Angry At God?

AngryI and many of my Atheist cohorts have been accused over and over of being “Angry at God”. Ray Comfort even recently used our supposed hatred as evidence that we each know that God exists intuitively….seriously, read it here. Since this is occurring with some frequency right now I feel the need to try to deal with the assertion as effectively as possible. The initial reaction of most Atheists is that the assertion is silly, “How can I be mad at a God that does not exist”. I, of course, agree entirely with this but the fact does remain that myself and many of my peers are mad at something…It just isn’t quite what Ray Comfort and other Christians may think.

God the being does not exist, I think I have made that understanding abundantly clear here, however God does exist in another way. God is an idea, a concept, and an institution – three intangible things in one, the true Holy Trinity. These things make me angry, these are the things at which my aggression is truly directed. I am mad at God  because the idea of God makes me sick, the concept of his requirements for man are intolerable, and the institutions that represent him are dangerous.

To begin we must look at the idea of god, Christians often call this their personal saviour or a personal relationship with god…The idea of god is the construct that one creates in ones mind regarding who god is, his nature and his actions. This God is, in my view, nothing more than a figment of ones imagination that feels very real. The God I once worshipped and felt and communicated with was simply an idea….the way that I constructed God from my understandings and experience, that is what made him my personal God. The fault is not that a person creates this god, but that so much time can be spent pursuing that deity. My own personal desire for my god prior to my denunciation of god all together drove me to insanity because that pursuit is endless and only ends in the painful realization that god is all in your head. This is something I am angry at…myself for creating it and following it, and that if there were truly a god he would allow me to create and follow it.

The concept of God is what I would define as the claim that one can understand theology in such a way that something promised by god, lets just say salvation, is actually attainable and that one has the knowledge necessary to attain it. Someone with the idea of god will often promote a concept of god to the outside world wherein the outside world will attain their own idea of god….so on and so forth. The concept of God is the assurance that YOUR god is the RIGHT god…and there is no way around that ultimate truth. What angers me about that is that the individual pushing this belief, much like I once did, has absolutely no way of proving it. No way of proving that the threat (hell) is even real or that there is even the slightest need for this salvation (or whatever this god is promising). The propensity for error here is gigantic, there are thousands of conceptualized gods, most of whom threaten hell (or other punishments) for the unbeliever—so you have a slim chance of choosing the right one anyway….a less than 1% chance that your god is the right god, yet there are people out there proselytizing in the name of that god, never realizing that they very well be putting your soul in jeopardy rather than saving it!

Lastly, there are the Institutions of God….in ChristianSpeak this is the church. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. all claiming to be institutions set up by god so that man may worship him in the correct way, not to mention that most of them embed themselves in secular politics in order to shape the world in a way to fit with the desires of their institution and their concept of god. These institutions wield power over people that had never been seen before their inception, slavery on a scale more vast than imaginable. Money, power, and privilege are given to these institutions with no questions asked while they wage war on any idea that challenges their beliefs. Nothing is more dangerous than a group of people that have a hidden power to save men from that which they fear most, or to provide that which men desire most. The level of manipulation and corruption  possible is massive yet these institutions are simply trusted to do that which is right. Even after the Catholic church has been caught covering up scandals, molestation, rape, and lies they still have 50 billion dollars in their coffers and they are growing. These institutions of God piss me off probably more than any of the other things; they encourage bigotry, shape the ideas and concepts of god in ways that generate extremism, and practice condemnation without shame.

So, to close here, it isn’t any real god or gods that I am angry at….it’s the power that a belief in god can have over a person and the things that can accompany that. Not every person that believes in a god is going to blow up buildings or shoot abortionists, not every religious institution is going to practice the arts of condemnation and manipulation–but for those that do, yea, I hate their God.

  • My children and I argue incessantly about this. I am rabidly anti-religion, and they tell me to chill out. They are, of course, much younger than I, and don't have the experience with the hatred and violence (last Sunday is a poignant example) that I have. They'll learn.

    • if a person is honest with himself then the experiences of religion will almost always lead to doubt.

      • mnucer

        I completely disagree with this statement. If that has been your experience, that is yours, but you cannot make a universal statement. I wish Christians didn’t taste so bad that you spat us out. We really can be genuine, honest, and overall good decent people. I refuse to carry and pay for the guilt that other Christians have incurred. People are self responsible entities and God is his own spokesman. Anyone that claims to speak for God should be approached with a skeptic’s eye. Everyone should be a skeptic in all things. Skepticism does not equate to doubt and does not have to lead to doubt, it should motivate one to find answers. There is only one truth and the answers we think we find cannot change that. The search for that truth is an individual journey and you cannot hand over the reins to someone else or to an organization. I doubt man knows what’s best for man… that is what I doubt.

