The incredible smugness of the “humble” crowd


Peggeen here. Must vent today. Must vent …

A Chrstian friend emailed this joke this morning with the comment, “I really like this! Puts it all into perspective.”

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned
to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the totalstranger, “What would you want to talk about?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.

“Okay,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

 The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.” To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don’t know shit?”

And then she went back to reading her book.

This is a typical Christian joke slamming atheists as smug, ignorant, offensive assholes. It’s such a common example of its type I shouldn’t even need to comment on it. But that my well-meaning friend emailed it to me with NO clue prompts me to return to the old discussion treadmill.

So let’s see:

* A complete stranger accosts you wanting to push his idea of “truth” at you. How many atheists have you ever had do that? How many Christians?

* This complete stranger is perfectly happy to accost even a child because this “truth” is so important it needs to be pushed at everybody, even the most young and vulnerable. How many atheists have you ever seen do that? How many believers?

* The stranger with this “truth” is smug and superior. Because he knows “truth” and you’re just some benighted and probably doomed ignoramus. Again — who?

* You ask some simple factual questions and — what do you know? — the stranger with the “truth” is completely unable to answer them! Again — who? (In reality, any atheist would at least have been capable of making a generalization about the animals’ different digestive systems.)

* Yet despite not knowing basic facts that can be investigated by science, the stranger feels absolutely confident in what he “knows” about god and the nature of universal reality. Again — who does that resemble

Yes, it’s just a joke. But it’s a joke painfully, elaborately contrived to keep believers feeling superior — by showing an atheist behaving exactly as millions of Christians do.

My friend is well-meaning. She claims to love me exactly as I am and swears she’s not trying to convert me. Yet that she both thinks this lame joke puts anything “in perspective” and that it would somehow help me see how ignorant non-believers are — and thus warm my heart toward her own brand of ignorance — is just flabbergasting.

I can’t be too angry at my friend because she does have a good heart and sometimes fails to use her brain. I tell myself it’s just a joke. But it’s mind-boggling that believers would feel this free to insult their friends with crap like this. It’s as if I were Asian and my Cauc. friend sent me a joke about some “wily chink” figuring I’d find it both enlightening and amusing. Or as if I were Hispanic and she sent me a joke about “dirty greasers” or “lazy Mexicans” in hopes of giving me “perspective.”

That she didn’t even realize how insulting and smug this joke is is incredible.

I’ve always been content to be quiet about my non-belief, other than writing about it here on this near-invisible blog. But I begin to understand why some non-believers are becoming more militant.

2 Responses to “The incredible smugness of the “humble” crowd”

  1. justasqpeg Says:

    I have gotten that same email from two or three different people. And you are right- the Christians are engaging in some projection there; portraying atheists as behaving like Christians. I responded the first time I got the email, but have ignored it the other times.

  2. Squarepeggeen Says:

    It was the very first email I got this morning, before I was properly caffeinated. I told myself I wouldn’t respond, but that resolve lasted about half an hour.

    My friend wrote back to say it was no big deal; she “just thought it was funny” but then “I’m not a deep thinker like you.” In other words, “You’re being too sensitive, Peggeen.”

    OMG, the insular little world of Christianity, where they recycle such jokes endlessly and expect that even non-believers will be edified and amused at being depicted as stupid assholes.

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