Not Being Christians

Once they’re out of high school, geeks don’t have to really deal with jocks anymore, but they still have to deal with their other nemeses: Christians. Nothing infuriates geeks more than Christians, which is ironic considering how much the two groups actually have in common. They both are focused like a laser on the object of their devotion and want everyone to know it, they pity others who don’t appreciate what they’re into and try to convert them at any given opportunity, they feel that their rituals and beliefs set them apart from and above others, they can meet a colleague who agrees with 99% of what they believe and then get apoplectic about the remaining 1%, and nobody who isn’t part of either group wants to be left alone in a room with either of them.

Most geeks are content to simply be atheists, though usually of a breed so loudmouthed that Christopher Hitchens would suggest they take it down a notch. It is very important for an atheist geek to let others know of his status as such, especially if everyone else in the room is also an atheist. They will almost certainly have a black t-shirt and/or bumper sticker that either informs everyone looking that they don’t believe in God or, more often, one that is designed to try to offend or ridicule those who do believe in God.

For many geeks, though, not having a religion isn’t enough. Some of them, either because they do feel a spiritual force they need to respond to or because they think it will piss off Christians more, turn to Paganism and Wicca, which allow them to talk about “spiritual” things without having to actually believe in anything coherent. It also gives them the added pleasure of explaining how their religion is different from Satanism to people who aren’t going to listen anyway.

Speaking of Satanism, that’s another road a lot of geeks walk down. Satanism is exactly like atheism except you tell people you’re a Satanist.

As we will later find out, geeks have a fondness for other cultures, especially the most superficial aspects of that culture, and since a geek can’t think of Japan without their loins quivering, Buddhism is another popular “religion” for geeks. To be a geek Buddhist, it is necessary to at least read the Wikipedia entry on Buddhism, have a statue of Buddha, and eat sushi. After that your only requirement is to set others straight on what Buddhism is “really about”, since you are one.

Geeks will never not think this is hilarious.

Geeks will never not think this is hilarious.

Finally, there are the joke religions for geeks, such as the Church of the SubGenius and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Both of these cases involve parodies of religion which have become so formalized and humorless that they make the Catholics look like Unitarians. There are also a lot of New Age geeks who are mostly female and claim that there really are such things as faeries (spelled with an “e” to make them extra magickal (spelled with a k to make it really real)), but no one talks to them long enough to find out if they really believe this or are just looking for attention.

If you happen across a geek who actually is a Christian, remember the opening paragraph above and immediately plan an exit strategy.

They don’t want anyone telling them how to live their lives — that’s Joss Whedon’s job! Ergo, geeks LOVE not being Christians.

13 Responses

  1. Ironically, theologians are very geeky.

  2. This is my new favorite thing and I’m going to tell everyone I know. THEN I’m going to get all incredulous when they haven’t heard of it or they don’t like it as much as I do.
    But seriously it’s like you are watching my boyfriend and taking notes. In his defense, he was raised Buddhist. But I know he LOVES not being a Christian.

  3. I’m a geek and a Christian. Self-loathing! Cognitive dissonance! Angst!

  4. Cite!

  5. Remember that believing in God is stupid, but if you say Goddess then for some reason that’s less ridiculous.

    I will add you forgot some of the favored geek arguments like, “If Jesus, Then Unicorns”. There are also the geeks who insist on being agnostic, but I think “I’m agnostic” is mostly a way of saying, “I don’t care about these goddamn arguments, shut the fuck up, all of you!”

  6. This much is true about the “joke” religions like the SubGenii and the Pastafarians: a lot of the people involved seem to take it all too seriously, because they take their self-images as wacky, worldy, openminded, free-thinking funsters who are smarter and more creative than the dull “mundanes” very seriously.

  7. […] so much anti-gay sentiment is rooted in Judeo-Christian ideology, and your typical geek is trying very hard to distance himself as much from that system of religion as possible. But in that strange, […]

  8. It’s getting awful stuffy and myopic in here with all the blanket statments being draped about. Lord, save us from the “know-it-alls” and their label-guns

  9. Oh, really? Tell that to my thriving anime club-creating, dozen-tabletop-RPG-generating, LARPtastic Catholic campus.

    At my school, nearly everyone is a geek. And passionately Catholic. Please don’t make so many sweeping generalizations. My 3,000 colleagues and I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you, and I wish you all the best! Love your content as a whole, BTW!

  10. You have to give it to this guy, he skewers geekdom right where it hurts. I never thought about it this way, but it certainly explains why so many, MANY people on the Internet are loudmouthed hardest-of-hardcore atheists who have the most offensive belief that anyone who ISN’T an atheist is automatically below the average IQ level.

    Especially any of the Pastafarians or the high-profile atheist YouTube stars.

    On that note, anyone remember the publicity stunt Electronic Arts pulled for Dante’s Inferno, where a fake Christian extremist church “protested” the game at an expo? Atheist and anti-religious gamers made an internet pogrom out of that event. And when it was revealed that it was all a publicity stunt by EA, very very few of them retracted their statements about Christians or religion in general. The got called out on it by one guy over at Game Politics.

    By contrast, though, most of the Christian geeks I’ve met are pretty chill. With many of them, it’s almost like the negative qualities of geekdom and Christianity described in this article cancel out and you get a genuinely nice religious guy.

    Maybe it’s the knowledge that, among Geeks, Christians are a rare species reviled, ridiculed, and mocked by so many anti-religious Geeks?

  11. You know this one where the aesthetic of anti-religiousness clashes with the aesthetic of Buddhism is a pretty cool guy? Easy to resolve – you just say ‘it’s more a philosophy’ or put “religion” in quotes.

  12. […] made the point time and again that the social group geeks most closely represent are Evangelical Christians. One of the […]

  13. We are a bunch of Christian geeks who don’t hate ourselves. We just all congregate over at Geeks Under Grace :P

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