When I hear these statements I wonder how these people feel when the media reports some murder where the accused states that they were directed by god. Do they secretly believe that the person was unjustly arrested? How would you ever know? Maybe god is directing a lot of these murders. Strangely the system never calls in a holy man or exorcist etc...
The whole religion is creepy. I had to do an assignment on religion last year and our group chose the Jehovah's Witnesses vs Catholics. Of course I would get the JW's. I had to interview a JW (she was a complete nutter) and then attend 5 of their church groupings or whatever you call them. On the first time on going I battled to leave the hall after the cermon was done. The Witnesses had obviously noticed I was a newcomer (but not my pen and paper and lack of praise during the songs) and practically swarmed me to ask who I was. They all asked why I was there and if I enjoyed the cermon and if I would be coming back next week, while smiling and welcoming me (in a really creepy friendly kind of way). I just smiled and nodded and said I had to come back next week for my assignment, and then never went back. I was scared for my life!
Do you ever get the urge when at a church to fill out the new comer's form with the information for someone that really annoys you? For example filling out one at the J.W. hall with the address and phone number of any really obnoxious Catholic you know. Still an idea I might use.
In high school, some Pentecostal girl I hung out with in gym every once in a while told me she had a dream that the rapture occurred and I was left behind. And then explained to me what the rapture entailed. I just replied "Bring it on, sounds like a blast." That year was a long one, every day I saw that girl she tried to get me to come to her church, and said it was her life mission to convert me and save my soul.
I can not express deeply enough just how fingernails-on-a-chalkboard icky and irritating that phrase is to me.
It is effectively taking pride (Brit Hume anyone?) in boasting that Christians have a freedom-to-sin and can do so as much as they want because all they have to do is say the magic words and it goes away like pixie dust.
Whereas we Atheists take responsibility for our actions and seek to behave for good behavior's sake, not because of some arcane reward/punishment system. Yet we're the amoral ones?
I tell them how sorry I am that they feel that they can't be good without a carrot or stick.
Love that line! Religion for some is indeed a crutch and kind of is like a carrot on a stick. "Ooh, if you behave, here's your reward!"
As an Atheist, my reward for good behavior is that I feel warm and fuzzy myself, tend to attract nice people as friends, and sleep with a clear conscience knowing I tried to leave my world a little more clean/pleasant than how I found it. "Sorry you feel you need more motivation than that."