For whatever reason, the mainstream theists in the U.S. have trouble separating average atheists from the extremists in the news. Not all atheists want to watch Christianity crumble or start their own dictatorship. But how can we spread the image of a more peaceful atheist?
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Madeline O'Hair had the right to stand up to the government and demand that her children not be forced to listen to religious views. You would have the right to demand your children not be exposed to Islamic views, right?
The anger and "rage" is because ex-theists (particularly Christians) have discovered that they have been lied to for their entire life. That kind of anger is hard to hide and hard to recover from. Plus the constant assault from current fundamentals
Good point, Austinstar. I've been there myself. I overcame it by realizing it makes no sense Christianity, or any other religion, is the true one. I even feel sorry for fundamentalists who still don't understand that.
Lumping Christianity with all other religions is a mistake The difference between Christianity & every other faith in the world is that all other religions are about man trying to reach up to God. Christianity is about God reaching down to man.
tsadjatko - I've heard that. But what about Judaism and Islam? Doesn't God reach down to them, also? (with disastrous results!)
You miss the point:-)God reached down by sending his only son to die for us gifting salvation from sin which cannot be earned. Christianity actually is the fulfillment of Judaism yet Judaism rejects it. In Islam you must earn God's approval.
I think you got it on the head. Unfortunately, you are what the media or Hollywood says you are in the eyes of many.
If you give Christians and pseudo-Christians love, instead of hate, then you are being more "Christ-like" than many of them. Ego is the divider of people. Love is what brings people together, despite their insecurities
Exactly! They even arrest their "own" Christians for feeding the homeless in Florida. Can you imagine the depth of hypocrisy it takes to arrest a 90 year old man for feeding the hungry? Not once, but several times? Idiots.
If a guy wearing a uniform with a badge drives up behind you on a motorcycle with blinking lights, do you always believe it's a policeman? What if it's a guy in a costume looking for a little cash. Pseudo Christians follow ego, not Christ
I would argue 'lack of belief in god' is the same as believing there is no god. But that's linguistics. Atheists care what theists think of them because theists are the majority. And sensible atheists don't want to be the enemy of the majority.
Makes sense, what doesn't is you live where atheists are less than 3% of the population. Why don't you move to one of the top ten athesist population countries? http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08... hmmmmmmm?
"And sensible atheists don't want to be the enemy of the majority." Very, VERY true!
Yet their sole purpose is to remove the majority?
What atheist do you personally know? I'm married to a Christian so your comment sure doesn't apply to me, nor do I think it applies to the majority of atheists. We just want to be on an even playing field.
In my life I have not lived it worrying about who is this and who is that. The main thing that we must do in our lives is surround ourselves with good people (Religious or not) to make our own selves happy. Life is way too short to worry about trivia
Obviously it would be different if the Atheists were in the majority and were trying to dictate to Christians. I can't imagine telling a Christian that they must stop believing in their God. Or force them to listen to atheist speeches in public.
tsadjatko - Uprooting to a new country isn't exactly easy. Maybe if I was rich I would consider it, but it's not just about being around people who agree with me. It's about putting a human face on atheism, rather than a caricature to get mad at.
Austin no one forces you to do anything. Is that no right?
MT - that isn't the point I'm making. My point is who would want to leave America founded by Christians and whose population is vastly Christian to live in China? through history largely atheist countries have suppressed freedom and human rights.
Christianity has its own dark past of suppressing freedom and human rights. The Salem witch trials didn't exactly follow the constitution. What's to stop a modern crusade from wiping out suspected atheists?
Problem with your comment Dremer (what atheist always do) is you compare what sinful men do in the name of Christianity when there is no justification for their actions according to Christian doctrine. On the other hand atheists have no doctrines
If failures under the Christian banner are the fault of the individual, not the core beliefs, then failures under the atheism banner are also the fault of the individual, not the beliefs. Yet you suggest atheism is the source of the corruption.
tsad - You should not make blanket statements about what "atheists always do". That is an ill informed statement. But according to Christian doctrine, "all men are sinners", correct? (atheists or otherwise)
Dremer hear yourself? You say atheism is not a belief so how am I faulting the belief of atheism?The Bible says all are sinners, even those who accept Christ are still sinners but in God's eyes have been cleansed.You falsely condemn Christianity
I didn't say atheism wasn't a belief. Believing there is a god and believing there is no god: someone can lack one and not the other. And I've never condemned Christianity. I condemn poisonous generalizations.
tsad - do you understand the meaning of the word 'facetious' or 'sarcastic'?
Dremer one can't reason with you because you deny what you say - you said "Christianity has its own dark past of suppressing freedom and human rights." If that isn't a condemnation (false)of Christianity what is? YOU said that. Come on man.
