Friday, July 27, 2007

20/20 special on atheism

Many of us atheists pay a price for being open and honest about our atheism. I have been judged and even cut off from communication in some cases, simply because I refused to just shut up and pretend to be someone I am not. I was supposed to allow others "of faith" to say whatever they wanted to me or in my presence and to just bite my tongue and keep my own non-belief to myself. If I refused to participate in prayer, it was viewed as an attack against the believers, when in fact it wasn't that at all. It would be dishonest and disrespectful to myself and others to pretend and go along with something I did not believe in. However, Christians and most believers want non-believers to pretend for their sake, maybe because many of them are pretending themselves since they want so much for their fantasy to be true. They want to live forever. We are a threat to that fantasy because we dare to not believe it.

My heart goes out to the girl in this video report. Christians can be quite heartless, cruel and downright vindictive when they encounter those who do not share their personal beliefs.

More from American Atheist
Here is also a first hand report from the girl's father at Democratic Yes indeed, you do have to admire the courage of this man and his family.

Once again I say that I am very glad to live in the Chicagoland area where this isn't as big of an issue on a community level, however it can get to be an issue on a more personal level at times...and always with the fundamentalists who think they are more Christian and better than anyone else.


CyberKitten said...

What a truely, truely bizarre country you live in. No wonder that atheists have issues on 'coming out'.

I'm amazed...... Thank *God* that I was born in a Secular Society! [grin].

Tommy said...

Yep, another atheist ruining everything for the god fearin' decent folks of America!

Tommy said...

Oh, and welcome back to active duty!

Stardust said...

cyberkitten, Where you are at in this country determines the level of bizarreness. In urban areas we don't see this display of prayer circles in the public school systems at any time. Then you go out more into the farthest suburbs of Chicagoland and you get a bit more "godliness" worked into the public arenas, and then get out into the rural areas and then religion permeates those towns and villages.

I write to more than 40 people overseas in about 25 different countries and they all think that the USA in general is full of religious freaks. They say from their perspective that our government sounds as nutty talking about "god bless America" etc. as the Middle Eastern muslims and their quest to take over the planet for Allah.

In the video the girl brings up the point how the Christians taunted her, telling her she was a satan worshipper. This shows how very little many Christians know about atheism and what it actually is. It's simply a lack of belief in the existence of gods, goddesses, or any supernatural beings...including satan.

Stardust said...

tommy, thanks for the welcome back. It was quite a frustrating ordeal. Just getting someone to come out and keep an appointment is the biggest "challenge" and very difficult to control oneself and not yell at the guy when he finally shows up. From what the last guy said, they abuse their workers even worse than they do their customers. He says he rarely puts in less than a ten hour day.

CyberKitten said...

stardust said: This shows how very little many Christians know about atheism and what it actually is.

That's very true. Most of the Christians I have debated with just *really* don't 'get it'. I mean, is a pamphlet handed out at church meetings or something full od dis-information about atheism? It sure feels that way when they ask the same lame questions and put forward the same lame 'arguments' for God and against Atheism. It is often both boring and frustrating trying to communicate with them.

Luckily we don't have any kind of religious heartland here. I'm not even sure that we have relgious enclaves - except possibly for areas with a large immigrant population (therefore usually Muslim or Hindu). So it seems very weird to see things such as the video presented.

I should've said it before but Welcome back too..

Tommy said...

Then again, I think some Fundies consider atheists to be agents of Satan because even though we claim not to believe in Satan, by our denying their God we are in their eyes effectively aiding Satan.

CyberKitten said...

tommy said: Then again, I think some Fundies consider atheists to be agents of Satan because even though we claim not to believe in Satan, by our denying their God we are in their eyes effectively aiding Satan.

Sort of "The Friend of my Enemy is my Enemy"? Sounds fairly typical.

Rusty said...

This kind of thing drives me insane. I'm furious on this girl's behalf. And I know it happens. I grew up in Mississippi in the U.S. and I worked as an education reporter there for a while. I've seen morning prayer circles around the flag, daily Bible verses placed under glass on the official bulletin board, and my own editor-in-chief who thought it was funny when our copy desk wrote a "funny" headline over a story about an non-mainstream religion seeking Army recognition and worship rights. (He got purple in the face when I suggested we write an Easter Sunday story about Christians who feel "cross," thought.)

I grew up as a faithful Southern Baptist, but now doubt that God even exists at all, based on the moral and mental limitations of the people who serve as his representatives.

Stardust said...

hi rusty,
I know how you are feeling. I don't see any evidence where Christianity or god belief makes anyone a better person. People are still selfish, mean, hateful, judgmental, pessimistic, self-righteous, etc. They still love their materialism above all else (God sure can't operate without money and material goods...and the help of flawed little humans.) And who do they turn to really when disaster strikes? God and prayer? Nope...other human beings. If one is alone and prays, does this god come to the rescue? Help only comes via human efforts. If you are alone and get seriously ill or break both legs on a mountaintop, you are pretty much screwed if you cannot contact another human being.