        • Autymn D. C.

          Yes, it is doubt. Learn the Hellènic.

          And there is none truth.. a bunch of truthes.. and one sooth, which is above your Gods.Autymn

  • Very thoughtful post. I feel exactly the same way. I'm not mad at God… I'm mad at the people who use God to explain away their horrible behavior/choices/etc.

    • right, and that is essentially my point…

      my anger is also directed at my former Christian self.

      • mnucer

        What about the many Christians that have not committed horrible things, are you all mad at us too? Matt, are you mad at yourself for doing horrible things or for being gullible and wasting so much time on God? Was that time really wasted? Did you not enjoy your Godly activities and do you not still enjoy a God (topic) centric blog. If God does or does not exist, you have found much pleasure (once) in his existence and now in his non-existence. You are truly fortunate to have found such passion and purpose on both sides of the issue. The pain of the migration seems to have given you drive and a vision.

        • I'm not at all mad at the Christians that don't do bad things in the name of their god….I don't care for a lot of the ignorance surrounding many of them (you know what i mean…the ignorant christians that have never read the bible but love to quote verses as if they were scholars, and those that don't understand the very doctrine that controls their lives…you don't like those imbeciles any more than I do)…those people frustrate the absolute shit out of me….but in the end, I respect a Christian that challenges god, that seeks god as adamantly as I did….at the very least I know those people are trying to find the truth even if they fail miserably.

          I am upset at the time I lost, the best years of my life (as I have heard) were dedicated to Christ and a ministry that I can barely reconcile now….I am more upset at the feeling of losing that god though….the only parental guidance or mentorship I ever had was from my invisible god in my head and he died before i even had a chance to say goodbye!

  • Paul

    Believing in god and believing there is no god are both flawed arguments. Agnosticism is the only way of thinking that can't be argued against.

    • the point is not to find inarguable position….thats just an easy way out.

      • mnucer

        I disagree with Paul; agnosticism is the ONLY construct for and argument. Show me a construct for proving the non-existence of a non-existent thing (the religion and faith of atheism). On the other hand, show me a construct for proving the existence of something that is not manifested in the physical world (the religion and faith in any deity). One caveat, physical evidence would only exist if something did exist. The agnostic construct would be philosophy.

  • Good post. I've received both accusations that I'm angry at God and that I've turned my back on God. Essentially, they are accusing me of lying about my disbelief. Nice.

    • Atheism does not fit with the Christian idea that it is impossible not to believe. They usually think that we are either lying or in denial because biblically speaking disbelief is not possible

      • mnucer

        Are all Christians part of "THEY"? So universal!!!

      • Mike aka MonolithTMA

        And yet there have been many Christians over the centuries who have experienced extreme doubt, some to the point of disbelief. For most that I know, doubt is a healthy part of the cycle of faith. In my experience, both personally and with others, faith is dynamic, not static.

  • I am not an atheist, yet I agree with some of this post.

    The "Institutions of God" do hold too much power… too much greedy power. And I too am pissed at the Scribes and Pharisees of today that are leading them. Often times they are using religion for personal gain.

    As far as to who's way it best… not one of the current Institutions are. They are the nothing more than a list of rules.

    • I think a lot of Christians will find themselves in agreement with this post. Many of you are like I once was, a frustrated Christian trying to figure out what to do with the Church and other institutions. It can be a difficult experience to be the lone wolf that desires God versus religion, as you know I speak from experience as often as I can….this is an experience that I am all too familiar with.

      • mnucer

        I get frustrated with a lot of things in my life, why should God be different. Even though I agree with some of what you say, about organized religion, it does not cause me to totally reject the notion that there needs to be some level of organization. The problem is that people have their own agenda’s and I refuse to follow them. I’m not a blind follower of anyone or thing and tend to do things my way. I will live and die by my own decisions and mistakes. My frustrations are more directed toward people because most churches are there to serve the whims of people. I reject people not God.

        • Autymn D. C.

          You reject thousands of Gods of other faiths.

  • sam

    Yeah. One cant be angry at a god that doesnt exist!

