Cage Match: Atheists vs. Jesus Freaks

I never get offended by people who do not believe, as I do, in God.  There are thousands of religions, thousands of different ways to believe in those religions, and if you don’t believe in the exact same fashion as someone else, one of you is going to hell, if there is a hell.  There’s just too much going on to try and get all of us aligned.  I learned a long time ago that it is impossible to please everyone and if you spend your life trying to convince someone that you’re right and they’re wrong, you will probably die the next day and your glorious victory will be short lived.  The only time I ever really get annoyed is when someone takes their personal beliefs out on me, like personally I had something to do with their dissatisfaction with whatever religion they’ve fallen out with. 

I have long since decided that religion is personal.  Your business is your own, and mine is my own.  I don’t mind having religious debate with people, but I tread lightly.  People take things so personally, get so worked up that it’s hardly worth the effort and inconvenience.  I just prefer to keep my opinions to myself.  I don’t try to convert strangers.  I don’t try to convince friends or family members.  It’s just better for the sanity of all to live and let live.

In my day, I have met a number of atheists, people who do not believe in any religion or higher authority.  The majority of these people believe there is no god or gods or anything “out there.”  There is no heaven or hell.  When you die, you just die and turn to dust.  I will say that I am greatly disturbed by these people, but that is not the focus of this blog.  What I would like to know is why atheists go to SUCH LENGTHS to debase and make a mockery of organised religions and their practitioners.  This is not to say every atheist I have ever met, so please do not jump in my ass about generalisations. 

Whatever happened to simply having an opinion, believing in it and minding your own business?  Why do you have to shout from the rooftop your obvious disdain for anything?  Why be so condescending, sometimes even rude about it?  I get that certain people feel passionately about their beliefs, but I feel that some atheists truly go out of their way to let people know they are atheist and proud of it, damn it!

I guy I knew down in Florida was a devout atheist (can you be a devout atheist?) and if I made the slightest comment about God, going to church, saying prayers, or anything religious based he would launch into a long-winded diatribe about the corrupt Catholic church, people believing false deities, and something about the Pope.  I’m not even Catholic, or anything close to it.  A friend of mine from college would see my copies of the Bible and Qu’ran on my nightstand and say things like, “Oh, these are always good to laugh at.  I can’t believe you read this crap.”  I always found it to be incredibly rude, but I never wanted to get into a debate with her because I don’t want to argue with people over religion.  It’s so useless. 

I have a feeling that many atheists may say that it is because everywhere they go religion is shoved down their throats.  I know some of them have problems with the Pledge of Allegiance, Christmas, even “In God We Trust” printed on U.S. currency.  I’m not saying that their feelings are unimportant.  I believe that everyone has the right to believe (or disbelieve) anything they so desire.  Maybe it is some kind of payback for them, trying to shove their atheism down everybody else’s throats.  It just seems like they go above and beyond the call of duty to make jokes or snide remarks.  If you don’t believe in God, who cares?  I don’t lose any sleep knowing that somewhere out there some guy has set the Bible on fire.  If my parents suddenly said they didn’t believe in God anymore, I would secretly say a prayer for them and move on with my life.  I am not on a crusade to convert the world.  I also don’t go around making atheist jokes or throwing holy water on people to rebuke whatever demons they have (or don’t have).  Who even cares?  Nobody cares that I believe in God and I don’t care that you don’t.

Some of us religious folks have such a bad rap thanks to the 700 Club, Pat Roberts and that other guy… the one that died recently… Billy Graham, not to mention the dozens of jihadists taking up the cudgels on the Lord’s behalf (gee, thanks).  They spend an awful lot of time trying to get people into their method of thinking.  It is like their only purpose in life is to convert everybody around them, and it is just as annoying as atheists going on a crusade to humiliate and embarrass anybody who does choose to believe. 

To me, these types of atheists and religious psychos are one and the same.  They both use the same methods in an attempt to get people to think like them.  You’re going to hell if you don’t believe in the same religion as I do; you’re a loser if you believe in that crap in the first place.  For the religious fanatic, I guess the purpose is to convert everybody so we can start having this Utopia or whatever they think is going to happen if everybody started believing as they do.  For the atheist, I’m not exactly sure of the purpose.  Since atheists believe in nothing, why the grand display to show you don’t believe in anything? Is the atheist trying to “convert” me?  If so, why not use a better method than derision and cutting remarks?  Why not logically lay out what you have to say and why you believe that, without trying to browbeat and humiliate the other person?  Isn’t that what a good debater does?  “You should believe what I believe because what you believe is stupid,” is not a valid argument.

