The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga did a study a while back where they identified and placed atheists into one of six distinct character types ranging from ‘agnostic’ to ‘anti-theist’. Reading that list, I would have to place myself into the “anti-theist” category. I do believe I hold a superior view when I claim religion is outdated and detrimental to society, but in reality, I feel I am more of an “anti-theist Prankster” type of guy. Instead of aggressively inserting my views in an attempt to educate religious folk, I prefer to openly mock and ridicule them instead.
As a high-functioning sociopath, that type of behavior often takes the form of me attending a crowded church service with all of the attendees lined up neatly in the pews and me standing in the back with a big bag of Skittles chucking them at people in my very own live version of ‘Galaga’. (Kudos to anyone who gets an old-school video game reference.)
Say what you will, but there is something empowering about a priest yelling “GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, ASSHOLE!” in front of his congregation before me dumping the bag on the floor and shouting “Taste the rainbow!” and squirting some cherry sryup into the holy water on my way out to make these disciples of dipshit question if it turned into blood or not.
Not long after the study was published, an article popped up in ‘Christianity Today’ about what it means for Christians in how they ‘approach’ us for, I guess, some kind of recruitment brigade. The mentality seems to be if they are going to convince us to enter into their flock they are going to need to use different types of strategies depending on the type of critical thinking heathen they face off against. Fair enough.
Not to be outdone, and keeping in mind turnabout is fair play, I sat down and put together my own list. If some asshole is going to come up to me and invite me to a church potluck, I might as well judge if they are worthy enough of coming over to my side or, instead, just writing a note thanking his sister for having that abortion and leaving it where he can find it. So with that in mind, I present the eight different types of Christians I personally have run-up against in during the course of my life.
Normally found in the suburbs, these people have been going to church on and off their entire lives “just because” and never broke the habit. They think church makes them a good person and the world would be lost without it even though they only go for the holidays. They will put up a tree for Christmas and hunt eggs on Easter but the name ‘Jesus Christ’ is never mentioned. Kids may come home from Sunday School talking about Adam & Eve and two of every animal, but the parents will insist their kids ignore that if they ever bring home a ‘C’ in biology or science class from school.
Recruitment Worthiness: If you get to these people while single there is a possibility you can convince them to leave the church. If they have kids, however, forget it. A baboon may as well be holding up a fucking lion cub on top of their house because the circle of life is complete and they feel the neighbors will judge them if they don’t get the kids to church on time. The irony here is that this cycle has been going on for countless generations, and the majority of these people would be much happier if they admitted they don’t believe the shit they are fed.
Normally found in rural areas and come in all ages. These people believe in ‘God and Country’ in that order and will vote for conservative candidates even thought they know jack shit about politics. These are the people who watch “Duck Dynasty” and Fox News, love ‘Larry The Cable Guy’ and NASCAR, and usually impregnate their cousins by the time they are 17. Rarely, if ever, finish high school. Their biggest fears are ‘Commies’ and ‘Homos’ and have no idea what is in the bible other than the Ten Commandments. This group is the only reason wine cooler manufacturers are still in business.
Recruitment Worthiness: Not worth your time. This group really doesn’t understand the religion they are supposed to be following now so to try and convince them of something completely different would be a job for a special needs teacher.
Consisting mostly of teenagers and young adults, this group can normally be found gathering inside churches on Wednesday night where a youth minister who asks you to call him ‘Duncan’ plays hacky sack to show everyone he isn’t ‘square’. Members of this group will often attempt to recruit others of their own age by telling them how cool god is and how their youth group is, you know, progressive, because they have, like, a band and shit that sings about staring at the sun too long and the holy ghost feeling you up. The bible is rarely read other than a few passages about how god is bliss and you should hold your arms up in the air when you sing and their definition of “living a pure life” means crossing your fingers on one hand while fingering your date with the other because then it “doesn’t really count”.
Recruitment Worthiness: An atheist message might take hold with some of this group, but the window of opportunity here is extremely quick. HIPSTERS usually burn themselves out by either going to college and discovering beer or staying at home to become youth ministers themselves. Without any outside influence, the majority of this group will live in the same town their entire lives and eventually turn into CUZZERS.
