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Atheists: Embrace April Fools’ Day As Our Holiday

March 29, 2009

Psalm 14:1-3

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.

From Chuck Norris to the average Catholic blogging soccer mom, this little bible quote has been thrown around as though excreting scripture at atheists actually has a tangible metaphysical impact. While this is as effective as a witch doctor pricking a voodoo doll of me in the hopes that I will actually be pricked, the former bit of hoodoo is expected when you are an American atheist. At some point in the past, some great Christian mind -snerk- managed to connect the dots between April 1st being April Fools’ Day and Psalm 14 implying that all atheists are fools. Thus April 1st becomes the National Holiday for atheists. I’ll be any of you that when a Christian throws this insult out they feel like the most clever person on the planet, you can almost hear their Peter Griffin-like giggle over their own retort.

I think that the best way to handle baseless criticism is to spin it into something good for own movement. The American colonists did it with the song Yankee Doodle, it was originally used as an insult to describe how unkempt our militia was by the British. As Gregory pointed out yesterday, the word gay used to have a negative connotation before the LGBT community embraced it and turned it into an acceptable term. With these examples in mind I think that we should follow their lead and embrace the things they try to use against us. After all, is it really an insult if a person who believes in talking snakes calls you a fool?

If we hijack this holiday and turn it into something positive for our movement it will be akin to turning lemons into lemonade. We should take this opportunity to make them eat their own words and gain a holiday out of it. Who doesn’t love holidays? I think many of my fellow atheists would agree with me when I say that I would rather be called a fool than a Christian. In the past, many great men were called fools for their ideas only to be vindicated and found correct later. If pirates can have their own holiday we should too. Join me and help remove one more dull witted tool from Christianity’s belt.

So, why not embrace April 1st as an international atheist holiday?

  1. Edam permalink
    March 29, 2009 5:59 am

    Bad idea. April 1st is known for jokes and pranks for fooling people. Is that what you want people to think of atheists? That we are fools?

    • March 29, 2009 6:17 am

      I take it you didn’t actually read the post?

      They have already put this holiday at our feet. Things get redefined all the time. What would be a better prank than for atheists to steal the whole holiday?

    • lovemylord permalink
      April 1, 2009 2:11 pm


      • April 1, 2009 2:33 pm

        It’s ok, I wish you had something clever to say too.

  2. Shakti permalink
    March 29, 2009 6:39 am

    April 1st will remain for fools because fools need their day and there will always be fools. Atheists need to pick up April 2nd instead, the day when reason returns.

    • March 29, 2009 6:42 am

      Good way of putting that. I wouldn’t mind that day either.

    • March 29, 2009 11:51 pm

      Yeah, I’m with you.

  3. March 29, 2009 7:15 am

    I read the post, and I believe I understand exactly what you are going for. That said, I disagree. At a point in history when we are just beginning to stand against anti-atheist bigotry, I see this as counterproductive. We have not yet been completely successful in educating people about what atheism means, so I think this idea should wait a bit.

    As for the common refrain from Christians that atheists are fools, I believe that an interesting response is actually contained in their “holy” book: “Whoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22).

    • March 29, 2009 2:57 pm

      I guess not every idea can be a winner. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Mark permalink
    March 29, 2009 8:39 am

    I understand your good intention in claiming April Fool’s Day and giving it a whole new meaning. In other words, re-establishing it as “Atheists Day”. Can it be done? Who knows?
    Personally, I think it would be easier for us to claim Darwin Day(Feb. 12). That’s my two cents.

    • James permalink
      April 6, 2009 4:23 pm

      The problem with that is that Darwin was a Christian (or perhaps a theist in the end) and would be as appalled by the system of thought espoused by this group as by the simpering drivel of the Christian community that drove him to ulcers in his own day

      • April 6, 2009 5:06 pm

        ” I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide. I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came from and how it arose. Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am, also, induced to defer to a certain extent to the judgment of many able men who have fully believed in God; but here again I see how poor an argument this is. The safest conclusion seems to me to be that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man’s intellect; but man can do his duty.”

        This sounds like an agnostic to me, but I doubt you or I have any real ground to speculate on the mind of Darwin.

  5. March 29, 2009 11:45 am

    THANK YOU! I’ve been saying this for years, and I know a lot of other atheists who agree with the sentiment. I haven’t posted my blog about this yet, I’m going to do it actually on the 1st, but still.

    The only reason it’s called April Fool’s day is because the Christians went messing with the f*cking calendar. For centuries and centuries,April was the beginning of the new year – Gee, makes sense; everything coming back to life, sounds like a beginning to me. Then the damn Christians came and said “no no, the beginning of the year is in January, duh. Wait, what? Why in the middle of the freaking winter? That’s just stupid.

