Did i do the right thing. What would you have said?

So I like posting pictures and quotes about Atheism on my Facebook. A Christan friend of mine replied with this.

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday
Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does
not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up,
bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel
discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I
don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.
In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and
sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all
that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my
beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with
me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think
Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think
people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around,
period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an
explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I
don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we
should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we
understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But
there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from
and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a
little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's
intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson
asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding
Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful
response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we
are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to
get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the
gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out How can we expect God
to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I
think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body
found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools,
and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in
school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and
love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they
misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might
damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an
expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they
don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill
strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.
I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the
world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but
question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through
e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages
regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd,
crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but
public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on
your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they
will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than
what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it.... no one will know you did. But, if you
discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad
shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Then she posted : Be careful what you wish for

I replied with this:

The following was written by Cassandra Williamson.

I love Chriismas to, even though I am an atheist, I feel happy and warm and I love being with my familly.

I don’t like being pushed around as an Atheist, and I do believe that Christians get pushed around to, I don’t approve of religion bashing, and I just simply say what I believe. Why do Christians get to quote scripture all the time and I don’t do anything, but when I say there is no god I’m pushing religious people around?

I never heard that America was an Atheist country, I’ve allways herd that this was a Christain nation, when it is neither. This is a nation with freedom of religion.

I think it is disgusting that people "worship" celebrities, I might admire some for doing good work but as an Atheist I don’t "worship" anything!

Hurricane Katrina was a NATURAL disaster, we couldn’t stop it and if god was so good and loving he would have. And yes people did want religion out of schools and government b/c there is a separation from church and state! (Which I am a proud supporter of.)

The bible does say all that and they are great moral teachings, but we don’t need god to be a moral people. And might I add the bible also says that if a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night, if a man is gay or if a kid disobeys there parents than we should all stone them to death. So sure right, lets have that in our schools. Trade in the guns and knifes for stones!

Thou shalt not kill . Madeleine Murray O'Hare was MURDERED.

Again I’m sorry if me saying what I believe hurts your feelings, but how do u think I feel when I have to hear you quote the bible?

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully and Originally,

Cassandra Williamson

did i do the right thing? what would u have said?

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Comment by Jason Spicer on April 3, 2010 at 3:39am
Forgot to include the snopes link.
Comment by Jason Spicer on April 3, 2010 at 3:14am
The first thing I would have done is look up the Ben Stein letter on snopes.com to see if it was real. The first part is (actually written by Ben Stein, though it appears to have been modified a bit), but the second part (that starts with "in light of the many jokes") is pure bullshit added by some chainmail asshole somewhere along the line.

I don't like Ben Stein because of his generally assholier-than-thou crap, but the truly hateful second half of the above chainmail didn't come from him.

So, A.P., I think your response was fine, though I would have challenged the veracity of it, and I would have been considerably less polite. The bilge about us turning our backs on God and him being sad about withdrawing his protection is nothing but cruel indifference disguised as concern. It is truly disgusting and inhuman.
Comment by Manning Bartlett on April 3, 2010 at 2:08am
An excellent response. I would have gone further and observed that this same Bible that prohibits murder and encourages kindness has been used to justify mass murder (the Inquisition), genocide (the Crusades, the Holocaust). But your approach was probably better.

One thing I have really learnt from reading all of these comments is how hard it is to be non-theistic in America. I live in Australia where non-theism is routine. You have my sympathy.
Comment by Round Peg on February 15, 2010 at 6:06pm
Sure Princess, sharing an opposing point of view without using hurtful language is a positive thing: it helps people consider new perspectives, understand each other better, and maybe even respect each other more - I see nothing to regret here. :)
Comment by Richard H on January 6, 2010 at 3:24am
That seems polite enough. And the mainstream Christians are weird about Christmas.

They demand that businesses get involved and then are shocked and hurt when the holiday becomes commercialized.

They announce that the trees are really 'holiday trees' and that the other trappings in public places aren't inherently religious. And then they're offended when the celebration becomes secular.

I don't think they really know what they want.
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on November 24, 2009 at 12:41pm
Good response. Every year it's the same thing with Christians getting upset if some other religions besides Christmas are mentioned. The whole thing is just so silly!
Comment by Joey on November 16, 2009 at 1:51pm
Looks perfectly ok to me. If anything you were a lot nicer than I would've been.
You certainly weren't too mean in any way. Fools shouldn't be coddled.
Comment by Johnny on November 16, 2009 at 12:43pm
John: of course it isn't a sin to fire back at someone and you have every right to do so, but think about the cause of atheism before you act.

I think we have a great power and a great responsibility to spread secularism. You may very well be the only open atheist that some of these people know. It is your responsibility in a sense to be a good example and get people used to the idea. It isn't easy and it isn't fair to you, but imagine if you in your old age or your children could live in a secular world relatively free of religious bigots. Isn't that a good reason to try and control your temper a bit?

I'm preaching a bit, but that is my philosophy. I don't expect you to follow it, but I do encourage you to think about it.
Comment by Johnny on November 16, 2009 at 12:40pm
you did the right thing. I'm actually quite proud that you presented atheism that way. Not all of us can be so levelheaded and polite.

I likely would have responded in my own words, risking making angry comments although I try not to. Using a counter quote is an excellent idea.



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