Why do I mock religion?

Recently a creationist commenter posed some questions asking why I disbelieve in his god, questions which were hard to take seriously. I asked others for help on how to answer his comment without being sarcastic, but they were even more harsh than I was, calling it word salad, amongst other things. I did write a post in response to his lengthy comment, but it doesn’t feel right to me. Maybe I’ll still publish it, with his full comment text, but in the meantime, I’d much rather write about how I came to mock religion as I do now.

The idea for this one came to me via a memory, triggered by the way someone reacted to a Facebook post of mine yesterday, a post which led to me sharing this: (I don’t know why the FB embed is not displaying. It worked before publishing and now it isn’t, so I’m using an image instead.)


Let’s wind back that clock, shall we? The year was 1985, my first year of high school. Standard six, or grade eight as they call it now. I’d had a fairly protected upbringing, by parents who were devout Roman Catholic, and my mother in particular was paranoid about other religions (their youth programs and so forth) being more fun than the Catholic Sunday school and youth programs we attended, which were very much old school.

That alone is ironic, come to think of it. In her own way, my mother recognized the harm of indoctrination, and was worried that my brother or I might be sucked into some other more modern church. (I highly doubt there was much of a chance of that happening to either of us, for different reasons. She should have given us more credit. Mind you, as a parent, I understand.) But getting back to the point, my protected upbringing meant my only exposure to Christianity was though the lens of our weekly attendance at Mass, and Sunday school. She didn’t even like the idea of us going to other Christian churches, which suited me fine because I didn’t much like the idea of that either.

So… imagine my surprise when some twat handed out Gideons Bibles at school and I actually read mine. It was the first time I didn’t get cherry picked Bible verses through the lens of the parish priest, and… wow! What a lot of bullshit! Fucking pages and pages and pages of lineages of men, such as Joseph. It’s like they just put random writings together. Sorry, I can’t refer to which chapter and verse because I’m not interested in looking that up, but clearly whoever made sure they showed that Joseph descended directly from David was unaware that he allegedly didn’t father Jesus. It’s blatantly obvious when reading that, that some writers were quite unaware of the daddy is god and mommy is a virgin claim, and at the time of that writing, Jesus was shown to be descended from David. (The same David who was mysteriously celebrated for taking a ranged weapon to hand to hand combat, and cheating, shooting his opponent before the man could even reach the battlefield. Kind of like taking a gun to a boxing match. That cunt.)

Further, it was blatantly obvious to me as a thirteen year old reading the Bible that it described all kinds of things that never happened. And I do mean never. Where does one go from this kind of revelation? Well, it seems most Christians just put that doubt out of their heads and find excuses to carry right on believing. I tried. I wanted to believe so I told myself that maybe some of the stuff was nonsense but the idea of god and Jesus and the creation and heaven were true. But I did also mock that stupid verse from Revelation. It struck me as hilarious that this was the source of the Beast, 666, and all that as used in various horror movies like The Omen. But actually read it and it’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo. So I wrote it all over the school desks (along with a couple of other things and drawings that I won’t mention here)… I wrote it along with the chapter and verse, and can you guess how other people responded? They didn’t believe those words actually came from the Bible. Because like me, they had never read it.

So you could say I had a crisis of faith, because I read the Bible. Because I saw it for what it really was. But I tried to hang on, force myself to keep believing, because to my father, being Catholic was very important. It was a strong part of his identity. I went through with my confirmation at age 14, and didn’t speak of my doubt to anyone. By the age of 15 my reasoning went like this: Why should I believe that other people, born into a different religion such as Islam, who believe just as sincerely as we do, will be punished for all eternity? Just because they were born to parents who taught them a different religion to me? Why? Even if I assume a god exists, why would he be so cruel? It’s a birth lottery; nothing more.

I’d lay awake at night wondering about such things. In some moments I did believe, and wonder why this god would punish those other innocent people. In other moments, theirs was the true religion, and I’d be the one to suffer in Hell because their god would punish me for being born into the wrong religion. And then like most people (I imagine), I’d put those thoughts away during the day and focus on other things that teenagers focused on.

