Random AsidesReligion

The Beliefs are Flowing Like Wine

You know what folks? I don’t believe in anything. Not one goddamn thing!

At least that’s what the fine upstanding, highly moral, plastic, fall-in-line, self-righteous, piece-of-shit, religious jack wads I encounter keep telling me. Simply because I don’t look at the world the same way they do; simply because I don’t think exactly like them, they not only deem it necessary to tell me, but feel it is somehow philosophically brilliant to open their cake holes and say, “Well, what’s the point of living, if you don’t believe in anything?”

It makes me want to kick their fucking teeth out of their tiny, smug little heads.

By the way, I’m sorry, for my foul language. I hope Rebecca doesn’t fire me for cursing, but as affable as I am most times, I get frustrated with the swollen rivers of stupidity that flow from some people sometimes, and I just have to vent. Even though I count myself among the intellectually challenged of the world, every once in a while, even I need to rail against the morons out there.

The thing is — and I would think this isn’t a difficult concept to grasp, but I’ve been proven wrong many times — like most of you, I don’t take most things on faith. I don’t buy into something simply because all the breeders moving out to the ‘burbs do, or because a crusty old book and a long line of privileged assholes in robes say it’s so.

But I do believe in some things. I really do.

In fact, I’m going to start a list here of the things I believe. And this is just a start. I can’t think of them all right now, so I’m going to add to the list in the Comments each time something new occurs to me. I’ll show those jerks a thing or two about believing in things.

Let’s get started, shall we?

First and foremost, just to directly address those who inspired this post, I’ll say that I believe the band, Harvey Danger, was right when they sang, “Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding. The cretins cloning and feeding . . .”.

In that same vein, I also believe that the Refreshments were right when they sang, “Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people. . . .”.

More generally speaking, however, I strongly believe that hyperbole and exaggeration help us relate ideas in fun and colorful ways.

I believe Jimi Hendrix was from another planet.

I believe there is an ever-fading line between genius and insanity.

I believe Larry King actually died 12 years ago.

I believe people who talk on their cell phones while driving should be horse whipped.

I believe U2, Drew Carey, and Howard Stern made a deal with the devil.

I believe parents should spank their children. And I believe parents should also spank each other.

I believe Dove chocolate contains crack.

I believe I would really enjoy giving Kent Hovind an atomic wedgie.

I believe all of the Three Stooges were pretty funny, except Curly Joe.

I believe gay people should have the right to fuck up their lives by getting married just like everyone else.

I believe an Intelligent Design course would be incredibly easy to pass.

I believe guys named Todd hate their name.

I believe gluttony is a good thing, taken in moderation.

I believe evolution is the most important scientific principle ever discovered.

To paraphrase Crash Davis, I believe in real breasts, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the movies of Quentin Tarantino are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Al Qaida was responsible for 9/11. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

I believe sadness is more prevalent in the world than we want to admit.

I believe in roller coasters and extra cheese on a pizza.

I don’t believe the sun will rise tomorrow morning, but I believe it will appear to rise.

I believe the universe is teeming with life.

I believe the person who first put bacon and jalapenos on a cheese burger should have a monumnet erected in his or her honor.

I believe March Madness is the single greatest sporting event in the history of mankind.

I believe humans have the potential to solve all the problems facing us, and the hubris to forget we might need to.

I believe summer afternoon rainstorms are uniquely beautiful.

I believe I can eat 50 eggs.

I believe my imaginary friend has an imaginary pet dog.

I believe we will cure cancer someday.

Like Steve Martin, I believe that most presidential candidates today can make this country what it once was — an arctic region covered with ice.

I believe robots are stealing my luggage.

I believe some DJs smoke weed during tests of the Emergency Alert System.

I believe Fred Phelps is pure evil.

I believe in the number 37, just because.

I believe art is what we hope to be remembered most for.

I believe Warren Zevon, Lenny Bruce, Martin Luther King Jr., and Janis Joplin died too young. And I believe Mother Teresa lived too fucking long.

And I believe I’ve rambled on long enough for now.

But I invite you all to share what you believe.

Let’s have an old-time, come-to-Skepchick, get-down outpouring of the word, brothers and sisters.

Testify!

What do you believe?

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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76 Comments

  1. I believe I’m the prettiest man alive…. Shut up and let me think that!

    I believe in love at fist sight.

