Tired Christian Claim #4: Atheists are mean and offensive


In Grand Valley Texas, a group of atheists have been trying unsuccesfully to buy billboard space from a company called Lamar Advertising. It seems the owner finds the ads to be offensive and inappropriate, this despite the fact he’s recently allowed the escort service “MyPlayBunny.com” to broadcast their sleazy (and sexy) service.

The accusation that atheism is insulting and offensive is getting a lot more popular as a defense these days. Whether it’s a bunch of Fox News anchors complaining about how atheists are ruining Christmas, or a BBC special asking the question of Are Atheists Intolerant, I can’t help but feel all of this is because of the growing popularity of the atheist movement. Although we may be winning the debates on the existence of God, the media has decided the most important story is the one about how upset people are when told there is no Supreme Creator.

Atheism is a fairly recent phenomenon; not because humans don’t have a history of doubt (hey, even one of Jesus’ disciples doubted him), but because the punishment for undermining the authority of the Church was usually brutal and swift. Religions don’t tend to prosper very long when apostasy or dissent is tolerated. Atheism is nothing new: the Old Testament acknowledges nonbelievers, calling them fools for refusing to believe in their God. The fact this same book also suggests friends and family members who believe in something different should be stoned to death, makes me believe it was still quite rare for anyone to “come out” of the atheist closet very often. It would have been pretty foolish to tell anyone around you about how you really felt about God, especially if there were large rocks around.

The idea that anyone believing in God would need to defend their beliefs is such a recent phenomenon that many Christians are beginning to feel persecuted. This is not a faith accustomed to challenge. Even internal doctrinal conflicts usually resulted in deadly conflict, and any heretics would face severe punishment or death for even questioning the supremacy of the Church (they only recently pardoned Galileo for his crime of denying the Earth was the center of the universe, so one could say they tend to hold a bit of a grudge).

The fact these now more tolerant Christians are complaining about hurt feelings is a historically meek response when compared to what the reaction would have been if the Atheist Movement (as it exists now) had started a few decades ago. I suppose in this light, being told we are “mean” is such a measured response that we should feel lucky that we haven’t been tortured, burned alive, or killed for debating with these guys. Yet.

Of course, that doesn’t suddenly mean we should accept the accusation we are being intolerant for openly discussing religion. I haven’t met a single atheist who thought religion should be banned, or that anyone should be forced to abandon their most sacred beliefs. Our real dispute is with the religious right and their attempt to undermine scientific progress. It’s already plainly obvious to us most Christians will continue to believe what they do DESPITE any evidence to the contrary. If you want to live in a bubble of delusion, we really couldn’t care less. But when you start making claims we know are false, that’s when we atheists start getting fired up.

So stop trying to play the sympathy card, Christians; you don’t exactly have a history of being very open to discussion and debate. Sure, you may feel uncomfortable being told your beliefs are wrong (it must also burn pretty bad that the smartest guys seem to be on our side), but it doesn’t mean the people debating with you are doing so simply for the sake of hurting your feelings. Christians just have to get used to the fact they aren’t controlling the narrative anymore. Scary, isn’t it?

Comments (10)

  • avatar

    watchfuleye

    Ha hahaha Atheists are ruining christmas. Thats great stuff, it doesn’t matter because the great and mighty lord will forgive everybody as long as they cry on TV and acknowledge that it was satan testing their faith and they failed because they are mortal. All will be good when they get their wings. Then they can stop molesting children, sleeping around and stealing money.
    Do you mind if I put a link on http://www.filthyliar.com to some of your stories from time to time

  • avatar

    Rich

    Where in the world is Grand Valley, Texas. I live by the billboard in question and we call it the “Rio Grande Valley” Lets get our facts straight before we crucify (Can I say that) everyone.

  • avatar

    X-tropiaDan

    People say Atheists are mean? Wow, after reading the comments on this site it seems the Christians’ comments are the meanest most hateful things by far. Are they so uptight and insecure about their beliefs that they have to attack people who have different ideas?

