Warning: In case of Rapture

Hello, all. I am in the process of moving to my new .com website. Please go to funnyatheist.com to read the latest blog.

Thanks,

Mike Hoey

If the current followers could follow the new website that would be great!


What would Jesus spread?

Yes folks it’s the commercialization of Jesus. This first became visible to me with the WWJD bracelets that popped up in gas stations and flea markets everywhere. I doubt that a single penny went to the ministry. Outside of the obvious irony is the idea that mortals could even do what Jesus would do. I am sure that we would love to feed the hungry with a basket of fish and loaves.

So I say why stop there? So many products could dominate the marketplace with the King of Jews as their pitch man. Why drink bottled water when you can drink holy bottled water? Whose face do you want to see on your angel food cake? The point is, this is capitalism and no one is cashing in. Come on man!

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Coming to a church near you!

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I drove by this beauty on the long way home after work this week. These type of signs and more importantly, the message within them are ubiquitous in the lawns of churches everywhere. I often chuckle while reading the clever sayings. The classic “No Jesus no peace, know Jesus know peace.” Clever indeed! Sometimes they say odd things like “What it is, is what it is, and that’s what it is.” Maybe these churches subscribe to some service that gives you these clever things to put out front. It must a lot of pressure to keep them fresh.

The sign above however, plays on fear. Reminding the reader, it’s heaven or hell for eternity. Do you really have to throw that out there to draw them inside? Lets play nicer on the signs, ok?


Atheist in the Foxhole Part 2

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After settling in the country for the next 4 months, I noticed something very revealing about the Saudis.  When it was prayer time, like clockwork they were all praying.  No matter where they were, I would see groups of them on the side of the road lined-up, left to right praying to towards Mecca.  I was amazed at how faithful they were to their religion.  I wondered, how could there be this other “culture” of people who didn’t have Jesus as their savior?  This is not possible is it?  Why would god let so many people in the world stray down the wrong path?  It must be horrifically unlucky to be born in a culture where Christianity hasn’t prevailed.

Over time I become to accept them for who they were.  I even respected them for following their dogma so strictly.  I asked someone who had lived in Saudi for a while, why the people drive so fast creating devastating accidents?  He said, “If you die in an accident, it’s the will of Allah.”  The will of Allah?  Interesting.  Sort of a “if it happens, it happens.”  This same gentleman also said to me, “You know, Jesus is in the quran, not just in the bible.” “Only in the quran, he is a prophet.” I really found this interesting.  What was disheartening was the fact my own beliefs, were starting to crumble.

 

And so there I was, five months later, sitting in my foxhole.  I realized that spiritually I was no further along than I was entering the country.  Instead I rode a roller coaster of doubt where fear was steering the car.  This was a bad time to find faith.  Faith should be found in the still waters of your life.  Trying to find it hastily gives you little choice or ration in your decision.  I was reaching for something that wasn’t there for me.  It was pathetic.  And if there were a god, he would surely see through this desperate attempt to save myself from the eternal hell that salvation offered.  Oh sure Mike, come to me now when you are afraid of dying!  It was true, but as I looked around at my fellow Christians, a theme started to appear.  The more desperate you are, the more you need god.  It is why so many find faith behind bars.  What do you have to lose?  I have seen so many people who live an unchristian life until something happens and boy do they drop to their knees!  It’s like they pull god out of a drawer and dust him off when the shit hits the fan.  The safety net is if you do commit a sin, you can always pray for forgiveness and get back on the road to salvation.

 

So I am here to call bullshit.  I believe that evolution happened.  I don’t believe in a virginal birth.  I believe that it is not wise to follow or believe anything based upon one source.  I believe that anyone that tells you to believe in a certain way or face eternal damnation is cruel and heartless.  I believe that religion is corrupt and causes pain and death to mankind on a massive scale.  I believe that no one has the answers to life’s mysteries.  I believe that if you are a person of faith and live within the moral guidelines of your beliefs, then good for you.  I believe that a lot of people need religion to fill the gap created by the unknown, and that is ok.  But most of all, I believe in me.

 

Stay fearless my friends.