    I believe that things aren’t always what they seem, but they mostly are.

    I believe the cat wants back in.

    I believe I’ll have a drink.

  2. “I believe the children are our future. I also believe that song is ridiculous. Who else is going to be our future, the olds?”

    I believe that a song about self respect sung by Whitney Houston is the very definition of the world irony.

    “I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter.”

    Testify, brother, testify!

    I believe that the vast majority of people that we label stupid are indistinguishable from ourselves on a bad day.

  3. Testify! You’re tellin’ the truth, now!

    I believe that there’s a Savage Garden song that I REALLY want to listen to, now. It’s on my iPod somewhere.

    I believe that I’m going to have an awesome lunch.

  4. I believe that I should win the limerick contest.

    I believe any good that religion has accomplished was accomplished by good people, not good religion.

    I believe that anybody who responds with, “You can give me the winning lottery numbers” when I ask them if I can help them with anything else is an asshole.

  5. It’s going to be hard to top Stephen Colbert:

    I believe in America. I believe it exists!

    And Neil Gaiman:

    I believe … there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead)…

  6. I believe Alfred E. Newman is the greatest philosopher of our time.

    I believe religious people are in for a big surprise when they die.

    I believe that if god existed, transportation would be based on another than the principle of action-reaction.

    I believe we should master the ancient art of retorting, precisely for those times when arguing with religious zealots.

  7. One thing: roller coasters on pizza? Isn’t that crunchy?

    I believe that belief is incredibly powerful and that frightens me more than I care to admit.

    I believe that a better educated workforce is a happier and more productive workforce.

    I believe that there is life on other worlds somewhere in this vast universe and that they either don’t know anything about Earth or they’re just avoiding the place.

    I believe that the world would be better without religion but I am unable to prove it.

    I believe that I do not need to know everything but that I do need to know where to look it up.

    I believe that living forever would be more fun than people give it credit for.

    I believe that ignorance is a terrible thing.

    I believe that indifference is the cause of an awful lot of pain and suffering.

    I believe that “shiny” is an exceptionally good way to describe something as great.

    I believe I could go one forever and not care that no-one was listening any more.

  8. I believe the level of a man’s creativity can be directly related to the measure of pain he has suffered.

    I believe much of that pain can be directly related to the women in his life.

    I believe that in the first two statements above, we could swap “man” for “woman” and they would be just as true.

    I believe that world would be a better place if every time people bumped into each other there was an audible BOING! sound.

  9. I believe that 2000 years from now, when scientology is the predominant religion of the world, they will look back on Christians and Muslims with the same disconnected disdain that Christians and Muslims look at the Greeks and Romans.

    I belive that skeptics will still be there fighting the good fight.

    I believe “Sky Blue Sky” by Wico can cure the worst bad day.

    I believe that I have been utterly beguiled by one Rebecca Watson.

    I believe I’m turning into my dad and, surprisingly, I’m ok with that.

  10. “I believe that there’s a Savage Garden song that I REALLY want to listen to, now. It’s on my iPod somewhere.”

    I believe that is one of the best songs ever. I also know it was ruined for me a little bit because it was the song I was listening to when I got the call on 9/11 about the attacks.

    I believe that we were put on this earth to take care of dogs. I believe our reward for that is that we get to take care of dogs.

    I believe that when people quote Neil Gaiman, the whole world becomes brighter and shinier and happier for just a few minutes.

    I don’t believe angels get their wings, though.

  11. I believe that Margaret Thatcher invented a method of adding bubbles to ice cream and that this was her greatest achievement.

    I believe that dark chocolate is tastier than milk chocolate but I don’t want to eat it at all.

  12. I believe I had no idea what I was missing when I was missing it.

    I believe I can be a better person.

    I believe that love is an essential part of hope.

    I believe hope is an essential part of faith.

    I believe that faith is an essential part of love.

    I believe in circles.

    I believe that people should hug more.

    I believe the high five was invented by older (taller) siblings.

    I believe that punk music is the natural evolution of sound and spirit.

    I believe that opera can enrage the savage beast.

    I believe everyone used to be afraid of the dark.

    I believe many of us still are, just a tad.

    I believe that bowling shoes started as a cruel practical joke that no one had the balls to put an end to.

