Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mr. Deity

An atheist friend of mine sent me a link to this video of Mr. Deity. The clip is part of a series of short films put together by a guy who takes what he considers christian contradictions and makes parody videos of them. Not everything is a contradiction, sometimes, he makes videos on topics that atheists typically disagree with, or just don't like about christianity.

I can appreciate the humor in the videos and have even used them in my outreach to atheists. The videos have given me a great insight into the mind of the skeptic, atheist, and agnostic. The videos quite often make very valid points and when you watch them with an open mind, it makes it easier to understand the views of a non believer.

I think if christians want to reach out to non believers to either share the gospel with them, or simply to break down barriers like I hope to do, they have to first understand where the non believer is coming from. These videos do a great job of doing that and I think it would be good for christians to watch them so they can better understand the atheist, skeptic, and agnostic.

Speaking from experience, most christians are completely wrong when they think about atheists. After spending some time with them in my atheist club, I realized how many preconceived ideas I had, were completely wrong.

I would highly encourage christians to watch a couple of these videos so they can understand where atheists are coming from. If we have any hope of influencing an atheist, we need to know where they are coming from. And when I say "influence" I don't mean "convert to christianity." If that is your goal, I will tell you that you have a huge task ahead of you and you will most likely not succeed. When I say "influence" I only mean to show atheists that not all christians are gay bashing, hate spewing, judgemental, and condemning. That is the first step in breaking down the barriers.

My son showed one of these videos to his youth pastor at church and the youth pastor said it was inappropriate for him to bring that in church. Then in youth group, he called on my son to answer a question and said "Let's hear what Steven's atheist answer is." Now, my son wasn't upset and I knew he meant it in a joking manner, but he really missed out on an opportunity to engage in some good dialogue with my son on some real issues.

I showed the videos to my 16 year old and 14 year old sons and asked for their opinions. They both said they were funny but asked me why I would show them these videos. I explained to them that my faith in God was an important part of my life, but it was "my" faith, not theirs. I told them that I wanted them to believe in God but I didn't want them to believe in God because their mother and I believed in God, or because the church told them to believe in God. I wanted them to believe because it made sense to them. I told them I never wanted them to be afraid to challenge their faith because if they are afraid to challenge it, then they probably don't really have it. My sons said they appreciated my outlook on it and continued to watch some of the videos.


  1. Once again, Victor, I don't find myself at odds with you. To me, altruism is founded on sound principles of rationality and logic. Helping people because you honestly care about them, and the world we all share, is a benefical action. Some theistic people make a grave error in assuming that an atheist is devoid of kindness, compassion, or morals. Noting could be further from the truth. Since atheists in the United States usually find themselves under assault from religious fundamentalists, embroiled in argument with someone who feels it's their duty to prove us wrong, or people who are compelled to preach the Gospel to us so that we might be saved, the canvas ends up painted with a tainted brush on your end. By the same token, since so many of us find ourselves backed into such corners with theists, we begin to paint the canvas with a similarly tainted brush. I'll never adopt the stance that faith should be "eliminated." That's grotesque, unconscionable, and I would oppose such a thing as much as I oppose attempts to turn the United States into a theocracy.

  2. I'd like to commend you on the way you have chosen to teach your children. That they should have their own choices and be with or without the faith that they see as real to them. I want to have kids one day and I certainly want them to feel that they can believe or not believe what they see as right for them, as long as it's not something that will harm themselves or others.

    It was a good refreshing read.
    Also hadn't heard of Mr Deity before, so thanks!

  3. @John, I agree with what you are saying. In christianity, I often find that people didn't do things good of rot hers until they learned more about Jesus. Myself included. It's not to say that I am only capable of being "good" if I am a christian, I am just saying I didn't do "good" before christianity. In fact, I was a pretty terrible person. I owe my faith and belief in christianity for saving my marriage, making me a better father, and a better person.

    I am very impressed with atheists, who do "good" on their own, without needing teachings and education from religion. I am just admitting, that I couldn't.

    Glad you liked it Warick. You will enjoy Mr. Deity. And how did you not know about Mr. Deity??!! What kind of an atheist are you that a christian has to teach you about Mr. Deity. :-)

    That's my sarcasm, by the way. Please don't take it personal. :-) I happen to think I am hysterical.

  4. @Victor
    "I happen to think I am hysterical."

    Don't worry I tend to agree with that view for now!

    "I am very impressed with atheists, who do "good" on their own, without needing teachings and education from religion. I am just admitting, that I couldn't."

    I know that's directed a John but I found the statement intriguing. Is love in your fellow human being not enough? It certainly doesn't require a religious upbringing or education to see that humans should have equal rights, some religious preachers and scriptures would have you think otherwise. I can understand someone needing motivation for self improvement, religions have served some people well in that regard. Personally I think you shouldn't sell yourself short, that's one thing I think religion is good at putting people down. You are capable of anything you put your heart and soul into as long as you don't give up and it's actually logically possible. Self confidence comes from being yourself and knowing that you are just as valuable to society, if not more valuable, than anyone else.

    Speaking of motivation I should go do some studying....