I have mentioned before, a school acquaintance named Meri, from Finland, who prompted me to lose my faith. Perhaps I gave her too much credit, so this time, including the paragraphs before this one, I’m writing the whole story. That was my state of mind – extreme confusion, because I saw everything in the Bible as pure nonsense, and yet I believed, kind of. I clung to that belief with a thread. Then one day, I heard a girl crying. Her name was Meri, and she spoke with a funny accent. No one liked her because she was different. A group of boys were jeering and laughing at her and even my friend Dale, who I thought was a nice guy, was smirking at the absurdity of her not believing in god.

I approached her because I felt bad for her, because I was quiet and shy and different to most people, because I also isolated myself. So I asked her what this was about, and she asked me, “Do you believe in religion, and god?” I said “Yes, I do”, to which she responded, the tears barely dry in her eyes, “Why!? Why do you believe? It’s so stupid.” And just like that, seeing that it was acceptable to doubt, I stopped believing. Because I had no reason to believe. If I’d had the words to answer her in those few seconds before my belief vanished forever, I’d have said, “I believe because I’ve always believed, because I know that god is real. I know it in my heart.” But I didn’t know any such thing. That was the simple fact. The only words I could form were the sheepish, “I don’t know (why I believe)”, but the reality was, my mind was racing – I went from “knowing” god is real to knowing with absolute certainty that this god was made up by men.

I did at one stage believe that mocking religion, or scoffing at the absurdity of it, as she did, might trigger others to think, to have that moment of clarity and change their minds, as it did for me. But it’s never happened. Maybe I was naive to think it could? Most likely I think, it was inevitable that I’d end up atheist – the complete loss of faith was already cemented in my doubts and she just provided the final nail to crucify those beliefs. But regardless, that is only a small part of why I mock religion. At sixteen years old, I still thought that for the most part, religion was a good thing, that it taught useful virtues and values, and that religious people were good people. I was wrong.

I should have known from the way those good Christian boys treated Meri, but I didn’t see it. Not yet. But dear reader, doesn’t my story of her seem slightly familiar? And no, I don’t mean because I have written about her before. Others have made movies using a very similar plot. I’m thinking of Kevin Sorbo with his God’s Not Dead trash. It’s a familiar narrative, one shared by 1000001 edgy Facebook Christians who share their persecution narratives, except in their fiction, it’s atheists who condescend to them and bully them. Let me make this crystal fucking clear: We live in a credulous world where people, the majority are held together by blind faith and magical thinking, where most people are driven by apophenia and take comfort in their fictional everlasting life, where the atheists are the exceptions, and where we are very much at the receiving end of bullying and harassment. It’s been this way for hundreds of years.

Like it’s not bad enough that my parents were like two blind mice in their Catholicism and they made me spend all those Sunday morning wasting my fucking time in Mass and Sunday school, and all those months… actually years worrying about Hell and endless torment; like it’s not bad enough that my son had to be subjected to that bullshit too; we can’t even have Facebook groups especially for atheists without some willfully ignorant buffoons trying to proselytize to us and “save” us.

Your arguments are vapid, full of fallacies, ad hominem, appeals to irrelevant authority, argumentum ad populum, begging the question, and outright nonsense. And no, I don’t need expertise in fucking philosophy to reject your assumption that a creator exists. Philosophy isn’t about that – you’re simply equivocating, hiding behind words that you don’t understand to justify an assumption that makes no sense whatsoever, but is based on what you think you know with your brainwashed mind, not on evidence. And no, I do not need to know theology to understand that it is all nonsense when it is obvious from the outside that studying it is simply a matter of studying the innermost details of the made up shit. I don’t need to smear the shit on my nose to know that it stinks. And I certainly do not need to feel compelled to respond to such presumptuous passive aggressive statements masquerading as questions.

But by the way, there are many people who have studied theology and concluded that it is bullshit. And if you really want to play the argumentum ad populum game, then boy do I have bad news for you.

But getting back to my personal story, things took another turn when I was around 18. By then an atheist but not public about it, I spent a year in the old apartheid army, due to conscription. There I heard preachers preaching a strange brand of Christianity I hadn’t heard before, where they read “purity of races” right into their Bibles. I don’t remember what Bible verses once again, but it doesn’t matter. They were pretty convincing, to each other at least. So Christianity was used to justify racism and white supremacy, and a law known as the “Group Areas Act” back then which forced people of different colour to live in separate neighbourhoods. Since then I’ve heard of others with similar racism, people who claim that black people are the “sons of Nod”, the cursed descendants of Cain who murdered his brother Abel, and they use this to justify their belief that white people are superior.