    I believe that vending machine ice is inherently creepy.

    I believe that potatoes are nature’s perfect food.

    I believe that almost any food is better if you can eat it out of a bowl or with your hands.

    I believe that burping is a good thing.

    I believe that Post-Its keep my office running.

    I believe that freedom should be a right but responsibility a privilege.

    I believe that rabbits have the right idea.

    I believe FOX News is out to get us.

    I believe holding hands while crossing the street was the only thing worth merit I learned in Pre School.

    I believe my mother loves me.

    I believe it should be harder for straight people to get married.

    I believe that shortening someone else’s name without permission is rude.

    I believe that death is a part of life.

    I believe that should we ever actually be touched by his moodily appendage, disbelief would no longer be an issue.

    I believe that an extra blanket can make all the difference.

    I believe that “I miss you” is the most powerful meaningful awesome phrase that can ever be said to another person.

  13. I believe that “nothing” is not something. Its nothing.

    I believe that hypocrisy is a major component of the human condition.

    I believe that blind faith is one of the most powerful, and most easily manipulated, concepts in existence.

    I believe in putting salt, pepper, and/or ketchup on my food, even though the cook already seasoned it to perfection.

    … That’s all I have so far.

  14. I believe that I can take on at least 25 5-year old children at once in a battle to the death.

    I believe that my parents know a lot more than I thought as a teenager.

    I believe that they know much less than I thought as a child.

    I believe that kids of any generation are a bunch of brats, and always will be. I also believe that MOST of them will grow out of it.

    I believe in Talk Like a Pirate Day, Pi Day, and Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day, and not Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day.

    I believe that my previous belief easily labels me as a single, non-drinking math nerd, and don’t care.

  15. “I believe that we were put on this earth to take care of dogs. I believe our reward for that is that we get to take care of dogs.”

    I believe my dogs would agree; equally, I believe, the cat doth dissent.

    I believe that the sort of folks who have the temerity to tell me that I believe “in nothing” are too insecure in their own beliefs to pull back the blue curtain and discover they may be wrong.

    But I could be wrong about that.

  16. I believe that I don’t have all the answers.

    I believe I’m finally content with not knowing all the answers.

    I believe friends sharing a beer outside on a warm summer evening makes me happy.

  17. I believe a good meal makes people happy

    I believe cooking a good meal makes me happy

    I believe that fermentation is the best of all possible chemical processes

    I believe that Neil Gaiman, Tom Stoppard and Joss Wheedon negate the need for belief in god

    I believe that we are almost all aliens

  18. I believe Kalia_Marie might be interested in these three links.

    I don’t believe in the Messiah, but I believe it might have been Mister Rogers anyway.

    I believe it’s impossible to do Dr. Seuss stories in live action, even if they somehow manage to scrape up a decent script.

    I believe in clapping at the end of movies.

    I believe this life and these people are all we have, so we should do them justice.

    I believe you should never pass up a good straight line.

    I believe only a dang fool would jump out of a perfectly good airplane, and I’m glad the world has such fools in it.

    I believe sex is a very dirty thing, if done properly.

    I believe in love, both its existence and its power.

    I believe I need dessert.

  19. I believe we’re all alone but we’re in this together.

    I believe in common courtesy and common sense.

    I believe those two things are more common than we like to give people credit for.

    I believe in unconditional love.

    I believe if I love you unconditionally, that doesn’t mean I always have to like you.

    I believe that every year the 49ers have a chance. Talk about delusional.

  20. I believe that alien life has visited Earth, and that how they seem to have quit coming back is proof that they are smart enough to perfect faster-than-light travel.

    I believe some modern art is simply a competition to see how much meaning and symbolism one can fit into random splotches or shapes of color.

    I believe patience is a dying art form in modern society.

    I believe violent video games can be the perfect outlet to keep people from committing real random acts of violence out in the world.

    I believe that having no belief in an afterlife is more than enough motivation to do good in the world while I am here.

  21. I believe that becoming a parent makes you crazy, but I believe that I wouldn’t want to swap it for anything.

    I believe that the greatest thing that humanity has ever invented is storytelling.

    I believe that the world inside our minds is every bit as beautiful, intricate and incomprehensible as the world outside, and vice versa.

