Atheists are Not As Christians Describe

I’ve been reading Lazaroo’s “30 Day Challenge to Atheists” and I realize again the way atheists are commonly described in our modern society.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an email from IVCF that got me quite upset, not because my fellow UChicago classmates are out and about proselytizing, but because they are doing it to save us from our perceived “brokenness and emptiness.”

Lazaroo’s challenge is filled with the exact same condescending nonsense:

You haven’t done the stuff till you’ve released your shrunken heart from its cold, cramped, dark, dank jail cell…

Also, what do clever atheists and hypocritical Christians have in common? They’re a product of the devil.

God doesn’t hate you for asking your questions.  He’s not mad at you for being confused by the swarm of clever atheists and hypocritical Christians with which Satan has managed to surround you.

And the problem with atheists? Apparently, we don’t know anything about the Bible, or we just haven’t tried hard enough to believe. Not to worry though, Lazaroo’s 30 Day Challenge might offer the cure we atheists so desperately want.

Here’s how it works:
1.  Click on the link at the top of this page and get Lazaroo every day for 30 days.
2. Read the Bible verse I send to you and pray the prayer.

Trying to demonstrate to a person that a particular religion is true using the method above is equivalent to: [It would be too condescending for me to continue, so please fill in the blank for me.].

Give me a break. When will people realize that atheists are atheists because they simply don’t believe in God? They aren’t broken or hurt or depressed. They weren’t abused, and nothing traumatic happened. Many of them are perfectly happy people, living a life full of meaning and love.

We’re not evil people. Satan does not whisper in our ears. In fact, we beat our religious counterparts according to pretty much every meaningful social measurement (like divorce rates and crime rates).

Also, atheists on average know and understand a lot more about religion than you think. You are pretty much guaranteed to find an ex-religious person in any secular circle. I’ve met many of these people (from many different religions), and I know they’ve spent much of their life as a true believer. These people know their religion very well and believed in it wholeheartedly; many grew up with the full intention of being a preacher, attended theology schools, wanted absolutely to devote their entire lives to God, and still turned out to be nonbelievers.

So stop it with these silly challenges and attempts to save atheists from their despair. Nobody is despairing except religious people who can’t stand the idea that there are happy, normal, and reasonable people who happen to reject their particular set of beliefs.

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Posted on May 8, 2011, in Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Unfortunately good atheist and good christians are both victims to rather pathetic stereotypes. I know too many christians who think atheists are generally retarded idiots or evil scientists with wicked intentions. I know plenty of atheists, in turn, who think christians are braid-washed products of their culture incapable of thinking on their own. But I know plenty atheists and christians who are actually balanced people with heads on their shoulders. These people don’t write blogs like this one. They don’t slap broad labels on entire religions are “non-religions”. It’s offers an unfair depiction of both parties.

    • Mr. Huck Finn (really?),

      Thanks for the comment. I’d like to discuss this further, but perhaps you could be more specific about when I’ve “slapped broad labels on entire religions.”

      You see, generalization is not necessarily bad. There’s nothing wrong with saying that “atheists don’t give as much to charity,” as long as it’s true.

      When I say things like “many Christians don’t believe in evolution” or “Christians interpret the Bible non-literally,” I’m not kidding. I have evidence to back that up.

      When I start spewing nonsense about Christians (in general) that are blatantly false, then you should step up and point it out.

  2. Hey Mike,
    I think part of what Huck Finn one example of what Huck Finn is alluding to is actually talked about in your “Inspirational Freethought, from 1890” post. The idea that the road that many religious people, which “has ‘Sunday School'” is simply a path to ” hypocrisy, ignorance, cruelty, superstition, fraud, decay, and death” is a generalization that broadly labels people from that background. Just like there are some atheists that haven’t grappled with the different depictions of who God is, and have just simply been raised to accept that God doesn’t exist, there are also religious people who have been raised to just “believe.” I personally would say that either belief is incomplete, but it seems like many times religious people are the ones that are associated with just blind faith that has no merit, or ignorant acceptance of whatever is taught to be true.

    Another point I wanted to make is If a Christian were to say, “let’s go fix these broken people because we are now fully restored and complete” then I would have an issue with that. It creates this gap between Christians and non-Christians that is fictitious, and can really feed into our human pride. Based on Christian doctrine, I don’t think someone who has studied the Bible in its fullness can deny that Christians are still broken because we’re still mortal people in a decaying and broken world (I don’t think any of us, Christian or non-Christian, can deny the brokenness of this world). As people in this world, we are still influenced by the sin that has corrupted the world. We are not “complete,” looking down on all the incomplete people and trying to pull them up. We’re supposed to be welcoming people to walk with us toward completion that God will bring as we live, die, and the end times come. I’m saying this as a clarification of what InterVarsity is saying at least when they speak of brokenness, as well as what I believe when I engage in these conversations with people through Contact Evangelism.

    When individuals make religious people out to be ignorant, arrogant, and blindly faithful without any thought put into what they believe, then doesn’t that mean that you and other Atheists are also trying to save religious people when you speak against their beliefs and try to disprove all that they are standing for? Religious people want to see non-Religious people saved from both a temporal life, and eternity away from God. Non-Religious people seem to want religious people to be saved from a life of ignorance, and submission to a fictitious God (or flying spaghetti monster, what ever is better). I know you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but it really seems like we are pretty similar. We are definitely different in who we believe has power to change people, and the final outcome though. I’m using “we” as religious people and non-Religious, but that might not even be a proper representation since I’m sure there are other religions that don’t share the same goal as Christianity, and that’s to not only be saved, but to try and have others come to believe and walk with us.

  3. Also sorry if all my errors make it seem like English is my second language, or I just used an online translator to put this comment together. It’s late and I just really wanted to write all this stuff before I went to bed lol

  1. Pingback: Take Atheism Seriously « Inspirational Freethought

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