Cashier: Hello. Did you find everything you need today Atheist Customer: Yes. Thank you.(In the above dialog the Atheist Customer was played by your friendly Eggtown Blogger.)
Cashier (to Bagger, Atheist Customer and Next Customer In Line): So this atheist and this Christian were talking. The atheist said to the Christian, "There is no afterlife. When I die and am buried I am going to grow into a tree above my grave." To which the Christian replies, "I hope they take that tree, cut it down, turn it into pulp, make it into paper and print a bible on it."
Cashier looks to his audience for laughs and communal appreciation. Cashier gets "amen's" from the Bagger and Next Customer In Line and a blank look from Atheist Customer. Cashier points to box of organic cat litter in the Atheist Customer's cart.)
Cashier: The leaf logo on that box reminded me of the joke.
Atheist Customer: That or you must have sensed that I am an atheist.
Cashier: I apologize. (uncomfortable looks all around plus laughter as Atheist Customer rolls eyes and exits store after transaction is complete.)
Here's the thing ladies and gentlemen: the joke itself is 100% inoffensive. What IS offensive and drives me batty is the smug ignorance of it's concoction and delivery. I wasn't quick or clever enough to give a snappy reply at the time so you, dear readers, be you Christian, atheist, Scientologist or Other, are subject to my belated thoughts.
Point one: Someone who thinks they will turn into a tree is not an atheist, they are more akin to a reincarnationist.
Point two: The punchline of the joke flat out doesn't work. An atheist upon whose grave, or scattered ashes, a tree grew wouldn't know or care what happened to said tree. Turn a tree over me into toilet paper for all I care.
If there is going to be verbal bashing of atheists, I would appreciate it very much if it is done in style. Wish me a Merry Christmas, knock on my door to sell religion, assault my eyes with billboards and crazy cars (more of an L.A. thing but I have seen a few here), but don't, in the name of all that is holy (ba dum bum chhhh), continue with these lame jokes. Ridicule away but make it funny, or else I might have to start recruiting your children to my wicked ways.
Photo courtesy of g33kgrrl. (whom I don't know and is in no way affiliated with the preceding semi-tirade)