    I believe that all areas of human endeavour, especially science, are intricately inter-related, and you can’t deny one part (e.g. evolution) without denying large slabs of it.

    I believe that nobody would need to change very much for us all to get along.

    I believe that hypocrisy is not the big deal that it’s often made out to be.

    I believe that not having the answer to every question is a sign of strength, but deliberate ignorance is a sign of weakness.

    I believe that anyone who can construct a sentence mentioning both U2 and Howard Stern is either incredibly profound or completely crazy. Possibly both.

  22. I believe this idea of listing silly yet profound beliefs was cribbed directly from the Neil Gaiman book American Gods.

    I also believe that that doesn’t diminish its awesomeness at all. In fact, it adds directly to it.

  23. I believe that anyone who can construct a sentence mentioning both U2 and Howard Stern is either incredibly profound or completely crazy. Possibly both.

    I believe Pseudonym is definitely onto something.

    I believe this idea of listing silly yet profound beliefs was cribbed directly from the Neil Gaiman book American Gods.

    I also believe that that doesn’t diminish its awesomeness at all. In fact, it adds directly to it.

    I believe, even though I’ve never read anything Neil Gaiman has ever written, it’s still flattering when people find something similar in my posts.

  24. I believe that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens is a) one of the best collaborative works I’ve ever read and b) one of the more thought-provoking approaches out there to Christian end-time nonsense.

    I believe that Norah Jones needs to stay true to her roots and keep making the music she likes.

    I believe that small green frogs are the physical manifestation of the word “cute.”

    I believe that rich chocolate desserts and chilled Gentleman Jack whiskey ought to be consumed at the same time. (Well, not at the SAME same time, you know what I mean, like white wine and fish.)

    I believe that John Cleese could make me laugh just by walking into a room, and it wouldn’t even have to be a silly walk.

    I believe that at least 75% of my bad days could be cured by ending the evening with a hot bath, a good novel, some chocolate chips to munch on, and a screwdriver on the rocks, followed by a good romp between the sheets and a good night’s sleep.

    I believe it’s time to have a cold beer with Cabernet, even if it’s spring and frickin’ COLD out. (Hey you — it was nice to see you, although it was too bad Starbucks doesn’t serve alcohol.)

    I believe well-written fiction is a balm to the soul.

    I believe an online friend can be just as good a friend as one you see in person, and sometimes better.

    I believe that being a lifelong Mariners fan is a key factor in both my general pessimism and my occasional blind optimism.

    I believe that a plate of fresh steak fries and ketchup mixed with a little green Tobasco (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it) is a perfectly adequate dinner.

    I believe that if it’s done right, cooking a good meal for someone can be a deeply moving act of love.

    I believe that if it’s done right, eating dessert off of someone can ALSO be a deeply moving act of love.

  25. I believe I love Sam Ogden right now even if his posts can *sometimes* be distressingly wordy when I log onto Skepchick first thing in the morning.

    I believe I am pretty jet-lagged or I wouldn’t be posting about loving random people on the internet.

    I believe that doesn’t invalidate the warm fuzzy feelings reading these posts are generating.

    What a lovely idea Sam. :-)

    I believe that easter is a very important four day weekend I am about to have that shows we have something to thank religion for!

    I believe in Talk Like a Pirate Day, Pi Day, and Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day (which I have just found out about – thanks RMPink) and not Valentine’s Day but I am quite partial to St. Patrick’s Day.

    I believe all these days would make better holidays than easter.

  26. I believe people are inherently good, and that they believe they are inherently good, even when they’re doing bad.

    I believe we have an uncanny ability to rationalize.

    I believe it took a while for an R Kelly reference.

    I believe this is one of the most touching and irreverent posts I’ve read in the Skeptic/Atheist blogosphere in quite some time.

    I believe in listening more and talking less.

    I believe that if Jesus was the son of god, most Christians would still be in for a surprise when they die.

    I believe laughter can combat hatred, bigotry, and evil more powerfully than raising my voice.

    I believe Kraft Deluxe American Cheese Singles are a meal in and of themselves.

    I believe fundamentalist religion is loud these days, because we are hearing it’s death sigh.

    I believe that my parents are the closest things to gods I’ve had, and I know they exist.

    I believe in Gift Certificates.

  27. I believe I shouldn’t post when tired.

    I believe some of my beliefs were very ambiguous back up in post 43.