  6. March 29, 2009 12:17 pm

    @ Sisyphus Fragment:I take it you didn’t actually read the post?

    And you’d be wrong. Why would I comment if I didn’t actually read the post? My objection to it still stands, for the original reasons + the reasons the others have given.

  7. March 29, 2009 1:38 pm

    I could totally dig this — I think the key would be to up the ante a bit — make it a total carnival, crazy fun wild celebration thing. One religious thing I’ve always liked was how in some cultures, there would be festivals a bit like that — turn everything upside down, let loose, go crazy, dance with the gods. We can have the same thing, complete with tricks and humor, and dance with the Cosmos.

  8. rantitheist permalink
    March 29, 2009 5:49 pm

    i think its a good idea, april 1st that is.
    A day to have a good ol’ laugh over the ridiculous things that some of our species embrace.
    looking forward to it.

  9. March 30, 2009 3:21 pm

    “I’d rather be called a fool than a Christian.”

    “You believe in talking snakes and you’re calling *me* a fool?”

    Both good ideas. I’ll probably stick with Jesus saying you’re risking Hell when you call someone a fool.

    • James permalink
      April 6, 2009 4:27 pm

      That’s the best comeback actually

      • April 6, 2009 5:02 pm

        Actually they’ve rationalized another meaning for those verses, as expected. So that doesn’t do any good either.

  10. Lyle permalink
    March 31, 2009 9:31 am

    If we take April 1 as our holiday, then all those christians who have put bumper sticker on their cars saying April 1st is the national holiday for atheists (I’ve seen many of them) will suddenly be advertising for us instead of joking about us. The christians already think we are fools. Taking this holiday will not make them think worse of us. As for the bible, I could not care less what it calls me, because I have read the bible, cover to cover, and I know what a vile work of fiction it is.

  11. March 31, 2009 4:00 pm

    I loved the idea. But after reading the comments, maybe April 2nd would be better. Call it “Hug an Atheist Day” or something. Hmmmm
    Great writing though, thanx.

  12. Scott M permalink
    April 1, 2009 6:53 am

    Not much to add. You can always respond with, “Are you a fool for Christ?” Sorry, I don’t bother with fools. It’s a no-win for the other side.

  13. April 1, 2009 8:50 pm

    Sisyphus, I used this entry of yours as inspiration to my April 1 entry today.
    Hope you enjoy the linguistic information.

  14. Sam permalink
    April 1, 2009 11:36 pm

    I don’t understand why the whole April 1st thing worried you in the first place. Most Atheists believe that if they can see it it is real if they can’t then it isn’t. Why would you care what Christians had to say if you don’t believe in it anyway? It should be like water off a ducks back to you really unless you feel you have to stand up for what you don’t believe in???

    I think that this argument about God and religion around the world will go on forever so what is the use getting yourself worked up about it all? What good can come out of all this complaining? What is the point? Unless you enjoy the argument and then I wonder what is it you are getting out of it? The thrill to argue a bunch of pointless facts that clash with another group of pointless facts??

    Just food for thought….Keeping it real…..

    • April 2, 2009 12:29 am

      Apathy is what got six million Jews killed.

      I place a special importance on human life and any life lost is tragic. The cost of religion is heavy. It slows down science, thus killing people who could have been saved by treatments that have been stalled; it breeds ignorance, thus killing people because some thought that prayer was better than CPR; and it breeds intolerance, which obviously gets people killed in a more direct way like war or conflict.

      When religion stops doing these things I will calm down but at the moment this stuff upsets the hell out of me and I want to do something to help stop it. I have very little to say about religions that are nonviolent. I doubt you’ll see many posts from me about Buddhists or Jainism.

  15. Dee permalink
    November 23, 2009 1:48 pm

    I love the satirical outlook on the Christian belief. Witty and refreshing…and I was also amused at the irony of April Fools’ Day essentially being Atheists’ Day. If it goes through, I look forward to tuning in to the news and watching retired politicians argue back and forth about it. No doubt it will be the talk of the town soon enough. Kudos.

  16. Reggie permalink
    December 15, 2009 8:32 pm

    I think April 1st is actually a perfect day to celebrate atheism. If you think about it, the people who celebrate April fool’s day aren’t the fools themselves, but instead play practical jokes on other people to make them look foolish. April fool’s day is celebrated by people who go out of their way to point out how foolish, gullible, and easily tricked other people are; that sounds like a very accurate description of atheism to me.


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