Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Atheists Are Fatties

[trigger warning: discussions of body size, use of the word "fat". please enjoy this delightful otter instead.]

Having run out of pseudo intellectual bombast regarding atheists, conservapedia has decided to go with "fatty, fatty, boombalatty!"

I am not kidding you.

Atheism and Obesity

According to the Gallup Organization, "Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious.

The cite, btw, is this:

Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious. The most religious Americans score a 66.3 on the Gallup-Healthways Healthy Behavior Index compared with 60.6 among those who are moderately religious and 58.3 for the nonreligious. This relationship, based on an analysis of more than 550,000 interviews, is statistically significant after controlling for major demographic and regional variables.

Yes, 8% is quite a number there, isn't it? It's huge! Fat, even!

The Gallup study gives some insight into the above average health habits of the very religious and not necessarily the health habits of atheists. The reason is that the Gallup organization defines a non-religious as a person where "Religion is not an important part of daily life and church/synagogue/mosque attendance occurs seldom or never. This group constitutes 29.7% of the adult population."[4] While many Western atheists are non-religious, not all non-religious people are atheists.

What Schafly is trying to tell you is that atheists are around 5% of the population, and I'm not even sure if that's the adult population specified above. This poll has nearly 30% of the entire adult population as "nonreligious". Notice a problem here? Schafly named the article "Atheists and Obesity", but that's not what this poll is about at all.

So why "Atheists and Obesity" rather than "The Nonreligious and Obesity"? Simple. And it's not just that Schafly hates atheists with an unsettling passion. A large portion of Andy's target audience considers themselves nonreligious. A certain percentage of evangelical Christians are proudly nonreligious- they have a relationship with Christ, you see. Not a religion. At all. Also. Too.

Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity, thus given the above cited Gallup research, it appears as if non-religious are more prone to becoming obese than very religious individuals.[8]

Two "of" the major risk factors. (Always check every word with conservapedia.) This is the Mayo Clinic's article, and here are the listings of risk factors for obesity, not in order of importance:


Unhealthy diet and eating habits


Lack of sleep

Certain medications

Medical problems

Huh. Now why would Andy only mention the first two? Easy. Those are the reasonably controllable, "it's your fault your fat" risk factors. He doesn't want to go after pregnant women, because he opposes any control over pregnancy at all, insomnia is difficult at best to treat, and medications and medical conditions aren't anyone's fault. Plus, it's a little difficult to tie insomnia or corticosteroids to what Andy thinks the religious are benefitting from.

The Bible declares that gluttony is a sin.[9]Furthermore, the Bible declares the physical body of Christians to be temples of the Holy Spirit.[10] Therefore, it is not surprising that many very religious Christians would leave healthy lives.

See, you just can't tie corticosteroids (infamous for causing weight gain) to gluttony and temples, ergo, not an important risk factor.

Here's the thing. Religious, in the context of this poll, means actively attending church, probably more than once a week. A thing which is certainly easier to do if one is not suffering from a medical condition. Any number of physical and mental illnesses cause weight gain, and those same illnesses would make attending church difficult to impossible. So, while not attending church, or social functions in general, may be correlated with obesity, correlation does not equal causation.

That's to say nothing about fat shaming in this country. The obese are less likely to attend social functions overall, due to a desire to avoid real or perceived fat shaming (most likely real). So, while an obese person may be less likely to attend church (be religious in this context), it's not nonattendance causing the obesity, it is obesity causing the nonattendance.

None of which Andy even bothers to think about, because why bother when you can call atheists fatties?

the noted Evangelical preacher Rick Warren recently made a public commitment to lose 90 pounds.[22] Have you seen any of the prominent atheists make such a pledge?

lolwut? You just can't beat conservapedia for straight up, eye crossing wtfuckery.

The rest of the article is pictures of fatty atheists interspersed with pictures of, I kid you not, Chuck Norris. This conservapedia entry snarks itself from here on out, so I will let you get on with your morning.


  1. Wow, why does the stroke belt cover all of those religious red states?

  2. I'm not sure why you're arguing facts when Andy has Chuck Norris.

  3. Two things:

    1. Back when I was religious I weighed, at my highest, 340 pounds. This morning when I hopped on the scale I weighed 217 pounds. So...ha!

    B. Didn't PZ Myers recently have a health thing that caused him to announce publicly that he's gonna lose a buncha weight and get healthy? If Schlafly can cherry pick Rick Warren I think we can cherry pick PZed.

  4. Yeah, PZ has coronary artery disease and had to have an emergency bypass, IIRC. (Not that he was, even in Andy's specially chosen picture, all that big. Standard middle-age pudge, IMHO.)

    Also, good for you!

  5. The conservapedia entry for lesbians does the same thing.

    And Chuck Norris, srsly?

  6. Yeah, but since we atheists are all a bunch of humorless, perpetually angry, intellectually dishonest whiners anyway, who cares if we're carrying a couple of extra pounds?

    I mean, really, if we'd all just get our fat butts to church and then the gym, then people like Schafly wouldn't have to lie about us. It's our own fault, clearly.

  7. Today's otter has a fluffy white head and I LOVE HIM!

  8. Religious people are in better shape? Has this guy even been to Wal-Mart?

  9. Your point about not-well people not attending "church" on a regular basis is a very good point. and, so far as i can tell, TRUE!

    i know many many many not-well people, and most of those people are Christian. [huh, who'd'a thunk it?]
    and a significant portion of those people [of the roughly 50 "significantly unwell" people i know, 40 are Christian; of those 40, about HALF fall somewhere on the fundy-end of the spectrum. i KNOW them; in many cases, i wish i didn't. sigh]

    actually, the MOST fundy person i know [no - really. she was very nice to me, until she found out that Pete was black. at which point, for WEEKS, she was sending me multiple Bible verses every day, all to back up her point that "races shouldn't intermix" because in her head, God made people different colors for a REASON, and "interbreeding" was OBVIOUSLY against God's will, because if he didn't want people of "different colors" there wouldn't BE people of different colors... then she found out i was Pagan and ... yeah, the NICEST thing she said to me was "i don't know if i should just burn you at the stake, or if i should attempt to "covert" you before i burn you at the stake. sadly, heretics MUST be burnt". look, i said she was fundy, not that she was sane] hasn't stepped foot in a church - ANY church - in over 20 years. she does "home fellowship" and considers churches to be scams set up by Satan to deceive good Christians.

    so... yeah. i had a point when i started this comment, i swear i did... sorry?


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