As our charming yet construction-ridden slice of the Mediterranean is dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century (barely), atheists in Malta feel that they can be a little more open about their views, both online and in their day-to-day lives. I should probably take a minute to clarify my understanding of the term ‘atheist’ here, just to avoid any confusion:
- a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods. Not particularly a fan of Satan either.
I’m not entirely sure if you experience something similar where you’re from, but here in Malta saying you’re an atheist is basically like saying ‘I just sacrificed a goat to Beelzebub before coming over’, and you get the look. That being said, non-believers all over the island have to deal with some pretty ridiculous questions and comments – and those questions make for some pretty good laughs. When you’re done weeping for humanity, that is.
1. Imma…your parents know?
Translation: “But…do your parents know?”
Wait, is this even any of your business? Why shouldn’t they know? Will they disown me? The fact this is an actual ‘concern’ is a concern.
2. But how can you have morals without religion?
Look buddy, if you need to be afraid of an omnipotent figure and the threat of eternal damnation to put you off killing people, then there are bigger things to worry about than someone’s atheism. Having morals and being a good person is more about how your parents raise you and who you are than just doing it to avoid hell. Hell – also known as the place kids are taught to be terrified of. The one with the fiery abyss. You know the one.
3. Aren’t you worried you might go to hell?!
This is awkward because you need to believe in heaven and hell to be concerned about the matter…
4. Why don’t you come to my prayer group?
I appreciate the offer – but no thank you. Because you don’t see me recruiting you into my (non-existent) atheist group. Let’s go have some tea instead.
5. Ara tgħidx lin-nanna ta!
Translation: “Don’t you dare tell your grandmother!”
God forbid you should tell your adorable grandmother/aunt/in-laws/5th cousin twice removed/Joey tal-ħaxix that you’re a heathen. (See what I did there?)
That’s all from me for today, folks. Remember – no matter what your views on religion/atheism are, remember that they’re your views. Don’t try to force it on other people, and don’t be a hypocrite.