Why do atheists get crabby?

I trust you enjoyed Greta Christina’s ‘Atheists and Anger’. I know I did.

I’m angry that atheist soldiers – in the U.S. armed forces – have had prayer ceremonies pressured on them and atheist meetings broken up by Christian superior officers, in direct violation of the First Amendment…I’m angry that atheist soldiers who are complaining about this are being harassed and are even getting death threats from Christian soldiers and superior officers…I’m angry that the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, said of atheists, in my lifetime, “No, I don’t know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.”…I’m angry that women are dying of AIDS in Africa and South America because the Catholic Church has convinced them that using condoms makes baby Jesus cry…I get angry when advice columnists tell their troubled letter-writers to talk to their priest or minister or rabbi…when there is absolutely no legal requirement that a religious leader have any sort of training in counseling or therapy…I’m angry at preachers who tell women in their flock to submit to their husbands because it’s the will of God, even when their husbands are beating them within an inch of their lives…I get angry when other believers insist that the cosmic shopping list isn’t what religion and prayer are really about; that their own sophisticated theology is the true understanding of God. I get angry when believers insist that the shopping list is a straw man, an outmoded form of religion and prayer that nobody takes seriously, and it’s absurd for atheists to criticize it.

That’s just a small sample. Later there’s a long series of epistemic anger-sources, many of which we’ve discussed here (not surprisingly, all this stuff being in our faces, so to speak). One of my favourites (but I like them all) is:

I get angry when believers say at the beginning of an argument that their belief is based on reason and evidence, and at the end of the argument say things like, “It just seems that way to me,” or, “I feel it in my heart”… as if that were a clincher. I mean, couldn’t they have said that at the beginning of the argument, and not wasted my fucking time?

And then it winds up by pointing out that anger is necessary for reform and change, also something we’ve discussed here. Angry atheists unite.

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