10. We eat babies.
No, but we think about it sometimes. Mmmmm, baby…
9. Without God, we’re a miserable, weepy lot.
Look at all the happy atheists:
8. Without God, we lead gluttonous, hedonistic lives, throwing orgies all the time.
In addition to being inconsistent with misconception #9, my personal experience tells me this is utterly baseless. If you know of any atheists who lead lives like this, please have them email me right away. For, um, research purposes.
7. Without God, we’re murdering, lying, cussing, thieving pedophiles who go around kicking kittens and spitting on old ladies.
Actually, we save the spit for crosses and Bibles. Just kidding! Dang it, I know some blogger is going to quote me on that. Anyhow, God does the kitten killing in these parts.
6. We are all angry and cantankerous.
While I can’t speak for Christopher Hitchens, we are probably as happy or sad as any group of people on this earth, but not as happy as Tom Cruise. Cory Doctorow loves Disneyland, and I don’t think you can love Disneyland and be irascible. And the voices inside my head tell me that the atheist humorists Dave Barry, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett are pretty happy blokes. They must think about babies, like, all of the freaking time.
5. We like to blaspheme.
Like f[REDACTED REDACTED]s C[REDACTED REDACTED]t we do.
4. Foxholes magically transform us into theists.
This is one of those myths that has some basis in truth. It is said that Pope Lucius IX, to facilitate the mission of the Inquisition, ordered a group of Dominican scholar-priests to develop a device capable of turning heretical atheists into faithful believers. This group, led by Father Fernando Fox, devised a pit, narrow enough that a man had to stand upright, with only room enough to move his hands a bit. They surrounded the walls with pictures designed to induce reverence, including the apostles, the bleeding and naked body of Christ on the cross, and choir boys. Men were forced to stand in the Fox Hole for days or even weeks at a time, until they recanted their stubborn unbelief. It was remarkably effective, but it is rumored to have had the side effect of triggering pedophilic urges in its victims. The Vatican reclaimed the device from the Inquisition, and I am certain that they destroyed it long ago, since if it existed, we would see evidence of its use in the Church today. Nevertheless, the saying has remained with us: “There are no atheists in the Fox Hole.”
3. We are all middle-aged, middle-class white men.
Come a little closer and say that again. I know enough atheists to give you a cultural, gender, sexual-orientation, and racially diverse ass-thrashing. In a happy, completely non-angry sort of way.
2. We hate God.
You got us on this one. We also hate invisible pink unicorns, the square root of negative one, Dick Cheney’s compassion, and the girlfriend in Oregon I told everyone I had in the 9th grade.
1. We memorize paragraphs from the Origin of Species and worship Charles Darwin.
This is a favorite image of Creationists: pews full of atheists, each grasping well-worn copies of On the Origin of Species, all facing Richard Dawkins as he proclaims faith in evil-utionism and hatred of God and the Bible. The stained glass windows have elaborate scenes depicting the trilobite and the archeopterex and Australopithecus Africanus (the more I describe this, the cooler it sounds). After the closing hymn to Darwin, we go out into the atrium for a potluck. There we dine on whiskey and mmmmm….baby casseroles, before engaging in our sad and angry womanless orgies.