… is that if there was a God, he wouldn’t be such a wimp.
God seems to be in the news a lot in Malaysia. Sometimes He appears when people are trying to validate His existence by persecuting those who don’t believe in Him; other times He’s in Facebook Ads endorsing miracle whitening cream; and about once a year, He’ll remind you that dogs are filthy creatures that deserve to be quelled.
Before you jump in here to say they’re just confused people misinterpreting and misrepresenting God and their own religion(s), consider this – most of them claim to be backed by scripture. And you can’t argue with what’s written in black and white. Hey, even Deputy Minister in the PM’s Dept in charge of Islamic affairs, Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, said that he had asked for KL’s Islamic Affairs Dept – that received an RM89.7 million budget last year – Jawi “to look into this grave allegation,” in reference to the recent witch hunt on Malaysian atheists, specifically the Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic, which another minister said should be hunted down vehemently.
The question of the existence of a higher power is as old as time itself but only a few major religions today dictate the narratives of our lives and our afterlife. So what made ancient pre-historic religions fade away?
Eons before sexting would be an appropriate activity for young adults, the written word was born. Writing as a form of expression only came about, some believe, around 3100 BC. Every religion that came after the invention of early-alphabets benefited from writing as its rules and narratives could be recorded and spread easily. When the industrial revolution happened and the printing industry took off, and more people got educated; organised religion became a globalised commodity. We’ve all read about how Islam was spread by trade and how Christian missionaries came here from Europe. It all started with the Word, and the word would not be the word had it not been written down, even posthumously.
After awhile, the word become law and was imposed in certain governments and institutions of power. Talk about misrepresentation… just think about all those ancient religions lost. Or would you consider that the evolution of religion?
A freak is still a freak – it took five X-Men movies and numerous spinoffs to prove that. The lack of knowledge surrounding what the vast majority of Malaysians consider atheism means society will view the atheist as a freak. So long as they don’t have the courage, they will fear the man that does not fear God. After all, according to a recent report by Nature Human Behaviour, most people around the world consider atheists to be evil.
Before we set our fascist crosshairs on atheists, we should ask ourselves, what do they really believe in? Is Richard Dawkins or Darwinism synonymous with atheism? Do they believe in some form of an afterlife or that we’re soulless monkeys? What’s the point in behaving if there’s no reward or trial at the end of life? These atheists should all be placed in prison for society’s safety!
Everyone from John Lennon to films like The Matrix to Matt Healy of The 1975 has questioned the existence of or the need for a God. I find that being an atheist is like being Rick Sanchez of Adult Swim’s popular Rick and Morty series. It means that you might be the smartest person in the universe, your own God if you may, but you’re still doomed to the loneliness of never being fully-understood, and you’ll probably have a drinking problem and burp a lot. For me, it’s like this most of the time.
Then on some days, it’s like (the video above of) Ernest Cline’s Dance, Monkey Dance. Not only has this piece of spoken word performance been shared over a bazillion times on the internet, it also sums up the irony of the truth behind atheism – we are doomed to be monkeys. Monkeys who get updates from other monkeys on social media while wiping our asses over the commode as elegantly possible, but monkeys nonetheless. This is the bright side of being an atheist (as sad a realisation as it is). Note, we’re not actually descendants of apes as commonly mistaken, but rather distant cousins (?) and most definitely NOT a lost Jewish tribe of cursed monkey-fishermen.
I guess there is no point in trying to define specifically what atheism is. I know what I am, you know what you are. The Google-definition is disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods – and if I may add, having the flexibility to change our minds in view of new facts or ideas. For most non-believers, it’s hypocritical to go along with the charade of something you have absolutely no faith in.
Playing in the underground music scene, I’ve witnessed a lot of Malay guys who did album art designs or printed their own tees using anti-Christian imagery. To me, it’s such a fucking cop out when you know where their real anger lies – that they’re born into a religion. Hey, I might not believe that Jesus can walk on water unless attached to a jet-ski commandeered by The Rock, but were those Malay punks making a statement about the Vatican playing with choir boys or just venting on an easy target because Christianity does not have the same protection as Islam does in Muslim-majority Malaysia?
Most people aren’t even atheist, they just don’t care anymore. Secularism is a growing movement that’s a natural reaction to religious fundamentalism. People just don’t give a damn about God ’cause the concept is growing old (have you ever watched/read American Gods?). Maybe instead of attacking atheists or worse, crying about some Jewish conspiracy to weaken other faiths, the Malaysian government should focus more on bridging already widening gaps between the communities of different religions lest we get another piece of news about someone pressing their car horn then getting their face pressed with a boot in front of a mosque again.
There is no place in Heaven or Hell for the atheist. Heaven, for our obviously lack of respect for authority. Hell, well… I would probably ask my tormentor why he’s doing this, and the demon holding the giant penis-whip would say because he’s a fallen angel and it’s his job, which then I’d ask, “Why are you still following orders after being kicked out of Heaven? That’s like going back to work for the company that fired you, for free. Is this what you want to do for the rest of your demon-life? You could be anything you want now that you’re out of Heaven! Go live your life! Get Netflix and some demon babe and chill. You look mouldy.”
You see, being an atheist means you’re going to see things from all sides, forever. You’ll be your own worst enemy – your own devil’s advocate – and you’ll enjoy it for the sheer mental challenge. Other people are okay with what they’re told, whether they genuinely feel the presence of God in their lives or not.
I am an atheist because of my love for logic and reason. I do not hate anyone’s God. My parents believe in God, we don’t have any problems eating at the same table. At the same time, I can’t disprove something that no one can prove exists in the first place so even if we did debate it’d be a futile exchange. It’s just my hunch that… if there is a God, He/She/It will be fairly different from whatever is written in any scripture.
So I’ll just leave it to you, Dear Reader who might be a God-fearing person (for now), if you believe that a man without a God of a major-religion is a threat to anyone or any God, consider this – how many people have been killed by others because they picked the wrong God?
And why is it legal to be a Jedi?
Ben Liew is currently looking for a cheap khursus kahwin to attend. Checkout what Tame Impala fans think about God.