The “Evangelical” Atheist – Tolerance, and the differences we share

March 24, 2012

Frank Vernon Fred Miller asks:

How many of you, having denounced religion, or at least upon accepting Atheism as your belief, found it difficult to accept the fact that religion permeates every aspect of our environment including our families, our work, and our schools?

I am having difficulty accepting how much religion influences every aspect of our lives from centuries of dogmatic abuse. I laugh at my own ignorance when I occasionally use expressions such as, “Oh my God” or “Jesus Christ!”. It serves to remind me just how much religion in my own immediate environment has influenced me.

I want to be tolerant of others beliefs. I don’t want to be just as offensive an evangelical christian by forcing my beliefs upon others, but I find myself doing just that at times with Atheism.

I realize now that I should have been born much farther into the future when our species has evolved a bit more.

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A Solitary Atheist

October 26, 2011

An anonymous poster asks:

I am a new atheist, but I am having a hard time feeling isolated because all my family and friends are fundamental christians. My partner was “concerned” about my belief in Jesus and told me that if I don’t believe in Jesus I will be going to hell. I don’t want to have my children keep being indocrinated but I know I don’t have any support to stop that. I feel enlighted in my understanding about life now but so alone otherwise.


Facts about Misuse of Religion in Society

October 15, 2011

Natalie says:

Hi, im doing a research paper for my senior year about the misuse of religion in society in the past and currently. I’m having trouble finding facts instead of opinions . Do you have any reccomended websites for research? I plan on covering Hitlers hushed Christian beliefs and the obvious influence of religion on the 911 attacks, but i need a little something extra ! Honestly, Anything would be appreciated. I have been an Atheist for around five years now and i feel very strongly about this topic . Thank you :D


Are there any TRUE christians?

June 4, 2011

Susan says:

I recall a conversation I had with a christian about my thinking religion is often duplicitous, & I was using the example of my grandmother. She was a southern baptist & was forever trying, giving me bibles for xmas, inviting me to “grandparents day” at church, which always happened to coincide with my visit. Yet she was totally racist (nigger jokes), lied, was manipulative & cruel to children, was judgmental. I pointed out these traits as being in contradiction with christian values. The other person said it wasn’t christianity that was the problem, it was that my grandmother wasn’t a good christian.

But doesn’t that raise quite a question? The basis of christianity is the bible. Of which there are several versions, all of which have been translated thru several iterations, from what is clearly a collection of parables & fables used as teaching tools for herders & farmers, & it’s about as clear as a horoscope. The fact that there are so many factions using the same bible, who are quite different from each other…Doesn’t the wiggle room provided by the bible mean you can always forgive the bible, then just insist the user isn’t doing it right? Isn’t humble enough? Isn’t hearing god’s message clearly because or pride or something? Apologists always back into “that’s not being a good christian,” but that’s hardly a worthwhile defense when there really is no “one good christian” definition.


Why Pray Before a Meal?

April 7, 2011

I’m often tempted to ask Christians who I see praying in public before a meal why they pray. Of course I would never be so disrespectful as to actually walk over and ask. I’m not offended by it, Christians have every right to do it and I support their right. But I do wonder why. So I’ll ask my questions here, where I can safely assume that someone reading a blog about atheism would be amenable to a conversation about faith and belief.

Social Aspects of Praying:

Do Christians feel that God prefers that prayers are said while in a certain posture, with head bowed, eyes closed, and hands clasped? Or is the prayer posture meant more as a performance for the benefit of those around them, rather than for God’s benefit? It seems a lot like the ichthus (fish) bumper stickers – it’s used as a public statement, a testimony. Is the prayer before the meal a polite way of witnessing, a way to show those around them that “I’m a Christian” without actually engaging anyone in conversation? On the one hand, I appreciate that most Christians would be respectful enough not to overtly proselytize those around them. On the other hand, statements to the effect of “I’m a Christian” is not much of a witness. For example, it says nothing about the reality of Jesus which is what a Christian witness or testimony really is. Or possibly, prayer before the meal is a display for other Christians, a way to tell other Christians that you’re one of them – sort of like the Shriner’s “secret” handshake.  Maybe it’s both.

Theological Aspects of Praying:

Thank you for this food we are about to receive…

Why do Christians pretend that God gives them their meals? It seems obvious enough where food comes from. The Earth produces food for humans and other terrestrial life. Life on planet Earth has evolved such that there is a food chain.  If I may oversimplify a bit just for illustration: plants consume non-living materials like minerals, water, CO2 and sunlight.  Animals consume plants, and animals higher on the food chain consume other animals.  Humans are near the top of the food chain (yes, we do have natural predators!).  Each of our meals has this natural origin.  If there is a God, then He doesn’t give us each meal, He gives us the entire Earth from which we get our food.  Why not thank God at every meal for the Earth rather than for the meal?  The meal seems insignificant relative to the gift of the whole Earth!

Other Quirks Regarding Prayer:

Why pray only for food?  Why not pray for water?  Water is even more essential to our sustenance than food.  We can survive without food for weeks but we can only survive without water for a few days.

Bless this food to our bodies…

“Bless this food to our bodies” isn’t even grammatically correct – the verb “bless” can take the indirect object, “body”.  You can bless the food, or you can bless our bodies, but you can’t bless food to our bodies.  Nevertheless, this phrase is very wide spread among Christians – try this search on Google (http://www.google.com/search?q=”bless+this+food+to+our+bodies”) and you’ll see what I mean.

My point is not that Christians are guilty of incorrect grammar – we all are.  My point is that Christians make this particular grammatical error only in prayers for the meal and not anywhere else.  So how does a grammatically incorrect phrase become so popular in prayer and only in prayer?  Does it sound more spiritual?

What do you think?

Whether you are Christian or not, what to you think about the Christian prayer for the meal?


Atheist in a Mormon Company

November 27, 2010

Katie says:

I am possibly an atheist in the making, but I have been through so many “isms” on my journey, discarding this and that part of religion on my way. I always thought that I was right, but then had to change my mind. I’m a little bit afraid that this is just another in a series, and I really don’t want to keep doing this. I went to skepticon 3 and it helped, as I now understand that for most atheists it’s not a dogma of no god, it’s just a lack of evidence FOR god. I am, however, a little bit intimidated by the sheer intellect in the atheist community. I have let my brain lie fallow for a really long time, and while I started out with a fairly high intellect, the atheist community seems to contain some of the greatest brains around.

ok, enough rambling…….my son is an atheist, but he cannot let it be known because there is a real risk of him losing his job. His workplace is full of Mormons, and they have consistently promoted Mormons ahead of him, but never criticize his job performance. He simply avoids the issue, finds a distraction when asked, but would love to ‘come out’ and speak his mind. The law says that what his employer does is illegal, but that would be of little comfort should he lose his job and be unable to support his family. Any suggestions?


Fallout from “Coming out” Atheist

July 27, 2010

Brittany Asks:

I am fifteen years old. I live in the heart of the bible belt with two parents who are not that religious but extremely hypocritical, judgmental, and intolerant. I am an Agnostic-Atheist. I will probably never be able to speak the four words to my family that I want to say most of all:

I Am An Atheist.

I really have three questions.

1.) What would most likely result from telling hypocritical hateful Southern Baptists? Is it worth it? Especially what would happen from my family.

2.) I plan to move to Massachusetts immediately after high school. Will it be better there?

3.) Living in the South, would it be worth it to allow myself to be brainwashed back into Christianity?


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