Skip to comments.Atheist Tolerance Revealed
Posted on 08/09/2012 10:03:00 AM PDT by Leigh Patrick Sullivan
It began innocently enough: a little unscientific sociological experiment born out of a coffee chat with a friend. How are Christians viewed in todays modern society?
The question was stored in the back of my mind for quite a while, waiting for the right moment to be revealed. Social media presented the opportunity to get the ball rolling, and roll it did.
A Twitter re-tweet from an atheist telling a person of faith your God isnt real. The arrogance of the statement was obvious. A mortal human believed she possessed the knowledge to single-handedly discount the possibility of a higher power. What struck me more was the sheer hypocrisy of the statement, made (unsurprisingly) from someone who identified with the progressive Left.
My simple interjection pointed out the intolerance. Telling someone that their entire belief system was fraudulent, followed by imbecilic judgmental rhetoric. Here we go, I thought.
I decided to engage with a strategy of restraint. I identified as someone who believes Jesus is who He said He was, but I made the point not to do the expected. I never quoted scripture, didnt attempt to witness to anyone. In fact, perhaps to the chagrin of fellow Christians, I stayed true to my meme of live and let live. If you dont believe, cool, if you do, great. I wasnt there to save anyone.
That didnt seem to matter in the 14 or so atheists who quickly swarmed. As I expected, responses ranged from the ultra-juvenile to the shamefully stereotypical. Also as expected, the questions, allegations, and other statements thrown my way somehow suggested that I should be defending my beliefs.
Ive never felt compelled to explain or defend my personal beliefs to anyone, religious or otherwise. This perplexed my audience to the point of frustration. The name-calling and categorizing began swiftly, as the atheist mob mistook my confidence in my beliefs as arrogance. Some pulled out ancient nuggets of information in the quest to discredit Christianity while others resorted to playing the lets see if we can piss off the Bible-thumper game (I much prefer Jesus freak myself).
Still, I didnt bite. My retorts stayed consistent: you dont believe what I believe? Thats nice. To each their own. You walk your path, Ill walk mine. I wont push my beliefs on you, and I expect you to repay in kind.
That, apparently, was too much for the non-believers. With each failed attempt to draw me into their circular logic, their frustration morphed a little more into anger. The evidence from the other side actually started logically, with historical writings quoted. However, that soon devolved into the adolescent comparisons of Jesus Christ to such other mythical entities as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.
By this point, the entire project had a mind of its own. Others joined in, each one slightly more condescending than the last.
By my own admission, I would lead the debate in a different direction from time to time. Like fuel on a fire, it never failed to catch. A big issue for the other sides was minded, as in I was close-minded for believing. When I countered with my claim that to believe completely in something one cannot see, touch, smell, or feel in other words, to leave your mind open to the possibility that there are things we cannot comprehend (see: faith), that was enough to push a few over the edge of sanity.
The allegations from the religious-deficient were actually quite comical. It was alleged that I was indoctrinated into the church as a child, which is why I believed what I did. Um, no. I grew up in a family that was nowhere near a church, save for weddings and funerals. Strike one.
Another gold ring was the idea that I was a sheep who followed the words of my Priest and therefore, was close-minded and prone to suggestion. Again, way off. Ive never had a priest, due mostly to the fact that I am not a Catholic. Never mind the truth that I havent been to a Sunday church service approximately two decades. Strike two.
By this point, straw seemed to be the atheist mobs favorite tool - grasping for it, as well as creating strawman arguments out of it. Naturally by this point in the fun, the personal attacks were fast and furious. I can only imagine this was due to my refusal to fit the typical Christian stereotype. No Bible passages, no great quotes from the Lord. As a matter of fact, I agreed with some criticisms of Christianity. When one made the stunning revelation that those who follow the Lord were hypocrites, I whole-heartedly agreed. Of course we are. To a degree, everyone is. We are all flawed.
Ironically, it was an atheist who pulled Biblical scripture in the ham-handed attempt to argue. With a Tweet-back highlighting the fact that she was trying to use words from a book she doesnt believe in from a religion she considers fake in order to win a debate, her head damn-near exploded.
By this time, I was sitting back and watching the entire thread unfold. A few fellow Christians jumped in, perhaps unaware of the vitriol spewed earlier on. They caught on fairly quickly.
The end result could be summed up by the last tweet of one specific atheist who couldnt sway my opinion which, for some reason, self-proclaimed tolerant atheists feel the deep-seeded need to do. Frustrated by his lack of success, he proceeded to Twitter-threaten me (which is comedy in and of itself), threw the expected expletive my way, then ran and hid behind a block click. Pure gold.
In the final analysis, Ive realized that it is the evangelical atheists who are the least tolerant. They cannot abide a different opinion or belief in something. Even without pushing my beliefs on them which I habitually never do to anyone they felt compelled to push theirs onto me. When I turn down their offer of enlightenment, they become sour to the point of having a face that resembles a cats ass.
The intention was to gain an idea of how Christians are seen in todays modern society. The result was the exposure of a societal group so bitter, so judgmental that they cannot engage a Christian without the reflex to condemn and discredit.
I ended with a simple response to someone who felt proud to proclaim her non-belief in God: dont worry. He believes in you. And another head explodes.
To be fair, most people will say that under the right circumstances.
The headline makes zero sense, atheists are not tolerant.
If they say “your God is not real”, respond with “then why are you so afraid of Him?”.
I feel sorry for atheists, so sad, so fearful, so worried all the time. (Yep they will say they aren’t, such denial)
Great final response!
I remind them that atheism is also a faith based enterprise.
They’ll say what?
I’ve heard lots of Christians say that to non-Christians. Did you counter with an non-arrogant...”Yes, He is”?
“When I turn down their offer of enlightenment, they become sour to the point of having a face that resembles a cats ass.”
There’s a faith-lift for that...
A response I picked up from another forum to an atheist:
“For someone who says he doesn’t believe in God you sure as hell invest an awful lot of effort fighting Him.”
It’s funny that atheists sometimes demonstrate more faith in God than Christians do. Just in a round-a-bout way.
The roots of atheism are always moral not intellectual.
My mistake - forgot the ‘ ‘ around Tolerance. (Included in original post)
“As I expected, responses ranged from the ultra-juvenile to the shamefully stereotypical.”
Welcome to New Atheism, where logical argument is replaced with a plethora of 4 letter words.
“Telling someone that their entire belief system was fraudulent, followed by imbecilic judgmental rhetoric”
Wait - was this a Catholic vs Protestant debate on Free Republic?
Maybe the anger from these athiests is driven by deeply held fear that they’re wrong. Or, much like the gay-mafia out there, a fear that they’re beliefs and/or lifestyle will NEVER be considered normal or acceptable.
Answer to an Athiest: If I am wrong, what have I lost? But if you are wrong, what have YOU lost?
It’s not that they fear they’re wrong, it’s that they know they’re wrong, viscerally, and don’t want any reminders around of that fact. That’s why they hate you so much.
Same with the abortion debate.
Being an Atheist is all about eliminating your competition.
The 3 most prolific murderers in history (Mao:Gold, Stalin: Silver, and Hitler:Bronze) were militant atheists who ordered the deaths of tens of millions of ‘non-believers’ in fulfillment of the ‘sacrament’ (genocide) of their ideological ‘religion’ (socialism).
A quintessential description of the Liberal.
Liberalism is simply the political expression of the religion of humanism and atheism is humanism, the belief that man is autonomous and is the source of truth.
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