If You Hate Jerry Falwell,
Then Who Do You Love?
Palash Ghosh

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Palash Ghosh"
Subject: Re: What Do Atheists Love?
Date: October 29, 2002 6:47 AM

Well, I love Bo Diddly, who wrote that wonderful Blues Rocker, "Who Do You Love?" (covered best by Quicksilver Messenger Service on the LP Happy Trails).

Ah, but what do atheists love? Well, the only thing that atheists have in common is that we have not heard a god-claim that is worth believing: all seem to be either too far-fetched or are clearly outright lies. I guess the one thing that all thinking atheists have in common is their respect (love) for truth: we are not willing to say that a thing is true unless we know that it is, in fact, true. But not every atheist even thinks about these things. Most do not, actually; most atheists simply ignore religion altogether.

But what do atheists love? Aside from the fact that we have only one thing in common, our atheism, and aside from the fact that for almost all atheists, atheism is a wholly unimportant component of our comprehensive world views, I might have tried to answer this question for you.

However, I detect no small amount of spitefulness in your question. I think that for me to cooperate with your spite-filled attitude or to respond to it with anything but a stern rebuke would be both unproductive as well as undignified.

So, for your spiteful, vindictive attitude, here comes a rebuke:

What's a "God"?

You err in assuming that I even understand what you are saying, here. I hear this word all the time, but nobody has bothered to tell me what it means in terms that I can understand -- or even relate to.

That is very strong language: "hate"! Where did you come up with that? Did I say that?

No, I did not say that at all. Never once did I say I "hate" the church.

I never said it and would never say it because it simply is not true. If something is not true and I know that it is not true, you will not hear it proceed from my lips or fingertips.

(Besides which church do you accuse me of hating, since you use the singular? Is there only one? I thought there were thousands of different ones, each claiming to be The One True Church and often calling their fellow churches "false churches.")

This is what has always bothered me about religion, particularly the Christian religion: it sure seems as if the only method that people ever use in trying to fast-talk me into joining their little group is to lie to me either about themselves or about myself.

Why is this? Why do so many Christians lie to me in trying to get me to join them?

Ah, here we go again! Another lie about me!

I don't hate Jerry Falwell. If Falwell and his ilk (and followers) did not so closely resemble cockroaches in their manner and character, then I'd have a much easier time with them, to be sure. I think those who have fallen for his wiles are wasting, with folly, their only-ever opportunity to live. I'd certainly feel ashamed if my only chance to exist as a sentient being, ever, had been spent aiding and abetting criminal-minded exploiters such as Falwell, Robertson, Wildmon, Kennedy, LaHaye, Hinn, Bakker, Swaggert, and the rest, whose names have been mercifully purged from my memory by the passing of time. But I'm not about to tell other people what to do with their lives.

Why do you Evangelical Christians do this so often? Why do you lie like this?

Just what is it about Evangelical Christians that so many of you come off as utterly spiteful!? This is particularly true when it comes to your treatment of atheists, but I notice this attitude toward many beautiful things on Earth -- and if not beautiful, at least perfectly innocent of anything that would warrant such organized spite on your part.

Yes, I said "organized spite."

I notice that a great number of Evangelical Christians seem to be spiteful in concert, each one vilifying the exact same list of things that his fellow Evangelical vilify. It's as if all have abandoned their individuality and have given themselves over to obey the same tiny group of political opportunists. In fact, I have even watched this list change over the years. The year 1980 was a big year for change in this respect.

I can remember when nobody gave a hoot about evolution. In the early 1960s, everybody supported science education. Everybody. Nowadays, in many different Evangelical Christian circles, if you don't have extremely strong feelings against historical method and scientific method, that is, if you don't go along with some newfangled "alternative" history and "alternative" science, you're not accepted as a Christian in good standing. Your faith is not true. Ditto for abortion: I can remember when only the Roman Catholic Church paid any mind to Planned Parenthood, and even many Catholics lauded Planned Parenthood's successes in controlling the birth rate. Some "sins" were graver than others, and this one of practicing birth control was not seen by many as among the "biggies" back then. Now, in many different Christian circles (and even a few non-Christian circles), if you don't hiss and spit and bristle and extend your claws and growl and puff up and yell and pound your chest and flail your arms and scream loud and scream ugly when the enemy "Pro-Choice" appears on the screen, then you're just not "one of us."

And this organized political exploitation does not support or endorse or like (love?) anything: everything we hear from this synchronized, syncopated Evangelical Christian movement is filled with spite, spite, spite. The Evangelicals are against this and the Evangelicals want to shut down that and the Evangelicals want to abolish something and the Evangelicals want everybody to stop doing whatever. They are seldom seen being for this or wanting to start doing that or trying to open up this other thing or working to promote something (unless it involves our government giving the Christian religion free advertising -- in our courthouses, on our money, in our public schools, etc.).

Why is this? Why do so many Evangelical Christians come off so vividly looking this way?

Is there anything you Evangelicals love? -- besides yourselves?

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Seven years of service to people
    with no reason to believe

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