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?
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.
I agree that that is a big problem. I am not condoning their actions. What I am saying is that that problem will never go away as long as there are religious people around. What is the best way to achieve the goal to get rid of most, if not all, religious people?
Being offended gains you nothing but the feeling of superiority. And I suggest that we cannot afford to be offended.
The question is: what do we do about that offense? My answer is: when they are out of bounds, I make NO BONES about saying so, about notifying my representatives regarding my displeasure, and taking other actions as are available to me, including petitions online and otherwise and any other actions which may be available to me.
I can do all of that and be polite as hell, and the numerous JW's and others who have visited my domicile in the past two years will confirm that. What I won't do is budge so much as one iota from my stand or cut them any slack they don't deserve. Too many religionists are entirely too willing to run roughshod over us. I will not turn the other cheek.
I can sense hostility in your replies. What have they done that warrants such hostility? No, don't answer that.
I am not saying you should give up anything. I am not saying that you should turn the other cheek. What would you gain if you get retribution every time you deal with them? I suggest you will never get rid of them if you keep on the defensive, or offensive.
If you demand to be respected, you should also be willing to give respect. Being polite can be a poor way to hide hostility.
What do they deserve? What do you deserve as compensation? I think you deserve to be free of them forever. What do you suggest would be the best way to get rid of them? Has what you have done so far worked? Do you think that my ideas have a hope in hell to work?
Hostility? No. Determination? Ohhhhh, YOU BETCHA!
As I just said above, I have met the JW's on my own turf and was polite, despite the fact that they are coming to my property uninvited. The last time, I told them their holy book was riven with contradictions and without any form of second source, while they seemed to be more interested in my cat (he's a VERY handsome fella!). So far, there have been no hackles raised and no ill will, though the gal who did most of the talking made a point about coming back some time or other. If they want to keep this up, I will eventually tell them point-blank that my stance is not subject to change and their repeated efforts are not appreciated.
Let's keep in mind, I haven't gone either to their house or their Kingdom Hall and told them what to think, nor would I. If they want to press on regardless, their welcome will shortly be worn out.
Now that I understand what you have been trying to tell me, I agree with you 100%. I dream of a country where religion is basically no more.