 


Atheist in the Foxhole Part 1

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I was a member of 2nd Brigade in the 82d Airborne Division in August of 1990.  We were the first ground troops to deploy to Saudi Arabia for the Desert Shield/Desert Storm conflict.  As Gen. Johnson put it, “We are drawing a line in the sand.”   With that said, we were wheels up, headed for the gulf.  The moment we arrived there was fear and tension in the air.  We knew as we landed, we were greatly outnumbered by the Iraqi forces just over the border.  If they attacked us at that point, all hell would have broken loose.  I am glad that Saddam balked at the opportunity.  For it wasn’t long before the follow-on forces were quickly streaming in behind us.

 

When thrust into a situation like this, it is not long before your look at your mortality.  In doing this, your mind imagines what will happen if you “buy the farm”.  You start to mourn the loss of your own life and what it will be like for the people you leave behind.  Do they truly know how I feel about them?  Will this change the course of their lives?  There is so much unfinished business when dying before your time, and with very little notice. 

 

After my mind played out several scenarios, I began to wonder about my “soul”.  I never had proclaimed myself to be saved by Jesus and had always hinged on being agnostic or atheist.  I had come to believe that heaven was too good to be true.  A fantasy ending – to a fairytale story.  But this situation was different, I had to be sure because we weren’t in Kansas anymore.  The stakes were higher than ever, you have to get this one right.  There is no turning back.  And there it was, a military issue bible in camouflage sitting on my cot.  Could the answer be in here?  I started to read.

 

I had read the bible, or parts of it in the past, but this time I needed to give it my full attention.  What I found was things that really didn’t make sense to me.  I could say the same if I was reading Shakespeare.  There are a lot of quotes and bits and pieces that make sense, but as a whole, I can’t put this all together.  They sure didn’t make it easy for the novice reader.  This is my soul we are talking about!  Thankfully there are guides to help you along your path.  Experts in the field to answer these questions and help guide you to salvation.  There are also a lot of common folk who have taken it upon themselves to interpret the bible in the way that they see fit.  I began to understand why there were so many different Christian based religions all based on the same book.  And if you were a part of one of these, you will be covered in the whole soul and afterlife department.  Good!


Open mouth, insert boot

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After jump school I arrived at the 82d Airborne Division and was assigned to 2nd Brigade. After a quick orientation by the Command Sergeant Major (CSM), he asked the group if anyone could draw. Thinking that he might need a poster drawn, I raised my hand. He sent me upstairs in the brigade headquarters to the S3 shop. Upon my arrival SGM West asked me to hand draw a falcon from one that was on the front of a manual he had in his hands. I carefully drew the falcon and brought the paper back to his desk. He said “Congratulations private, you are now a draftsman for the 2nd brigade headquarters company.” What that meant to me as an infantry soldier, instead of being in the line unit, I would have a job in headquarters drawing map graphics, operation orders, and driving a hummer that carried our mobile tactical operations center (TOC).

My first big war game was at Ft Chaffe in Arkansas. We set up the TOC deep into the woods on the mock battlefield. The TOC consisted of 5 tents, each 10 feet square and were joined together to form one big area. This tent structure housed several components of the army that would serve as the control center or “brain” of the battle. After setting up the tent structure, we were told that the “war” would begin in the morning and I was to show up at the TOC at 5am in full camo.

I used the military issued camo in basic training which consisted of a large crayon-like stick encased in a metal tube. It was dark green on one end and light green on the other. We were trained to paint your face with the dark end in all the high areas on your face, and use the light green around your mouth and eye sockets. The problem was, the next morning, ten minutes before I was to report to the TOC, I had no camo. I saw Spc Mann wearing “fancy” camo earlier which consisted of multi-colored creamy camo sold in tubes at Ranger Joe’s. I told him of my dilemma and asked him if I could borrow his so that I wouldn’t be late. He agreed and told me that his kit was in the front of his hummer. Time was ticking quickly as I ran to his hummer. Sure enough, his kit was there, but all the green and brown colors were missing. Where were they? Oh my god! The only colors left was the black and the off-white. The time! I’m going to be late!

