How to spot a heathen

Christopher Coulter Columnist

At this present time in the United States, non-religious atheists, agnostics and other non-believers make up over 16 percent of the population, according to Pew Research Center data. This is to say that currently in America, the fourth largest religious tradition is not to adhere to any religious beliefs at all.

In this America of quickly deteriorating ethics and values, there is an increasing need to surround oneself with those who can be trusted to behave in accordance with values predefined by scripture. While more young people than ever are rejecting God, the political right reinforces its alignment with Christian conservative policy in reaction to this changing landscape. And therein lies the predicament: in a world of diminishing piety, it has become increasingly difficult to align one’s social and professional life with faithful believers.

While social circles are often easily protected from the hugely divergent views and practices of non-believers, it remains prudent to take precautions against their inadvertent admission — after all, people not rooted in religious belief are often accompanied by drug abuse, sexually transmitted disease, a wide variety of criminal activity and other unethical behavior up to and including bestiality in very rare cases.

In order to ensure that social circles, and less easily regulated professional circles, comprise maximum religious integrity, there needs to be a better way of distinguishing between those who choose to maintain a relationship with the Almighty and those who will eventually be punished by God for their betrayal. As always in a process of elimination, it is helpful to first determine any oddballs. Because about one in six Americans claims no religious affiliation, the task of spotting an unbeliever is simple once their tendencies and habits are identified. To help you do just that, I have compiled a list of personal attributes and habits generally associated with the non-religious:

Strong attachment to science and scientific theory

Persons who devote their careers to science, or accept without question scientific theory are likely non-believers. Be wary of someone with a strong educational background or tendency to think critically. Academic centers are hotbeds for heresy and the potential immorality that an anchorless belief system promotes. If you want to avoid personal contact with non-believers, stay away from colleges and universities. Of the more than 75 percent of Americans who identify as Protestant or Catholic, Catholics have slightly higher rates for completing college at 26 percent versus the national average of 27 percent according to Pew data. But especially stay away from post-graduate academia, where even fewer believers generally congregate due to widespread agnosticism and rampant atheism.

Unashamed of the human body and its desires

While religion generally teaches us to fear and reject the distracting nature of the human body and its carnal wants, non-believers typically embrace the physical aspects of the baser human desires. Many non-religious claim body-shame undermines self-worth, but theists understand that that all distractions should be suppressed so that God is elevated.

Telltale signs of carnal-shamelessness include an excess of skin revealed by the manner of dress, piercings, excessive levels of fitness, and if outside the continent, a lack of headwear.

Overseas travel to Europe

International travel to Europe is another indicator of potential atheism or agnosticism. According to a 2005 study, about one in five European Union citizens do not have religious or spiritual beliefs. If possible, check his passport to verify where in Europe he has traveled. France in particular harbors a 47 percent rate of agnosticism or atheism, according to a 2003 study. Generally, travel outside the US is indicative of a susceptibility to alternative thought.

Misplaced credit or gratitude

Listen to what people say. A non-theist comes to terms with many situations by thanking himself, and other extraneous details like, for example, the weather for a plentiful harvest. But religious believers will always give their gratitude to God if the explanation for an exceptional circumstance is not readily apparent, so keep your ears open to the vocabulary people use. Listen constantly — even in regular daily life many theists choose to attribute normal occurrences such as high marks on a test, good hair days, a fortuitous traffic-light sequence, or even something as trivial as a touchdown to God and give Him thanks.

Judgmentally challenged

While many atheists are just as vocal about their non-belief as the many Christians who preach the virtues of the Bible, there is a general reluctance to pass judgment among many of the non-religious. The most obvious example of this is in the widespread acceptance of homosexuality and the promotion of gay marriage by non-believers. Ignorance or acceptance of the homosexual agenda is a sure sign of non-belief. When in doubt about a particular person’s views, try to locate their vehicle and take note of any bumper stickers.

Is the person in question male?

One in five men are non-theists, according to the Pew research. Males are significantly more likely to be non-religious than are women. Also look for males who choose to display posters of the satanically influenced heavy metal bands Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin.

Belongs to a book club

Membership with a book club or frequent use of a library card can be an indication of non-affiliation. Most religious people cannot find the time to devote to a mindless and indiscriminate book club because at least one day per week is already devoted to the close reading and discussion of specific Bible passages and themes.

As you can see, much of this list consists of no-brainers, so if you are having difficulty distinguishing between believers and non-believers in your daily life, as always consult your brand of Holy Book in search of truth.