You had to jump through some hoops for the racism to make sense just the same as you do for those who use the Bible to justify homophobia – where the righteous man, Lot, offered up his two daughters to be gang raped by a group of men who wanted to get to the two angels in his home. That verse is used to justify that the men were gay (because they wanted the angels). But it is OK that he offered them his daughters? Why offer his daughters to gay men? And why is it OK to offer women to be raped?

Speaking of Lot and family, his wife was allegedly turned to a pillar of salt for daring to turn her head. Who turned to witness this? But Lot one day got both his daughters pregnant and that’s not a problem. But by all means, don’t be gay. That’s wrong.

Right now, there are Americans spouting the same kind of rhetoric that the boneheads did in the old South Africa. In fact, they’re super popular among the right wing here. Racist scum, the lot of them!

Here’s a fact that too many people are blind to see: Extremism, while it may well exist only on the fringe, is the truest form of any ideology. Religion is all about elitism, the belief that you are right and everybody else is wrong. Taken to its natural extreme, it’s all about hate.

But just as many Christians are willingly blind and ignorant to the nonsense of their own religious texts, so are they blind to the hatred of their beliefs taken to the extreme. It’s not just that your beliefs are absurd, whether you’re like that commenter with his presumptuous Gish gallop of just asking questions, or you’re one of those edgy “I identify as black” white Christians attacking transgender people, or you’re an American politician hiding behind “traditional marriage” to justify homophobia, or you’re just a normal churchgoing person who turns a blind eye to all the harm that your religion does… I see through you. I mock you along with the subject of your belief, because you deserve it. By failing to open up your mind to reality, by not rejecting religion and all the harm that it does, even if you are not one of those vile evil people I have mentioned, you do enable them.

Fuck the Democratic Alliance

Just in case any of my friends read this and don’t know where I stand… Yeah, the government aren’t doing a perfect job. But for the record, John Steenhuisen is a twat and fuck this party. I don’t know who they represent (not me) but I sure do know that a lot of racists support them.

This shit is fucking juvenile. Even my most inappropriately used humour somehow has more class than this.


#ImStaying #Scam

There’s this rather pathetic Facebook page, now especially popular in South Africa along with its trendy hashtag, called #ImStaying…

The group is all about white people patting themselves on the back and sharing their little anecdotes about how racist they aren’t because they are so sweet as to condescend to the little people. Or something. Anyway, the page sucks donkey’s balls.

And now there’s this:


Because, you know… it takes ten million fucking Rand to run a Facebook page.

South Africa’s very own Uncle Tom shows us how “far” white South Africans have really come

Recently I noticed something strange in my Facebook feed. A friend named “Dumisa Mbuwa” who writes long statuses that at first glance are critical of the ANC, each of which has dozens or more reactions and comments from white people agreeing with him. Then yesterday I looked a little closer.

I commented the obvious observation… this guy is saying exactly what privileged white people want to hear. It did not go well. Instead of rising to the criticism and stating a more nuanced position on politics, or anything really, he suggested that I would perhaps feel better if I unfriended him. In other words, he made it about me. That’s what narcissists do, or people who are not being honest. It’s a red flag. And this was followed by many of his white friends defending him or attacking me. One person even implied my profile is fake because of the avatar I now use (it’s used here as well) that a friend created for me. Another suggested that I am race baiting and asked why I made it about race. Hello, his profile is most probably fake, a persona that exists exclusively for race baiting, and because I pointed it out, I get called the race baiter?

Anyway, I can’t link to him because the reactions from his white fans were enough to prompt me to block and unfriend. But he writes articles online and they are easy to find. Examples:

There are many more but I don’t think I need to link them.

From that last one… the title of which itself seeks to dehumanize black people. (Not to mention fear mongering about violently taking land reminiscent of the far right American “THEY WANT ARE GUNS” type of fear mongering.) The opening paragraph:

Blacks have proven themselves for 24 years to be completely useless at doing anything that is worthy of taking our beloved South Africa forward.

And it closes with:

A New Beginning will only emerge the day Black South Africans openly Denounce the ANC for Sodomizing our beautiful Country. And turning it into a Malnutritioned Crack-smoking, pregnant 24-year-old broke, deranged Black girl; who stands barefoot, aimlessly on filthy township street corners looking for depraved male customers.