With no other options I covered my whole face with the black camo, and put the off-white around my mouth and eye sockets. I quickly ran to the TOC and entered the tent structure. A burst of laughter nearly knocked me down as the men inside nearly doubled over in pain upon seeing my look. However, there was one man who wasn’t laughing, my section sergeant, SFC Jackson. Need I mention that he is an African-American? He said “Who in the hell are you supposed to be?” Embarrassed and caught off guard, I foolishly said “Al Jolson?”

Less than thirty seconds later I found myself behind the tent structure doing push-ups until my arms exploded. The pain was incredible. By the end of the “war game” I had proven myself with my peers as another one of our leaders put me in for, and I received, the army achievement medal. Redemption!


my father’s son

My father is a great man. He is loved and respected by all who know him, myself included. He is a man of principles. Do not lie to my father.

A few years ago, I moved to Chandler, AZ for a few months to “get back on my feet”. Part of this was buying a car. With my dad’s help, I bought a 1984 300zx. It needed some work. One saturday my father and I were driving around “the valley” in his truck. We were in Apache Junction a few miles from the house when dad said, “Let’s stop in Auto Zone and get those back shocks for your car and we’ll put them on this weekend.” So we preceded to go into the store and buy the two shocks. Much to our dismay, the parts guy informed us that he only had one of the shocks in his store. Dad said, “I live in Chandler, can you call our Auto Zone and see if they have a pair there? We will pick them up on our way home.” The parts guy called the other store and informed us that the Chandler store only had one shock as well. “Hmmm? Ok, well go ahead and ring out this one and we will buy the one in Chandler.” And with that, we left the store and headed to the Auto Zone in Chandler. We arrived at the other store, gave the clerk our part number and he retrieved the shock from the back room for us. As we started to take it to the check-out counter dad asked the guy, “By the way, how many of these shocks do you have in this store?” “Let me check sir”, he replied. “We have 13 here.” With that said, I could literally see the red rise from my father’s neckline, up over his chin, across his nose, eyes and forehead, and disappear into his hairline. My father calmly said, “Go ahead and give me a second shock.”

It was a long silent ride back to the Auto Zone in Apache Junction. It wasn’t going to be pretty. I had flashbacks of grocery shopping with my Aunt Mame as she cussed out butchers for too much fat on the cuts of meat. There was going to be a “scene”, and I was going to be front row and center. When we arrived at the store, I was going to play it cool and stay in the truck when my father quickly said, “Come on!”, as if he wanted me to see the blood bath of words. We walked in, shock in hand and my father says to the first employee he sees, “I need to see the manager, Right Now!” The manager emerged from the back of the store and asked my father,”What seems to be the trouble sir?” My father explains in complete detail of the deception portrayed by one of the store’s employees, and how we drove all the way back 20 miles to return the one shock that we had bought earlier at their location. Sheepishly the manager asked my father, “Which one of our guys lied to you sir?” And there, on the last computer on the back side of the store, he sat. He was cowered down, fear in his eyes as he had just heard the exchange between his manager and my father. With his long arm raised toward him, my father said, “That son of a bitch right there!”


Welcome

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Hello, and welcome to my first blog post.  The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences and opinions on a variety of topics.  I am always pursuing new skills  in the digital world.  A life-long, self proclaimed “computer geek”,  I have made a career of utilizing computers for graphic services.  I have done everything from simple graphic design to producing a television show.  Over time I will share my experiences and stories from the past as well as some of the current projects.


Gun Control: My Two Cents

fingerThe gun control debate is getting out of control. No thanks to people like Piers Morgan on CNN for adding fuel to this fire. It does not matter which side of the fence you are on in this debate, the fact remains that gun ownership is woven into the fabric of the Constitution. Tragedy always makes for hasty, knee jerk decisions. Emotions will always blur rational thoughts. I myself, do not have a gun in my house. Having been a soldier, in a combat zone, I know what it is like to have a weapon at arms length 24/7. I remember what it was like to finally have the burden of it removed. It was strange, but there was discomfort, emotionally, in not having it by my side. I didn’t feel secure. The feeling eventually went away.

I do not believe there is a law that would stop crazy people from shooting random victims. The law didn’t stop Tim Mc Veigh from killing far more people than the Newtown shooting. All of these things are a complete shame and come out of hate. Teach your children not to hate.


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