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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Unbeliever On Board

Just walked past a car with a sticker in the back window declaring "ATHEIST" in big red letters. I just find this such a strange thing to do. What message is it meant to convey? That the owner considers himself (and I dare say it is a he) a better person than those of us who believe in fairy stories? Or a happier one? What, then, should I do with this information? Sorry, but I can't just decide to stop believing.

I could understand if it was saying "if you're one too you're not alone". But why, then, does the sticker also feature a fish logo cancelled by a diagonal red bar? It is not enough for our atheist to declare his own belief in nothing, he feels the need to point to somebody else's belief and actively reject it. What for?

And why, if you're going to do that, pick on the fish? I'm not the kind of Christian who puts a fish logo on his car, and not only because I don't own a car. For me those fish have always had a faint whiff of the Masonic handshake about them. But in point of fact I don't know of any actual harm attaching to them whatsoever. So in what way does our atheist feel that fishy types have got it in for him? It can't be, surely, that he suspects them of wanting to blow up a Tube train while he's inside it.

Or even of being liable to scratch his paintwork or let his tyres down. And that's the real irony, isn't it? The sticker suggests both a theoretical belief that Christianity is the root of all evil and a complacent assumption in practice that Christians are utterly harmless. I suppose as a Christian I should feel flattered that we're seen as such safe enemies to have. But I must confess to a degree of irritation.

Coincidentally, when I came home from my walk I started leafing through the Catholic Herald and came across their Thought for the Week:-

'If there were no God, there would be no atheists'
(G K Chesterton - of course)

If I ever do acquire a motor I'll be very tempted to put that in the back window, anticipating many stimulating conversations. Atheists are, after all, mostly harmless.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

I've always wondered why it's important to some people to display their religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political credo etc. Why, for example, gay pride parade and not hetero pride parade? I shall never know, probably.

Anyway, re your idea of displaying the quote in your future car's back window: wouldn't it rather obstruct your view in the rear view mirror? Just asking ;-)

Mr Grumpy said...

Rear view mirror? I didn't think Israeli cars were fitted with them;-)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That's a good point, actually: many Israelis drive as if there are no mirrors at all. Or windows, for that matter.