Saying something has a dark past doesn't equal a condemnation. The U.S. has a dark past too, but admitting it isn't an attack. I reiterate; I'm not fighting Christianity, I'm trying to point out the double standard by which atheists are judged.
But you are conflating Christianity with unchristian acts - that is not only false condemnation but deceitful. You know nothing about the Bible or true Christianity or you would not attribute the acts of sinners to the doctrines of Christianity.
And yet you feel justified conflating atheists with dictators. I've always said the individual is at fault, but you're trying very hard to label me as anti-Christianity. So who here is really hellbent on condemnation?
Austinstar, honey, I'm not afraid of you. Y'all can do whatever you like. I've known some really compassionate atheists when so-called Christians wouldn't lift a finger.
You have a strange, distorted view of Christians. Not all are the same.
And Christians seem to have a strange, distorted view of atheists. I grew up a "Christian" and I live in the Bible belt. I have first hand experience with the "Christian" view and it's very corrupted from what
Jesus preached. Believe what you will.
So Star, you want us to believe Jesus approved of atheism, Jesus has anything good to say about people who deny that there is a God? What are you smoking? Really.
Corrupted? Absolutely! We agree on that. What many Christians are pushing is not Christianity. But again -- not all Christians!
If anyone corrupted Christian view it isn't the Bible belt Christians, it is the "New age" Christians who pervert Biblical Christianity and add to scripture or totally rewrite Bible. Jesus said God "only shalt thou serve", not he doesn't exist.
tsad - Your view of "Jesus" is so distorted, I don't even know where to begin. Neither of us has any way of knowing if Jesus approved of atheism. If he existed at all, he believed what the culture of the time believed most likely.
Tsad, you have a peculiar inability to read clearly. Jesus loved and approved of people; not their beliefs.
Why would Jesus accept those who denied him and his father? Are not these the one's who crucified him?
JFS, it took me many decades to understand "turning the other cheek." What do you really mean by "accept?" What do I really mean by "Love?" Love is not self-concerned. Love never keeps score. Love is open and generous.
I agree Lone. So you think everyone who loves one another is going to Heaven? I am trying to understand your philosophy. Should not we love Jesus and God to go to Heaven?
JFS, it has been said that whatever you do to the least of these inhabitants of Earth, you do unto the Father. If you have self-concern and place that above the needs of others, you dwell in Ego, not in Love (heaven)
Why then was Jesus crucified out of hatred?
Accordingly, Jesus 'forgave those that knew not what they were doing', He allegedly blessed and forgave the criminals that were crucified alongside him. He seemed to be very non-judgemental.
JFS, those people (and most of us on Earth) still dwell in self-concern (Ego) instead of Love.
Okay Lone. I think I am getting a better understanding of what you are trying to say. Love one another is one of Jesus' greatest commandments.
@Austin It was only one thief that Jesus forgave on the cross because of his belief and his faith in Jesus
Austinstar & lonestar, both appropriate names as your ideas of Jesus are from outer space. To suggest the Jesus of Scripture approves of the notion or of anyone who believes that there is no God would be considered crazy even by rational atheists
Well, that's the story you read JFS. But by forgiving all for not "knowing what they do", he also forgave everyone. And according to Christianity, forgiving all humans was what Jesus was all about anyway.
What story did you read Austin. Apparently not the Bible. Do you know not what happened after Jesus was put to death on the cross? Of course not. I suggest you do some more reading of the Bible before becoming vocal about it. God's wrath was seen!
JF, just because Jesus, loves sinners that in noway implies he approves of our sin. To deny Christ, to deny God is sin&anyone who does so in his heart rejects God's love. Only God knows one's heart but Jesus himself states what their end will be.
jfs - I won't get into a discussion about the bible which I have read several times. You do realize that experts say that there are no eye witnesses to Jesus' crucifixion? Everything was written down many years AFTER the supposed event.
@ Austin I choose not to debate you period. But, YOU WILL NOT TALK DOWN TO ME! I am no theologian by far and I can admit this. You lady cannot admit anything you say is wrong. I will tell you as an atheist you are a crude, condescending human being.
Jfs - What did I say that was wrong? And please use your "indoor" voice.
JF welcome to the world of atheism! The Bible identifies those who say there is no God as fools, because the evidence of God everywhere,they are corrupt&should not be believed. Psalms 14:1,53:1Matthew 5:22John 4:24 John6:44 Romans1:19 Romans1:20
The scripture determines whose a Christian and not the one who claims the name. But also I have not met one Christian I know of that are afraid of Atheist. I love talking with many. Why be afraid when you know you have the Truth. But yea, no fear =)
Bigtel - If you hang around here, you will meet several "Christians" who are afraid of atheists, or at least they are terribly angry at us for some reason.
austinstar says "religionists look down on atheists like they are bugs to be squashed" Sounds like she fears "religionists" and is projecting.
