8 users responded " OK, but do we deserve to be hated? "

"OK, but do we deserve to be hated?" was posted by and 8 users commented
Fred said,         
September 24 2009

Why react with hate? Or anger or disgust or similar visceral reactions? One thing people find very hard to take is to be insulted or gain-said, especially in their most deeply-rooted ideas of how “the world works”. I suspect it at the back of a good chunk of anti-Jewish feeling (how dare you otherwise read the same books about the same God & not think as we do?). Is it really such a surprise that atheists would face such reactions, then? Having a different faith seems bad enough to some believers, but to implicitly or explicitly say “you’re full of hogwash – there’s no spirituality AT ALL.” cuts deeper. The same reaction is seen in science, when ideas and assertions that challenge the prevailing wisdom are put forth.
Everyone tries to intrepret their own experience of reality; some turn to mysticism/”faith”. Some look elsewhere. Others just reject whatever it is their family thinks – is that a principled stand or a reactionary one, hunting for rationalizations later? Who can say. A tricky thing, trying to judge the inner journey of another. Though to hear some atheists, they don’t reject all gods, just everybody else’s (as Bob Dobbs puts it) and yet have more faith than anyone because they must believe that everyone but they are wrong. Some turn to worship of(instead of respect for) science, which is a tool to find truth, but not truth in itself.

Your own concluding paragraphs proves that the comment poster to Zac was right – that feeling goes both ways, doesn’t it? Look to your own self-described motivations and behavior. If the target were homosexuals and your reaction were to be mockery grounded in anger & disgust, what would it be called? Sounds a lot like hate-speech, does it not? It is better in the last one where you tell us just WHAT it is that you find objectionable. Then work can begin. Otherwise, to simply meet anger with anger does no good, let alone “proves” anyone’s case or gets anything constructive done.

Sarah said,         
September 24 2009

Yes, you’re right, Fred, and that’s what makes this hard to reconcile. To reiterate, I’m not ashamed that I’m intolerant of the things I mentioned in my last paragraph. If not accepting and actually fighting those things labels me as a bigot, then I don’t know how to respond to that.

Doug said,         
September 24 2009

I think there is things that one can differentiate on, relative to “hating” others and other peoples views. I certainly don’t hate theists (code word for Christians).

I find some of their theology to be obscene, other things to be a little strange, other things to be good. The eternal torment for the masses (aka hell) is an obscene construct in my POV. Ok, lets say a theist now knows I am not one. What from that information is there to hate? They know about as much about me as if I told them I was bald. Would they hate me because I am bald? If someone told me only that they were Christian, I may take would be live and let live with little further thought. What if I told them my world view included Secular Humanism? What in that would they find worth hating, or finding obscene? Maybe they would/should feel pity or be sad that have not fallen on bent knee before their Christ. But why hate? Sounds more like fear disguised as hate to me…

I vote all the time for people who are Christian politicians (though its not like I another choice). It doesn’t bother me that Pres. Obama is Christian. It does not bother me that most politicians are Christian. I would not choose to vote for a non-theist over a theist w/o a very good reason. Some how I doubt many of these same “atheist haters” would give the same consideration. Though I find the accepted hypocrisy of people like Rep Vitter to be rather pathetic. I read polls that suggest that more than 60% of American Christians no longer believe in the hellish notion of eternal torment for the masses. I think things are improving I have no problem giving money to charities that came from Christian backgrounds, as their focus is almost exclusively on helping people (Habitat for Humanity and UMCOR come to mind). I think interfaith groups like Tikkun do good things. I think many Christian groups do good things, even if I wouldn’t contribute money to them.

As for the political battles: Sure I would disagree on the conservative Christian pushing ID. Fortunately, the majority of Christians are on my side. Sure I would disagree with a complete ban on abortion like many conservative Christians want. Fortunately, the majority of Christians are on my side. I hope that homosexuals will finally get full marriage rights, as I expect they will within 10-15 years. It takes time for cultures to adjust, and I accept that reality.

Found Blog from: http://freeratio.org

Demonhype said,         
September 26 2009

Short answer: no.

We do not deserve to be hated. The fact is, being quiet and polite has brought absolutely no progress in dealing with the faith traditions that have roots in bloody torture and execution of non-believers, and continue to retaliate against the fact of our very existence in the modern day, even without that particular power. The simple act of being an unapologetic atheist is already considered a grave insult, if not an attack, to many believers so why coddle them? Being quiet and polite just re-enforces their idea that atheism is something to be hidden and ashamed of, and confirms their feelings that they deserve some kind of special privilege. Not to mention that they want us to shut up because then they (and their leaders) can make up whatever hideous lies they want about us without being refuted by reality. The commenter to Zac sounds like nothing more than a concern troll–a particularly hateful and loud-mouthed concern troll, but a concern troll nonetheless. Take that comment and replace the references to atheists with blacks or women or homosexuals (contrary to popular opinion, we are the “homosexuals” in this equation, not the believers) telling the equal rights movement of each that they are just being loud and obnoxious and that they are, in fact, oppressing and persecuting the white/male/straight community. There’s nothing more revolting than people who tell oppressed minority groups that they’d get further if they just shut the hell up and pretending that oppressed group somehow started it. Such people are motivated only by the desire to maintain their undeserved privilege–and those who are a part of that group but are pushing for accomodation are just Uncle Toms. So we started it and we deserve abuse? Tell me, what advances were we making when we just hid in our closets and pretended to be Christian in public and never corrected people who used “atheist” as a synonym for immoral child molesters/murderers/theives/etc?

