Atheist response to Christian attack

Atheists catch a lot of heat.  I know because I am one.  I live in the Heart of Darkness, (that would be the opposite of enlightenment).  There are churches everywhere and the little town, which needs commerce regularly hosts brand new mega churches, but eschews restaurants and retail.

Many of the people I have met go to church every Sunday, and some on Wednesday, which I never understood, and when services are over they’re at home drinking beer talking about hanging “niggers.”

This is life in the Deep South.  It’s a region that is full of contradictions,  hypocrisy and an awful prejudice, coupled with a narrow minded view of the world, while all the while preaching Jesus.

Most businesses close on Sunday and during the week restaurants, dentist’s offices, and some retail outlets pipe in Christian music which is sometime blared at full volume over the sound system.  The local electric co-op holds quarterly meetings for the public.  The entertainment:  A Christian Rock band!

One of the first things you will be asked when attending any sort of function is what church you attend.  If you don’t have an answer, or, worse yet, claim atheism, you will be shunned.  So I am attuned to the discrimination that we atheists sometimes suffer.

Here Nate Thomas states his case:

After delivering a series of strongly worded personal views and aggressively thought provoking opinions, a now-absent Christian acquaintance wrote me on Facebook and asked how I could “be so calloused and have so much bitterness toward the world” for merely being an atheist. This was my reply:

Let me begin by saying I lost my faith while sitting in Confirmation class during one of my high school years. Finding out that there were two stories of Creationism – no matter how similar – in the Bible, tells me Yahweh couldn’t get his own story straight. A record of writings doesn’t prove the existence of a god in any manner. Harry Potter is a book, too, but it doesn’t mean Voldemort is real. The Bible was constructed out of hundreds of books (or even thousands by some scholars’ records) by a bunch of old, wealthy, white men who chose which books were divinely inspired. Who are we, as humble and lowly humans, to interpret what is holy and divine? Man’s brain is a peanut compared to the magnificence of a Great Creator, right?

If you want to get your moral fabric from a book, it should perceptibly not be from the Bible. Something tells me you haven’t read it cover to cover, but perhaps only learned of select passages as they were preached. Was the following passage ever preached to the congregation of your church? To me, this is one of the most exceedingly immoral demands:

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. (Deuteronomy 17:2-3,5)

In plain English, you are ordered to kill me because I’m atheist.

There are countless other passages that I will not bore you with, but let’s look at the story of Abraham just briefly. We all know it well: Yahweh tells Abraham to kill his son on a mountain, only to say, “Nah, I’m just kidding! I was testing your faith.” Seems to me that Yahweh is pretty cruel and has a sick sense of humor. If there was one true god, would he not know the level of faith possessed by Abraham? After all, he is said to be all-knowing.

Let’s also review free will versus a god-given plan. You simply cannot have both. If you have free will, then it is not possible for Yahweh to have a plan made out for you. If Yahweh does have a plan for you, then you cannot truly have free will for your destiny is already mapped. This is an absurdly conflicting paradox.

The query I raise to you is, “Why does there HAVE TO BE something after this?” I am intimately content in knowing that the energy levels of my body will be deposited back into the Universe upon my death. Carl Sagan said it best in his book Cosmos:

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff. (190)

From Mr. Sagan’s Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium:

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. (258)

It amazes me that I can take a simple comedic anecdote and “offend” you (or anyone, rather, for that matter). Why should it offend you? I do not become offended when someone says they’ll pray for me. I instead offer them a lighter load in their daily prayers by suggesting they can save their breath on my behalf. I also find it funny how every religion is OK with offending every other religion so long as their own god isn’t the one catching any flak. For example, the man who voiced the character of Chef on South Park left because the show began poking fun at Scientology, of which he was a follower, but for years he bashed Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and countless other minor religions. Have you ever said, “Holy cow!”? Congratulations, you just offended most of India who hold cows sacred. Do you enjoy indulging in a hot ham and cheese sandwich? You sicken the Jews and Muslims!

And if my beliefs send me to hell because I find it hard in this time of scientific advancement to believe in something so rudimentary, even though I’m a really good person being nothing more than a victim of my time, then that’s OK; that’s not the kind of god I want to be associated with. By dogmatic rule, all the interesting people are in hell anyway. Unfortunately, I’m sure I would get pretty bored of them after the first million years. And that’ll be just the beginning!

Not surprisingly, I received no reply.

Many thanks to the South Dakota Examiner

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Posted by on April 17, 2011. Filed under atheism/agnostic/spiritual,Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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15 Responses to Atheist response to Christian attack

  1. Robert E. Lee Reply

    April 17, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I don’t believe in life after death but always envied those who did.

  2. jenny40 Reply

    April 17, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I don’t believe either and I’m not sure how much Christians really do. I am sure they have lots of doubts about their crazy stuff.

  3. Four Dinners Reply

    April 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Atheists and Christians aren’t a problem.

    Muzzies are.

    My view peeps…like it or lump it.