  • David

    Matt, bro, I have to say this one is well-written and well-thought-out. I heart you on some of your grievances with the fear-mongering, psychological entrapment, hypocrisy, loftiness, deception, and hate they try to pass off as love, etc.

    However, if I may borrow from Star Wars for my quasi-metaphor, just because bad people turned the Republic into the Galactic Empire doesn't mean that the Light side of the Force doesn't still exist and little Rebel Alliances cannot do a lot of good in the name of the Old Republic. My Jesus is very real and all He requires is that, inspired by love, we honor Him first and foremost and then show the common decencies to people that we would want were we in their shoes (Matthew 22:36-38).

    Ways it talks about doing that in the first part of 1 Cor 13: are embracing virtues such as patience, kindness, not envying, not boasting, not being proud, not being rude, not being selfish, not being easily angered, forgiving/letting bygones be bygones, not taking pleasure in evil but celebrating truth, protecting those you love, trusting those you love, hoping in those you love, and always persevering in such things.

    I further support my point by looking at the book of James 1:26-27 where it says the only good kind of religion is one where you visit and take care of widows and orphans during their troubles and keep from being spotted by the evil in the world. In chapter 2 it says to back up your beliefs with the sincere action of showing all people a fair amount of respect. Chapter 3 says not to praise God and turn around and curse your fellow human.

    Roman 12: 5-8 talks about how the church should be a group of people who do things like encouraging, teaching, giving, serving, leading, and showing mercy.

    Bottom line, many if not most churches today are not how it is outlined in Scripture. I imagine Jesus would be throwing out the greedy bastards (intended as they wouldn't know their Heavenly Father) and turning over the tables out of the same righteous indignation I percieve in your blog.

    John 8:32 says intimately knowing the absolute truth will set you free. Hence, if it's not freedom the church is giving then they're out of line especially with their haughty eyes it says the real God hates in Proverbs 6:16-17.

    Back to James, the wisdom the chuch should be representing:

    "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit**, impartial and sincere."

    (** The good fruit it's mentioning would be as listed in Gal 5:22-23 "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.")

    The fact that anyone can violate their own self-preservation instinct and do these things is proof that God exists for me let alone the healings etc.

    • David,
      All of the support that you give regarding ethical or moral ways to behave toward one another as human beings from the New Testament also are represented in the teachings found in Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and other World Religions.Also in the teachings of non-religious philosophers. Also you will find these teachings running through other Christian offshoots as the Book of Mormon for example. The common thread that runs through all of these sources is that it was men who either conceived of these ideas, or borrowed them from earlier sources to suit their purpose. In other words no god is needed to provide Man with his Morality or Ethics. We work it out on our own, and always have. God is only in the picture out of fear, or as a simple way of explaining what cannot, or could not be explained. Mankind it seems, is certainly capable of trying to define morality and ethics. All of these works written by Men. Not God. The proof is everywhere of that. Man is moving into an era of mass communication which is spreading ideas which once were only the province of an intellectual elite to the masses worldwide.

