Most people know that I am a Christian. I don’t hide because it is my belief that Christians all too often forget that we are supposed to spread the good news….that we are saved.
I personally can’t stand proselytizing and evangelistic Christians, I think they give Christians a bad name.
But there is another equally annoying group of proselytizing and evangelistic morons out there who are trying desperately…for some reason or another to convince people like me that we are mad, crazy, stupid or all of the above for daring to believe in something.
The thing is they also believe in something, and somewhat more fervently than most of us who believe in what we believe.
One atheist is somewhat annoyed with what he calls “In-Your-Face Atheism”.
The president of American Atheists, David Silverman, defines firebrand atheism as simply telling the truth about religion, with the emphasis on the telling. He saysÂ we should make clear that itâ€™s religious beliefs weâ€™re attacking, not the person. He says, â€śIâ€™m not attacking humans; Iâ€™m attacking those humansâ€™ silly beliefs.â€ť
That word â€śsillyâ€ť is the problem, as is Silvermanâ€™s whole take-no-prisoners assault on religion.
Think about what religion isâ€”a total worldview that lets each believer feel like sheâ€™s found meaning and purpose in a bewildering universe. So, itâ€™s not much of a stretch to argue that people are reluctant to give up their religious beliefs when they are intimately tied to their sense of self-worth.
Itâ€™s one thing to give up a belief about a political or scientific fact that doesnâ€™t directly affect your lifeâ€”like whether or not global warming is caused by humans. But itâ€™s another thing to give up a belief that you think determines whether youâ€™ll be strumming a harp with angels or stuck on the business end of the Devilâ€™s pitchfork after you die.
So, if weâ€™re going to change someoneâ€™s beliefs, but weâ€™re going to have to resist the temptation to roast them while weâ€™re doing it. But listen to what Silverman has said in his talks promoting firebrand atheism: â€śReligion is a lieâ€”all of itâ€”thatâ€™s the truth.â€ť
â€śRespect is earned, and religion hasnâ€™t earned any.â€ť
Even if heâ€™s right, the tone of these comments is just going to raise the emotional hackles of your average believer.
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