Monday, January 11, 2010

Dealing with Arrogant Christians

Sorry folks, but this one is going to have to be a bit of a rant, even though I try to avoid embittered negativity, sometimes something just gets under my collar. I mean, as an advocate for atheism I make it a habit to share my opinion with Christians, who love nothing more than to advertise theirs every chance they get. Such instances often go like this, I shall happen upon a Christian acquaintance's website or blog and will find a post containing a comment such as this:

"Listening to my new Steven Curtis Chapman CD! I love SCC! Even after all these years, he still writes awesome songs. (Who's with me on this?) "We're all broken... And we all need a Savior...""

To which I often would like to respond:

"I'm not questioning your taste in music, but SCC can keep his defeatist and abject slave talk to himself. I'm not broken anymore, thank you very much. I've recovered, I've been healed, liberated from such oppressive ideologies and I don't need that dehumanizing drivel to tell me I'm less than what I am. Granted I'm not perfect, but who is? Seriously, I cannot see how people even entertain the notion that this sort of thinking is in any way healthy--because it's NOT."

Well, that's what I felt like saying at the time, but I bit my tongue. I really don't like putting people out, unless absolutely necessary,  and since this Christian has blocked me in the past for voicing my rational considerations and corollary skepticism, simply because I didn't agree with her personal (unsustainable and unsubstantiated) convictions, I didn't want to even bother wasting my time trying to argue better reason with someone who was simply going to shut down the dialogue and turn off their brains by playing the inviolable status card and shirking the responsibility of having to answer for their incredibly unbelievable claims.

This also begs the question, how many more times will Christians try and save their faith by just claiming they've already won, and refusing to pay equal respect to others beliefs no matter how unreasonable they may seem? How many more times will they stick with this worn out tactic when in three thousand years of practice it hasn't advanced their claims once to the point of credibility? Granted, I don't think I've ever been as unreasonable as one who forfeits the match and declares themselves the winner by default. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again, if something is worth believing, then by all means, it must stand up to scrutiny.

I'm willing to talk to people who want to have a well informed discussion. But I knew that, just like the other day, when I had left a similar response on another Christian friend's comment thread and I got this exact response:

"You need to find the Lord!"

This got me to wondering, for fifteen years I pleaded with her to come to church with me, to go to youth services, to join Christian related activities, and now after all this time she has found God. That's fine if it works for her, but how can she then forget all those times I begged her to accompany me, and then just assume I somehow lost faith in the Lord, and now tells me I need to find it all over again. I mean, if 15 years of trying to force God and the gospel down her throat didn't convince her of my sincerity as a Christian, then what else would?

Although this person means the world to me, one of the few Christians I cannot rebuke for fear of losing her due to difference in opinion. I can handle a difference of opinion just fine, I'm perfectly willing to agree to disagree, but in my experience most Christians are not prepared or even equipped to match my efforts of cordial disagreement. Sometimes though, holding one's tongue and taking the part of the sage, is the right thing to do.

Because I respect this woman, even when she might make such a comment, I don't want to belittle her opinions and thoughts. But I do want to challenge them. Yet how can one do that when they aren't even taken seriously? The sage has been delegated to the role of a fool for no other reason than he dared to take a different train of thought. Maybe it's that my new-found beliefs are too challenging for her that she resorted to doing the only thing she could, express her worry for me by advising me on what she felt would best help me, assuming that I had something wrong with me in the first place.

I fully appreciate her sentiment, and even though she means well, I resent the implied accusation that I am somehow "broken" or in need of "saving." Find the Lord? Find him? What makes you think I lost him? I know right where he is, he's in-between the pages of my Bible, and that's where he'll stay. Come now dear Christians, let's not confuse the God in our imagination for the real deal. No, I have never lost the Lord, as I've kept impeccable track of him. Simply put, I found him out for what he was: a big fat scam, a scandal of the highest order, a charlatan and a charade. What's more, I'm not just saying this because I'm some sort of angry atheist. I have nothing against Christians other than their bouts of unreasonableness and their annoying ability to find an excuse to justify nearly anything under the  umbrella of their faith, and I mean anything, should they feel the need. I'm saying this, because when all is considered, this is the rational conclusion.

If that sounds ignoble or derisive to the faithful, then so be it, it also happens to be the truth. And I'm sorry, but sometimes the truth hurts. Regardless, I don't say these things lightly, I for one can reasonably defend my atheist position, and so when I say that Christianity is all boondoggle, I don't expect anyone to simply write me off as disingenuous. Take me up on an argument, we might just learn something together!

Certainly, I don't like my opinions to be automatically disregarded as trivial and not taken at my word simply because I'm no longer in the club of the self-righteous. How come Christians feel they have the privilege to voice their opinions, such as the demeaning belief that we're all broken and helpless and in need of a savior, even as I stand as the perfect example of an enlightened, or rather rehabilitated, individual free of such superstitious solipsism, supernatural gobbledygook, gloom-ridden, disparaging, and despairing Jesus talk? The arrogance of Christians is flabbergasting. Take it from me, I know, because I used to be one.

As such, when Christians want to one up me by devaluing me personally, my ideas, and my arguments only to ignore my challenge and claim their sets of beliefs are superior, without so much as making a plausible defense... all I have to say is this: come on! Play fair, have a little self worth, and don't be so naive as to believe everything you're told. Think for yourselves! And if believers continue to refuse to play fair, then I'll be left with no other option, I'll have to go Kenesaw Mountain Landis on their discriminatory antics!

Advocatus Atheist

Advocatus Atheist