Stories about Athiests

atheistsThere are a couple of recurring characters in fundamentalist illustrations:  the errant teenager, the king who makes employment decisions based on fantastical tests involving driving a coach near the edge of a cliff, and the ever-present God-hating atheist.

The atheist is a great character for a story because he’s a polarizing figure. Like the man in the black hat in a an old western, it’s obvious who’s side he’s on. It’s no accident that there are very few sermon illustrations involving Unitarians, the Amish, or others who just generally get along with everybody. Also, in a country where over ninety percent of people claim to believe in some kind of God, it’s easy enough to claim whatever you’d like about atheists; chances are there won’t be one in attendance to contradict you.

Whether the atheist is standing in a park challenging God to strike him dead, verbally fencing with a surprisingly astute freshman at a university, or being converted on his deathbed by an evangelist, the story is sure to be equal parts gripping and appalling. It’s even better if you name a famous atheist in your story — whether or not you can actually document that it’s true. Fundamentalists never let a lack of source material get in the way of a good story. Voltaire would hardly recognize himself.

The fool hath said in his heart there is no God. But at least while he’s at it he provides a lot of good illustration material. fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.

10 thoughts on “Stories about Athiests”

  1. As a fundy kid, I actually had someone mock me and challenge God to strike him with lightning if He existed. Goes to show that it can really happen. Made for a great illustration when I was a fundy pastor!

  2. Let’s not forget young Einstein. He put that atheist teacher of his in his place. (stifles snicker)

  3. Sorry I don’t know latin, something about choosing to believe, but I don’t know the first part fere libenter homines?

  4. This is one thing i cant stand as an atheist. I am a generaly nice persson, especially to the fundys who appraoch me at my college, but the mintue I tell them that I am an athiesit they become completely afraid of me. Thier pastors tell them these horror stories about us and they assume that every athiest that walks the earth wants to nail them to a cross. Its just not true. I it hurts to be told that I am incapable of love or compassion, becuase I feel that I have more of that without god than i ever did with him.

  5. I think Snopes might have been invented because of the fundies. My son is always checking Snopes and calling BS on those stories. 🙂

    1. Ecclesiastes 1:9King James Version (KJV)

      9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

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