many late nights having conversations with people that I want to see in a right relationship with God and who do not conform, wait for it, not because they don’t conform to MY values, but because they don’t conform to GOD’s values. I wouldn’t spend the sleepless hours when I have term papers due the next day just because I was judging them. I did it because I really did love those people. 

    How can you judge someone’s motives when you haven’t actually talked to the person such as myself?

  • Kodie

     If only.

  • Kodie

     In the first list, a lot of people respond that he must be an atheist, using poor theology, or not a True Christian; people offered new phrases to add to the list, so he had to add that one, and he is a Christian just telling people to lay off tired phrases, not trying to refute their Christian validity.

  • Kodie

    Martyr complex? 

  • I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

    — Susan B. Anthony

  • Kodie

     One of the respondents in the first list thread had actually said he/she knows their limits and surpassed them because of god, wouldn’t have done things they knew they could not if not for god giving him/her strength.

  • Kodie

     I’m thinking of saying, “yeah, you too” next time it happens (instead of “thanks”) to see what they say. Sneezing is weird, you’re just talking to someone and then you have this seizure of your whole body. It doesn’t mean you’re going to die, but it would be weird if everyone just ignored that it happened. Social habit. “Sorry” is a weird remark too, as sometimes there’s nothing to be sorry for, but also weird if someone doesn’t say it. I don’t hear “excuse me” near enough, and “sorry” in place of “excuse me” only about half the time. People who should be “sorry” for barging and elbowing in never say it. But I digress. Sneezing is weird.

  • Kodie

     That one is annoying. I don’t believe in magical things, I don’t believe I’m a doll in a dollhouse. “But what about beauty?” I do believe in awe, I’m awed that two continents slowly merged to create that mountain billions or millions of years ago. I’m awed that much time has passed and I complain about 10 minutes of traffic or someone on line ahead of me paying with a check, because I recognize how short my life is. “Context” is another one – fuck your biblical “context.” Do you know how vast and how old the universe is? That god would single you out, you know why you think you are a “wretch” to him? Because the universe is huge and you don’t matter, and you know it.

  • 3lemenope

    I think, actually, the very point of having these automatic sayings is to avoid having to think about it. It’s a memetic defense system; if a vulnerability of a particular meme is questions generated by specific sorts of situations, it makes sense that automatic responses would be created to stave off such questions. The religions that failed to stop people from properly considering such matters lost membership, while those which succeeded at staving off thought had a competitive advantage.

  • Kodie

    From their point of view –
    “Things atheists should never say”: Anything.

  • Tainda

    I’m only a Chiefs fan so everyone else is my enemy 😉

    But when I watched that part of the funeral on the Pat Tillman documentary it brought tears to my eyes that his family had to sit through all the god BS, especially from the douchebags that covered up the real story of his death.  To my knowledge it wasn’t a secret he was an atheist and people should have respected that.

  • Kodie

    “As soon as you leave!”

  • matt

    I don’t understand the purpose of your post.  Was it an attempt to insult someone?

  • Kodie

     A while ago, I started hearing some of these phrases as less theological and more admission that we don’t know what’s going to happen and it’s all up to chance (that some people call “god”). It’s just another way of saying that. But they really believe it is up to a specific (their) god, it’s hard to explain for me, but many of these phrases are not nonsensical to me any more than when I exclaim “oh my god!” or “goddammit” or for example, “god only knows.” People say the latter all the time without being religious, it’s just a common turn of phrase when you don’t know. When I say “goddammit” I’m mad at something outside of my control, aren’t I, strike whatever it is and send it to hell, not really expecting that much. So when I hear things like this, I really hear a person lying to themselves about the source of the mysteries or “motives” or possibly using a turn of phrase.

    Because you can’t guess god’s motives, not because there isn’t a god, but worrying about something outside of your control isn’t the best way out of a situation. I guess you could also say, within the scheme of my least favorite “god has a plan” or “everything happens for a reason,” we’re not supposed to question that reason because we’ll realize there is no good motive and realize that god isn’t good, and realize maybe there is no god, that stuff just happens. Which it sounds just like they are acknowledging in the first place.

  • Kodie

     Even worse is when few people survive! God was really looking out for just a couple people!

  • matt

     1.  No really it’s not that different at all.  The point is made – Just because a lot of people think something is true, doesn’t automatically mean it is.

    2.  So which ones are going to “hell” then?  Isn’t commandment 1 thou shall have no other gods before me?

  • Elan

    “People believe in heaven because they’re too lazy to make this earth a better place for other people.” What a great way to put it. Can I quote you on this?

