One of the things that bothers me the most is what I have termed The "Test".  Everybody here knows what the "Test" is...it's that moment during the conversation with a person or group of people who you are probably meeting for the first time when someone will inevitably say something along the lines of "Thank God for T.V....otherwise we would never know who Snookie REALLY is". (You can replace 'T.V.' with anything you like; the "Test" remains the same.) As all eyes turn towards you you immediately know that the only correct answer better sound like "Amen" or anything that affirms how lucky you are that God has given us Snookie. I am always amazed how quickly an incorrect response changes the tone of the conversation.  I always feel as if I have been convicted of a horrible crime without any charges being brought. Does anyone else know what I am talking about?  Why do xians feel that they must violate my freedom from religion in order to give me a completely fraudulent "Morality Quiz"?. And why do I never hear them just blurt out in conversation "Thank God for Cancer!".  Amen to that!

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Comment by Tom Sarbeck on February 20, 2012 at 5:20am

That they judge us with so little evidence says more about them than about us.

Their judgements build walls that protect them from freedoms they have not the strength to handle.

Think on it for a moment. When I'm free, I don't blame others for my reactions to events. Instead, I accept responsibility for my reactions and, if necessary, change what I need to change. I become stronger.

Their religion has weakened them, made them dependent on their leaders. Freedom frightens them.

So, when  they pass judgements, look them in their eyes and ask, "What else is new?" In an instant, you take their judgements' power away.

BTW, a definition I heard: freedom is a condition in which today makes predictions about tomorrow difficult, if not impossible.

So of course freedom frightens them.

Comment by Ficking Chucken on February 19, 2012 at 10:40pm

The part that offends me is not contained in their speech. It's the self righteousness they must feel that ANY response to the "Morality Quiz" is somehow an intrinsic reason to either like or dislike me. All I know is what I can read and feel and as soon as I answer (I always leave little doubt as to where I stand) I know that I need to watch my ass because I will not be receiving any 'cult-family' perks. I am offended that I can be judged with so little evidence.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on February 18, 2012 at 12:20am

Just remembered, during The Test's silent period, I've occasionally said "Religion is the biggest fraud that's ever been perpetrated on humankind."

Shock therapy.

Comment by annet on February 17, 2012 at 9:13pm

I've also been subject to the test. Lots of awkward silences. You can practically hear the mental tsking going on.  

I do say god occasionally which is no big deal but I abstain from god bless. Dawkins took major flack recently for saying oh god when he forgot the subtitle of Origin of Species. 

Comment by Caleb Burns on February 17, 2012 at 6:00pm

Well, so much of that "Thank god" stuff is a place holder and is in place of deep thought. Kind of like when people ask me what time it is, and, as I rotate my wrist to look at my watch, I say, "Right now?" And I often think to myself how stupid my question is! "No, Caleb, not right now! How about ten minutes ago!" someone might say.

I fall into that stupid habit and I think other people fall into mindless verbal habits as well. Of course a lot of it is not that innocent and some of it is used to track down the "unbelievers."

My own two cents.

Comment by Loren Miller on February 17, 2012 at 6:50am

Variations on a Theme:

Him: Thank god for ....

Me: Thank who?

Him: God, of course!

Me: Never met him.

And the conversation evolves (or devolves!) from there...!

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on February 17, 2012 at 5:03am

Say "Thank god I'm an atheist." You will then have to find more interesting people to hang with.

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