A page on Facebook posted a link to this photo today:
Naturally, a little argument ensued. People were complaining about how Jesus was shown here (obviously), and other people fired back that it was true, etc. you know the drill. Anyway, someone said they were getting tired of seeing "atheist shit" on the page, and asked what was wrong if you just believe in God, and you're not using it for money or power, or whatever. I told him and anyone else listening that since the religious get to post things about what they believe and how they think, then nonbelievers should have the right to express their thoughts as well. Another person came in and told me that this was not an opinion, this was simply trolling, and if he insulted my beliefs I'd get mad. I told him it really should not be a big deal.
I come back an hour or so later and a few more people have responded. The previous person posted as well. He said, "But it's really offensive saying that someone important to someone's faith is a myth. I hear atheists and agnostics talk about how Christians should be more tolerant of other people's beliefs, but when it comes to our beliefs, they're usually very intolerant. If I even mention how I believe homosexuality is a choice and how I believe it's wrong, they start cursing at me and calling me bigoted."
Now, I am quite through dealing with the people on that thread, as they will only drive me insane. But how could I explain? Christians hate on atheists and other beliefs quite often. They still ask that we respect them, but how? How can someone expect me to respect their disrespect?
Some Atheists believe we should disrespect or even hate xtians because they do such horrible things. I think that indoctrinating your child is horrible. But should we hate the parent? To hate someone, they must have done something to hate them for.
Most xtians don't do more than indoctrinate their children. When I say the following, I am refering to those xtians.
Hate the religion, but don't hate the religious person.
Compare yourself with them:
1) Do you agree that you are your own person? That nobody tells you what to think, or say, or do?
2) Would you agree that the xtian is not their own person? That somebody tells them what to think, and say, and do?
3) As children, most xtians (if not all) are abused with indoctrination. When those children grow up, is it reasonable to expect them to recognize that they have been brainwashed and stop doing what they are told to do?
4) Should Atheists hold against the xtian the fear that not only the xtian feels, but the Atheist feels as well, if the person denies the religion?
I put to you that not only is it wrong to hate the xtian back, but that if you really take a look at what brought the xtian to hate us, and indeed, continues to keep them under control, you will see it is not their fault.
So, instead of hating the xtians, shouldn't we find a good way to break their shackles?
Just as Atheists are hostage to xtianity, xtians are too.
In my opinion, to hate someone, they do not have to "have done something to hate them for". They don't have to have done anything to me, any more than I have to be a Jew to hate Nazis or a minority to hate white supremacists. I have no problem with hatred, I have a problem with ideologies that are based on fantasy and perpetuated by stupidity. I don't respect Christianity, and I don't respect Christians because they are Christianity...which is not because I'm an atheist, but because I'm also anti-religious. I avoid Christians like the plague because they are not helpless victims, they are being deliberately ignorant and they get something out of that. The whole "hate the religion, not the religious person" thing is too close to "hate the sin, love the sinner" and I am unwilling to split hairs in that fashion. The two cannot be separated - belief informs action. They aren't people doing something, they are something. They know it, and they know that they could change. Should we "find a good way to break the shackles"? Go ahead if you want to, but I don't see any shackles. I feel no empathy or compassion for Christians whatsoever - those are their concepts, and they're overrated. The only reason why religion continues to flourish is this idea that everyone deserves to be respected and treated with compassion. I don't think they deserve it, and I think their whole anti-human, anti-life mindset would die out a lot sooner if people would stop seeing them as "in need" of compassion, empathy, saving, whatever. Saving people is their thing. They don't need anyone else to save them, they need to grow up and stop seeing themselves as God's children, and then maybe they'll learn how to be parents.
Of course you are right. The Christian is not helpless. He/she can recognize that they have been brainwashed all or most of their lives. Using this realization, they have no repercussions in saying they don't believe in religion and religion is bad. It's easy to go against family and friends who would separate themselves from the Christian (if not worse things).
Of course you are justified to hate Christians as Jews hate Nazis.
Your sarcasm is cheap and your language manipulative. I never said it's easy to "deconvert", but I did it, and so have many others, regardless of the repercussions. Not everything in life is easy; in fact, some of the most worthwhile things are extremely difficult, but people do them anyway.
We are both atheists, but we hold differing views regarding, not Christianity, but Christians, and that's fine. My feelings about Christians, as people, will never change, and I have no interest in changing yours, so let's leave it at that.
The following has no sarcasm: I only wish everyone is as brave as you are. I wish they had the dignity and motivation to not lie to themselves anymore like you did. Some are better than others. And the weak ones should parish. (Sorry, that last sentence was sarcastic).
Lisa I agree.
Well gentlemen, Here's how I see it:
You believe there is no God. How you got to that belief is very different than how a religious person got their belief. But their belief to them is as strong a motivator as yours is to you.
What they try to shove down our throats is what they believe to be good for you. You know they are wrong, so you refuse to accept their truth and try to shove down their throats what you believe to be true. They feel like you think they are stupid and become defensive. As much as you are different from them, you are the same as them. Until you sincerely believe you and the religious person are equals, you will never get an honest exchange of ideas going both ways. The religious person knows a lot more than their religion. They know taxes, baseball, raising kids, dreaming of the big house, taking vacations... Some of what the religious person knows is beneficial to the atheist and visa versa.
I hate to break it to you, but you are no better than anyone else!!! IMHO
Are you saying believing in hatred, bigotry and in-tolerance. Is the same as you and me, I find that incredible.
I think you are missing what I am trying to convey. What I mean is this: What they believe drives them the same way that what we believe drives us.
I am driven, not by what I believe, but by what I know (and dislike intensely) about their beliefs.
I agree with you to dislike INTENSELY what they believe, but I disagree about disliking the believer.
I am driven by what I believe, what I know, what I fear, and other sensations.
What I believe sometimes trumps what I fear. What I know sometimes trumps what I believe.
My point is that xtians are humans just as we Atheists are. What makes them tick, if you look at the fundamentals like belief, knowledge, fear, hate, love..., it is the same as what makes Atheists tick.
Take a look at another one of my responses to Lisa here.
I'm not shoving ANYTHING down anyone's throat. I stand my ground and do not yield to religious intimidation, but I'm not the one going door-to-door proselytizing or insisting that one religion should be favored over others in the view of the government. Further, I have been on their side of the street; They Have NOT Been On MY Side, not with an open mind, certainly.
I would not argue that I'm better than they are. I would argue that their close-mindedness compromises not just themselves but people around them, me included ... and I have a problem with that.