  • Sindigo

    I’ve never heard them used like that but I hate the idea that they’re making their way into common parlance. I don’t mind “goddammit” as it’s blasphemy (to some) in the first place.

    I’ve only ever heard them being used as an apologist argument to explain god’s love of giving children cancer. Also, “God has a plan for us all” and “He never gives you more than you can handle” being used in the same way. It’s just a way of avoiding the difficult questions.

  • “…”open your eyes, it’s not too late, open your eyes.” Buddy, if my eyes were open any wider I’d be Malcolm MacDowell.”

    That one’s going stright to my keepers file, thanks.  (Not that any True Believers would actually get that reference, because they’ve probably never seen a movie rated higher than “G”.)

  • PluckyDuck

    How about, “It’s not a religion, it’s a personal relationship” ?  I don’t see you church discontinuing it’s tax exempt status…

  • A Reader

    This one really bothers me. My dad’s dead, okay? Stop trying to give me false reassurances. He’s dead. I’ll never see him again. It’s the most painful thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life, but I’d rather actually deal with it instead of pretending that everything’s rainbows and sunshine.
    Ranty thing over.

  • “The Lord never gives someone more than they can handle.”

    Tell that to a girl that was sexually abused by her father for 15 years. Or a concentration camp survivor. Or a mother that lost her husband and 4 kids in a tragic car accident.

    Ya, a person could handle those but what kind of God would make them happen and say it’s our fault if we can’t deal with it.

  •  Sorry bout that. When I got sick because of a liver problem a couple of years ago I got so sick of people assuming I believed and calling me a fighter I actually told someone to fuck off. It’s not nearly the same as what you, your family and your father went through but just wanted to say I got it.

    If anyone ever asks anyone reading this what they should say to a family member of a sick person or the person him/herself simply ask if there’s anything you can do for them…mean it and do it if you can. If you can’t it’s ok to say no but if ever there was a time to go the extra mile this is it. Go check on the family dog or pick up the daughter from school or get them a real meal instead of that hospital crap. Small things like this let them know you care which if far better than an empty platitude they will hear from others over and over again.

  • k’Sheyna

    Ssshhh…they’re not in the basement.  They’re in the garden.  The roses are going to be beautiful this year.

  • Glasofruix

    In every other language than english when someone sneezes people say something akin to “gesundheit” which means be healthy or to your health, in french people say “to your wishes”.

  • TheresaL

     He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father?

  • It’s a human thing I think as much as it’s a religious thing.  memes and all that…

  • viaten

     1.  I’m not saying “That’s different.”  I’m saying Christians say “That’s different.” without feeling any obligation to explain why.  They’re right that it is different but not in any way that will help them make their point, and so they won’t go any further with it.

    2. When arguing with an atheist, in a believer’s mind, which God is believed in is a very insignificant point compared to whether or not any kind of God is believed in.  All religions become temporary allies against atheism and their differences are overlooked.

  • Glasofruix

    “I believe in evidence and so far you haven’t brought any.”

  • Hjp65

     I thought he was both.

  • This is not a complaint, but only an extension:  When you do offer help, try to give something specific you’re willing to do.  Don’t just say, “If there’s anything I can do….”  The person in trouble quite often will automatically put up the, “No, it’s alright,” response when they actually need help and by leaving it so open-ended, you’re asking them to come up with something and they may not be in any position to think about what they could really use some help with.  So, give an example:  “If you need me to pick up the kids or help you with the laundry or anything else that I can take off your plate, just ask and I’m there.”

  • Edmond

    The idea that an omniscient being needs to “test” anyone or anything is ludicrous.  Testing is an attempt to learn something unknown.  That is its only purpose.  We test to qualify levels of performance, or to learn the reaction to certain conditions, or just to probe for hidden properties.  We do this because we don’t know what the answer would be, and we want to find out.

    Gods should already know what the answer would be.  Gods should know all possible results without ever conducting the test.  Gods should not need to conduct tests to find unknown information.  This is nothing but anthropomorphism.  WE don’t know certain things, testing is how WE find out, so theists extend that behavior to their self-reflective gods, who wouldn’t need it if they actually existed.

  • If Eve was made from Adam’s rib, “she” must have had an X and a Y chromosome. Transgendered or intersexed, apparently… so “Steve” might be closer to the mark.

  • NewAtheist

    It’s partially a way of avoiding the difficult questions, but it’s also trite, meaningless, and a way of avoiding thinking. It’s a way to avoid thinking about the fact that this is a chaotic world and shit happens. I hate these phrases.

  • Sindigo

    Exactly, there’s nothing mysterious about condemning an infant to a brief, painful life of abject misery. If that’s your god’s way of “moving in mysterious ways” then your god is an asshole and your explanation is bullshit.