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  • kylclk

    This article is satire, so please, don’t be an idiot.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Switch your religion to the AGW Agenda Scam, and you will be surrounded by fellow believers.

  • Who Really Believes Jesus Existed Anyways?

    • presbyteros

      For starters, many people who say “anyway” instead of “anyways.”

  • D C

    “…after all, people not rooted in religious belief are often accompanied
    by drug abuse, sexually transmitted disease, a wide variety of criminal
    activity and other unethical behavior up to and including bestiality in
    very rare cases.”

    So you’re saying that within the communities rooted in religious belief there are no persons abusing drugs, afflicted with STDs, engaging in criminal behavior or other unethical behavior up to and including bestiality, right?

    Come on… we can start and stop with destroying the basis of your argument by talking about pedophile priests. Very well-documented, very well-known.

    In short, you and your argument are full of bull hockey. I, personally, am a member of a community that is not rooted in a religion and I know for sure that no one around me is this terrible person you are making us out to be.

    • Frown

      Dude . . .

  • Guest

    I would like atheists more if they weren’t such a bunch of sanctimonious pricks.

  • Sarah Leonard

    This was the most entertaining thing I’ve read all day.  Christians are like backwards children that don’t quite understand logic yet.  It’s slightly adorable…

    • Guest

      What is logic?  Does anyone actually live logically? Isn’t logic still based on a set of core beliefs about the purpose of life, the value of individuals and communities, and a great array of other points of contention?

      For anyone to think that they have an absolute hold on an absolutely logical system of beliefs is dishonesty and self-deception.  If we were really logically, if we in the West honestly and logically supported our stated beliefs, our society would not be  so vapid, consumerist, and callous towards the needs of the rest of human society.

      Christians don’t pretend to understand everything.  They don’t pretend to have a complete hold on logic.  Honestly, none of us really gets everything that’s going on.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t all constantly try, or seek to learn and understand.  We believe that God is the maker of the universe because there are so many signs which draw us towards him and his unfading love.  We believe that God loves us so much more than we ever could, that he was willing to actually take the place of a human, and even die on a cross for us.  And that through his love, the love that was stronger than any hate, than all death, all arrogance, all darkness, we are able to live a life free from all that.  Because it’s the world that teaches hate and judgment.

      Christians are told by the Bible over and over never to judge, never to hate, never to think of ourselves as better than anyone else.  To put the needs of others before ourselves.  Through Christ we no longer belong to ourselves, but are part of the work that God’s love is doing in the world.

      Yes, Christians judge.  Yes, they can fail, and be arrogant, and hateful.  But that is not God, and those are not people living fully in the life that God has given.

      I’m just saying, there’s more to life than flash judgments, and I don’t think we can any of us pretend to be better than anyone else, because we’re all foolish and fleeting in the end.  Life is more than us, and greater than us.

      • john

        not all logic is subjective to core values….. if i drop tom off a building and he takes 12 seconds to stop screaming…logically tim will take the same amount of time…. thusly if i want to get a good job, logically i have to be nice to people…has nothing to do with my values…it has to do with understanding how people react to your actions

    • presbyteros

      I’m curious to know what you think logic is.  Most Christians I know are reasonably logical people.  I think what you really take issue with are the assumptions which inform their logical processes, not the logic itself.

  • Shalom

    Jesus is with the 99% “This man welcomes sinners
    and eats with them” (Luke 15)


  • Wow, your closed minded.

    It’s amazing how a closed minded, religious person always show’s me how much I would rather go to hell then be around someone so asinine. You are too scared to think for yourself and it sounds to me like you are mad at us for being able to think for ourselves because you are too scared to think on your own. 

    It’s amazing how religious people think they are better everyone who doesn’t think like them.  They have to be right because “God” said it is. 

    I don’t take lectures from someone who reads a book that is thousands of years old, that has been translated HOW MANY TIMES?!!! just to get you what you read today?!  Have you even read the Bible?

    I bet you blindly follow what they say without questioning it too.  And you call yourself an American.  Why don’t you just put on a KKK outfit and yell “WHITE POWER”.  At least it would fit you better.

    • kylclk

      I’m sure the close minded one is the one with the inability to understand satire.

      Not only that, you’re concept of biblical translation is very flawed. The bible is not a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation. It is a translation of the greek and hebrew manuscripts.

      Before you go ranting about the bible, you should probably check your facts. Also the statements “it’s amazing how religious people think they are better everyone who doesn’t think like them. They have to be right because “God” said it is,” is a falsity. The bible never tells a Christian to be above people, but rather to be the servant. I’m sure you’ve heard of “the last will be first and the first will be last.” Jesus, according to Christianity is God in body, washed His disciples feet, an act of servitude. He then tells them that this is how they should act to others.