She’s already a dead, walking zombie and she knows it. Unless she admits her Folly and Turns Away from her Evil Master (the vile, Satanic ANC). Only then will she begin to walk towards Life!

That’s a metaphor for the country… a crack-addicted prostitute. But note the hatred towards black people, the ANC, and sex workers, plus the hint of unhealthy religious beliefs.

His choice of words often refers to black people as “blacks”, making the word black itself a pejorative the way he uses it in sweeping generalizations to dismiss millions of people, telling the racists exactly what they want to hear. (That black people are stupid, incompetent and have messed up the country. It says everything except the word ‘inferior’ but is close enough, surely?) I’m not going to quote any more because it’s really quite sick. So much vitriol…

It’s unclear whether he really is a self-hating black man or a white man writing under a pseudonym, but whoever wrote it clearly does hate black people. But one thing is clear: The hundreds of white people liking and commenting on his posts reveals that we have not come so far from apartheid after all. While the reasons for those vile Facebook statuses and articles may be unclear, they do serve as an accidental social experiment to reveal how deep the racism and hatred still lies here.

If you are one of those people agreeing with him, shame on you.

There is no white genocide going on in South Africa

So a white supremacist found one of my old posts about the so-called white squatter camps, and took offense to my most recent comments there, which point out that online racists have since moved on… No longer satisfied by their emotional appeals to pity, their current claims are that there is some kind of “white genocide” going on in South Africa.

Let’s just be crystal clear: There is no white genocide happening here. If there were, I couldn’t walk outside or safely go to work. By the way, my employer is not white, and the staff where I work is 50/50 white and black.

If you claim there is a white genocide going on, you are racist white trash scum and that is a fact.

The tactic used by white supremacists here to play victim is not new. Americans on the alt-right do that too. Bigots everywhere love to play victims while they fight for their right to discriminate against others.

Don’t come comment your bullshit here if you are one of them. I’m tired of being polite to white trash. Just fuck off.

I hate writing about racism

A friend in the US shared this.

Damn. That’s harsh. I hate racism. I hate how deplorable it is. I hate that so many people I know and grew up with are racists. I hate most of all that racists don’t know they are racists. They think they’re good people. They share posts and articles that are inherently and implicitly anti-black, and they don’t see how anti-black they are. Their posts are demeaning to millions of people worldwide, and they unwittingly share sentiments that frequently make a vast number of people out to be less than human. If it were just words shared, it would be bad enough, but the effects on the lives of so many people are widespread – people whose fight for equality is often ridiculed as it is portrayed as an “attack” on white people, by people too blind to see their own privilege. It sickens me.

I don’t even want to write about it. (Really, I commented to a reader earlier that I should avoid this subject entirely.) It isn’t generally a subject I focus on, at least as far as my usual subject matter on this blog is concerned, and writing about it risks alienating some of the white people struggling with addiction that I normally try to reach. But write about it, I must. If you can read the article I linked in the first line and not feel empathy, then you’re not the kind of person I would want to associate with.

Here’s something only tangentially related to the issue, that happened to me… I have this friend in the UK, an expatriate of South Africa. That friend shares links (on Facebook) to right-wing, racist, white supremacy web pages all the time. It drives me nuts. The stuff he shares is misinformation, but not only that, the agenda of all the sites that he shares from is sickeningly and blatantly obviously racist. One day I had enough, so I wrote a (Facebook) post on the subject, tagging his name and pointing out how horrible his years of shares had been. The result of all this?… I was accused of bullying him online, by a family member. That family member spoke to the guy’s sister, and then made a big deal of it, much like he made a big deal of my atheism posts. As a result, I lost a lot of friends and was made to look bad, by my family member.