    Anyway, back to trying to be tolerant of people’s delusions. 🙂

  • Any suggestions?  That got me thinking, but I haven’t had any Muslims try to convert me.  I did have one co-worker who said that the Qu’ran was in such perfect Arabic that it could not be written by a mortal, but that’s it.  My youtube experience with Muslims seems to boil down to the same ideas that Christians come up with, although not the same overuse of ‘catch phrases’ perhaps.

  • Deven Kale


    If I’m wrong and I die I loose nothing, but if you’re wrong and you die you loose everything.

    Wrong. You’ve spent your entire life in supplication to an entity which doesn’t exist, and promoted the persecution of others for no reason. You’ve lost the chance to spend your life actually promoting things that help others. You’ve lost the chance to improve the lives of those who are truly suffering. You’ve spent likely hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding a company founded on lies and deceit. And that’s only the things I can come up with in less than a minute.

    I would call that losing quite a bit.

  • Deven Kale

     You really don’t understand, do you? Your understanding of “GOD’s” values are going to be different than your spouses understanding of “GOD’s” values, which are going to be different than your parent’s understanding of “GOD’s” values, ad nauseam. In other words, even if you substitute “GOD” for “MY,” it’s still really “MY” that you’re teaching, not “GOD.”

    The only person who can teach someone “GOD’s” values, is “GOD.” Since you are not “GOD,” you can’t teach “GOD’s” values, because you will always be biased with your own values as well. So, let “GOD” teach people his values on his own time (if he even exists and/or can), and leave those people alone.

  • Deven Kale

     Unfortunately, even in Germany it’s based on the same superstition of sneezing out your soul. Somehow, that superstition got to be so widespread that it infects the traditions of just about every country. It’s sad really.

  • Deven Kale

    So what? Some people do the same things for their lover, their parents, their children, their pet, the voices in their head, or their stuffed bear “Ted.” What/who gives a person motivation has nothing to do with whether or not it actually exists. It’s just something for them to focus on when doing it for themselves isn’t quite enough.

  • GaryLayng

     Odin nailed him to the cross using His mighty hammer.

    That’s what you get when you pray to the wrong god.

  • Kodie

     That’s why me and a couple other people have been challenging this person to provide evidence, most of which is accounted for by coincidence and hearsay. The person is so convinced there’s a god, professes to have challenged their own beliefs over and over again and keeps “logically” coming back to no other way could any of that have happened than god. They haven’t refuted my refutation yet, but as it is, I said I wouldn’t believe them in the first place, I doubt my counter-attack will have much effect.

  • “I want to thank the Lard for helping me  win this game/award/election”

    Really? Cuz something like 200 kids died of starvation while they were giving you the trophy/statue/swearing in & he couldn’t get off his fat ass to do a thing fro them. What makes you so fucking special?

  • DirtyNate

    Thats still not the route I would want to take. I have never met a person that thinks they are going to heaven, that I would want to spend five minutes with, much less an eternity.

  • Vision_From_Afar

    Seriously? Odin has a spear, Thor has the hammer. Watching movies today would teach you at least that much.

  • Vision_From_Afar

    Isn’t that from “Keeping Mum”? Awesome movie.

  • Kelley

    Go green…hide ’em in the compost.

  • Jeff Wood

    Loose Lucy is-a my delight. She come runnin’ & we ball all night.

  • Christsmith

    If Ray happened to actually read his Bible he would see that Scripture clearly states that Abortion, Molested Children, Rape, Murder, Torture….”yet ALL is of God”.  They never seem to want to take credit for any of the outrageously and profoundly evil things caused by their God.  “God operates all in all” – to operate means to “control the function” and thus proving the point that the Christian form of a God is a rather sick puppy.  We all know that ” I (God) created evil” and that we “can do nothing but for the father” and that “everything is according to Gods will”.  

    Tell me, how is it that anyone would worship, praise, glorify and deem moral a being that is responsible for such profoundly evil happening?  As a non-believer, I just can’t allow myself to to worship such immorality.  They can’t blame Satan because God created Satan “for a purpose” and he said of Satan that “I create the waster to destroy”.   Satan couldn’t have made a choice to become evil unless God had planned it, or willed it.  That is pure Scripture.  Ray and his buddy Kirk would never actually take time to read Scripture.  They rather go around telling everyone else what they prefer to believe and not what is actually stated or true. 

  • “What if you are wrong” – I hate that one. I am not scared if I am wrong. I am scared if they are right. If their god is really in charge and that is the shitty job he is doing – very scary.

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