On a recent trip through the McDonald’s drive thru I received back in change a one-dollar bill that had been defaced with black marks covering up the “In God We Trust” inscription. Now, I myself have been known to occasionally doodle on US currency by either filling in Abe Lincoln’s beard or even tracking the random bill on wheresgeorge.com, the only statement that makes is that I am bored and chose to pass the time by defacing government issued currency.

The lone black streaks covering up the inscription on this particular dollar bill really pushed my buttons on that day and it got me thinking, “what kind of statement does that make?” So while I was pulled over to the side waiting for my McChicken to be made, I took a picture of the defaced bill and posted it to twitter with the question, “Why do many atheists have to be assholes?” And I don’t mean the cool kind of Dennis Leary Asshole either.

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I received no answers to my question, just a call to get my fingernails manicured and a debate on the Constitutionality of the motto “In God We Trust” being on our currency. The Constitutional question pertaining to the motto is something that I may expound on at a later time, this post is really about my question posed in my tweet.

Why are many atheists assholes?

Notice that the word that I use when asking this question is “many,” not “all” and not even “most.” I have friends who are atheists, there are atheists who I admire. Despite being an admitted Marxist, I count the late author & journalist Christopher Hitchens as well as the libertarian comedian & illusionist Penn Jillette among the vocal atheists whom I respect.

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I myself despite being raised a Christian, having been baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, served as an altar boy and briefly even a Parish School of Religion teacher, have some doubts. I am borderline agnostic in that while I think there is some sort of higher power out there and I think that that higher power may possibly be the God outlined in Catholicism, I simply don’t know.

Except where it comes to their interpretation of the Constitution and the intent of our founding fathers, there are some arguments given by certain atheists that not only do I have a hard time disproving, but that I actually agree with.

The problem I have is in the minority, albeit the very vocal minority of, atheists who seem to take great pleasure in denigrating and attacking the belief system of others. Furthermore, not always, but most of the time the same vocal minority of atheists who take pleasure in attacking the beliefs of others seem to target Christianity, but not Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Wicca, Paganism, Satanism, etc. They seem to hate God & Jesus, but ignore “Allah” & Mohammed. Why is this?

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It just seems to me very irrational to hate something that you do not believe exists. I don’t believe in the tooth fairy, but I’m not on a mission to openly denigrate and attack parents who teach their children that if you put the small piece of bone that fell out of your mouth under your pillow before you go to bed, a tiny little winged mythical creature is going to come and replace it with money.

The vocal minority of atheists who seem to take pleasure in telling believers that they are stupid most of the time come off just like the douche-bags in the Westboro Baptist Church that take great pleasure in telling gays that they are going to burn in hell — as assholes. Radical hardcore atheism is just as ugly and fanatical often times as radical hardcore religious fanaticism.

I don’t suggest that atheists stop talking about religion or even to stop debating with believers. I just wonder why many of them have to do it in a way that makes them come off as assholes?