Hard core believers who often have a bible with a copyright date of ‘1947’ and they think it applies to the ACTUAL bible. Not trusting the liberal brainwashing that comes with public education, their kids are home-schooled with ‘real’ history lessons of how Jesus and his pet pteranodon ‘Sprig’ sailed the Mayflower over from Eden to chop down a cherry tree before freeing the slaves and giving birth to Ronald Reagan. Will use air quotes when referring to geology and astrophysics as “science” before referencing poorly made websites full of apologetic bullshit thinking it to be an air-tight defense of why the Grand Canyon formed over the Labor Day weekend. A few people in this group will also have a strong belief in the end of days where anything that happens at any given moment is a sign the second coming is upon us which only makes them pray even more.
Recruitment Worthiness: Not on your fucking life! These people don’t have a clue how the world works and they don’t want to know. The best thing you can do when meeting these people is to feel sorry for their kids.
This group is one step up from the PRIMALS. They have the same hard-core mentality when it comes to their beliefs, but instead of hunkering down inside their homes they are out in the public actively pushing their views on society. These are the first people to oppose crosses being removed from public property and push for tougher ‘indecency’ laws because out of the 5,000 hours of television they monitored they thought they heard someone say the word ‘nipple’ once on a sitcom somewhere. Will raise their voices if a christian’s religious liberties are violated but are the first people to protest a mosque being built anywhere near their city because only REAL religions deserve protection. They detest books, music, non G-rated movies, the internet and anything else that may introduce someone to an original thought because that is where the devil lives. Drinking games have been invented where shots are downed every time an AUTOCRAT uses the expression ‘activist judge’.
Recruitment Factor: Again, just like PRIMALS, simply not worth it. However, AUTOCRATS are extremely funny to watch in case your cable ever goes out.
This is a sub group of AUTOCRATS that deals exclusively with homosexuality. Out of the 31,000 versus in the bible, they chose to focus on the 44 of them that may be construed as dealing with ‘the gays’. To love a member of the same sex is the biggest sin that exists and all laws should filter down from that mentality otherwise families will cease to exist and society will break down. They know Jesus said a couple of other things about love or some such nonsense, but they weren’t as important as anal sex.
Recruitment Factor: Surprisingly, there is some opportunity here. As it turns out, close to 85% of this group are closeted homosexuals who were taught that what they are feeling is ‘sin’ and have been trying to overcompensate ever since. ‘The Phantom Menace’ sucked royal dick, but Yoda proved my point when he gave that old “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” quip. That is some pretty deep shit for a Muppet (hell…he was C.G. by that point, wasn’t he? Damn!) and shows that if you can get some of the people to overlook their brainwashing they might actually be happier.
This group is made up of people who switch religions more than they switch radio stations and, in their twisted little minds, this makes them MORE credible, because it means hey have studied the ‘other’ side but soon realized that christianity is the ‘only’ religion so you should listen to them because they know better. This also applies to ex-atheists who one day come to the conclusion they are now christians after seeing the light.
Recruitment Factor: You could probably convince a good many of these people to become atheists, but it would only be for a short time. With these people you have to somehow follow the logic “That other religion I believed in with all my heart and knew without a doubt was real turned out to be wrong, but now I believe in this new religion with all my heart and know without a doubt it is real”. It isn’t worth the effort to recruit people from this group because they are eventually going to be distracted by a commercial for a pocket hose.
The people of this group believe in a certain religion because they ‘need’ to in order to fit in. Everyone else in their community goes to church, their family and friends go to church, and to not be involved somehow sends the wrong sign. Will often consist of younger people who haven’t made the plunge to live on their own yet or people returning to rural cities after having lived abroad and had adventures of their own.
This is our bread and butter in terms of bringing in new members if you can let them know that we are out there. Fortunately for us, with the internet, that message IS getting out there. Members of this group, with just a little research and button pushing, are quickly finding like minded people who don’t believe in a magic sky daddy. Go internet! Here’s hoping that one day it will consist of nothing but logic puzzles and porn.
In conclusion, if by chance you are approached by any of the above and there is that glimmer of hope they are open to talking to you about what you have to offer, feel free to use my approach: Mention that you go to a small church around the corner of your place every Sunday morning called “Our Lady of Perpetual Bullshit”. Then point out when you say ‘church’ you mean ‘bar’ and when you say ‘Sundaymorning’ you mean ‘Saturday night a little after midnight’. After a few beers and telling them from now on they can sleep in on Sunday and only have to wake up to watch football it will be adios to the collection plate.
© 2017, Jay Solemn. All rights reserved.