      • Part 2 I would call this a second age of enlightenment. Science is now becoming available to everyone. The poorest peasant in India will soon be able to become an engineer. Sadly some will always refuse to listen to the truth, as they are simply lost in their belief systems. Blind. Without their mythologies, their entire identities fall apart. These people are simply not prepared to go through that pain yet. It takes time to find out how to replace this kind of blind faith. As someone who has also come to reject religion (I am an atheist/Agnostic a def which for me simply means not yet abandoning the idea of a greater intelligence then I. Even though I firmly reject the personage of God as any one claims it has been revealed. For me God is represented simply through the Act of birth and Death as it unfolds IE NATURE) Yesterday on Twitter a man wanted to debate me on Evolution. I asked him a couple of questions before beginning. 1. How old do you believe the earth to be and 2. Do you believe that Noah's Ark is real history and thus a scientific truth?. He answered that he believed the earth is approximately 7000 years old and that Noah's ark is a true historical fact. Both of these notions are PROVEN already to be false. PROVEN. I told him I did not wish to debate him. He then began to heckle me for not wanting to debate him because his view was not my own. I said to him I did not wish to debate pure faith. He told me he was very proud that his faith was pure. The conversation ended. If I brought to you tomorrow complete archaeological evidence that Jesus never existed. You would refuse to believe it. No matter what I said. You would simply refuse. The Old testament is often used by Rabbi's who have studied the Torah their entire life to refute Christianity. Their arguments using Torah are very strong. Used to debate the Divinity of Christ they use Bible versus which back up the God of the Jews as being one and not three personages etc etc etc…..of course Christians do no listen. Now this is an argument that does certainly does not prove or disprove a god existing but still shows the blindness of people in their faith. I also do not believe Moses was delivered the Ten Commandments by God any more than I would believe Joseph Smith received Golden tablets. Why should I? Do you not see the absolute ignorance of all of this? Why do you not believe that Mohammed flew to Jerusalem carried by angels? Why do you not believe in the book of Mormon? You will no doubt support your belief with your book also written by men (not god). Your reason for believing is either you were told to believe, or you will no doubt insist you have a feeling of what comes from your God telling you that what you believe is true, which comes to you via prayer etc. This is poppy cock.What is the logic in this? Perhaps it is time to let go of what you know to be false. Men do not rise from the dead. They never have, and they never will. I firmly believe, as do most atheists that to teach Children these things is wrong. It is teaching things which are proven to be false. Once upon a time human beings believed that the soul is what animated the body. When the body died It was because it lost it's animator. Therefore where does the animator go? Well we now know differently don't we? We know how most of it works. We know what death is. And what causes it. We know that when death comes as the body begins to break down. Eventually it goes back to the smallest of particles, and is reformed. Better yet, we know that we are all nothing but swirling particles of energy that are not constant, and are ever changing. These particles constantly take new form…What makes all this happen? I do not know. That my friend is my honest answer. We are always trying to learn what is happening but we don't know it all yet and probably never will. What we do however is that there are no angels, demons, devils, rising from the dead, parting oceans, Arks, or other mythology. That is all Christianity and Judaism, Islam, all of it is. Mythology. Yes I know there is some factual history in all of these teachings, but that is easily separated from the myth. Now, inside of mythology are great lessons for life. All cultures myths are great teaching tools. They help us to understand ourselves. After all we wrote them.

  • I can understand your anger at church and their version of "God" at large…such as I was for along time and in some ways still am. I dont think God is a "christian" or that merely all the truth about him is in the bible…though I believe it to be a good start.

    the main thing is I had to come to terms that I see God differently and much more tolerant than most religious people do…and that the truth of the matter was most likely in that regardless of what Im right/wrong about. I dont think the purpose of God is so much about stumbeling upon the right "religion" but rather just following what you are given to the best of your ability. I believe God is very real…but I also think hes not the immature ADHD toddler that most people make him out to be…he is love, he is the essence of life.

    I know youll proabbly never believe in "God" again but I would say, dont let religion and its supposed view of God frustrate you to not have a connection with the very "God" or force that put the good things and atttributes that are in your heart…follow that in pride

  • Creation… Evolution…
    God.. and the Missing Link…

    What are your takes on these subjects?

    • What's with three times the necessary punctuation instead of a comma?

      • Just a habit…

      • I do it too :/

        I had to make myself stop doing that.

  • David

    Thanks, Eric, I think that more concisely explained it than I did. In my humble beliefs, God is the essence of love, creativity, and good. We can see that Matt is still a hell of a nice guy, is definitely creative, and is out here trying to liberate the world from evil religions and philosophies. It would seem he just doesn't still think it's God motivating him to do those things. 🙁 I would also guess he's getting annoyed at me patronizing him in the third person. lol

  • Harrr…

  • Aspentroll

    Statements like "we (atheists) are mad at god(s)" have become a norm for theists who have run out of ways to bad mouth people who don't believe like they do. It's almost like the playground argument between two 6 yr olds telling each other that my dad can beat up your dad. They have lowered themselves to this as a way of making themselves feel better because they are losing a very old argument. It's the 21 century and they don't like it. People now a days are beginning to think and reason about the myth of xtianity, islam etc. It had to happen, and non-belief will get stronger as time goes by. God doesn't show up here like he did in the desert, 3000 years ago. It's debatable if he ever did there either. So they (theists) should just shut up and try and find a good shrink. Preferably an atheist shrink.

  • Vol

    This article sums up he frustration I feel when I have loved ones insist that I am wrong because I just don't look at it the right way, or they fall back to 'you don't get God', 'or you must be doing something wrond'. Horseshit! If the bible scripture 'ask and ye shall receive' was correct, what the fuck were we supposed to receive? I"m just glad I got over the guilt/fear they pushed on me, and the light came on, finally. Duh…
    Every non-ranting, rational atheist posts I've read lately, even a few of the more hate-filled spewings, point to the fact that almost all who start to question this come to the same conclusions. We're all sick of the same things.