I just finished reading this guy’s blog and that’s why I decided to write my own.  I have nothing to say about this particular guy because 1. It’s his blog and if I don’t like it, I can just leave, and 2. It wasn’t directed at me so I felt no offence.  His blog just reminded me some of the comments I hear from the various atheists I know.  It’s like someone just randomly offering their opinion when you didn’t even ask, didn’t even make a mention.  I value the atheist because I am reminded why I have chosen to believe as I believe.  I also value the atheist because he reminds me that I have the right to believe as I believe.  For every sarcastic remark that comes from an atheist, I think to myself, “He is perfectly allowed to think that, and I am perfectly allowed not to think that if I don’t want.”  How great is that? 

To Andrea, who laughed at my collection of fantasy stories, I didn’t ask your opinion!  It’s not like I dragged out the old Gutenberg and showed up at your house and started reciting scriptures.  Once she invited me to a barbecue with her and I politely refused for a number of reasons.  It was about 200 degrees outside and I wasn’t in the mood to fan myself with a dirty paper plate while swatting at flies.  I don’t eat pork (and that’s all anybody barbecues in that part of the world) and I don’t feel like explaining to a bunch of strangers why I don’t even look at pigs.  She was annoyed with me for not wanting to go.  I was just as annoyed with her that she wouldn’t come to this boring ass ice cream social I had to go to because it was at a church.  It wasn’t even a religious ice cream social.  It just happened to be at the church because that was the only place that would let us hold it there for free.  She went off on this whole thing about not even being able to eat ice cream without Jesus being shoved down her throat.  It turned into an entire soliloquy about the separation of Church and State, and I’m like, “Jesus is not even invited!”  

Despite the fact that she was clearly an atheist and I am clearly not, we were very good friends because we had other things in common.  I know some religious folk are about to shit themselves, especially the members of my religion, know that I actually admit to having friends who don’t believe in God.  You’re cavorting with the infidel!  I think we’re gonna be okay, so just calm down. 

To Josh, I think you have a lot of issues you need to work out with the Catholic Church because it’s obvious that somebody done you wrong!  And you know what, I think that’s the case without a lot of atheists.  A few atheists that I know seem to have some sort of bitterness about where they once believed and that is why they are so hard on people who still do.  Go see a shrink! 

I do not know any atheists who have been atheists all their lives because their parents were atheists.  Most of the ones I know became so as teenagers.  Of course, none of them will admit to the true reasons they stopped believing.  Most of them say that it is because they’ve done a careful review of certain religions and found them to be baseless and unbelievable. 

They might be correct.

And then again they might not be.

The whole point of this is that they have every right to do whatever it is they want, and I have every right to do whatever it is I want.  I respect people’s difference of opinion and belief; I think that’s something that makes this world so vastly entertaining:  people who are not the same as you.

I just don’t think that atheists, or religious psychos, should go around purposely trying to humiliate and embarrass anybody for having a difference of opinion.  Religious superfreaks, it’s part of the brainwashing they receive, but atheists, well, the atheists are worse because that is almost the very thing they eschew about organised religion in the first place.  One thing they all say is that they cannot stand how religious leaders condescend to anybody who doesn’t have the same thought process as they do.  They don’t like being told this is going to happen or that is going to happen because they have decided to question some long-held beliefs. 

For the atheist who goes out of his way to condescend to the believer for not not believing as he does, that’s the same thing!  The same method.  You don’t see that you’re using the self-same tactics? 

Who knew that Jesus freaks and atheists would have that one thing in common. 

Hypocrisy.

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2 responses to “Cage Match: Atheists vs. Jesus Freaks

  1. I think that most atheists are mad about being lied to for most of their lives (I was). Not that the lies were 100% intentional. But to be told (by just about everybody) that there is a god and this god wants this, that, and the other thing, or you are going to hell from birth on is not good. When a person sees that this so called god is just a story made up to control and confuse them (and everyone else), that person could and should get upset.
    Not only because of the past lies, but also because of the constant bombardment of religious images and thinking from society at large.
    It takes time to work though these things. Some people may never get over it.

  2. Very good read! I think that some atheists are so anti-religion because they see so many human rights abuses being done in the name of religion. Many also believe that religious moderates engage in a style of thinking that makes extremism possible. While these may be valid concerns I don’t think they justify singling out and attacking one person for believing something different. When it comes down to it I think many people are just smug and self righteous. The irony, as you pointed out, is that many will decry those actions while simultaneously engaging in them. Hypocrisy is definitely rampant on both sides. I know that I definitely have to make a conscious effort to avoid that type of thinking. Thanks for an interesting article!

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