April 1, 2009

The Fool Says In His Heart...

English: Scroll of the Psalms
English: Scroll of the Psalms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As Sisyphus Fragment recently noted, one of the passages from the Christian bible which Christians are particularly fond of quoting at atheists on or around April Fools' Day is Psalm 14:1-3. And no, my somewhat unusual use of the word "at" in the previous sentence was not an error. When on the receiving end of this quote, as I have been many times, it indeed feels as if it is being thrown in my face (probably because it is). I expect that it will be no different today.

In this post, I'd like to remind you about one of many simple ways to respond to this projectile quote.

As a brief reminder, this is what Psalm 14:1-3 says:
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.
Most Christians who pitch this quote in your direction are content to use only the first sentence, essentially saying that atheists are fools. I have not encountered nearly as many who go the full distance and call us "corrupt," but it would not surprise me to learn that some are out there.

I love how Sisyphus Fragment phrases the following:

From Chuck Norris to the average Catholic blogging soccer mom, this little bible quote has been thrown around as though excreting scripture at atheists actually has a tangible metaphysical impact. While this is as effective as a witch doctor pricking a voodoo doll of me in the hopes that I will actually be pricked...
Since the Christian hurling such a quote in your direction likely believes that his or her bible is worth at least some attention, I suggest that you offer a quote of your own. Specifically, I'd refer to Matthew 5:22, which says,
Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Interesting, isn't it? The Christian who squeals with delight while tossing Psalm 14:1-3 at you is risking the wrath of his or her imagined god by doing so. That being the case, I think it is probably safe to conclude that such a Christian is either ignorant of his or her bible or - and this is where it gets fun - doesn't give a damn because the transient pleasure of insulting you is worth the risk of eternal punishment.

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