What habits or actions do you continue to do that would get your Atheism card revoked?  This is totally tongue-in-cheek, but I have realized how my somewhat religious upbringing has colored my language as well as other things.  

So, I figured we could have a confessional discussion where we admit our sins against atheism.  After all, if folk are going to persist in calling atheism a religion, maybe we should indulge a little and see how it works out for us.

My sins include using language like "God only knows" and saying to people who have sneezed "bless you".  What the hell are you heathens doing that is the antithesis of atheism? 

UPDATE: This post continues to get attention and one thing I have noticed, with both amusement and frustration, is that some people do not seem to notice that this is largely tongue-in-cheek.  I posted this as a way of acknowledging the influence that religion has had and continues to have on our lives, our society, our language, and our habits.  We all know that atheism is not a religion, goddammit! ;-)

Have a blessed day.

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i try to avoid saying this, but it'd be easy to get back into when you see the looks that people give you when you don't say "bless you" or "god bless you." When i don't say it, they look at me like i'm the rudest person alive. :)
Commentary on Pope Benedict XVI's kneeling before Shroud of Turin (2 May 2010)
-- the de-deification of culture (including science) is a task for the next 100 years.

deeply implanted expectations haunt atheists' minds

What’s wrong with the face on the cloth? — the Shroud of Turin meets every conditioned expectation.

Consider the iconography of SoT -- an image which "looks like" Jesus. Really? No one has any idea what Jesus looked like. No physical descriptions appear in canonic xian texts. Descriptions appearing in gnostic texts lack any historical authenticity, are contradictory, and are designed to inspire awe — Christ as a shape-shifting immaterial being who walks through closed doors.

What pops up to the mind’s eye as a visual representation of Jesus/Christ? Perhaps a well-trimmed beard of an almost middle aged caucasian with flowing auburn locks who may (at the movies) even have aryan-blue eyes — dear white Jesus of Sunday school fame.

Yet it has not always been so. An early image painted in the Catacombs shows Christ “the good shepherd” as a beardless youthful Roman with “the lost lamb" draped around his neck. The beardless youth also appears carved on xian sarcophagi along with lambs.

A beardless youth cannot be an icon of Jesus Christ! He is a shock, a failure to meet long standing expectations.

A youthful icon of Jesus/Christ must be defended and explained by art historians. The icon’s youth expresses a symbolic meaning of joy, of life restored, of aging reversed. A broken, bleeding crucified “man of sorrows” Jesus must be seen as a post-resurrection Christ who emerges from the grave as the “new Adam” restored to beauty and strength.

What about Jesus' iconic beard? Roman men, old and young, shaved. Only Greek philosophers and barbarians beyond the pale of Rome grew beards. Beards got their medieval cultural boost when barbarians destroyed the western empire and began to rule in its dismembered remnants (ca. 500CE).

A medieval iconography for what Jesus Christ should look like has never disappeared from popular culture. Jesus had to display his solid physicality (true man) and his right of celestial kingship (true god). A well-maintained and trimmed beard had come to mean “manly authority”. Christ could not be a beardless lad. Jesus had to follow fashion.

Medieval images seared into memory belong to cultural conditioning accepted from earliest brainwashers — home, school, media, art. Countless repetitions of religious icons never allow these stereotyped memories to disappear.

To de-deify them requires de-conditioning. No one in the West succeeds fully. Not everyone tries. Some who do try are damaged by authoritarian schools, authoritarian clerics, authoritarian parents.

To see Jesus Christ in the SoT is a conditioned reflex that can defy every best effort to secularize those images once considered “holy”. SoT meets an expectation created in millions through more than a thousand years of conditioning.

That’s what’s so wrong with SoT — it meets every expectation.

the anti_supernaturalist
other then using the lords name in vein and saying bless you....just yesterday my facebook status said "gah...I missed it. Blessed late Lughnasadh to all of my Pagan friends". Also I buy my fiance books on Wicca and other Pagan beliefs. I was raised Christian, I am now an Atheist, my fiance is Pagan and man do I hate family reunions. Another thing I do is, when my family prays at meal time, I respectfully bow my head and close my eyes.
I don't bow my head or hold hands or anything, but i remain quiet while they do their rituals. if i can be soundless, i even serve my plate some food, to further my lack of participation.
When that happens to me I usually look around and see if there are "faux dévots."
I use the expressions My God!, ¡Dios mío!, Giusto Cielo, and Mon Dieu. Since I don't believe in invisible beings they're meaningless. Although I'm often asked: "if you're an atheist, why do you use those expressions?" I usually asked myself: "What can say instead?"
Another sin could be my trip to Rome and the self imposed tour around the Vatican.
Well, I guess I'm an agnostic because I have to accept that something like a soul exists, and so there may be an afterlife, etc.

I had an out of body experience once that was manifestly not a dream, even tho I can't prove that to anyone, and since having an OBE I have to accept the likelihood that souls exist in some form.

I do not accept any major religion, seeing them mostly as socio political constructs designed to maintain power and stability for the people creating them, and to justify things most people know are wrong, such as massacring children and babies, slavery, etc.

So, again, I'm an agnostic that believes in souls due to personal experience, but rejects, rather vehemently, most religions.
That's a good one!

I have to ask if you think a "soul" is the best explanation for your OBE? Have you looked into alternative explanations?

When I was a child, I used to have vivid dreams that I could jump in the air and levitate for brief moments. So vivid were they and so unique the feeling of floating, I sometimes thought I actually might possess this ability.
This happened ONCE and it was very, very long ago. I really don't think this qualifies as a mental illness or a pathology.
Hi everyone.. no it was definitely from midnight.. latterly they have reduced the torment to 1hr. No meat on Fridays.. I remember eating a bag of newly invented OXO flavoured crisps on a Friday, so I had to go to confession on the Saturday otherwise I couldn't go to communion on Sunday AND if a bus had knocked me over and killed me on Monday I would have ended up in the fires of hell!!!
I also say "excuse me". I don't see the point of saying bless this or that.
Haha! Awesome!


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