Perhaps it would show a bit more tolerance if atheists struck out as much against , say Islam or Budism as they do against Christianity ! It is Christianity that is under the fiercest attack from everywhere . I believe it proves much insecurity
Ahback, I'll tell you why. Same reason they don't strike out at Santa Claus, they know who ithe true God,this is a spiritual battle over souls belonging to the1 true God, they must lead people away from him, false religions do that job for them.
I am not "attacking" anyone. I am either stating my beliefs or defending my beliefs. I have always stated that everyone is entitled to believe whatever it is that they want to. So am I.
Tell me austinstar, does this guy scare you? Or does he just make you feel petty & small for always lying about why you delete Christians' comments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed...
No GM, the problem is with people who ostracize and demonize. This isn't an evil only coming from the religious. Ego is an equal-opportunity corrupter and destroyer.
If there is a fanatical bent it is possessed by you. Throughout history Christianity has championed freedom and human rights. The same can not be said of atheism, in fact the opposite is true. At least Christians have the word of God to stand upon.
Christianity does not have a great track record with human rights. It's history is rampant with fear-mongering, racism, sexism and homophobia. It champions freedom only if you're a straight white man.
Again Dremer, Neither Jesus nor Christianity condone anything you have accused Christianity of,these are actually the actions of people who don' t live their lives according to Jesus'teachings, people who behave like people who deny he exists.
And what makes you think atheists condone the actions of people who violate human rights?
Um History? Are you crazy? The nation today with the highest population of Atheists, 47%, is China - like they care about human rights? Why should they? Are atheists constrained by such beliefs? says who?
Atheist banter and proselytize Christians all the time, I have endured much of it. The religious people you speak of have subscribe to Christianity but they are "Christians" as the bible would describe. #Strawman
Again, you're using a double standard on history. Atheists who do bad things means atheism is bad. Christians who do bad things means it's the individual. I'm not trying to establish one viewpoint as superior, I'm saying not all atheists are boogymen
Exactly! Just because one is an atheist doesn't mean that they are trying to "belittle" any religion. It's simply a statement.
ahorse - Sorry, but some atheists would like to see religious harm disappear in our lifetime. I am against death/war due to religion, "faith" healing that doesn't work. Not religion itself, but just the harm that certain beliefs cause.
Mostly it's the Christian laws and misbehavior we object to, not the practice of your religion as it does not affect us. Look up "rape insurance, Michigan" before saying religion is never stuffed down our throats in the form of Christian laws.
That insurance rider is an affront to women everywhere! Including the whole "we won't pay for birth control" because of our religious beliefs. I would not work for a company that won't support women's rights. Religion has no right to legislate this.
I agree with you ahorseback...+1
Stargrrl - Does that mean you are FOR religious harm then? Or just opposed to the atheists who wish to fight religious harm?
I don't think religion is harmful.
I didn't say that religion was harmful, I said that some religious beliefs are harmful.
Most of us love Christians. Most of us personally know good Christians, and don't hate the entire group, just the ones who force their beliefs on the population and refuse to try to do exactly what you are saying.
Would you walk in an atheist parade peeples?
yes if it was to protect my rights, just as I would be supportive if my husband wanted to walk in a Christian parade. Sharing beliefs or being unified with like ppl is not forcing beliefs.
Why should there be different parades period? You proved my point. You look at it as us and them. This is not the way it should be. You all act like some black folk. They do not want to be stereotyped but continue the same behavior. Truly sad.
Fellowship, fighting for rights, there are plenty of reasons for parades. Are you saying you think people should hide their viewpoints from the world?
Exactly what race is a theist, as opposed an Atheist. Is one less of a human, homo sapien-sapien, than the other?
You seem to want that from the Christians don't you? I have come to a conclusion in my life. The most vocal are trying their best to interfere in others lives. Unless it affects your life just leave it alone. It is not worth it.
I have no desire for Christians to hide their views, just not to impose laws that impact others, or force their beliefs on anyone.
Of course peeples. No one wants that.
Well said Mr.Big. I have witnessed horrendous foul language from atheists criticizing creationists.It goes beyond just hate speech to evil threats, just visit their blogs.I have to say atheists on hubpages do refrain from foul language & threats
I get death and rape threats from Christians on a regular basis in response to editorials on atheism and homelessness. I get a lot more Christian emails full of swearing. Those people sometimes even get labeled as atheists by normal Christians.
I don't believe a word of that.I guarantee you if it is occurring those people (whom YOU know nothing about) are not behaving as a Christian should. At least real Christians can be judged by a standard, what standard judges atheists? NONE.
Kylyssa, the question was not "Who does more bad stuff between atheists and Christians". The question was
"How can atheists improve their image?"