Not really new, technically I have been an atheist for almost 20 years, I just havent always lived in the "bible belt", so I guess I have missed out on the lovely judgementalist attitude some Xians have. What really threw me for a loop was the fact that she had the gall to say that I must have "never really" believed in "god" back when I was an Xian. I thought, "how cruel", because I was taught the christian nonsense from birth, so how exactly does a 5 year old child not believe when ALL the adults surrounding that child say, "god did this or that", etc. She was purely trying to justify how a person could be a non-believer because her puny mind can't conceive that someone can believe in "god"(whatever that is) and then cease to believe it at a later date. Thanks for your input michele, even though i'm not new to the game i can use all the advice i can get. People around here are boisterous about there "jesusyness" & I'm at an age where i dont tolerate stupid so well anymore....
It may not be arrogant, condescending and all that. It's what someone would have to believe, to defend their belief that being "saved" is a wondrous state. Also they want to guard against doing what you did, losing their belief. If they thought you had lost a faith like the faith that they have, this raises the very threatening possibility that the same might happen to them.
hmmm, good point laura. I know that the loss of "faith" can be a powerful experience, personally. Unfortunately, quite a bit of religion, superstitions, etc. are rooted in fear. It can be a prime motivator, sadly. Fear and guilt seem to be the only things that superstition and religion have to work with. No evidence, no sound reasoning, no logical arguments, just primal emotional manipulation. I heard it once said that a reasonable person has nothing to gain from religion, that religion has nothing to offer a well adapted, self assured, normal, happy individual.
There is among Christians and others who believe they hold the absolute truth a predisposition to be condescending and patronizing to those who dissent, but it is by no means universal. Those who do adopt that attitude tell themselves they are only trying to help you and that in doing so they are doing God's work. Any expression of dislike for their message is viewed as ingratitude.
Recently I met a friend who had just had lunch with an old acquaintance turned Jesus freak. The man was very insistent that my friend get right with the Lord and promised to keep calling him until he did. Unfortunately telling these people off only encourages them to feel that they are being persecuted for God's sake.
Fear, guilt, peer pressure and the promise of better things yet to come.
Sorry, my browser popped down when I went to reply. This was meant for dharma...
It may well be true, though, that a child's concept of religion and Jesus and spirituality changes as they grow up, and religious people may feel that an adult is capable of a deeper faith.
Dan Barker is an ex-Christian who explains at great length that yes, he really was a Christian (as an adult), as Christian as they come, completely dedicated to seeking God's guidance at every moment. He explains this because Christians try to tell him that he never really was Christian.
It would be quite valuable for them to listen to ex-Christians who are willing to patiently and in detail explain to them that yes, they have been in a similar place and yes, really did believe in it, and how they came to disbelieve. Christians try to avoid hearing from such people, just because it is challenging.
You might point your friend to some of Dan Barker's speeches about his deconversion, online. Usually when you encounter this kind of thing, you can point the person to someone who's already made the point for you. For example in response to anti-vaccination ideas, I've thought of suggesting Paul Offit's books and website with answers to anti-vaccer FAQ's. No point in repeating the same argument over and over.
No, not all christians are arrogant, condescending jackasses. But then you run onto a REAL nimrod like THIS guy:
You don't get a lot more full of yourself than THIS schmuck!
Someone needs to fix HIS attitude adjustment! Haha!
Incredible. 1 minute of his arrogance was too much for me! Wow.
It's people like this that give the remaining 1% of Xians a bad name! Personally, a 2x4 would be a good reply.
I have a half-baked theory that people who engage in lying, manipulation, and conspiracy readily expect the rest of us to do the same. I have read that some Christian organizations provide believers a template for their "testimony" and advise them to begin with "I used to be an atheist . . . ." One good example is Kirk Cameron, who comes across as too shallow to understand atheism or religion, but claims he was an atheist during his career as a teen actor. Some Christians may suspect we atheists use the same dodge.