Inside jokes, humor that confirms our own biases, is something we humans naturally gravitate towards. It makes sense, right? Someone posts a funny joke about D&D and you, a player of the game, get a kick out of it because you have sooo been there. There are entire websites dedicated to poking fun and creating relateable humor for the fans of...whatever. On the flip side, there are the comics, memes, and websites that make fun of our favorite things in a mean-spirited way. Like To use the previous example of D&D, I am not a particular fan of comics that make fun of D&D and portray the players as all male playing in someone's parent's basement. I play on Saturday afternoons with my husband, kid, and two friends. It is bright and sunny and we all share a meal afterward. Sometimes extra people (spouses, other parents) come over after we play for dinner. Every Saturday I get to hang out with some of my favorite people, playing a fun game, and eat a good meal afterward. So yeah, I kind of resent the implication that it's a bunch of neckbeards having nerdgasms in a basement. Yet I also know that those jokes aren't for me. They are for the people who really don't understand D&D and think it is weird. To them, the joke reiterates the stereotypes they have formed.
I used to hate things that made fun of religion. As a religious person I would think, "They just don't get it" or "That's a really twisted way of looking at that". As the years went on I began to find some humor in jokes that made fun of religion. I was a particular fan of The Door magazine, a now defunct publication, but one full of so much awesome religious satire. It never went too far, but even as a religious person, I could laugh at it. Fast forward to the age social media and memes. Folks, these anti-religious memes are nasty. They are harsh. I love them.
One of the cons of being a covert agnostic atheist is that I have to be careful what I like on social media, because other people WILL see it. I have a few "friends", mostly former co-workers and classmates who are atheist and they share these atheist memes all the time. A part of me knows though that although these are somewhat humorous, some of them are downright rude. And like the D&D jokes, not entirely true about the people they are cracking on. Another part of me really enjoys them and loves that someone out there is pointing out some of the ridiculous shit that the religion perpetuates. In the end though, I find them unnecessary. No meme will ever change anyone's mind about their religion. It's completely an in-group thing that creates a deeper divide with your out-group. For every meme posted you are only perpetuating more of an us vs. them mentality. As a Christian, I was told to be a good example of a Christian in order to show non-Christians what they were missing out on. How they too could find the kind of life and joy that I was representing. I think the same concept should apply to any those of us who are non-religious. If you want people to be more open to what you are "selling", not offending them and treating them like idiots is a good place to start. That's not to say we can't joke around sometimes, but it does mean that posting memes about how stupid Christians are for believing certain things is probably not the best way to go about it. It's one thing to poke fun at your own in-group, it's quite another to post mean-spirited "jokes" that are meant to offend.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.