An Atheist’s Confession

“I can’t imagine an atheist version of confession. What would it look like? How would it work, if you don’t think there’s any such thing as sin?”
—Rod Dreher

Forgive me, God Particle, for I have Sinned.

It has been 54 years, seven months, and four days since my last Confession. Not counting that time I mistook you for Hendrix, and spilled the beans about my unhealthy obsession with Sigourney Weaver.

I have touched myself 32,540 times.

Oops. 32,541.

I have taken The Lord’s name in vain… uh… is “googolfuckton” a word? That many times.

I tried being Lutheran for awhile. Sorry about that.

When I was five, after watching Mary Poppins, I attempted to laugh myself to the ceiling, in direct contravention of the laws of physics.

The first time I saw Holy Grail, I didn’t think it was funny.

I laughed at Challenger jokes, especially the one about Christa McAuliffe having dandruff.

I have never seen an entire episode of Seinfeld. Except the last one, which really sucked.

On multiple occasions, I have attempted to explain Wittgenstein to civilians.

I can recite the lyrics to “Muskrat Love” from memory.

When my dad told me last week that he found his vintage Playboys, I didn’t tell him that I knew where they were all along.


You remember that time Danny Thomas did a cameo on That Girl as a priest, and Marlo said “Excuse me, Father”, and my dad laughed, and I didn’t get the joke? I realize now that I sinned by not immediately demanding that Danny be stoned for profaning The Cloth, for suggesting that priests enjoy carnal relations on the side, which obviously they don’t, at least not with grown women.

That whole Birks With Socks thing, although I continue to dispute its provenance in Scripture.

Flare jeans.

God Particle, I am heartily sorry for having offended the Universe with my mortal existence, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Self-Esteem and the pains of Public Ridicule; but most of all because they offend you, my God Particle, who are all good and deserving of all my Rational Acceptance. I firmly resolve with the help of your Universal Constant to confess my sins, do penance, and to balance my checkbook. Amen.

Religion & The Power Of Repetition [The American Conservative, via Sully]

Image: Sweet Letterpress [literally via Silent Creative Partner]


Two things stick out. As the bishop said to the actress.

Atheistical confession? It’s called analysis, darling. You don’t need a God. You need Dr Weissberger. You pay him (back then) $85 a pop. Wait. Is that like a Freudian slip? Let’s say ‘per visit’. In one of the most enchanting moments of 19th cent rationalization, Herr Freud worked out that paying for the treatment was an essential part of the treatment itself. One can only throw up one’s astonished hands.

No one ever watched Seinfeld. It’s physically impossible. People only pretended they did the same way people pretend they’ve read The Hobbit.

Alright, three things.

Checkbook? (Clears throat) Chequebook? How very Dombey and Son.

Imagine being Wittgenstein’s boyfriend. “Hello, my name is Hans and I am Wittgenstein’s boyfriend. I am afraid to open my eyes in the morning. But I am more afraid to close them at night. I am into skiing, tantric sex, and interminable conversations about the meaning of life. Ha ha. My little joke. Of course life has no meaning.” Didn’t he go on to write that memoir Fun on the Fjords with Ludwig?

I don’t get the dandruff/McAuliffe joke. Does that make me a better person than you? What I do remember is being in a Barnes and Noble on East 81st on my way to my analyst (or ‘trick cyclist’ as we call them in London) when I heard the news.

Though not flare jeans I still have a pair of French gaberdine trousers with very wide legs that are so beautiful and did such magical things to my butt that I can’t throw them away but which I haven’t been able to get into since Catt discovered rice.

This whole ‘touching’ thing: you’re keeping score? I confess I do find that disturbing. One assumes that it’s a guestimate. At least one hopes so. Unless one is going for some sort of prize and we should all submit ballpark numbers.

Plus, is there a photobucket slideshow that accompanies any of this?

There is nothing unhealthy about being obsessed with Sigourney Weaver. You’ve seen Alien, yes?

@Dodgerblue: That’s the source of it.

@Benedick: Dreher dismisses analysis as a comparison, but really, he’s just another self-involved Catholic who can’t conceive how non-Catholics get through the day.

@nojo: Substitute guilt for sin and doctor for father and I don’t see much difference. In one instance you donate to the church to send nuns to Botswana in the other you donate to send his children to Princeton.

@Benedick: I think you’re supposed to count, although I’m not familiar with the procedure. So I just multiplied two-a-day since age 10, figuring that’s the American Male Average.

@Benedick: You are describing my children’s orthodontist.

@nojo: Twice a day since ten! Good God, you Americans are animals!

@Dodgerblue: And our vet.

@Benedick: My first draft used three a day, but I figured that was pushing it.

@nojo: Twice a day even now? Dang, you need to get out more often.

@Dodgerblue: I have a healthy obsession with Sigourney Weaver. There are no unhealthy obsessions unless she has obtained a restraining order. The day Mr. SFL compared me to her I almost fainted and knew I had met my soul mate (delusional soul mate, FSM bless him).

I do feel the need to say “Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away” on at least a daily basis, w/r/t morons I seem to constantly encounter.

@Mistress Cynica: Meanwhile, I’ve been so busy that I didn’t notice that Sasha Obama is now a fashion trendsetter (Beyonce, meet the real Sasha Fierce) — and a tall cool drink of water like her mom and older sister.

Never seen a Stallone movie, except for about 10 minutes of Cliffhanger.

Never seen an entire episode of Friends. Or Everybody Loves Raymond, for that matter. Saw all or most of Seinfeld, I believe.

Never owned a pair of Birkenstocks. Doc Martens sure. But not … ::shudder::.

@SanFranLefty: Get it, tall girls! I had my share of tall girl problems, but I feel like I escaped the temptation to slouch, thank baby jeebus. I still have to stoop occasionally to hear my friends in lower stratospheres when we’re in loud, crowded bars, but that’s getting rarer simply because I’m way less tolerant of loud, crowded bars.

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