Religion

Just so you know: your Christianity is far less “peaceful” than you think.

August 11, 2011

I consider myself to be a realistic person, overall. While I may speak in hyperbole in my everyday life (“This is the best thing of all time! Do you hear me?! Of all time!” “Okay, I already looked for that, like, twelve billion times.”) I try to think and speak “professionally” as accurately as possible. I am well aware that outliers do not define a trend. I obviously don’t think that all Christians are violent, immoral, etc.

However: I do think that, pointing out the outliers, when it comes to safety, can be important.

See: Christians Openly Advocate Killing Atheists on FOX News Facebook Page

And, my personal least favorite:

Obviously, the people who are going to “Like” FOX News on Facebook will be a fringe group, probably angrier/more extreme than your average person. And when you add “Christianity” into the description, I’m honestly not surprised about this reaction.

I’ve had many different adverse reactions personally to my proud atheism. I’ve been told that I am a Devil worshiper many times. I’ve lost potential friendships. I’ve been cut off from my immediate family, communication-wise. Yes, this is extreme. But no, it is not uncommon. And, while I’m sure that there could be some atheist parents who would do the same if their child chose to become religious, I would think that this would be an extreme divergence from the norm.

I started this blog to share different views with people who probably haven’t thought about it before. So here it is: religion in general, and Christianity specifically in the Western world, has been the cause of death and destruction where atheism has not. I would seriously like to know what possible, bodily threat atheism is. Has it brought about genocide? Absolutely not. The list of Christian serial killers is far larger than the list of atheist serial killers. The list of Christian pedophiles can top any other list by just including the priesthood. This doesn’t bring up any spiritual text at all, nor any other religious group, most of which can all be counted to be violent or harmful in multiple ways. By any “moral” measure, atheists stack up as much more moral as a group than any religious group does. As Jen McCreight sums it up: “I know this doesn’t represent all Christians, but it certainly debunks the notion that religion automatically makes you a good person.”

So please, somebody explain it to me: why kill atheists?

(tl;dr: Wow, I didn’t expect to be so angry about this.)

Edited to add: I want to add this to make the purpose of my post very clear: I am genuinely interested in hearing from people of all religions, and especially Christians (as I live in the United States, and this is the religion of the majority) what about atheism can cause people to treat atheists so negatively, beyond just disagreement.

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4 Comments

  • Reply excogitatingengineer August 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Is this real? If so, it is VERY sad. Not only do are they not acting like Christians, they act like they have completely lost their moral compass. I do disagree that atheism has not been the cause of death. Noted atheists, Stalin and Hitler, were responsible for the deaths of millions. I do not blame the ideology of atheism for those deaths, but the ideology did lead those men to be mass murderers. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  • Reply prufrock5150 August 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Well, on its face, it’s *literally* impossible for “Atheism” to be the cause for anyone killing another. While Stalin and Hitler are often cited as Atheist mass-murderers, both are rather inappropriately labeled as such: Stalin didn’t order the deaths of millions because he didn’t believe in god; he ordered them because he believed in a rather inhuman form of “efficiency.” As for Hitler, he specifically avowed belief in the Christian god, and people are just trying to lump him in because everyone wants Hitler on the other side of their fence (Red Rover, Red Rover, send anyone but *that* guy over). Sorry, Christians; in the genocidal a-hole trading summit, if we have to take Stalin, you’re stuck with Hitler.

    Of course, all of this reveals the fundamental misunderstanding about Atheism that underpins the Fox-zombies’ (wait – did I just invent a hybrid to add to the True Blood universe?) vituperations: *EVERYBODY* is an atheist. I know it’s shocking, o’ ye faithful – but if you don’t believe in Quetzalcoatl, Loki, or even Sterculius (the much-overlooked Roman god of feces), then you (yes, you) possess the lack of belief that qualifies you as one of them filthy, godless Atheists… you’re just excluding one god from the list of those in which you don’t believe.

    Well-posted, dear Elizabeth, and brilliantly (as always) stated!

  • Reply spsukaton August 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Hey, you! I miss you.

    Your statement that atheism has never brought about massive catastrophe and the lists of atheist murder, pedophilia, etc is problematic for two reasons.

    1. Speaking from the political left, I’ll be the first person to admit that Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist state-atheist regimes sanctioned popular violence or institutionally practiced state terror against believers and nonbelievers alike Though I agree that Hitler probably wasn’t an atheist, I suspect Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Hoxha, Ceceascu, etc. would have killed fewer people without the “religion is the opiate of the masses” bit. (Granted, Marx’s quotation is a little out of context, but that’s neither here nor there.) Even prior to Marx, I’d refer you to Robespierre and the Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France. I’d conjecture that the reason that there are fewer atheist-overseen atrocities recorded in human history is that there have been fewer atheists in positions of power to enable such thing to happen.

    2. Next, I suggest the numerical disparity between religious murderers/pedophiles/etc and atheist ones may be drawn from the populations of both in the world. There are fewer open atheists in general than there are open Christians. All else the same, it stands to reason there will be fewer atheist murderers and pedophiles than Christian murderers and pedophiles – there are fewer irreligious people overall than there are religious people, all told across history.

    In both cases, believers have had more chances to destroy lives, and they’ve certainly taken them. I’ll agree with you that atheism does not automatically guarantee moral turpitude anymore than religion guarantees ethical rectitude. I can’t sign on to the suggestion that atheists are MORE moral, either. Human beings seem to use any possible excuse they can to kill, exploit, or otherwise despoil one another (as much as they use excuses to love, care, and build community between one another.)

  • Reply spsukaton August 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    In response to your inquiry (why do Americans, especially American Christians, react so violently negatively to atheists?) it’s hard to say. I can understand (at least, coming from a religious background) a couple other reactions:
    Pity (they think you’re walking away from the best thing ever.)
    Confusion (see above.)
    Curiosity (see above)
    Anger (they may feel that you’re throwing the grace of God back in God’s face)
    Resentment (see above.)
    An impulse toward rape, murder, and torture, however, reflects personal or collective insanity, frankly. You know the whole story about Jesus not being down with killing people, and people on the street just normally DON’T WANT TO KILL PEOPLE.

    Ugh.

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