    • John Barleycorn Reply

      April 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      You’re a rather hostile sort there Mr. Dinners. The Muzzies aren’t my favourite either but I don’t go on about it, except maybe at the local.

    • Hrothgir OD Reply

      April 25, 2011 at 5:04 am

      Let’s have a little perspective.

      http://www.randompics.net/?p=8110

      Now, while the behaviours predicated by both the Milgram Experiment, and the Stanford Prison experiment don’t bode well WRT Islam, it could well be pointed out that anyone with an imaginary friend they want to please, and a obfuscated book of ‘rules’ that can be made to say anything some preacher, rabbi, or imam chooses it to say, then all three cults of the desert god are equally dangerous to live near. It’s just that one currently has more temporal power than the the other two…

  4. Joshua Ray Reply

    April 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    There are too many contradictions in their religion to take it seriously. The Old Testament was warmth vs cold. The New Testament is heaven vs hell. The Old Testament was written by Jews that saw Satan as any opposing force…usually people that were not Jews. The New Testament sees Satan as an actual entity. The Old Testament’s God was on earth and told the Jews not to worship anything above or below…in which case so was Satan. In the New Testament, God jumped up into heaven and Satan dug his way into hell. The Old Testament God punishes with plagues…New Testament with hell. The Old Testament tells people not to put their faith in kings or princes…they’re not supposed to worship men. The New Testament and Catholic Church encourage people to bow to the Pope and kiss his ring. Child sacrifice is supposedly the most detested sin in God’s eyes…but then people are supposed to disown their children if their children are gay if those parents want to get into heaven. They say Jesus died for people’s sins…and the Abrahams judge drinking. But there’s a pretty important saint from the Old Testament that got drunk and naked in his tent. Unfortunately, he did it before Jesus could die for his sins…so he must be in hell.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      April 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      You make some excellent points indeed Joshua.

    • Hrothgir OD Reply

      April 25, 2011 at 4:46 am

      Noah got drunk and naked. Lot got drunk, naked, and screwed his daughters.

      The former…well, who among us hasn’t? The latter… that’s just NASTY

  5. Hrothgir OD Reply

    April 25, 2011 at 4:49 am

    And there was that charming piece by that O’Brian creature over here

  6. Sandy Reply

    May 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    The Pope is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible (many many Christians do not follow the Pope – the Reformation happened 500 years ago!), and the New Testament overrides the Jewish law in the Old Testament. If individuals claim to be Christian and then do not act like they are, that does not reflect on Christianity, but rather the people who are ignorant of God’s word who claim to be Christian. The Bible talks about them too. I think you should study this a little more – you are not basing your beliefs on accurate information.

    • Hrothgir OD Reply

      May 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      The bible can’t be accounted as ‘accurate’ information.

      Also, without the Church of Rome, you’d not have a bible to apply circular logic to

  7. Nate Thomas Reply

    May 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Hey, thanks for the plug! I was just looking online at my article and where it’s floating around, and came across this link.

    I am all too familiar with your story, too. That seems to be the way the US works these days, though we were clearly founded to have a secular society.

    I REALLY need to keep up on my writing and get more published online for all you readers! Thanks again, and best of luck with everything.

  8. Elizabeth Mary Reply

    June 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I agree with Nate on several topics, but not all. I am a Christian and proud to be one; but what I learned in church and Bible groups is that Jesus taught his people to love, no matter what. I have many opinions on this article and on the Christian “religion” but I certainly don’t have the time to write them all down here.

    I think one of the main reasons why people all over the world have different religions is because they didn’t want to believe that their lives were completely pointless and they weren’t there for a reason.

    And regarding other religions: I respect them. I do not hate them. And even if I don’t believe in what they believe in, we can still have a civilized conversation about religion, which I really enjoy doing. I have religious conversations with my best friends all the time; it never gets heated and we always get out of it with more knowledge, and we get closer because of that. I NEVER try to shove my beliefs down someone else’s throat, but if they are interested or want to discuss something I am more than willing to speak with them.

    What I do hate is when other Christians believe that they are “better people” or “higher on God’s invite list” than non-Christians. I grew up in a non-religious home (no religion at all). And in that home I learned to love and love deeply. I would never tell someone they are stupid for what they believe in or shun anyone for their beliefs and certainly not want to kill them. I am really sorry that Nate had to endure all of that harassment and I don’t hate you Nate, but I would love to have a conversation with you. Your letter was very well written and had many great points (like how I don’t always trust the Bible entirely because of the same facts you just laid out here). I really hope your future doesn’t involve more self-centered, hypocritical, stupid Christians.

    • Tori Reply

      July 25, 2011 at 11:17 am

      Elizabeth,

      Well congratulations on being the only Christian of your kind. And I know this because I was once one, until I decided to use my brain. I know how the majority of Christians act and believe, and it’s not how you described yourself.

      It is a religion by the way, so the quotes aren’t needed. I used to claim “religion” too!

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