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?
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.
The Jehovah witness's are harmless, it's the christian right that is very dangerous, for they want the whole world, starting with the US. They so far are succeeding.
If we get rid of the Christian Right and Islam, the Jehovah's Witnesses or some other religion will eventually take their place. ALL RELIGIONS ARE BAD! So if you want to get angry about the Christian Right, also be wary of the other religions.
Weeds are harmless, but if not kept under check, your whole lawn will eventually be covered with them. Get rid of one weed, and another will take its place.
You and I agree that the Christian Right are slowly succeeding in their quest to dominate the US Government. Complaining about it is the first step. What else can we do?
Cane Kostovski...You sound like a christian apologist.
Well, I did say that a Christian could learn something from an atheist and visa versa. If you think that is crazy, then you probably won't take the suggestion to talk to a religious person about anything else but religion and see what I mean. Just like atheists have lives without a God, so do the religious even though they believe that God rules all.
Cane Kostovski...Its impossible to have an intelligent conversation with a religious person, and don't give me the bullshit they are not all like that.
Maybe you mean: "You can't have an intelligent conversation with a religious person about religion!" I have very often talked about my kids to religious people. They have good solid non-religious advice regarding them. That's just one example.
I bet you can have an intelligent conversation with them if you keep the subjects out of religion and non-religious topics that offend them such as Evolution, Abortion, Homosexuals, etc. Start off with other topics and they will respect you and you will respect them. After a few encounters, you can slowly inch into those taboo topics. When you do, show that it is good to ask questions.
The political environment is "us against them". No compromise. I say that is completely wrong. We need compromise to function as a conglomeration of all kinds of people. I wish all of those different people had one thing in common: Atheism.
Cane, I agree that neither I nor you are "better" than anyone else. But where, IMHO, your error exists is in your own statement. What they try to shove down our throats is what they believe to be good for you.
I'm not trying to shove anything down anyone's throat. I'm not out there proselytizing to anyone. I don't go knocking on doors disturbing a family's peace and quiet. I don't show up at terminally ill patients' bedsides selling them a phony line of shit as they are about to breath their last. And, I don't go around committing child abuse by scaring little ones with tales of horned boogie men and lakes of eternal fire. And why? Because I have enough respect for someone to accept the fact they may think differently than I do, and leave them to their beliefs. Just like I have the same right to be left to mine.
However, when I'm on the receiving end of uninvited proselytizing, I automatically know that person does not respect me. And when that happens, all bets are off. When they open that door without invitation, yeah, my verbal "boot up the ass" is going right through it.
Pat....I applaud your stand, however we are better than them, for obvious reasons.
Us against them is a bad thing. It's wrong to not to compromise.
If it's so obvious, then there is no reason for you to investigate whether what you hold true is really true or not. There is no reason to go and talk to a religious person about anything OTHER than religion or the hot topics.
There is no reason for the religious to investigate whether their belief that there is a God is actually true. According to a religious person, that is.
I am a strong atheist. I believe that we must engage the religious whenever possible. IMHO, the best way to do so is to show you see them as an equal, give them the respect you would want for yourself, and demand non-violently that they respect you. Most Christians are reasonable and this method works. There are a few who have emotional problems and can only talk at you, not with you. So, how would I handle a person who is talking at me, or yelling at me? Well, if I know the person, I would try to find out what the emotional outburst is about. If I don't know them, I walk away. There is nothing to be gained when the religious person has a grudge, or has pain driving them to disrespect you. Most people disrespect others because of some sort of pain. There are the extremists who have been raised or brainwashed to hate. I am not a doctor, so I would not know how to handle an extremist. Also, you mentioned the evangelists. They have been brainwashed to disrespect you by intruding into your life. You have the choice to see this as an intrusion, or an opportunity. You can't always choose to see it as an opportunity, but if you even try a little, you can use their tactics against them. If it isn't working out, you can always ask them to leave.
You will never be free of the danger that your dinner will be disturbed unless there are no more religious people. Tall order, but we have to start somewhere.
I am not saying you have to become friends with everyone you meet, but just give them the respect you want them to give you. It will take you alot further than you might imagine.