New Atheists launch basics course to rival C of E’s Pilgrim


In response to the launch of the Church of England’s new Pilgrim course – intended to help people explore the Christian faith – a group of self-styled New Atheists have set up a rival basics course.

The Grim Pillock course is designed to help people who have vague feelings that, as reasonably liberal people, they really ought to be atheists, just like the mainstream media tell them they should be, but are not sure how to become a frothing caricature of one (aka a grim pillock) online.

Course author, Rick Radishwand, says the aim of the course is to help people who might fill in “none” in the religion box in a census to really commit to being a recognisable New Atheist online. Modules include:

  • how to sound like someone’s bitter Great Great Great Aunt on Twitter
  • how to aggressively attack, belittle and abuse followers of particular religions whilst deluding yourself that this is consistent with being a liberal, loving member of the brotherhood of all people
  • how to insist on holding all arguments comfortably within your own assumptions and terms of reference when you find yourself out of your depth with a philosophical or theological thinker
  • how to blame all belief of all kinds when someone of faith says something daft or does something bad
  • straw man argument construction
  • how to pick on a Twitter opponent who is not your intellectual peer in order to appear bright

A spokesperson for the Church of England said, “We’re pleased that the New Atheists are putting this information out there. It certainly helps explain their approach online and the behaviour of some of their high-profile members. We hope it will therefore encourage atheists, don’t knows and vaguely interesteds who don’t want to look like a Grim Pillock online to come along to a Pilgrim course where they can find out what Christians actually believe.”