Learn to Find God,
Because
He Has Found You
Heather

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "heather"
Subject: Re: Message from a Christian
Date: August 04, 2004 22:21

Please explain. What is a "God" and why would I want to find it? Why is it lost?

These are questions that have been baffling me for decades, but nobody has bothered to take me seriously when I ask them.

Thus, I remain an atheist.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Entering our 10th year of service
   to people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "heather"
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004
Subject: Re: Message from a Christian

Well, not much of that made any sense to me: I still need to know, if I need to find this thing, how did it get lost? or if it isn't lost, then why does it need finding? And why do you need me? There's a lot to be said for doing things yourself.

You did make a tiny amount of progress on my first question: What is a "God"? Is this the "Higher Being" you mention? (I wonder what kind of trip might this "Being" get high upon?) Nobody but nobody has been willing to sit down and explain this one to me.

If you would explain to me what a "God" is, then your explanations as to why I'd want to find one of these things and exactly why I need to be involved in the first place might start to become just a little bit clearer. Mostly, though, is this "praying" thing that I keep hearing about, where people (I guess) talk to the floor? What is that all about!?

If you could explain some of these basics to me, then maybe I could come to an understanding of just what it is you're talking about. In lieu of that, however, I remain an atheist.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Entering our 10th year of service
   to people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "heather"
Subject: Re: Message from a Christian
Date: August 12, 2004 05:54
 

Ah, but you're the one who wrote to me, saying, "I hope you all can learn to find God, because He has found you."

So when I write back and try to find out just what this all means (why you would say this to me), you reply and tell me that there's no sense in trying to make me understand, that it's not your job to convince me.

In short, it's just not important enough to justify such an expenditure of effort now that we've hit some snags, now that you've bumped into someone who refuses to take anything for granted in discussions like this.

Uh, I beg to differ, because you are the one who brought it up: I was simply minding my own business before you came along and started this whole thing.

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The reason I responded the way I did is to show our readers that what you're doing here is but a microcosm of the big picture out there: we atheists are minding our own business, not bothering a soul. Then, all of a sudden the Christian comes along and insists that we see things the Christian way, often even assuming that we're already adept at the Christian style of thinking and reasoning (or lack thereof).

When we challenge the Christian as to why we ought to do such a thing, she or he often engages in all manner of diversion and distraction, usually culminating in a situation where the Christian blames and even judges the atheist(s) for failing to grasp what the Christian religion continually fails to make clear, both to the atheist and even to her own believers! (Had Christianity made these things clear to their own believers, then those believers would, to a man, be able to answer my questions, don't you think?)

Of course, silly me for expecting clarity from one whose goal is to confuse: clarity is the enemy of confusion! And confusion is all I have ever experienced at the hands of people who ring the doorbell of my mind and then attempt to talk me into abandoning my hard-earned moral values (etc.) in exchange for the prefabricated worldview of organized religion.

(Talk about black-and-white!!)

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Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to take another look at this situation in our never-ending quest to crack this problem so that we nonbelievers can participate fully in the human experience that is American culture and society.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Entering our 10th year of service
   to people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "heather"
Subject: Re: Message from a Christian
Date: September 02, 2004 12:19

Correct. We atheists don't want any more "feedback" from Evangelical Christians (if initiating a dialogue is rightly called "feedback").

That is the entirety of our message, in a nutshell.

Unfortunately, that desire is itself a pipe dream as extravagant as any entertained by religionists of any stripe.
 

We don't believe -- in the theistic sense of believing. That's what a-theism is: being without theism, that is, without religious faith (belief).
 

The problem with the Evangelical sects is that they behave as if they think all non-Christians are so utterly dense that we could live for (in my case) 47 years without having heard the Christian god-claim at least a hundred times.

In my case, I've heard the Christian god-claim tens of thousands of times. This is because I have publicly declared myself to be an atheist, a man wholly indifferent to the religious beliefs of other people. Literally, I'm a man who does not grant assent to any of the various god-claims.