It’s not the first time he did that, yet somehow he made it appear that I was at fault. I’m wrong for pointing out that somebody shared racist bullshit… I’m wrong because I tagged his name. (OK, it was unnecessary to tag his name.) But it’s OK for him to post hateful bullshit about millions of people? Here’s the thing: Unlike some people, what I say about you, whether it is in public or private, never changes. I didn’t call my friend an idiot or make statements about his looks… I merely pointed out his racism. And racism is something you can change. As a result of that and my atheism posts, I lost friends and got blocked by that family member (thank the gods for small mercies)… I experienced online bullying and manipulation by that family member more than once. So thanks to sharing my views against racism (and theism), I experienced harassment, bullying and prejudice first-hand. (The point of this anecdote? My family member totally missed the racism that I was writing about. It doesn’t exist as far as he’s concerned. He only saw that I wrote something negative about my friend publicly. The racism part of it doesn’t exist to him because racism and white privilege are invisible to racists themselves.)

Truth be told though, the unfair treatment of myself was nothing compared to those who are treated poorly by certain people for their entire lives, just because they happened to be born with the “wrong” colour skin.

The intention of this post, which will probably be lost on racists because they are too focused on their denial, or in the case of family members, claiming that I took this out of context, is simply to expose what racism actually is. It is the belief that black people are inferior, and then by extension the denial of equality to those people, and the prejudice against those people. It isn’t based on anything logical. There is no reason to assume that black people are inferior. It’s about as logical as believing that people with small noses are less than human, or maybe people with big feet. (Nasty Hobbitses!) It’s rooted in fear of those who are different, a childish and ignorant reason to hold anything against anyone. It’s something that we should all grow out of.

In this country, racism is more than just that though… If, like another friend of mine, you can share a meme that states we should all just get along (and pretend that suffering and poverty as a result of years of oppression just doesn’t exist?), or you complain about the “sense of entitlement” of the protesting students fighting for affordable fees… while you sip wine beside the swimming pool at your mansion behind your security gate with your BMW parked in the garage, you are no better than my expat friend. If you ever compliment a black man or woman for being able to do their job (that they do for a living) or that they are well-spoken, or you clutch your wallet ever tighter when you see a black man walking past you in the shopping mall, you are no better than my expat friend. Racism can be subtle and implicit. I’m not saying that white people ought to feel guilty or responsible for the actions of the past. But we can care about other people. We can do our bit to make a difference and to make things better. We can and should give a fuck about black people.

I won’t be writing about racism often. But I’m probably not done with it yet. This post hardly scratched the surface of the subject, beyond acknowledging that racism exists.

So I pissed off some people when suggesting that the so-called white squatter camps don’t exist

A while back I wrote about the so-called white squatter camps, and some people were angry, mostly because I referred to people as trash. Specifically, because I referred to people as white trash. Yes, that was crass. It was also a generalization and was uncalled for.

Let’s get this straight… In South Africa, 12 million people live in extreme poverty. That’s bad, and it needs to be addressed. Here, you can find some statistics about poverty in this country.

Notice anything in there about white squatter camps? Poverty in general is a problem here, but why should it be important what colour the poor people’s skin is? Why is it that some people care so much about white poverty specifically? Shouldn’t we care about all poverty, especially when only a handful of the poor people here are white?

The point of my previous post was not to denigrate poor whites – it was to draw attention to the fact that the information shared on social media about white squatter camps, by my racist expat friend, cannot be trusted. I have one friend who shares that kind of nonsense over and over again, and it is annoying. And when I say nonsense, let me clarify… There are many websites that publish information with an agenda, racist websites run by white supremacists, who will tell you all about the oppression of white people in South Africa, gruesome tales of white farmers murdered in their hundreds, and these supposed white squatter camps. It’s a despicable message, not at all in line with reality, that confirms the fears of the white racists who ran away left the country. These sites tell you that you were right, apartheid is now in reverse, and that whites are being persecuted. White squatter camps are just one part of the narrative of nonsense presented by those sites.

But think about it… How can a settlement consist of only white people? A fraction of the millions of poor people in this country are white, yet somehow we read reports of communities of poor white people? It doesn’t make sense. I was a junkie years ago, and at my lowest point, I lived in a shelter for a few days. But it wasn’t only white people living there. For a community to consist of only white people in this day and age, it must be run by white people, who only allow white people to live there. Those places do exist, but they are not what those web sites claim. They’re more like trailer camps, run by white supremacists, exploiting poor whites. They are not what those websites make them out to be, because if they were, it would be covered by local media, not some right-wing conservatives with an agenda.

