God Less

Conversations with myself.

“Sunday!”

“Indeed.”

“God’s day!”

“Laundry day.”

“When was the last time you were in a church?”

“Last year? I think?”

“You went to church last year?”

“Maybe two years ago. I was seeing a concert my friend George was singing in.”

“So you weren’t in church.”

“I was in a church. I wasn’t in church.”

“When was the last time…?”

“I was…16? 17, maybe?”

“So….”

“A long, long time ago.”

“You’re pretty comfy being an atheist.”

“I guess so. I don’t think too much about it.”

“What’s that mean?”

“I assume that Christians and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus all think about their religion quite a lot. Living here in America, I’m certainly aware that a vocal contingent of Christians think of nothing else.”

“I’m sure they also think about cheese.”

“That’s…weird.”

“Everyone thinks about cheese from time to time.”

“I don’t think that’s true, but for the sake of argument….”

“Ha! I see what you did there.”

“What did I do there?”

“Religion. Argument. Cheese.”

“I don’t follow.”

“Never mind.”

“Gladly.”

“Do you think it’s more challenging being gay or being atheistic in America?”

“Atheist, probably. At least if we’re talking politically.”

“I was thinking more generally.”

“Did you know that atheists are barred from holding political office in some states, but no such test exists for non-straight people?”

“I did know that.”

“Because atheists are inherently immoral.”

“No they’re not.”

“I’m saying from the point of view of the citizens in those states.”

“Not all the citizens, surely.”

“Well, that doesn’t matter, because it’s a law. One presumes that if it mattered to some of those citizens, they’d change the laws.”

“Do you think if the law stated that homosexuals can’t hold office, that would be overturned?”

“Probably. At least that’s the trend.”

“Trend?”

“The trend to treat homosexuals like people. Allow homosexuals to do things like become teachers or hold office or get married.”

“That’s still debatable.”

“Which one?”

“All of them, depending on which state you’re living in.”

“The southern ones, in particular.”

“Not necessarily. The middle ones, too.”

“But everyone hates atheists.”

“I don’t think it’s hate, I think it’s distrust.”

“Because we have no moral ground.”

“Right. Without God…”

“Or a god.”

“Or any god to tell us the difference between right and wrong, we have no way of making that distinction.”

“We’d just willy-nilly go around killing people.”

“Of course we would. Why wouldn’t we?”

“Without that fear of some judgmental entity sitting on a cloud observing everything we do.”

“Exactly.”

“Must be nice.”

“Oh certainly! That’s why we’re all in the NRA. We want to own all the guns and kill everyone.”

“Wait. Isn’t that a Christian virtue? Joining the NRA because you don’t trust anyone else and you’d rather just kill them with your gun than….”

“Also raping and molesting and all the other fun things the Bible tells us we aren’t supposed to do, except when the Bible tells us we can rape and pillage and enslave under certain inexplicable circumstances.”

“You’re joking.”

“Duh.”

“Some people will take you seriously.”

“Only those people who already believe that a lack of belief in a higher power necessarily means immoral and inhumane behavior.”

“And your retort to those people would be…?”

“That if you need some higher power to inform you that raping children is bad, you may need to check your own moral compass.”

“That seems judgy.”

“I can be judgy about things. Everyone is judgy. I just try not to foist my judgment onto others and tell them what they can and cannot do based on my morals.”

“Except in the case of child rape.”

“Child rape, animal cruelty, slavery, murder, things of that nature.”

“And so do they.”

“Sure, but then they go the extra 77 miles and judge things like whom you’re having sex with, and when, and whom you marry, and why.”

“Why? Why you marry?”

“Some believe you should only marry to have more babies, and that love and passion play no part in the equation.”

“You don’t think that’s true.”

“I don’t give a fuck why someone else gets married, or even if they get married, or if there’s two people or three or a dozen. Why should I care if they’re not hurting me or each other?”

“Because it sets a bad example!”

“According to whom?”

“Well, God I guess.”

“How is the world negatively effected by more people loving each other? Why is that necessarily a bad thing? Why does love need to be compartmentalized and shameful?”

“Well, it’s not the idea of love that’s shameful.”

“It’s the idea of sex.”

“Exactly.”

“The problem isn’t that two women or that two men or that three women and three men want to get hitched, the problem is that it legitimizes their fucking.”

“Vulgar, but true.”

“And God said only one man and one woman should be able to fuck each other.”

“Did He? I don’t remember that in the Bible.”

“Words to that effect, but he probably said it with a British accent and threw in some thous and thines.”

“He honestly said, hey, don’t fuck outside the lines because it is icky?”

“I’m not a Biblical scholar but that’s my understanding of his rules of engagement.”

“So, like, even if you love each other passionately and find each other hot as hell and want to lick portions of each others’ bodies?”

“Nope.”

“And why do we have sex drives, again?”

“Babies.”

“Just babies.”

“Just babies. Lots and lots of babies. Dozens of babies.”

“Then why does it feel so good?”

“What d’you mean?”

“Well, if God designed sex just for baby-making, why does sex feel so good?”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“If the point is to be fruitful and multiply, why don’t men and women just have children? Why is sex even necessary? Why didn’t God, in his infinite wisdom, just make human beings so that they act like cacti or something and we shoot off a bud every five years that falls off and grows into its own human being? Why do we need to make it so it feels good to have our penis stroked? Why does an orgasm have any sensation at all?”

“Because…it…does?”

“No, but, I mean, if it’s a given that God designed everything, the universe, all the plants and animals and you and me….”

“You are me.”

“Why is it necessary for sex at all, let alone to make it feel good.”

“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if it’s just about babies.”

“God even said that jerking off is a sin.”

“Bullshit.”

“He did! Spilling one’s seed in the dust or something like that.”

“There goes my weekends.”

“Sorry to break it to you.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“Actually I don’t think Jesus gave a fuck about what you did with your weekend. He was more about the moneylenders and helping the poor and the crippled and feeding the hungry.”

“Nothing about me beating off?”

“Don’t think so.”

“Huh.”

“Yeah.”

“So…sticking with atheism, then?”

“Yeah.”

“And you’re okay with not being able to be elected to office in Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas?”

“Oh, God, yes.”