I mean these people have as much right to believe as I do to not, however I guess it's because the g-d fearing have had more freedom to speak about it than the g-d-eschewing. It just makes me want to lash out, but what I do instead is just hide posts or block feeds.
My dissent post on Xmas, and even Santa was not popular, and I did get a few likes, but more so the response was icy like I am some sort of a freak. Santa is still wrapped up in the Xtian rituals in some Euro countries...Santa Claus is a cross of Dutch and Greek (Sinterklaas/Saint Nicholas) with Sinterklaas meaning "old saint".
So it was bad enough to disagree with Xmas, but Santa? Oh no. What kind of Scrooge are you? To me if you are going to be Atheist, include all the things.
What say the good folks here? To late, or still open for discussion?
Laars, as you know, I am more anti-theist than I am anything else and I assume that will pass when my bile gets leveled out. Many of my family and friends are born-again christians; they send out tons of that tear-jerking trash that sounds like made-up stories told to manipulate congregations of believers. I responded in four ways.
1. Tell them I am atheist and do not want their religious material, even though I care about them and want to stay in touch on Facebook. It is so easy to drop them notes or remember birthdays, death, etc.
2. When they send me more diatribe I find the video I most value and tell them this is the kind of story or video I enjoy receiving. It is usually Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett, Harris or Julia Sweeney, Eugenie Scott, Bart Ehrman, Jerry Coyne, Jared Diamond, Michio Kaku, or Richard Carrier. If you want any of these playlists, just let me know.
3. If I continue to get their stuff, I invite them to take me off their mailing lists.
4. If the stuff continues, I send them a nice note telling them I love them and I continue to have the genealogy study going on, and I am taking them off my mailing list and blocking their messages to me.
When people say they will pray for me I respond I will think for them. That is not original with me, I heard Daniel Dennett say it when he had his heart surgery.
I had the most wonderful Yule holiday with my daughter, her husband and two granddaughters and five great-grandchildren. We are not religious and everything was centered around the snow, and pets and food. Had the most wonderful time. Everyone got along really well and there is no monkey business about male dominance over women. In fact, My daughter and her husband own a business together and they have different responsibilities, but Larry could not manage without Laura's management and she couldn't manage without his entrepreneurial and marketing skills. They make a great team. They laugh and flirt a lot with each other and it is just very special to be with two happily married people.
All the adult members of the family belong to the volunteer Pend O'Reille Fire Dept Dist 8. There sometimes is a fire on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but not this year. This great team of community members work together to protect their neighbors from fires.
The point I want to make here is that atheist have been quiet for far too long, we need to make a joyful noise to life. We have morals and ethics that stand up to anyone, we work hard, play hard, love loyally, create a kind of environment where each one has the courage and opportunity to become the kinds of people that comes from decency, productivity, honesty, reliability, dependability, compassion, caring for one another, and focused on each individual flourishing in his/her own way.
Don't let others define us and don't stand for them claiming we have no moral foundation. Ours is as strong and healthy and none of the delusions of hope of heaven or fear of hell. We live each day, knowing this is all we have. When we die, we are dead. Don't use euphemisms for being dead. We will be dead. What carries on are the memories of us through families and friends and neighbors.
There is no purpose in life; it us up to each one to define his/her purpose based on interests and skills.
There is no plan for our lives, that, too, is up to each one.
Sometimes we make mistakes and usually we stand tall as decent human beings. We can't ask for more than that. If one stumbles, loved ones facilitate finding his/her path. A lot of us have stumbled badly; that is not the test. The real issue is having the courage to create for ourselves a safe, secure, stable, healthy life of our choice based on respect and compassion.
Staking Santa Clause over an ant hill on his special day, what were you thinking your response would be? We as a culture are so caught up in our symbols, and most don't even have a clue what the history of those symbols actually are and they don't want to know. It seems that as a culture the Christian right wing community is getting more and more polarized in response to the push of equalization and exclusion of their "We are the only one's with the truth" mentality. I live in a southern Texas coastal town and I am surrounded by this mentality. The intensity that I am greeted with whenever I challenge anything is beyond ridiculous. I am sure I have a stake with firewood around it, in my front yard ready to make me a "post-toasty" for my beliefs. What I have discovered is that because their beliefs are built on fantasy they are terrified of anyone that wants to turn on the lights. You try to turn on the lights and you become the enemy. Simple really, they like living in the dark, prefer to live in the dark. And in spite of all their clamoring about "The truth shall set you free." They are only talking about their distilled version. I think the ability to accept freedom from religion for many is a growth process and most of God's sheep are not willing to let go of their concept of shepherd, it is just too bloody terrifying to consider being in this world without the pacifier of a belief in something greater than themselves to blame and call upon when faced with the truth of their aloneness. You can call it maturity if you want. But look at it this way, Christianity is all about fear. Fear of hell, fear of the devil, fear of doing wrong, not being good enough, blaming God, the ungodly, blaming women for the fall, blaming the body for natural desire, etc, etc. Hell, they crucified their own savior because they were so terrified of change and they were the ones that clamed belief in the first place. We want to believe this nation is built on tolerance of one another's beliefs or lack their of. But truly, honestly, look at our history. It looks good on paper but in actuality we as a people are far, far from the reality of tolerance for our differences. Better check your front yard for wood and a stake.
The great joy of leaving religion behind for me is I don't have to put on a mask in order to be accepted. I don't have to conform or obey or turn the other cheek, or crucify myself for someone else. I like knowing I am I and that is good enough. I like feeling a part of something so full of wonder that I can't even imagine it, yet I know i am made of the stuff of stars. I am part of the universe and the universe is part of me.
I can sing and dance, write and read, think and imagine, be part of community and be separate. I am grateful to be alive at this time in history when there is so much going on. Not a dull moment.
It seems the problem is that the believers and the non-religious are on an unequal playing field.
Christians not only feel they have the right to proselytise about their faith, but it is their duty (I Peter 3:15, though most don't actually grasp the full import of Peter's command). At the same time in several places the Bible explicitly states that reason is the enemy of faith (possibly one of the few true things in the Bible).
So while they maintain the privilege to proselytise freely, many atheists will not at all, and those that do are "dissing" religious faith. "Dissing" religious faith comes perilously close to a charge of blasphemy.
A tongue-in-cheek response might be "How dare you blaspheme Einstein and Darwin!"
Many believe physics and evolution to be religions anyway, so why not claim the religious privilege for them that actual religions do?
I like that Darwin/Einstein comment! The following is pretty good too.
A friend of a friend said:
"There's no reason to ever believe in a god. If this were a universal acceptance, people could finally start doing for themselves instead of relying on the non-existent to do it for them, and just maybe we could all start making the world a better place instead of fighting over which invisible mascot is the better one."