I doubt I’m the first one to comment on this story in the atheosphere, where an atheist went undercover in Jerry Falwell’s church. I’m sure her tale is quite fascinating, but there’s two things I want to comment about it. The first is Gina’s comment here…
“I think I am fundamentally lacking in whatever chamber of the brain allows for religious belief”
Funny, when someone resists the lure of drugs or alcohol, of eating that entire gallon of ice cream, or even unprotected sex, you never hear them or anyone say they’re lacking something in their brain. On the contrary, it’s those who indulge in such things who we consider to be lacking in common sense and/or will power. Make no mistake, the fantasy of a magic man who loves you and cares for you and makes sure everything is ok is quite appealing, but as she said, “wanting it still didn’t make me believe it.” This tripe about atheists lacking something has pissed me off before, and continues to piss me off perhaps more than anything else a theist says about atheists. It’s worse than the shit about us being immoral. No, this takes the cake because OTHER ATHEISTS MINDLESSLY REPEAT IT. It’s difficult enough to be in that minority who doesn’t lack that resistance to delusion, but when many of my fellow atheists are oblivious to how they’ve been manipulated to repeat this line, it makes where I stand a lonely place indeed.
The other thing I want to comment on is her remorse for what she had to do to get her story. The lying was bad enough, but she had to engage in proselytizing, to a child no less, in order to not blow her cover. That’s something I simply could never do, and it appears she’s wrestling with having done it, and wrestling with another of the things I rant about, and that’s the idea of ‘ends justify the means’. Can this book justify what she did? I can’t see it, but I hope for her sake that there is some good that comes of it at least. Also, she’s wrestling with her actions because she has empathy for others, something sorely lacking in moral instructions from religion. She mentioned how these people accept the party line on things unquestioningly, like the evils of gays. That’s reflects a lack of empathy, plus I doubt if the roles were reversed if the religious spy would feel remorse since whatever is done in the name of their god simply has to be good. Again, that shit makes it easy to pacify any human empathy you might have in you.
Oh, some of the comments left there are rather interesting.