The people publishing those sites are the South African equivalent of Donald Trump supporters. (Morons.) The fact that they only write about white poverty indicates that they are racist. Make no mistake, this is not similar to Black Lives Matter, but for white people. This is not about equality. Much of the property and the money of this country is still in the hands of white people. White people here are still privileged. This is about white supremacist propaganda and an attempt to get support for their delusional cause, via pity.

I have never seen one of those camps. Give me the GPS coordinates of some of them in the Johannesburg area, and if they are real, I will go there myself and write about it. Until I see them for myself and have evidence that they are what some claim them to be, I will assume otherwise.

On anti-white racism in South Africa

A friend sent me a link to this article: Six things white people have that black people don’t

Urgh. It starts off well enough, noting that the wounds and legacy of apartheid will take a long time to heal… No, I lie. It doesn’t. It starts out noting that the effects of apartheid are still felt by black people, and then goes downhill from there. The whole article is generalization about white people; what they talk about when alone, what they have, what they think about and so on.

It starts out speculative and then resorts to assumptions. Like this one from the Social Capital section:

It’s the spare laptop your parents let you use, the nice clothes you have that make an impression at a job interview, not to mention the nice manners and accent you learned along the way.

The spare laptop your parents let you use? (Followed by anti-white rhetoric. The phrase “not to mention” is supposed to introduce an additional fact or point that emphasizes a point being made. But all it achieves here is emphasis of the writer’s prejudice. The choice of “nice” as an adjective twice in the sentence also serves to patronize white people in general by associating them with an implied simplistic thinking brought on by a pampered life.) We weren’t all so lucky, you know? I went to an average school, and had no luxuries. I never worked on a computer until my early twenties when I was a student, and I paid for my own studies, because I qualified for a student loan, after inheriting nothing from my parents. (Currently I look after my mother who owns nothing of value.) I didn’t own my own computer until I was in my late twenties, and I became a computer programmer because I turned out to have an aptitude for it. I got where I am with work and effort, and a good deal of luck that I inherited an above average IQ. I was neither born with a silver spoon in my mouth, nor will I tell you in which orifice of yours to insert one, though you might guess which one I mean.

I’m not going to link to a definition of racism, but let me make this as clear as I can in my own words… If you start making generalizations and assumptions about a group of people, based on the colour of their skin, that is racism. And it’s ironic that an article about racism is written with a racist undertone. If you presume to know the thoughts and motives of a group of people, and you group them all together based on the colour of their skin, you are a racist.

To reiterate one more time because this point really needs to be hammered home (and also I have very little else to say), anyone who generalizes about others based on their “race” is being racist. Notice that I have made no sweeping statements about any groups here, yet the point comes across loud and clear.

Online I have read many racist comments where people say “Why don’t you foreigners get out of our country?” and even had an American telling me that I am not African because I’m white. I am as much African as anyone else here because this is where I was born. I don’t see anyone telling black Americans that they are not American because their skin is black. (Or white Americans for that matter. In fact the white supremacists there contrive ludicrous “alternate histories” where the white man got there first, and native Americans migrated from elsewhere. Sound familiar?)

Not every white person has lived a life of luxury, and this sentiment that comes across every so often that “we” owe others something because we happened to be born with white skin is one part of the legacy of apartheid that irks me. (So-called white guilt does not exist, by the way.) I worked for what I have. It is unfortunate that others were deprived because of the colour of their skin, but that had nothing to do with me. I may have benefited from apartheid a long time ago because I happened to be born with white skin, but I did not ask for that benefit, and I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. (Further, my preference for women with skin a little darker than my own always got me funny looks by white racists.) But hidden anti-white racism such as that made in the generalizations of the article I linked above serves no purpose, and is more transparent than you think. We are all people and all have the same rights. Justifying racism and spreading anti-white rhetoric doesn’t help anybody.

I hate writing about anti-white racism because it could so easily be taken the wrong way. I’m opposed to all racism, and have a huge issue with white racists who publish their white supremacist bullshit. There are still plenty of those here too. For example, these guys pretend to be about raising awareness of the “oppression of the white ethnic minority in South Africa”. In other words, they hide their white supremacist and racist agenda behind a Tu Quoque logically fallacious argument. It’s akin to the straw man phrase “anti-racist is a code word for anti-white” used by white supremacist bigots elsewhere.

All racism is wrong, and we should be wary of any published writing that marginalizes any racial group, and also be aware that those types of writing always masquerade as something else.