For when “dislike” just doesn’t cut it…











{November 28, 2008}   Atheist Zealots

It’s easy to hate on religious zealots because most of the time they’re just so darned creepy. They set themselves out from a crowd of people with a lot of ideas that seem crazy. Christians who believe that dinosaurs didn’t exist (and that all skeletons dug up are conspiracies), or that two men shouldn’t get married but it’s okay to have five different wives, are not the kind of people I can conceivably imagine myself befriending. However, I absolutely respect and admire people who can believe in something larger than themselves. In essence, I think religion in its barest form is a fundamentally good thing, because it’s supposed to be guidelines to living a good, productive life. I’m all for not killing and not stealing and not eating pork. 

I am agnostic (I joke that I am a follower of Bokononism), but my parents are varying degrees of Mormon. My mother is not a bigot, nor is she subservient; she isn’t active in the Church either for personal reasons, but she keeps several ideas to heart and they get her through tough times. One of them is that God doesn’t give anyone more adversity than they can handle, and I am glad that she holds that one so dearly. However, through her I have met fanatic LDS members – ones who believe that homosexuality is a bigger global issue than global warming; ones who take every Bible story literally… and most of the time I hold my tongue. 

I believe in Karma because I need to think that I will be rewarded for doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. I believe that there is no way of knowing what happens when we die, so we should spend what time we have being helpful, hardworking, productive and a better place for others. 

What pisses me off more than religious zealots are Atheist zealots – you know, the kind who say “If you believe in God, prove that he exists! You can’t! There’s no afterlife! You’re an idiot and you’re brainwashed and there’s no logic in believing in a higher power.”

These are worse than religious people who try to convert you because:

a) At least religious people are trying to GIVE you something to believe in. They’re trying to do what they feel is right, and even if you disagree with they way they go about doing it they still have good intentions in their own mind. They want you to go to heaven; Atheists want you to rot in a box.
b) There is no proof that a higher power exists either way, so STFU. I entertain the possibility that there is a God, but I can’t believe that God would care about minutia of everyone’s lives. God would have given us free choice, but wouldn’t really be that offended if some people went off the beaten path. I don’t think about it that often actually, but a friend-of-a-friend summed up my beliefs perfectly: “I believe that the Big Bang Theory was the birth of the Universe, but who’s to say that God didn’t set the quarks and leptons into motion?”
c) Most of the time, these Atheist zealots have no idea that there are comforts that come with believing something. I had one guy call me a brainwashed idiot because I said I believed in Karma. Just as he said that, he closed a door on his own hand. I LOL’d. As I explained, it’s more of a positive reinforcement than anything else. 
d) Atheism is technically a religion anyway, if you go by definition. Not believing in God is just as much of a spiritual path as believing. Also, there are several religions (some smaller branches of Buddhism, for example) in which there is no personal God. Therefore, Atheism doesn’t necessarily mean irreligious.

On the other hand, my own father told me I would never lead a fulfilling life because I don’t want to have children, and according to the Book of Mormon, that’s a woman’s duty, so whatever.

I think personal beliefs are just that – personal. It shouldn’t be up to you to push your beliefs (regardless of what they are) down other peoples’ throats. If they enquire, that’s a different story altogether, but don’t feel as though it’s your duty to declare war on all religions.



I should preface this by saying that I don’t drink. Ever. I tried it years ago and disliked it. I didn’t like the experience for the same reason that everyone else does: I wasn’t in complete control over my actions. 

However, for the stupid shit that did happen (luckily nothing that effected me at all the next day, never mind the next few years of my life), I took complete responsibility. It wasn’t my proudest moment, but it ranked a 0.02 on the regret-o-metre. Oddly enough, that was probably my blood alcohol level at its highest. 

I do enough stupid and regrettable stuff without the assistance of drugs and alcohol, thank you very much. I sleep late without a hangover, I reveal way too much about myself to strangers, I laugh too loudly… I’m not ashamed of any of that. I just hate when I tell a story and I hear, “What was your excuse, girl? You weren’t even drunk!”

1) Who says I need an excuse? If I felt I needed to justify my actions, I would have said something like, “I made a mistake and I learned from it.”

2) Would being drunk have actually made whatever I did okay? Let’s say for argument’s sake that I… I dunno… broke a lamp during a house party. Whether I was drunk or not, it was an accident. Whether I was drunk or not, I’d be responsible for property damage. Is there any question that I should have to pay for the lamp? I did something regrettable, and should be held accountable. There is no grey area here. If it was my broken lamp, I’d insist that the person reimburse me, and likewise I would reimburse the owner with my apologies. 

Now let’s take something a little less black and white, and a little more true to life.

Many years ago, I kissed a friend (let’s call her Merlot)’s ex-boyfriend. They had ended the relationship amiably, and I had always liked him. When she found out (I came clean two days later), she ended the friendship and, as far as I have heard, still has me on her hit list. I am not proud of what I did or of how I handled the situation, but it was a learning experience. 

A few years later, a mutual friend of myself and the girl was at a New Year’s Eve party with a group of people, including my most-loathed ex boyfriend. Things had not ended well between us and my friend had been there for me all through the breakup. She put an end to rumours he’d spread, she laughed at all the jokes I made at his expense… she was supportive and I was grateful for it. Until she sent me an email that New Year’s Day saying, “Heyyyyy Allegra. Guess who I made out with last night?” Her justification was that they had both been drinking. I forgave her, not because her judgement had been impaired but because she apologized and immediately resumed her role as supportive BFF. 

Later, that same friend would drunkenly make out with Merlot’s lifelong crush. Merlot forgave her immediately… as far as I can tell, it was okay because my friend, Merlot and the boy were all drunk.

I don’t see the logic – this was obviously not the first time these people had been drinking. My friend knew that she had a propensity towards making out with anything with an Adam’s Apple when she drinks, and still made the conscious choice to get drunk anyway. 

I’m by no means implying that what she did was worse than what I did. I just can’t understand why it is socially acceptable to drink yourself stupid and engage in the same destructive behaviour over and over again. Being drunk is not an excuse. 

There are harsher penalties for drunk drivers than there are for young drivers and drivers who make poor judgement calls, BUT THERE ARE STILL PENALTIES for everyone. This is how it should be for social situations as well. I am going to hold people accountable for what they say and do while they’re drunk, in hopes that they realize that not all caution should be thrown to the wind.



et cetera