I have always hoped that the sorts of people who read my blog are also the sorts of people who can sense, from my tone and my personality, that not everything I say is literal down to the last letter. Of course, those hopes have been dashed now and again by my less… let’s say, swift readers.
“I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to say what every single atheist needs!”, they cry, wielding their virtue pitchforks.
Of course not. Of course I have never once meant literally that every atheist needs what I say they need in this series. This series is, of course, just my personal recommendations that I have found handy, and that tickle that part of me that loves reason, logic and critical looks at myth, superstition and religious belief.
“Why is this something only atheists need? I think theists could enjoy that, too!”, they groan, pointing to their “Coexist” t-shirts.
Of course, none of my recommendations for atheists are things only atheists would enjoy. That’s, more or less, why I didn’t name the series, “Only atheists need…”
I had to name a series about my personal recommendations something… didn’t I? I wasn’t about to name it, “My Recommendations.” I’m a fucking writer, for fuck’s sake.
Now that you understand that this series isn’t called, “All atheists must have, or else!” and is also not titled, “Here are things only atheists would enjoy…” and you’ve given some thought to the fact that not every written word is literal, I am ready to share with you one of my more controversial recommendations:
JW Library. It is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a resource for Jehovah’s Witnesses in app form for your smartphone.
Not every atheist actually needs this. As we discussed, the title of this series of posts is not literal. I think that the people who would enjoy this app, are the people who find themselves in constant debate about religion, either on Twitter or on a podcast, perhaps maybe on their YouTube videos, or on a stage. This app is for someone who needs Bible verses from different versions of the Bible at their fingertips on demand. This app is for outspoken atheists who find themselves questioned, on a daily basis, about their lack of belief in a god or gods.
I first tried it out when my Jehovah’s Witness came to the door, as she does each week, and had me take a peek at it on her iPad. I am not going to lie. I was fucking impressed. The app is beautiful. It’s full of videos to debunk and articles to pick apart. You can also download hundreds of different versions of the Bible to the app and, the best part, is that when you open a verse, you can tap the verse number and it will compare that verse to all the other Bible versions you have downloaded. This is a beautiful thing:
This app makes it easy to see how Bible translations and versions are just the product of a two-thousand-year-old game of telephone. My Jehovah’s Witness came to my door to give me this tool in the hopes it would make me find faith in god, and it did the exact opposite. The more I fool around with this app, the less respect I can muster for those who believe this utter trash.
They say that to become an atheist, all you need to do is read the Bible. Well, I’ll add to that. If you’ve got a really stubborn theist whose beliefs are unshakable, give them the JW Library app and tell them to read all the Bibles. If you come out of that still believing, you are one dense motherfucker.
This app comes in handy damned near daily, as I speak with believers and try to explain to them why I don’t believe in their particular myth. Having never been a believer, and never truly studied the Bible nor ever cared to memorize parts of it, this app is a… well, it’s a godsend. No Holy.
Nothing makes me happier than when the propaganda of proselytizers backfires and we atheists end up finding it a more useful tool for anti-theism. This app, combined with Peter Boghossian’s Atheos, will make you a great debater.
Grab JW Library: