I don’t believe in god (or God), and I’m pretty down on religion too. I’m Jewish by birth, but that’s not so much a faith as it is an excuse to eat kugel and go to therapy. As far as religions go, Judaism isn’t the worst. (Although going to Hebrew school instead of participating in normal after school activities puts it in the running for “Religion Most Likely to Ensure You’re the Last One Picked for Kickball.”)
I’m a little uncomfortable with Atheism; its members are almost as devout and insufferable as their religious counterparts. I don’t understand people who have a strong belief in disbelief. (I think that’s called Occam’s Razor. Or is it St. Elmo’s Fire? I always get those confused.) I really can’t fault the atheists though—it sucks being the most reviled people on the planet. Oh wait – no – that’s the Muslims. Never mind.*
I’m not a big fan of Agnosticism—it sounds more like an excuse than an identity. As far as I can tell, it’s a lot like kissing your sister. And not in a good way. That said, I do see its merit as a way of avoiding bar fights and conversations with libertarians.
I’m far too broke and lazy for Humanism, and while Nontheism is in the running, it doesn’t have quite the razzle-dazzle of “One Who Will Eventually be Burned at the Stake.” “The Cult of Weenie” has a nice ring to it, but the double entendre might confuse people into thinking I’m a Pagan, which has its own merits but seems highly unsanitary.
Naturalism seems like a good fit, but if I call myself a naturalist, people might think I’m a nudist or a park ranger. (For the record, my bear knowledge is limited to the following: There are three types of bears—the type you’re supposed to confront, the type you should run from, and the type that doesn’t give a shit about your strategy and will maul you on principle alone.)
As all searches do, my quest for a name invariably led to Google (a higher power I pray to regularly). Here are a few suggestions under the heading of “Nontheism:”
- Skepticism won’t work because I drink decaf and believe my mother when she tells me I’m gifted.
- Ignosticism is out because I don’t understand the definition on Wikipedia. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s not a real word.
- Rationalism sounds good in theory, but if anyone checks my medical records or high school yearbook, I’ll be kicked out of the club.
- Secularism is too political, and if there’s anything more annoying than religion and bears, it’s politics. And Snooki.
I used to become irate when discussing religion, but I’m trying to have a calmer approach these days. Don’t get me wrong—I will Kung fu your ass if you give me that patronizing look that says, “Well bless your heart, you just don’t know what it’s like to love the lord.” I also don’t know what it’s like to eat baby raccoons or lick the UPS man (although I’ve tried). Poor me.
Things I do believe in:
- Cable TV
- High fructose corn syrup
- Science-y stuff
- Birth control
So, what’s in a name? Apparently, a lot. Until a better one comes along, I’ll just continue referring to myself as the friendly atheist with a fondness for slimming undergarments and kugel. It could be worse.
*Note: I love Muslims. Some of my close friends are Muslim, and they have a good sense of humor. Please do not declare a Fatwah on me. This post was written in the spirit of fun and goodwill toward all people. Except for Mormons.