A Religious Person’s Feelings: More Important than an Atheist’s Trauma
So there is a post that has been going around tumblr a lot lately (at the time of writing it had 77k+ notes).
If you have suffered a tragedy and someone says, “you’re in my prayers” with sincerity, and you respond with some egotistical shit about being atheist you are an emotionally inept moron. (original source)
You know, I get the sentiment. The first few times it passed across my dash, I though, yea, sometimes atheists can be real assholes. To be honest I haven’t personally encountered anyone who would be likely to say the above line in the above situation, so it seems like a bit of a strawman sort of an argument in the first place, but hey– maybe I’m wrong.
The more I thought about it, though, the more it started to rub me up the wrong way. In this situation, where somebody has suffered a tragedy in their life, I really don’t believe in policing their behaviour over a person who means well but ultimately is saying something quite insensitive. People are allowed to be ‘emotionally inept’ after suffering a tragedy, that’s kind of what happens.
Grief and loss are already so steeped toward religious thought, and this theoretical non-believer who lashes out in such a way is likely to have had a fair few unwanted religious messages already, and at a time when they’re feeling emotionally vulnerable responding politely isn’t often at the top of their agenda.
Prioritising the feelings of a person not affected by a tragedy over someone who is is really not cool.