      Moral of the day: Don’t go ranting about things you have not researched or understand.

  • Funniest thing about the body shame issue is that the first sign that Adam and Eve had disobeyed and eaten the fruit was that they had covered up their nakedness…

  • Peter

    The funny thing is this may be a parity, but it is so close to how theist think that it can also be taken as real advice for a theist

  • I think I must join a book club… I feel so deprived

  • I am a purring infidel and proud to be a heathen 

  • Archetype27

    An absolute totem to the relevance of Nietzsche’s philosophy on the nihilist approach taken by religion on the ‘carnal’ desires of the body – and the inherently nihilist mindset associated with that attitude. Tragic, and sad. 

  • Is this a joke boy

    Is this a joke!?

  • A servant of Jesus Christ.

    I will be praying for you.

    • Jay

      I will be thinking for you.

      • Dave Coykendall

        awesome reply.

    • Koala Wrestler

      I will sacrifice 3 goats in hopes that you have good health

      • Dukedevil914

        But don’t accidentally sacrifice somebody else’s goats, or you may have to let them rape your daughter. 

      • john

        i always thought you were supposed to throw rocks at a bowl of jello to get your prayers answered…

    • john

      my question is how often do people do this….i hear it all the time….honestly if everyone prayed for everything they said…it would be a BUSY conversation ….and all for puppies , play stations, and pony races

  • Okay, you got me… I’m a heathen.

  • Anonymous

    “If possible, check his passport to verify where in Europe he has traveled. France in particular …”

    Whoever wrote this article is mistaking “Laïcité / Secularism” with Atheism. France is “Secular” which means there are no religious inclusions or implications of any kind in government affairs. 

    • Mementomori81

      Yeah, because fidelity is what this article was about. The award for ‘Missing the Point’ goes to…

      • Anonymous

        You got it wrong Mementomori81, fidelity is all what the article is about. The award for ‘Talking rubbish’ goes to…

  • Guest

    I get that this is a satire, but does this kind of crude stereotyping have a place in the Daily Cal?  Is it constructive or fair?  Why do we feel comfortable singling out a group of people to simplify and ridicule them?  I would think that most students here have “a strong educational background or tendency to think critically,” especially those who must routinely defend their faiths and beliefs.  I’m not really sure what the point of this column was, except to bring an immature conversation to a wider audience, and I wish the Daily Cal could try to be more honest.  Generalizations and stereotypes, though possibly partially begun with real examples, don’t have a place in a tolerant community of people taught to think critically.

    • Mementomori81

      You might as well question the existence of satire.

    • guest

      For the person who truly believes and tries to live what they believe as a Christian, it is not about bashing others, though that column can certainly be construed that way.  The more I think about it,  the sorrier I feel that that young man wrote that article.  For me as a Christian I know what I am and am  not supposed to do.  But I DO NOT  have the right to criticize others, and I try not to.  I am not infallible and sometimes mess up…but I try not to.   My intention here  is just to offer other thoughts on the subject.  Everyone does have the right to choose for themselves and no one should be bashed for their choices.  Sadly enough, I do know some Christians who DO judge others, and it’s a sad thing to see.  They have not gotten to a place where they truly understand the harm they are doing when they judge.  Has anyone else NOT ever been guilty of the same thing?  They need to study more on the subject before speaking.  Just like I should have read at the bottom of that article where it was called a satire.    God tells us how to live for OUR OWN  good, and  NOT FOR BASHING RIGHTS.   As for me, I just wanted to offer more info on the subject.  

      • presbyteros

        Mostly agree, except that as a Christian you certainly *do* have the right to criticize others.  In fact, it’s a duty to speak up when something wrong is happening, whether that’s someone getting beaten up on the street, a church official teaching heresy, or a friend of yours cheating on his wife.  That’s got nothing to do with judging anyone else–you’re not setting yourself up as the arbiter of whether they’re going to heaven or hell, just speaking up when you see something going wrong.  Christianity is not just a matter of individual practice, but of communal responsibility.

        Needless to say, this all needs to be done in humility and in recognition of the fact that you also are a sinner.  There but for the grace of God go we all.

  • Guest

    Why did you write this?

  • floon

    I was particularly amused by the ‘besitiality’ sentence.  ALL of the bestiality I ever practiced took place during my years as a xtian. 

  • Adam Dehart

    “non-religious atheists”
    Oh, phew, this article isn’t about me. I’m a religious atheist.

