Are Atheist Activists Just Plain Mean?

Today’s post comes from a Twitter guest, @Ninja_Noise. Take it away, my man!

atheist-baby

I will start by saying that we are Americans and live in a free country. Everyone has the right to choose what they believe in or do not believe in. Every person must make their own choice about the existence of God. However, this does not give them the right to try to remove God or religion from everyone else’s life. I believe in God. I do not hate anyone because they do not believe in God. I feel sorry for those who do not believe, but I do not hate them. I do take offense when others try to hinder my ability to express my belief in the way I choose. Most non-believers and people of faith can get along. They can agree to disagree and even have friendly but lively discussions about faith. Neither side needs the government to hinder our way of life.

But why the title question, “Are Atheist Activists Just Plain Mean?” It separates atheists into two groups:

1. Atheists – People who choose to live a life of non-belief.

2. Atheist Activists (AA) – Non-believers who want to change the way others live their life.

Being an Atheist does not make you mean. An Atheist trying to remove God and religion from everything should ask themselves, “Am I just being mean?”.

Why should atheist care if others believe in God? According to atheists, God does not exist. Why does something that does not exist cause them so much trouble? Why does belief in God bother an activist, especially when they think believers are ignorant, superstitious, or unenlightened? The atheist activists should just shake their heads, feel sorry for the believer, and then go on with their lives. We all know people who do or believe ignorant things. How does someone believing in God affect non-believers any more than believing Elvis is still alive, flying around on a spaceship with Bigfoot. According to Atheist Activists they are both equally ridiculous to believe in.

Atheist Activists argue, “What about children? Believers are forcing their values on their children.” Yet Atheist Activists are forcing THEIR values on believer’s children when they do not allow others to talk about God. Activists may ask, “How do I explain to my child why she shouldn’t bow her head when other kids pray?” Atheists have to teach their child their own beliefs or non-beliefs.

I have to try to teach my children why I believe the way I do. I have to show the reasons I believe what I believe. I have to trust that I have taught them well enough to follow in my beliefs. Atheist parents should do the same. All children are subject to outside influences. I would rather have my child influenced to think that there may be a God than influenced to take drugs, skip school, or steal. These negative influences are aimed at our children whether we are Christian or Atheist.

Do Atheist Activists tell their children that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are not real? Wait, they probably do. That seems a little mean. By the way, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny have nothing to do with the religious celebration of these holidays. So please leave them alone. Singing Frosty the Snowman will not make your child a Christian. How about the Tooth Fairy? Is it ok for the child of an Atheist Activist to believe that this person exists? Remember, you’re an atheist. To you God is not real either.

And what is wrong with prayer? According to the Atheist Activists it is a waste of time. No one is there to hear. Christians may be superstitious or ignorant for believing in it but how does this hurt atheist. What is wrong with prayer if it brings me comfort, if it helps me through hard times in my life, if it helps me to make sense of things when it seems the world has gone crazy? Why do activists want to take this away from believers? That just seems mean. Would you take a placebo pill away from a patient and tell them, “It’s just made of sugar it can’t help you?” Even if it doesn’t really work, it is making them feel better. Why don’t you want others to be happy?

If Atheist Activists do not want to believe in God that is their right. But, the next time they see a cross, or the Ten Commandments, or a Star of David they should ask themselves why these things bother them so. They are only symbols. Symbols of things they don’t even think are real. Do they feel this way when they see the Tooth Fairy or Bigfoot? Are they just mean people who don’t want others to find happiness where they can? Maybe the trouble is that these symbols stir a little something inside of them? Do they start to hear that little voice in the back of their mind or heart say, “What if God does exist?” There’s no need to fight these things because they are not real.

ARE THEY?

 

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8 thoughts on “Are Atheist Activists Just Plain Mean?

  1. There is a difference between ‘wanting to change the way others live their lives’ and ‘wanting to change the illegal and unconstitutional preference the government gives to certain religions’.

