Questioning Absurd Beliefs
I just read your article, "A Bigotry Widely Accepted," and the point you make about the double standard between the freedom of speech for atheists and the freedom of speech for Christians is right on the mark. I'm not sure if this is true all over the country, but where I live you can't drive a mile in any direction without being bombarded by Christian symbols and slogans. Practically every church has mottos on their marquee that are condescending to the nonreligous such as "No Jesus, No Peace, Know Jesus, Know Peace," or "Real Men Love Jesus."
We have billboards all over our town that supposedly has God saying things like, "Don't make me come down there!" and "If you keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer." The vast majority of cars have some testimony to Christianity on them through a decal or a bumper sticker. I believe in freedom as much as anyone so I would never try to prevent this kind of free expression, but when the table is turned, and atheists speak, they are instantly silenced or at least mocked. I was recently at the grocery store loading my groceries into the front of my vehicle and a woman walked by with her husband and child. She looked at the back of my truck and gasped and then nudged her husband. They all stopped to look in horror at my Darwin Fish. What kind of world do we live in when barbaric Christian symbols are considered acceptable but a man of science is considered evil? Have these people ever stopped to realize that if the myth of Christ had developed in the 20th century that their descendants would all be wearing symbols of electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses? Have they ever considered how archaic and primitive it is to think that the supreme creator of the universe would go down to one small planet and have a child with a mortal woman for the sole purpose of having him brutally killed, all for the purpose of saving other mortals from the Hell he created in the first place? How can intelligent people believe such nonsense? Yet, if any of us question such absurd beliefs in a public forum we are immediately ostracized.
In addition, I have discovered that the most atrocious of accusations will be believed if they are made by someone who hides behind the mantle of contrived righteousness, especially if they are spoken against someone who has rejected the current dogma of the land. Unfortunately, the Bible speaks so negatively of nonbelievers that Christians have no choice but to think of them as vile, sinful creatures, regardless of how good and moral they may actually be. This bias against nonbelievers causes the true believer to accept, without sufficient evidence, the most negative characteristics attributed to the nonbeliever. On the other hand, the most wretched of actions conducted by believers will be overlooked and forgiven with ease. They will be blamed on Satan or the sin nature or the world, and then immediately forgiven, yet a nonbeliever will be vilified for the most minor of infractions. This inconsistency is one of the many reasons that I eventually rejected my childhood indoctrination of that religion.
Conservative Christians have been taught the false dichotomy that if a person is not "for God then he is against God." This is faulty logic. A person who does not believe in the Hindu god Vishnu could not be said to be "against" him. It's an absurd leap in logic to assume that a person is rebelling against that which he does not believe exists. The same holds true for someone who does not believe in Yahweh. Christians have been taught that there are only two supernatural powers in the world, Satan and Yahweh, therefore when someone gives up their belief in Yahweh, it is assumed that they are turning to Satan. Once again this is a false dichotomy and it is faulty logic.
A recent letter writer told you that all the atheists he knew were bitter and angry then he went on to reveal that he only knew one atheist and judging from the writer's tone. It's no wonder that the atheist appeared to be bitter and angry toward him. The anger that is sometimes demonstrated against believers is not the result of rebelliousness against God, as is often assumed by shallow minded religionists, but rather the result of the frustration that results from the self-righteous and hypocritical attitudes of believers.
Keep up the good work Cliff.
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