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Atheists are Children of the Devil

atheists mike stanfill
Cartoon by Mike Stanfill

Jesus said to a group of Jews:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

It is not uncommon for Evangelical zealots to tell atheists that their real father is the Devil, old Satan himself. What naturally flows from this line of thinking is that atheists live lustful, Satanic lives; that atheists are liars because there is no truth in them. No matter how atheists live; no matter how atheists treat others; no matter how kind, decent, thoughtful, and loving atheists might be; they are, without exception, the lying, lustful children of Satan.

The only way atheists can change their family designation is to be adopted into the family of God through the merit and work of Jesus. No matter what atheists say or do, Evangelicals consider them enemies of God and the one true faith. If only atheists would admit the existence of the Christian God, pray the sinner’s prayer, and vote Republican, they would, with open arms, be welcomed into God’s blood-washed family. Because atheists refuse to bow to Jesus, they are forever condemned not only to the Lake of Fire, but also to being disparaged and lied about by so-called men of God.

All atheists can do is live according to the humanist ideal. Today, I bought groceries at the local Meijer. The store was jammed with panicked, irrational shoppers. The shelves were empty of items such as toilet paper, paper towels, bleach, hand sanitizer, Lysol, water, and, oddly, chicken. Yes, chicken. There wasn’t a piece of fresh chicken in the entire store. Checkout lines were backed up, and over the store intercom came messages asking shoppers to please be patient. The humorous part of me want to scream, “WHERE’S THE CHICKEN? I WANT SOME FUCKING CHICKEN RIGHT NOW!” I said nothing, thinking to myself about how irrational many people are when facing a crisis. I have seen this kind of panic numerous times over my sixty-two years of life on planet Earth. Seems a little more intense this time.

As I was pulling out of my handicapped parking space, I noticed that a young woman had dropped a 24-pack of diet Coke and the cans were rolling everywhere in the parking lot. Several people drove by the frustrated woman. I put my Ford Edge in park, told Bethany I’d be just a minute, and got out and helped the woman retrieve her pop cans. She sheepishly said, “thanks.” I replied, “No problem. Have a good night.” And with that, I got in my car and drove off to the gas station before heading home to Ney, nine miles away.

If, as an atheist, I am, to quote the song by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, bad to the bone, why didn’t I selfishly ignore this woman’s plight and drive away? Here’s why: I am a decent person. When I see someone in need of help and I can help them, I do so. I ALWAYS do so. Picking up pop cans in a store parking lot for someone is a trivial act of kindness, but what kind of person would I be if I didn’t at least try to help? Virtually every day I am given opportunities to help and be kind to others. I want to go through life treating others as I would want to be treated, hoping that when it is Polly or my daughter trying to chase down pop cans, someone will stop and help. Small acts of kindness make all the difference in the world.

When Evangelicals try to tar me with the Satan brush and say that I am a vile, evil man, an enemy of God, a hater of all that is good, in my mind I just laugh and give them the finger. Sometimes, I even speak my mind. I know the cut of my character. I know what kind of man, husband, father, and grandfather I am. I don’t care one whit what the Bible or Evangelical preachers say about me. Instead, to quote an Evangelical children’s church song:

This little (atheist) light of mine,

I’m going to let it shine.

This little light of mine,

I’m going to let it shine.

This little light of mine,

I’m going to let it shine,

Ev’ry day, ev’ry day,

Ev’ry day, ev’ry day,

Gonna let my little light shine.

I don’t need religion to be a good person, and you don’t either. In fact, I would suggest that Fundamentalism often turns people into arrogant, hateful, belligerent, self-centered assholes. Remember, the goal of Evangelicalism is to exclude; to separate the saved from the lost, the sheep from the goats, the sinners from the saints. How can such exclusion not lead to bad behavior? Humanism, on the other hand, says, “we are all in this together.” There’s no Heaven, no Hell, and no God coming to deliver us. It is up to each of us to do what we can to make the world a better place to live. And, may I humbly say, it begins one pop can at a time.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    dale M

    Do you remember Jack Rabes (Nazi party affiliate and Hitlers ambassador to China). He was the “Shindler” of Asia during the “Rape of Nanking”. No movie has ever been made of him. He joined the Red Cross and put up tents bedecked with Nazi flags so the Japanese wouldn’t bomb them. He then took both Hirohito and Hitler to task telling Hitler that this was barbaric for a European civilization to have anything to do with. He fought Japanese openly in the streets to save women from being raped. Hitler called him home. He was arrested by the Gestapo. He survived the war. No movie in America was ever made of his exploits. All documented by the Red Cross. It would be in poor taste to sensitive evangelical ears to do so, I guess.

  2. Avatar
    missimontana

    I remember when I used to work in restaurants. We all dreaded Lent season. Hundreds of good Christians, wearing the ashes, pumped up with self-righteousness, coming in and trashing the place, yelling at employees, pushing, shoving, demanding attention. Easter was worse because all the church people, not just Catholics, showed up. In over 10 years of working, I only saw one instance of a polite church group. A huge youth group came in (100 kids) and the minister not only made sure they picked up their trash, he made us give them rags so they could clean the tables. We almost had heart attacks! It’s sad to say, but the most difficult customers I’ve had almost always were religious groups. Same when I worked home health care; The most difficult clients (not counting dementia patients) often were the most religious. There were exceptions, but very few of them. It took me a long time, but I’ve learned: religious does not automatically mean good actions.

  3. Avatar
    BJW

    Thank you for your kindness, Bruce. You prove that being an atheist doesn’t mean you are bad, but the reverse: you’re kind to your fellow man.

  4. Avatar
    thatotherjean

    Thank you, Bruce. Whether you’re religious or not, for right here and right now, all we have is each other. We all live in it, so we should all try to make the world a better place.

    • Avatar
      Matilda

      I was volunteering in a community project last week and saw my colleague arriving with a large box in his arms. i went over and held open 2 doors for him. He’s a retired pastor and he thanked me and said ‘You’re a very thoughtful person, god’s given you the gift of thoughtfulness.’ Which means he thinks no one can do any random act of kindness, be a half-decent person without being motivated by jesus…I only opened a door for him for goodness sake!

      • Avatar
        Brian Vanderlip

        God gave the retired pastor the gift of making cash from his mouth-work… Good to know he is also helping with a community project… a shame that it has to be more preaching though… This something that is hard for me: Sometimes I feel that decent human beings get brainwashed and advertised into using the God word and churchy clothes for doing the decent thing in the world, for just holding a door open or lending a wee hand…

  5. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    Hail Satan!

    Just kidding. I was taught to be kind to others and have taught my kids the same. It’s what works best in civilized society. No one needs to fear a deity’s wrath to be a kind person- just do it.

  6. Avatar
    Michael Mock

    Now I have this unshakable vision of you getting out to help that woman, but with Bad To The Bone playing as a soundtrack.

    Bruce: ::pulling out of Parking Lot::
    Bruce: ::Sees woman with spilled soda cans::
    Bruce: ::puts the Ford in Park.::

    Bruce (looking at his wife): “I’ll be right back.”

    George Thorogood and the Destroyers start playing as Bruce opens the card door and steps out.

    …It’s like something out of an eighties action movie.

  7. Avatar
    Dawn

    We are all in this together. Indeed. I came out of the evangelical church 8 years ago and it still blows me away how rude and illogical Christians can be, assuming someone with no faith to be an evil person. No. People are people, and when you treat them kindly, it doesn’t matter who you are or where to came from because they will simply remember you as someone who was KIND.

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