The "You ain't no Muslim" remark made by a bystander in the London subway stabbings has been a major internet sensation. Substitute "Christian" for Muslim, and we atheists would be saying it ALL the time. Hate filled rhetoric, especially aired by Republican presidential candidates, is so anti-Christian. Of course, they can't see it as such. Shameful.
Think a minute. There is a book that has been around for centuries. It tells you all about (insert your god's name here) and what he wants and expects, tells how you got here and how and what everything is, how everything was created, tells what you are to do in this life and tells you all about life after death. In fact, it is this after life that is the most important. You must follow this book or bad things will happen to you.
Once you take the above approach to any religion it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it's all a big crock. Rather than disprove individual writings I now take the view that ANY such writings have to be totally absurd! This all sounds like a bad futuristic sci fi movie.
I met and know many gracious, loving, compassionate Muslims, Christian, Jews and I suspect you have too. In my experience, these believers with such benign beliefs in an Abrahamic god that never existed in history remind me of a Sunday School version with all things good coming from their beliefs. None of the benevolent Abrahamists know about, are not interested in knowing, and not curious about the historical underpinnings of their faiths. They sound and act like grown-up children who believe in Santa Clause.
I no longer remain silent in their presence, even as I do not expect them to respond to my comments in any way but revulsion. They hate what I say, don't want me to say it, and judge me negatively because of it. I've lost the friendships of several cousins and friends. My aunts rebuked me in clear ways, one ordering me out of her house. So be it.
I think it is vital to be honest with others because silence implies agreement. I have remained silent at times, such as the event Daniel described recently of attending a Jewish ceremony. I would probably not have been vocal about my disagreement at such an event because they don't matter to me. However, I think I would have a private conversation with my host.
Sounds like you're in the slums of Religionville.
It is the pits! I do believe it. I have lived in such places. I do live in such a place.
After my fall and complications, spending a week or so in the hospital with people tending to me, all the while giving me god's blessings, and praying for me, These people were kind and gentle with me as I wanted to kick the bucket and I kept throwing up on the bedding and their clothes and shoes. With each "I'll pray for you!" I told them I am an atheist and don't believe there is a god to answer them. I didn't think there was an assistant, either, or a son who could respond in any way helpful.
Different nurses and staff members throughout the day repeated the blessings and prayers. I repeated my statements in clear, concrete, confident, competent ways. No excitement in my voice, no expression of anger or complaint.
A strange thing began to happen. Individuals came to my bed after visiting hours and asked me all kinds of questions. They had never knowingly met an atheist before. They couldn't figure out how I could be so "nice" even as I threw up on many of them. One doctor and technician couldn't figure out how I tolerated the nose tube so easily. It was usually very difficult to insert. I told them I had been doing stress management exercises for the past 30 years. This was just an exercise in staying calm during stress. The tube siphoned my fecal matter out of my stomach, through my nose, and into liter containers.
Well, the point of writing about all of this is that my night visitors were not there to save me; they wanted to meet a living atheist. I did not frighten or threaten them. I just was honest in my rejection of god and all the stories that go with it. I told them some of the reasons I know there is no god, Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and no heaven or hell.
It was really very easy to do and I suffered nothing for the effort. I don't know if there are any new atheist running around the northern forests; I do know some people ask very good questions.
Thankfully praying is frowned upon in UK hospitals. I remember when a pal of mine was hospitalised with a life threatening condition and my co-visiter( who is a mad as a march hare Christian) began praying. He was told in no uncertain terms to stop or leave the hospital as he was upsetting the other patients(not to mention our pal in bed at deaths door).
Gerald, that is wonderful news! The UK advances far beyond US practices in hospitals. We get all the usual stuff at our huge medical complex that was started by a Roman Catholic nun, Mother Joseph, who was 63 years old when she started Spokane's first hospital in 1886.
Remember the stories Sk8eycat told of putting her atheist t-shirt over the crucified christ hanging in her hospital room?
All we have here is a hospital run by Seventh Day Adventists. They screwed up my medication after my operation. Afterward, when I told others, every single one of them had a horror story about being in that hospital. Yikes! I really don't want to go back.
Why do hospitals have to have religious affiliations?