    I believe I have heard about all those holidays except the last one (Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day).

    I believe all of the holidays mentioned except Valentine’s Day would make good holidays.

    I believe I am going to stop now, leave work and go home and sleep.

    Love to you all.

  28. I believe that if Sam likes British humor, “Good Omens” would also be a good one, because if likes smart funny fiction and hasn’t read Terry Pratchett, that is practically CRIMINAL.

    I believe I will pick up a copy of American Gods as soon as I have another empty slot in my reading rota.

  29. I believe that mature wisdom is indistinguishable from being too tired (Heinlien)

    I believe that it is better to copulate than never (op cit)

    I believe that nothing of importance gets built without the active help of an Engineer, and usually more than one

    I believe that the Fanfare for the Common Man may be the ultimate aurial work of art done in the last 100 years or so.

    I believe that the men of the United States Life-Saving Service defined the word “courage”

  30. I believe that there are some very smart, well-read people commenting on this post.

    I believe that the fact that Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers is proof that there is no one ‘up there’ looking out for us. At least, no one benevolent.
    http://www.matchitforpratchett.org/

    I believe that it’s criminal that Sam has not read anything by Gaiman and that he should run out and read Good Omens right now. I’m not kidding. American Gods too. And, possibly Anansi Boys.

    I believe anyone else who hasn’t read Gaiman or Pratchett should do the same.

    I believe it’s too early for me to be at work.

  31. I believe that it is quicker to make cookies yourself rather than praying for God to make them for you. Infinitely so in most cases.

    I believe there’s a joke in there somewhere about getting hold of god’s cookies, but i’m not that lewd.

  32. I believe there’s a joke in there somewhere about getting hold of god’s cookies, but i’m not that lewd.

    I believe there’s a joke somewhere in everything we read, but it takes a real artist to find it and tell it properly. That’s just the way god’s cookies crumble.

    I believe parody songs and puns are lazy writing.

    I believe I left the iron on. . . . again.

    I believe there must be a reason I feel lonely on Sunday nights, even in a crowd of people.

    I believe I will have to read something by this Neil Gaiman character to find out what all the fuss is about.

  33. I believe that if enough things go wrong at once, crying one’s eyes out is an entirely appropriate response.

    I believe that days like this are one of the only downsides to having so many online friends, since it’s so hard to beg and whine for hugs long-distance.

    I believe I need a peanut butter brownie. (Too bad I don’t have any. SIGH.)

  34. I believe Global Climate Change is a natural consequence of living on a planet that has a dynamic atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and crust; that has an inclined axis of rotation, and has an elliptical and variable orbit around a variable star in a dusty galaxy.

    I believe we had better get used to it.

  35. I believe Albert King, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Albert Collins are/were as troubled as they are/were inspired.

    I believe I’m obsessed with guitar slingers because I can never do the things they do.

  36. I believe the first whiff of the ocean air in the morning is good for the soul.

    I believe there’s no better feeling in the world than climbing out of the water at the end of the day with aching muscles, salt-irritated eyes, sunburned shoulders, and a powerful thirst.

  37. I believe the world is both better and worse than everyone thinks it is

    I believe my son is going to grow up to be an astronaut-magician-baseball star-garbageman-fireman-jedi knight

    I believe the cake is a lie

    I believe that the world changes quickly, but society changes slowly

    I believe that Mystery Science Theatre 3000 was the greatest show of all time

  38. I believe that laughter is the most glorious sound human ears can perceive.

    I believe when doctors remove a body part, the patient should be able to bring it home with them.

    I believe I’m addicted to ChapStick.

    I believe I’d like to visit the Greek islands again someday.

  39. I believe there’s little difference between text messaging and standing next to someone with whom you share full communication abilities, passing written notes back and forth.

    I believe one day the most popular baby name will be Gilligan.

    I believe Ben Stein is a literati poseur.

  40. I believe I’ll never listen to all 4000 songs on my iPod.

    I believe there are indeed more things in heaven and on Earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies.

    I believe being good to each other is the right thing to do.

  41. I believe Satan values your soul way more than God does. When is the last time God offered fortune or fame or the ability to play the blues for their soul? All God’s two biggest followers got for their servitude was lost in the desert and hung on a cross.

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