Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
I have been thinking the past few days about certain atheists, especially those of the comedic sort. They are suppose to bring laughter to the stage and they do until they start speaking on religion and G-d, then their comedy turns very dark, angry, blasphemous and sarcastic. The laughs become more subdued and some nervously laugh just to be polite, but the energy and mojo of that stand up session radically changes. Their speech is violent and barbed. No good ribbing, just honing in on the negative that religion potentially can, and at times does bring because of the free will of imperfect the people. It takes on an activistic feel. I have seen interviews with such people and they are cold, aloof and have a constant underlying baseline of anger. They come off as if they are angry at the idiots who believe in G-d and religion; what they deem as fairy tales and “opiate of the masses” and that they are to intellectually superior to fall for it. They have a condescending smugness with pad answers when challenged on why they do not believe in G-d. You know what I think. I do not think they are angry because people believe in G-d, I think they are angry at themselves that they haven’t found in their mind sufficient proof of G-d. They are angry because they see other people who believe in G-d and are happy. They make it their mission to destroy others faith so they too can be frustrated and angry like them; as the saying goes, “misery loves company.” They are angry because they want to believe in G-d and angry that a Supreme Being doesn’t exist and if one straddles the fence and says that they are Agnostic, then they are angry that this mysterious G-d that is out there, (if He does exist) is unconcerned or uninvolved in the everyday affairs of man. What a sad existence, existentially having to create a meaning for existence and purpose for ones life that no matter what, feels empty and unfulfilling and thus the cycle of anger and frustration.
I shall not paint Atheists with one broad stroke, because there are atheists who seem happy, well adjusted and content and are very philanthropic. These are those who Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach called “holy” at the gasp of his congregation. He said they are “holy” because when they see a need they do not cop out and say “I’ll pray for you,” and go on merrily about their way numb to human need and suffering. They do not believe in G-d, so when they see a need they are touched with compassion and they do what they can to meet it; this is why they are holy.