    My question is…what compels Christians to log onto an atheist blog and write hateful responses?

    If the Christians were correct and everything they believe is true, then they shouldn’t care what other people think.

    Some Christians may argue that the commenters are trying to “witness” to try and save people who don’t believe in their god. However, writing hateful messages isn’t a very affective way to make people want to see things their way.

    So then why else would they do this? I think that some personalities like conflict. They see opposing beliefs as competition. They also feel the need to defend their beliefs because religious people incorporate their faith as an aspect of their identity. They may subconsciously be thinking, “Attack my faith, and are you attacking me!” That could explain why many Christians who comment on this site resort to personal attacks putting down the writers’ abilities or spelling.

    So who is meaner, Christians or atheists? I think either generalization would be silly. It really depends on the individual, not what they believe or don’t believe. But I do find it ironic that a religion that advertises itself as so loving has many cruel followers.

    Nevertheless, it’s an interesting behavioral phenomenon and worthy of deeper sociological analysis.

    D

  • avatar

    fred johnson

    Good work, the acknowledgment that when the religious Christians had everything their way they happily killed and tortured dissenters and Atheists throughout history.

    This reality is often not surprisingly glossed over by believers that their organization used to happily kill Atheists.

    I think this fact alone makes it open season on their religion and that hurt feelings are all believers need to worry about is testament to the peaceful nature of most educated people and the hypocrisy of members of the christian religion.

  • avatar

    Steve Bradford

    My example of a mean and offensive atheist:

    The fact that this idiot actually BELIEVES that religions have a right to impose their twisted and bigoted world view on the rest of us is telling. Finally, a little bit of honesty coming out of the Mormon camp.

  • avatar

    xochitl

    The fact that this is located, on fucking Texas I expect nothing less than prejudice and bigotry.

  • avatar

    Jace

    Personally I think we atheistts have every right to be mean or offensive. You christians can believe in whatever you want. But you must accept the consequences, either good or bad, of your belief. So if you believe in something without any evidence or reason, I will probably be an ass to you because I will think you are an idiot. Its just what comes with believing in the imaginary.

  • avatar

    Dean

    a lot of hateful comments from the atheist camp here, why cant people just tolerate each other why are people always finding reasons to hate each other. i know atheists consider themselves better and more intelligent human beings than religious ones, well then if your so much better then why cant you be the ones to lead by example and show some respect and tolerance to others?

  • avatar

    I love God

    I believe that atheist are very mean and intolerant and they are bent on spreading a smear campaign against religion. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine, don’t believe. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But it’s the fact that they are trying to convince others to not believe that I think is dangerous. To me it is no different than the Communist movement which tried to outlaw religion. You can’t control what people believe, stop trying to stop people from believing in God!! I think the comment from Jace above, represents the average atheist. The atheist movement is nothing more than a new cult of mean-spirited, bitter bullies, who believe in controlling what others think. I’ll take believing in “the imaginary”, over becoming a hateful, cynical jerk with a nasty outlook on life anyday.

  • avatar

    I love God

    Oh and this comment is for X-tropiaDan, we who believe in God don’t care what you think or believe. But atheists are VERY concerned with what believers in God believe. So much so that they bring it up every chance that they get, even when the topic has nothing to do with religion. You go on to any scientific site and it can be a simple news article about newly discovered fossils or the age of the earth, (with religon not once being mentioned) and some hateful atheist will make an insulting comment on the page saying that this new discovery proves that Christians and the bible are wrong and Christians are morons. What? Where is this comment coming from? How did we get on the topic of religion, the bible or to name calling? The article was about science not religion. I know why, because athiest love to bring up their unsolicited comments about religion. You’re the ones always bringing up religion, not us. I get it. You hate God, you hate the bible, you hate your mother, you hate people, you hate your life. You’re entitled to your own opinion, I encourage you to have your own opinion. But please for the love of God (pun intended), stop trying to discourage me from having my own opinion!!!

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