It’s been long known that J.R. Hayes of Pig Destroyer is an eloquent writer. His lyrics transcend the realm of pornographic and hedonistic shouted rage that metal lyricism is often discarded as, and are instead often beautiful and poetic. Hayes decided that he had more to say than a two minute long grindcore song could allow, and penned a short story titled ‘The Atheist,’ which was packaged with the deluxe-edition pressing of their latest record Book Burner. Previously, you had to have either purchased the record or be in possession of a promotional copy from the band’s publicists (blog swag get), but now it’s available for all to read at CVLT NATION.

Here’s a taste of the story:

I don’t know what you hate, I suppose it could be anything, but just for a moment imagine that you hate Baseball. As soon as you see it pop up on the television you change the channel in disgust. All of the catching and throwing and running around just seems silly and pointless to you. The crack of the ball against the bat reflexively sends the contents of your stomach surging upwards into the back of your throat. Now imagine that not only are the vast majority of people in the world baseball fans, but that in their fanaticism they have decided; without consulting you; that not only does everyone have to love baseball, but you have to pick a favorite team.

This is my relationship to religion. I was indoctrinated when I was a child, and I wrestled with it through most of my adolescence. My fear of Hell made me fear my own thoughts, my own sexuality. I was taught that man was once perfect, but had since fallen into decadence and degradation. Sometimes they made it seem like almost everything a person could think or do was a sin. Where some saw peace and understanding, I could only see ignorance and xenophobia.

Other people around me would react differently. They were filled with great happiness and fulfillment. They would throw their hands into the air at service, seemingly drunk on God’s love and security. Why couldn’t I feel these things? Was I incomplete? Was I possessed by the Devil? Why did my mind constantly hunger for knowledge and understanding? Perhaps it was like a taste in food or music, maybe one man’s worship is just another man’s boot licking. I guess if you’re going to ask questions like that you have to be prepared to never find the answers.

Brilliant. Read the rest of the story at this location. Go check out Book Burner as well, which is out now on Relapse Records.

– JR

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