You want some perspective on this? Have you read Greta Christina’s post about anger in minority movements? You should, if you haven’t.

And BTW, this crap that we’re hurting them as much as they’re hurting us–BALONEY. Point me to the legislation the atheist groups are making to enforce their views on everyone, the way believers have been for…well, forever. You can’t, because atheist groups aren’t doing that. On the other hand, there are reams of active and venemous efforts by Christianist groups to subvert every aspect of American life to their own religious views and rewrite history to make the founding fathers devout fundegelicals–and how many mod/lib xians give me the “well, no one who loves Jesus could be a bad person, what’s your problem you damned angry atheist?”, because the Inquisitor-wannabes are swathing their violent authoritarianism in a blanket of unquestioned faith and muddying the waters in the hopes that by the time these poor mod/lib xians see the crocodile coming it’ll be too late.

When I see the same kind of efforts on the atheist side, then the “you deserve it” crowd might have a point–not a major one, but a point. But that’s not what’s happening. What’s happening is the believers have knocked the atheists to the ground and are continually kicking them in the ribs, and are now piqued because the atheists are trying to get up and defend themselves rather than lay still and take the lumps the believers “know” they “deserve”. And trying to play the situation to make themselves the victims. It’s disgusting behavior–and no, I don’t consider that aggressive or offensive or a good reason that I “deserve” hatred–when you behave disgustingly I call your behavior disgusting. I’m not going to coddle you and pretend your pretty tales of being “oppressed” by your own victims are somehow admirable or justified.

Sarah said,         
September 28 2009

Some very good ideas here, guys.
Alls I can say is that I don’t think atheists, as a group, “hate” religion, or theists. We really more counter-hate. If theists didn’t tread on me or my rights, I would not feel as disgusted and angry with them as I do. I know that not all religious people are like that, of course.

Jon Dreyer said,         
October 1 2009

I hate much of what Republicans stand for and I am intolerant of those views, yet nobody calls me “intolerant” for that because I am not intolerant of Republican _people_.

Similarly, I hate much of what religionists stand for and I am intolerant of those views, yet many call me “intolerant” even though “some of my best friends are religious”!

The problem is the double standard: that almost all ideas are considered fair game _except_ religion. Why? Because they say so. I’m not buying it!

Demonhype said,         
October 9 2009

You’re right on that, Sarah. If theists weren’t constantly treading or trying to tread on my rights, I would also not feel as disgusted and angry. Not all theists are such whackjobs either, though the whackjobs have more power than a herd of whackjobs should ever possess.

But I get tired of the silence when the whackjobs start doing their thing. Sometimes it feels like some of the lib/mod xians implicitly support the crap, when they simply let the “Jesus wants us to bomb this country full of brown heathes” or “Jesus told me to shoot my atheist neighbor” or “Jesus wants us to change the Constitution to reflect mosaic law” or any of the millions of their other cute little ideas fly unchallenged. But then, in a personal discussion they want to distance themselves from these whackjobs.

Well, too late. If you sit there quietly while the whackjob Christians scream hate and bloody murder, then you’re going to end up getting lumped in there with them when you tell someone you’re Christian. Don’t like it? Then SPEAK UP! Don’t keep averting your eyes and pretending this isn’t happening when they pull this crap. If they are hijacking your Jesus for something that you genuinely feel is wrong, then take your religion back! (Because if an atheist like myself is left as the only opposition, rest assured I’m not going to be salvaging Jesus’s good name from these people because I don’t revere Jesus and so that’s not my job–if you revere Jesus, you get in there and salvage his good name.) If you really think that minority groups (including atheists) should be free and equal, then step up and fight when these loons try to remove the rights of those minorities!

Because when you fail to open your mouth–well, the loons take your silence as consent and to be honest, that’s what it looks like from where I’m standing too. You’ve allowed the whackjobs to define your religion, and that’s a fact only you have the power to change.

Fred Clark at Slacktivist is a good example. I believe there is some kind of Catholic group created to counter the Catholic League, as they are disgusted with the vomitous lumps of bile that windbag Donahue has been belching up in the name of their faith. They were on an atheist podcast about a year or so ago claiming that they’d prefer to fellowship with atheists who have practical humanitarian goals that Jesus would approve of rather than cruel and hate-filled but devout believers. Unfortunately, I can’t recall the name. But that’s what I’m talking about. Don’t just assert that you’re not like that–when these jerks start puking Jesus-flavored hate around, say something about it!

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here.

Sarah said,         
October 12 2009

Particularly by the standards of cyberspace, you are one articulate person!
“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” The only way to counter that is for smart people to organize and fight back.
I’ve been saying for a while that atheists need soft-spoken, diplomatic spokespeople such as Shermer, but almost as much need our Cartmans like Hitch to fight back and give the religiosos the mocking and piss and vinegar they deeply deserve. There are times when you need to take off the kid gloves, if you see what I mean.

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