Life is short, people. And when you were younger, you had these grand ideas of meeting your unchewed bubble gum, or rose with all its pedals, or whatever weird metaphor your youth pastor read in that month’s Focus on the Family. And it sounded nice. You’d get to plant your flag on acres of unscathed farm land. And like Edward Norton in Fight Club, you dream of destroying something beautiful. But what Pastor JimmyJohn didn’t tell you is that after a brief, disappointing moment, your spouse is no longer that person, and you’ve got to spend the rest of your life with someone who might like totally different things than you. Like, they might expect you to do THAT every single time. Or refuse to do that other thing, EVER. As atheists, we know this life is all we get. And how tragic to risk incompatible sex forever cuz somebody thought their body was a metaphor for bubble gum.
2. Younger People
Sticking with the theme of life being too short, have you MET today’s young people? Holy shit! They use words like tumblr and micro-aggression, and if you’re like me, you aren’t sure if these are acronyms or graduate level college courses, but either way, you have no idea what they are, and are too curmudgeony to look them up. But more importantly, by marring a younger person, you’re increasing the odds that you’ll die before they do. When we atheists go through our existential crises about death, we often find comfort in Buddhist notions of matter becoming different matter, where our bodies go back to the earth from which it came. In this way, we gain immortality, sort of. And if I’m reading today’s younger people correctly, they mostly want to cremate everyone, and that’s just not gonna work for us.
3. People who believe in hell
Now, this might seem intuitive, but let me suggest this could be a worse idea than you’d think. There you are, out and about with your spouse, probably looking for that last Stephen-King-back-when-he-called-himself-Richard-Bachman book for your collection, when it crosses your mind that your spouse thinks your afterlife will consist of that too-much-wasabi feeling all over your body, forever and ever and ever. And you think, “well that’s not very nice.” But your spouse still married you, so how does that work? How does spouse transition from passionate boot knocking to “Sure is a bummer ze’s flesh is gonna look like pea soup on a slow boil forever”? You aren’t quite sure how spouse does it, but it must take a special kind of intestinal fortitude, and you’re probably not mentally strong enough to match wits with such a monster. PASS.
4. The Unemployed
Because life is short, and it’s all we’ve got, one of our imperatives as atheists is to maximize our life experiences. Some of life’s experience are really expensive! I’d really like to para-sail off the top of an Egyptian Pyramid someday. If you’ve never searched Priceline for Portland to Cairo airfare, gird your loins, cuz it’s a hefty number. To truly maximize these experiences, you’re going to need free time for your travels, and if your spouse isn’t bringing in any money, that means YOU have to make all of it, significantly decreasing your ability to maximize those experiences. My advice: if possible, marry someone independently wealthy. Then BOTH of you can do all the things without the cumbersome anchor of a day job.
5. People who don’t get angry
Remember when you became an atheist, and dealt with all those nasty emotions around the idea that you’re totally gonna die and rot in the ground and that’s the end of it because you don’t have a soul? At least for me, those emotions didn’t go away just cuz Thich Nhat Hanh made me feel better about dying. Sometimes it’s totally appropriate to spend the day pouting in the dark cuz you totally used to think there was a celestial mansion with your name on it, and but now you know the only mansion you’re ever gonna be associated with is AS the mansion for a worm colony that calls itself the The Collective. If your spouse can’t mourn that loss with you, I wouldn’t trust ‘em with a pet, let alone my hand in marriage. I mean, have you SEEN the movie Bernie????
6. Richard Dawkins
You know how Neil Degrasse Tyson is totally an atheist, and gets mega street cred from atheists cuz he knows all the things, but won’t use the word atheist because he doesn’t want all the consequences of using that word in public? Boooo!!! Agnostics are like your friend who is one class away from a masters degree, but won’t write that last paper cuz he thinks having a graduate degree would put him too high on the privilege scale, so he spends his whole life telling people how he’s one class away from a Masters. Just be who you are, dude! Being married to an agnostic would be like living your whole life in the comments section on a YouTube video about vaccines. Why would you do that to yourself?
Let me say it for you: WHAT???? Allow me to explain – We atheists get a lot of our activism cues from the internet and atheist organizations. And these sources have made it clear that the most important uses of our time are activities like getting cities to take down crosses put up by grieving parents and widows. With our sacred public streets being desecrated by religious symbols, if your spouse-to-be thinks causes like feminism are a higher priority, perhaps they should not be YOUR highest priority.
9. Anyone who has ever stayed at a hotel
Just like memorial crosses in public, hotels are another bastion for religious people trying to haunt us with their religious texts. People who stay in hotels contribute to this cycle of indoctrination. Personally, when I’m with a group on a trip, I sleep outside on an army cot. I position large signs around the cot letting everyone know why I’m out there. Most mornings I wake up with Sharpie on my face and my signs have been turned into tombstones with childish names written on them. But it’s totally worth it!
I trust that this list will help you in your search for an atheist-friendly spouse. As Vermin Supreme once said, you should trust me, because I do know what's best for you.