    • Minnie Brim

      Adam, what in the world is a religious atheist?  Isn’t that an oxymoron?  Please explain.  

  • Ryan

    This is got to be a troll there is no way that this is real, 

     “completing college” yeah i think that people, that think critically aren’t necessarily going to college, try university statistics next time

    • guest

      I agree.  Anyone, regardless of college education OR  those affiliated with religion, we ALL can over-think things, and sometimes over-thinking about a thing can end up with us not really seeing the truth at all.   

      • Sean

        Not thinking is clearly the key to religion, and over thinking could lead to thinking critically and maybe seeing one of the numerous fallacies located throughout both the bible and religion.

      • Dave Coykendall

        sometimes our perception might be clouded by over-thinking, but our perception is ALWAYS wrong if we indulge under-thinking (or even consider it a viable option).

  • More likely male, I think it’s because women have an easier time getting on their knees for a man than men do.

  • Says Satire at the bottom people. 

    • guest

      It may say satire at the bottom, but there is some truth in what the article said.  I’m not trying to bash anyone.  I don’t believe in doing that.  But if you are trying to determine whether someone is a believer or not, much of what was written in that article would apply.  Again, not for the purpose of bashing anyone, but only for the purpose of recognizing whether someone is a believer or not.  And that, simply because the things mentioned would be avoided by a believer who is doing their best to live out their beliefs.  

      • Drtychps

        you are a fucking dumbass fucktard.  I hope that didnt bash you.  just could tell by the words you wrote

        • woodrow sooley

          So fucking narrow-minded you could see through keyholes with both eyes.

      • Dave Coykendall

        There’s plenty of truth in it… and it’s BECAUSE of that uncritical theist process that the article is so good.

    • woodrow sooley

      Why do people withclosed minds always open thier mouths?/

      • Red_Geologist

        They are trying to equalize the pressure from the vacuum between their ears!

  • Nerdicon

    Not sure if Satire or bat-guano crazy….

    • woodrow sooley


  • Anonymous

    Tongue in cheek, or true words spoken in jest? :)

  • Hilmarose

     YOU are FULL OF $HIT!!!!

    • Anonymous

      And you have lumber impacted in your rectum….

      • freespeek

        I can tell you are not a believer.  I would never wish such a thing to you.  I appreciate your right to disagree with me, so please respect me enough to allow me to speak freely, too.  

    • guest

      I see.  So only your way of thinking matters?  

  • Anonymous

    ” Be wary of someone with a strong educational background or tendency to think critically.” – Did you just call yourself stupid?

    • me

      I did some Googling. The Daily Californian is put out by UC Berkeley. This is clearly satire.

      • Guest

        Or you could just, you know, look at the tags for the article.

        • Mementomori81

          or have some ability to identify satire when you read a few hundred words of it…

          • Guest

            You are probably a nonbeliever.

          • Drtychps

            Why would anyone with any type of brainpower and commonsense want to believe a book that was written by more than 40 authors and edited and re-edited more times than I can count for the purpose of manipulation of the masses?  Can you say ” BAAAAHHHHH”
              fucking sheep.  you only probably believe because you were raised to believe.  Religion is the greatest trick man ever played on itself

          • rigadigdig

            Not authors my friend, bronze age sheep herders. ‘Author’ implies an education, and unless sheep fucking is a degree they were clearly lacking.

          • consrcunts

            No, “author” merely implies that they wrote something. 

      • Brims2

        I think it’s not satire, though you may be wanting to believe it is.  While nothing is absolute, there is truth to be found in what was posted in The Californian.

        • Frown

          Putting those critical thinking skills on display, minnie…

        • Dukedevil914

          If people think you must be writing satire and you actually believe it, your views are probably unsupportable. 

    • Unbeliever

      The article is tongue in cheek, dumba$$.

    • Brims2

      I don’t think you understand what that means.  It simply means that those with much education TEND to think from a scientific point view only, which TENDS to interfere with any possible religious belief.  It’s not always the truth, but it can be the truth often.  

      • Indeed, education and critical thought often lead to impiety. In fact, the only thing more damaging to faith than science is a close and honest reading of the Bible.

        • Dukedevil914

          Does anyone else find it weird when people compare a scientific worldview and a religious worldview, and consider them equally valid?

    • Dukedevil914

      EVERYBODY JUST CHILL OUT. We all know its hard to tell the difference between real religious idiots and religious trolls. Who among us hasn’t at lease once assumed that a poorly written, completely ungrounded piece of religious intolerance was actually written by those who truly espouse the views?