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?
I like that poster. I also like the choice of color - the nonchristian religions are portrayed as full of light, while the Jesus poster is gloomy and forbidding. Probably not intentional, but I like that.
Interesting thing about that comment "what was wrong if you just believe in God, and you're not using it for money or power, or whatever." - how much do we see faith used for money and power? Does the writer ever look at the news? Have they ever heard of megachurches, Rebublicans, Pat Robertson?
You are right about avoiding the thread because they will drive you insane. Also that they are hypocritical, they expect their religious faith to be honored, but religionists have disrespected, and persecuted, people who were not their religion for millenia.
Aye, we all know of these horrible and loud preachers for which Christianity is a money making, guilt trip factory. This kind of religion in my opinion is something that I have very little respect for, but I do respect the individual believers, or at least as much as another person I should say. I know of many Christians that are very inclusive towards others that participate in a lot of charity, because they feel that it is their duty as a Christian.
When people use their faith as a tool to build bridges I applaud them, regardless of what I think of their motivations. I am convinced that they are in fact being great people, and I hope that they would be the same if they were not Christians. This kind of very personal and inclusive religion is something that is quite on the rise in the Netherlands. These kind of Christians are actually more like the "hippie/buddy" Jesus then the fire and damnation bully that Pat Robertson preaches about.
I'd like to belief that this is due to the fact that the Dutch people are quite critical to religion and that for instance, at my work at the lunch table the subject of religion is openly discussed. This in turn has caused many theists to examine their religion and their views more critically. A lot of the Christians that I know of are nothing like the money grabbing preacher that push their religion likes pimps on the corner of the street.
Even an anti-theist cannot deny that there are plenty of admirable theists, and that the major disagreements don't have to be a source of conflict between theist and atheists. Most of these Christians that I know of are more outraged and ashamed by the more vile aspects of "their" religion then I am. (FYI, I wouldn't piss on Pat Robertson if his ass was on fire.)
They need to speak up though, as it does seem to be that these inclusive (moderate?), Christians are a minority in their respective religions, judging by their spokesmen.
Argh, long post. I saw Pat Robertson's name and I just couldn't help myself.
He's training to carry the cross, is he?
These "inclusive" christians can afford to be pleasant. They KNOW that YOU are going to Hell. No inclusiveness in Heaven.
You'd be surprised, there are quite a few Christians that do not even hold to the doctrine that salvation is only possible through the acceptance of Christ as your savior. It makes you wonder what doctrines they do believe in, doesn't it?
Spears of fire, swords of lightening, jesus flashing gang signs.... I see nothing but trouble here.....
No, no, no! No, Mr. Previous Person. The sexual minorities are not calling you bigoted. They are calling you stupid or ignorant, ignorant of the countless studies showing that there are differences in the brains of the straight and gay, as well as hormonal interventions during gestation and/or delivery. Why would a person choose to be a "homo," "faggot," et al.? Why not just be "normal"? Because, for one thing, there is NO "normal." If I may paraphrase Shakespeare in a different context, nothing's normal or abnormal but thinking makes it so. I do not despise Christians, I simply pity them. They know not what crutches they walk on and how flimsy the basis that holds them up, a veritable tissue of lies beginning with the circular reasoning of saying, "I don't care whether he ever lived, I believe in him because the Bible says so." Atheists stand on their own feet and take responsibility for their actions. Christians ask forgiveness, which presupposes permission to sin.