This opened a whole can of slimy, underground crawling creatures for theologians everywhere. Previously, everybody on the monotheistic team acknowledged that the same Deity was worshipped by the Judeo-Christian-Islamic triad. No matter how many swords were drawn or concentration camps fenced in or suicide vests were strapped on in the name of God, everybody involved thought they were doing the same Creator’s will as they chopped, burned and gassed their fellow believers into Heaven.
Now, apparently, certain Christians believe in a Christian God, who is different from the one Islamics believe in. If so, who is this Muslim God? Does he have a different Heaven? Is it crappier than Christian Heaven, The Crescent Moon Eternal Trailer Park? Although the purported presence of many random eager virgins in the Muslim neverending sphere makes it sound more alluring than the Christian one, Christians turn up their noses at it, preferring a Heaven where they have to hosanna all eternity long.
Sounds like a poor choice to me, but then I asked a representative Christian whether there were two separate Supreme Beings and he looked at me as if I had asked him for his wallet, and gave me the same answer as if I had. “Definitely not,” he replied.
So the whole issue sounds irretrievably confused, but it set me to thinking. And what I thought was, do atheists all not believe in the same God, or are they hopelessly divided as well about the God they don’t believe in?
As a former Catholic, I have my doubts about the Catholic God, who is actually three Gods: The Father, the Son, and the reclusive Holy Ghost. Before I quit Catholicism, the Holy Ghost became the Holy Spirit, probably so little Catholics would not confuse Him with Casper, the Friendly Ghost, who was also popular at the time. The HG always had the least defined task of the Holy Triumvirate. The Father busted everything into existence and dealt with Old Testament types such as Adam and Moses. He turned himself into a burning bush and a pillar of smoke, and made the earth stand still—all the really macho Supreme Being stuff. Jesus was chill compared to His Father. He redeemed mankind because we were even worse before He was crucified, which is tough to believe, but hey, that’s what faith is for. The Ghost kind of lurks around in the background and doesn’t really do anything, like one of the lesser Kardashians.
Jews only believe in one of the above, which is why there are so many Jewish atheists—they have less to doubt.
Protestants believe in a lot of the same things Catholics do, except they popularized the practice of starting their own churches and declaring everyone who didn’t join them wrong. Since in Protestantism you can customize your God any way you like, kind of like an all-powerful Mr. Potato Head, the lure of atheism is less apparent to Protestants, and that’s why there are fewer Protestant atheists.
Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith, a known fraud and child molester who claimed he was visited by the Angel Moroni carrying some revelations. Those who knew Smith well say that if that was true, the Angel was definitely slumming it. This faith requires you to refrain from smoking, drinking and coffee and maintains you need to wear prayer underwear. Back in the day, it made up for that by letting Mormon men take as many teenage brides as they wanted. Even before 1978, Mormons were allowed to treat black people like shit. Both of these were powerful motivations to stay Mormon for some believers, but they are long gone now. This has resulted in nearly all Mormons becoming secret atheists. It’s true. The only reason they stick around is for the picnics.
Muslim atheists are equally secret, because they have to move to New York and drive taxis if they want to go negative on Mohammed. Admitting you are atheist in many Muslim countries is the same as casually mentioning that you crave a violent, painful death in the very near future. Either the government will execute you, or your neighbors will stone you, or, if you live in a marshy Muslim land where stones are not handy, hack you to death with machetes. All of the above is judged equally pleasing to Allah, usually referred to as the All Merciful. This may cause you to reflect that many humans get sarcastic nicknames bestowed on them during the course of their lives, and that apparently also happens to divine beings sometimes as well.
As for Zoroastrian, Baha’i’, Jain and Hindu atheists, they all have their own Gods they chose not to believe in, or in the case of Hindus, a crap-ton of gods to doubt. Buddhists don’t believe in God in the first place. They believe that when they kill a worm by sticking it on a fishing hook, it could possibly come back to be a son-in-law. It’s not hard to question that, so ex-Buddhists are a dime a dozen.
So the answer is pretty obvious—atheists don’t all not believe in the same God. If they wanted to start squabbling about the different Gods they don’t believe exist, they’ve got plenty of ammunition. They could persecute each other and excommunicate each other. They could go all Wheaton College on people who were not practicing their kind of atheism. They could start an Atheist Inquisition.
Hey, it might be fun.