  2. So, by this logic, an African-American gentleman who sees a confederate flag flying over the state capitol should stop being such a jackass and calm down, because the civil rights act fixed all that. Yeah. Maybe we could blame him for running straight off to join the Black Panthers, but for being a little miffed, not so much. There is an exertion of power in the display of symbols, especially when the display is participatory, and the out-group is invited to acknowledge the power of the in-group or potentially be exposed to a more focused exertion of power.

  3. I think this is important, so I’ll go on about it. The class of behavior in question is dangerous well beyond the relatively trivial example in question. I say trivial because in modern societies, both believers and non-believers are much more likely to whine on the internet than hack at each other with machetes – something everyone should be proud of.
    None of this is about symbols themselves, it’s all about the display. I couldn’t care less what anyone displays, but then again, I’m in a position not to. I live in a sparsely populated area and work in a controlled environment. But Richard Dawkins might feel differently.
    If I were Professor Dawkins walking to work, and I saw a man pass by with a gold cross around his neck, I might think to myself, “Wow, that guy is deluded.”, but I wouldn’t be motivated to say anything or even give it a second thought. Nor would I blink when I arrived at work and found that Dr. Lennox had placed a Jesus bobble-head on his desk. When Dr. Lennox moves the bobble-head to the corner of his cubicle partition however, I might start to feel a little nervous, though I’d be prone to dismiss the feeling as paranoia. When Dr. Lennox comes by my desk later and announces that he’s getting Jesus bobble-heads for the whole office – you know, as a team-building sort of thing – and here is mine, I’m in a quandary. I can lie and conform, which will make my stomach churn a little every time I look up at the comic figurine gloating over my weak ass. I can refuse the gift, or I can take the gift and not display it. In either of the latter two cases, I can expect that Dr. Lennox or some of the compatriots he’s identified by offering them the opportunity to display bobble-heads, will regard me with some suspicion because I’m not a team player and I think I’m too good for bobble-head displays. But I choose one of the latter options anyway because I don’t like to have my stomach upset.
    Now there’s unrest in the department. Dr. Lennox and Co. never imagined that there could be such people among them who would fail to place a properly gifted Jesus bobble-head atop their partition. Why are those bastards making so much of a simple bobble-head display? The bobble-head advocates must make clear the importance of the symbol and at once confirm the poor quality of the non-displayers who will no doubt selfishly refuse to play along. A bobble-head party for the whole department is in order – no, a bobble-head holiday for the whole university! As Professor Dawkins, I now swear, “The next time I even see one of those freakin’ bobble-heads I’m gonna kick ass and ask questions later (metaphorically, of course, as I am a pasty academic).”
    Displays are normative; public displays endorsed by the authorities the more so. Outsiders who don’t object to public displays are either in no position to do so or, like me, in a position to disregard displays with impunity

    • I understand your point. However, you are not giving Dr. Lennox credit. If Dr. Lennox is the Christian he should be, he will not hold any ill will because of a refused gift. My first thought would be, “I didn’t know Dr. Dawkins was Jewish.” Jewish believers would not want a Jesus bobble head either. That is my personal bias. NOTHING AGAINST JEWS. I mean that I usually assume people are some sort of “people of faith.” This was exactly my point. If we were co-workers and I found out my bobble head bothered you, I would probably move it back to the center of my desk. I wouldn’t put it in my drawer but I wouldn’t push it in your face. (Unless you started acting like a jerk) I’m a Christian, not perfect. No Christian is. We can get along. Just don’t run to our boss and try to have all the bobble heads removed.

      • Yes, I’m not claiming that most people behave in the way I’m describing. There are plenty of nice Dr. Lennox’s out there, but it only takes a few naughty ones to set up a prisoners’ dilemma for everyone, where suspicion and preemptive nastiness become the logical, short-term defaults. That’s what you are seeing, I think, rather than just plain meanness, except for a few. To avoid the downward spiral, you will have to suffer a few jerks. Easier said than done, especially when you are in a position not to have to suffer jerks, but that’s what it takes.

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