Belief and Non-belief by default in Iceland

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Jokulsarlon Lagoon, Iceland – Photo by Dave Gamble

Over in Iceland things are getting interesting, because there the largest atheist group named Vantru (a word that translates as “Disbelief”) have announced on their website the following update … (translated via Google, hence the mangled english) …

At the last board meeting, the Board of unbelief decided that as of March 1, they will register all Icelanders in disbelief. You, dear reader, will be a member of the missing, the most populous group, unless you sign up separately to deregister.

Do not worry, all will be members of disbelief!

People who have children after March 1 do not need to worry about the loss of their children by becoming a part of this vibrant community, where we will register children automatically in Disbelief, we will also independently list the parents without their knowledge or consent . Which is, of course, by far the best way. And fair.

Optional and simple registration from Disbelief

In the unlikely event that you do not want to become a member is missing, then it is a matter of deregistering from Disbelief. If you are at least 18 years of age, you need only send an email with notification of withdrawal, together with scanned credentials e-mail address ursognurvantru (at)

This is certainly not nearly as simple as check out ríkiskirkjunni now, but we must bear in mind that in the past you had to adhere to the National Register of hours on weekdays to check out ríkiskirkjunni.

OK, to translate the translation … anybody now born in Iceland will be automatically registered as a member of their group of non-believers, and anybody who wants to opt out needs to fill in lots of formal paperwork and submit it to them.

Why the heck would they ever think this is a good idea?

It is a protest of course.

By default the children of parents registered in the  are also automatically registered to the  as well.

Now you might think, “So what, who cares?” … well here comes the interesting bit, when registered and working, some of your taxes go to the  if you registered as a member. In other words, even if you never actually went to Church, and never ever believed, your taxes by default still fund a specific religious group, which to be frank is an utterly absurd position to be in.

There is of course nothing official about any of this automatic registration as an atheist, it is simply a well-played bit of mockery of the current position, and so for all the religious in Iceland it turns out that the road to hell really is no longer a long distance journey, it is now a local trip, but then this is a place also referred to as the land of ice and fire.

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