An Epic Quote From My Interview With The Onion’s Scott Dikkers

Long-time Stew’s Letter readers will know that I find religion to be a bizarre, outdated, and hopeless lens through which to understand reality.

But I must admit that I sometimes feel like I’m taking crazy pills over here.

Not many of my peers share my glee in attacking the fuzzy, archaic belief systems stubbornly embedded throughout our society, culture, and minds.

But like some sort of born-again atheist, I found salvation last week during my interview with The Onion‘s founding editor-in-chief Scott Dikkers.

Somebody on the call asked Scott what impact his religious upbringing had on his writing and worldview.

His answer was the atheist Christmas gift I had been waiting for:

I grew up and realized this whole religion was all bullshit, and it’s just a bunch of made up shit. And, it’s really harmful that people believe in that.

Because, in any religion, because what it does, is it tells them that it’s okay to believe in things that aren’t true.

[T]he Christian religion [has] had 2,000 years to spin some amazing PR about how that’s a good thing. “Oh, it’s faith.” You know, “I’m a person of faith.” Like, that’s supposed to be a positive statement. That is such a negative thing to say.

If you’re a person of faith, that means you’re willing to believe things that aren’t true.

So, when you allow yourself to be fooled by things that aren’t true, you’re opening yourself up to be conned by anyone who comes and tells you that they’ve got the truth.

You’re not going to believe scientists, that’s the thing. The other thing that the right wing does is they vilify scientists, academia, journalism, any actual truth finding is vilified. And so, I’ve been on a tear for my whole career, trying to communicate that…

We can totally slip into another dark ages. There’s no guarantee that the scientific revolution continues, and we continue to progress as a society.

Lose the religion, it’s a bunch of fucking bullshit, and it’s harmful. So, that’s my feeling on that.

I couldn’t contain my joy hearing this glorious sequence of observations.

I responded:

That was absolutely epic. Wow, that was like a dream come true.

Listen, I think religion has done plenty of nice things and at some point I’ll begrudgingly list a few to demonstrate that I’m not fully one-dimensional (hilariously, I have an undergrad degree in religious studies) — but I think humans can find comfort without delusion and goodness without lies.

And for the love of all that’s Holy, please don’t reply and try to convert me. I’m beyond salvation at this point and your efforts will be better spent converting somebody else.

P.s. here’s the full YouTube Video (quote starts at the ~32 min. marker). And the podcast version is here.

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