For Greg and group:
This article seems incredibly uncharitable… sure, probably some uses of this phrase are posturing and virtue signaling. But is it so hard to believe that there are genuine Christians out there who i) really believe that God loves everyone, and therefore grow to adopt that attitude themselves, and ii) really believe that being in relationship with God is the best thing someone can experience, and so iii) are really emotionally upset when someone (from their perspective) chooses to reject that relationship?
I honestly couldn’t care less whether someone else is a Christian or not but I do take offense to this: “condescension, judgment, tribal wrath, superiority, and paternalism in an appropriately Jesus-y way”.
The f*ck is that supposed to mean? All of these can be attributed to many Christians unfortunately but there is no way you can attribute any of this to Jesus.
OK, the ‘judgemental’ (just for pun) part might be true but what the hell is the guy supposed to do? Just let Hitler and Stalin waltz into heaven?
I wonder if the author of the article would agree that some atheists exhibit very similar condescension towards theists? (Indeed, I don’t how many times I’ve seen forum posts and articles written by atheists where they say things like “I feel so sorry for these Christians” or “When I listen to these people it makes my head hurt.” However, I’ve never been bothered by their expressing their opinion thus.)
I assume that many theists and many atheists are totally sincere (and even well-meaning) when they speak in such terms. (And, by the way, “my heart hurts” is simply one of many English idioms expressing sorrow for another.)
I don’t speak for the author. But I’ll agree that some atheists do have a very condescing attitude toward theists, and some theists do have such an attitude toward atheists.
The parallels between anti-theist propaganda and anti-atheist propaganda are often quite striking.
I do not accept the criticism that atheism is “just another religion”, but from the way many anti-thiets behave I can understand why that criticism is made.
Of the other side, the way some (more extreme) Christians or theists behave, I think they have lost the real meaning of faith.
What a shameful, vacuous, acrimonious hate piece, that was. If I could only get the time wasted to read that back, I’d be satisfied.
I don’t believe that calling atheism “another religion” is intended as a criticism, it is intended as a classification, because the existence of God is a faith issue, even as defined here at Peaceful Science.
If you ever encounter my brethren speaking in a similar manner as the author of this article spoke, please let me know so that I can apologize for their hateful behavior and beg your forgiveness. Everything about that was wrong.
Certainly, some people have lost the real meaning of faith; its true intent and purpose. But even those without faith are familiar enough with the scriptures to know that this is an individual issue, and not an issue of the faith. Jesus chastised the Jewish leadership, the Pharisees, and even his own disciples when they acted / responded poorly. He was perfectly clear about how people should behave.
But it is so tiring to continually be beat over the head with stories like this. A few miserable folks who act childish (or, in the case of the article are misunderstood or misinterpreted) are put forth as “typical” of all the rest. So, we must suffer the consequences together. It is simply unreasonable and illogical… and exhausting to boot.
Which is why it’s important for the reasonable people like you to speak up. Go get 'em!
Thanks Dan… I want to go get 'em as much as I want to defend you. When Christians act poorly, it is unconscionable. I’m certain that I’ve been guilty and I only hope that someone would call me out on it. You are right, though, we all need to police our own!!
Nope. I don’t believe you!
Unfortunately, I have many witnesses…
The author of the post responded to us here:
Here, for example, is a representative example of what I saw Christians saying. It’s more even-handed than the rest, probably because that forum contains Christians and non-Christians and tends to disavow standard-issue fundagelical talking points like Creationism.
Nonetheless, adjectives like “uncharitable” and “acrimonious” marched past my eyes. Someone outright accused me of having written “a hate piece.” One guy even offered to apologize on behalf of all Christians everywhere if anybody ever encountered this behavior from them. (The implication: he doesn’t expect to need to fulfill that offer very often.)
I’d respectfully point out, as a Christian, I find myself apologizing for the poor behavior of Christians all the time. I’m sure @Michael_Callen meant this knowing that Christians do not often act in respectable ways.
My comment on his post:
Thanks for engaging Peaceful Science. I’ll point out, as a Christian, that Christians have a lot to apologize for, and Mike Callen’s offer to apologize was not denying that fact. I’m interested in finding better understanding between Christians and atheists. You might like this thread, where I think some was achieved on this thread about 9 questions atheists hate: https://discourse.peacefuls….
If you are willing Captain Cassidy, we’d love to host you for a conversation with us. I think we could learn a lot from your perspective. I hope you’d consider it.
Another thing that should be noted: @Michael_Callen apologized to Dan, so that critique of his character was completely unnecessary and unfounded.
I wouldn’t worry so much about that minor point. It is good we are getting attention and traffic from unexpected places. We have something important here. Keep inviting people to join us, especially authors writing articles you like.
This is very cool stuff… I was on a rant and I can see that I’ll have plenty of mopping up to do. But that would be great if we could dialog. I think that my behavior is often a good example of the worst kind of behavior, and other times the worst example of good behavior. I have to leave for a few hours, but I’ll be back later to re-read and get ready to apologize to new people!
Thanks for your kind support, Djordje! I think that Joshua was being kind to me, and not critical. I may have deserved critical, though. We’ll unpack this later.
Those weren’t Joshua’s words.
I’m sorry, the quote was Joshua’s, but I meant the part that was written in article.
@Michael_Callen is on our team now. Nobody better mess with him.