I do the Positive Atheism project for specific reasons, one of which is that I wish to study antiatheist bigotry firsthand. When I first opened it up almost ten years ago, I would have never dreamed there is so much animosity toward atheists out there. (Of course, I live in Oregon, home of the lowest amount of antiatheist bigotry -- so what would I know about antiatheist bigotry!?)
 

I was trying to show you just how much of your "message" relies upon inaccurate assumptions that you and your sect have made about me and about the social class to which I belong. Many of these assumptions are targeted at my humanity. What this means is that the working model of humanity (Man) used by modern, post-Reagan, American Evangelical Christians has serious flaws which, at minimum, alienate many non-Christians. This is probably the main reason the Barna Foundation found that Americans have a substantial distaste for Evangelicals, rating only prostitutes as being less likeable than Evangelicals. And Barna is an Evangelical Christian!

And so here you go, dishing out unjustified conclusions about me (the atheist) based upon the boorishness that is common to this particular wing of the Christian sect. No, I don't need to understand why some people, even in this advanced age, would still believe the various primitive monotheistic god-claims that have been floating around for oh these many millennia, now. If we choose not to live in a medialess cave, then we are "treated," on a daily basis, to the very education that you offer.

If anything needs to happen, it is this: any and every Evangelical Christian who openly presupposes that atheists in the United States (or anyone, for that matter) need to know more about their ubiquitously promoted religion ought to be strapped into that chair featured in the film A Clockwork Orange, with their eyelids held open by little tongs and with frothing men dripping saline solution onto their eyeballs. This way, the culprit can be subjected to an hours-long barrage of information regarding what it's like to be an atheist and how atheists manage to cope in this religion-saturated world. Perhaps it would be possible for a few of them to come to an awareness of why so many thinking atheists work so very hard at resisting the temptation to consider Evangelicals of this type as the most selfish, self-centered, and self-seeking class of people who has ever exhibited the common lack of a specific moral trait.

But when I'm not so introspective, I just plain don't want to discuss it. Why? Because I'm tired of going over the same old arguments that I put to rest in my own mind while I was yet a teenager. Any gloating on your part because of my refusal to take you on is inappropriate because if all you want to do is refute or convince atheists, then there are plenty of us out here, many of whom actually like to watch evangelist-types twitch like you appear to enjoy doing.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Entering our 10th year of service
   to people with no reason to believe

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Added: November 17, 2004

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "heather"
Subject: Re: Message from a Christian
Date: September 25, 2004

Of course I'm "on the defensive"! Look at the wholly offensive Evangelical Christians that I deal with, day in and day out! Far from inviting their commentary, I openly discourage it on the very front page of my web site. They drop it off by the bagfull nonetheless, even though very little of it that I've read actually says anything.

Your definition of empty appears to mean "not assenting to the central claims of the Christian religion," because my life is anything but "empty" (in any sense except that one). There's a reason why you simply stated that my life is "empty": this is because you cannot argue, show, or demonstrate that what you say about me is true.

As I stated, the only reason you don't understand me is because you refuse to take seriously what I have said about myself.

The reason I don't understand you is because you refuse to be candid in your discussions about either of us.

Have a nice life nonetheless: as far as I can tell, it's the only one we get to live -- ever.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Entering our 10th year of service
   to people with no reason to believe

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added November 21, 2004

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "heather"
Subject: Re: Message from a Christian
Date: September 25, 2004

Of course I'm "on the defensive": look at the wholly offensive Evangelical Christians that I deal with, day in and day out! Far from inviting their commentary, I openly discourage it on the very front page of my web site.

Your definition of "empty" appears to mean "not including assent to the Christian god-claim," because my life is anything but "empty" (in any sense except that one). The reason you simply stated that my life is "empty" is that you cannot do more than that. You cannot argue, show, or demonstrate that what you said about me is true.

As I stated, the only reason you don't understand me is because you refuse to take seriously what I have said about myself.

The reason I don't understand you is because you refuse to be candid in your discussions about either of us.

Have a nice life nonetheless: as far as I can tell, it's the only one we get to live -- ever.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Entering our 10th year of service
   to people with no reason to believe

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