Wednesday, February 19, 2014

can we be honest about some things?

My brain has been mulling over something quite a bit over the past few weeks:

Atheists are kind of jerks. 

And,  if I'm being honest, I just say "kind of" to be socially acceptable. Every atheist I know is real life is a jerk regarding their beliefs (or lack there of). They are generally perfectly normal, nice folks in other areas of life.........and huge, huge jerks about believing.

I'd like to have some real talk about this.

My atheist friends are quick to jump into discussions about religion and immediate bash their believer friends. And those discussions typically take one of two turns........the "You're stupid to believe in fairy tales" approach or the wider "Look at all the problems that religion causes!" argument.

Let's start with the later. "Look at all the problems religion causes!"

Here's some real talk: In my day to day life, in my town, in my circle of friends, in the community I participate in every day,  I don't know any abortion clinic bombers. I don't know how any jihadists who have suicide bombed a building.

I do know people who go out of their way to attempt to make me, and other believers, feel badly about themselves. I do know people who regular call others "friend" and then seek to tear them down.

You want to talk about making the world better or worse? Let's be real about it. Let's be honest with what our contributions are to our community on a day to day basis. Because I think we could all agree that America is kind of messed up right now and a huge part of the messed-up-ness we find ourselves in lies in how disassociated we are from one another.

What makes my world worse, real life, day in day out, in my community, in my circle of friends, in my people who find it ok to insult and demean others because of differing beliefs.  What makes my world worse and what demonstrates bad behavior to me is people calling me "friend"...and then seeking to hurt me.

The former argument my atheist friend use...the "You're stupid to believe in fairy tales!" argument... is just a tag-along to this. That argument was only created to tear others down. Because...lets be real... on a day to day basis, how many believers do you know personally who are going around deliberately trying to harm you? And, let's say you know some. Is the best contribution you can make to your community divisiveness? Resistance of compromise and understanding? That's really your best choice? That's really  helping things? What does it matter if someone doesn't believe the exact thing you do? How does it make anything better to take something someone finds very important and scoff and call it mere fairy tales?

At the end of the day, what makes my community worse is more conflict. More unkindness.

And I'm gonna go off on a little tangent here:
When you post your snarky little memes on social media, and you are aware you have believers as friends, you are being a jerk. You are insulting those you call friends. Let's just be honest about it. I don't know if you're trying to pretend your believer friends don't see it or you're falling back on the ol "It's my FB page and I should be allowed to post what I want" line. Either way, insulting your friends and calling them names makes you a jerk. (I mean, unless you have a ton of folks on your FB that you don't really like and don't care about.......but it's still a pretty jerk move to willingly insult your audience).


You want to sit around a belittle others for not doing life exactly like you? That's your best contribution to your community?

There is no "right" side of intolerance. There is no "right" side of hate or spite.

When you seek out to tear others down simply for the sake of doing it, you are part of the problem. And that's a truth for believers and non-believers a like.


  1. As an atheists, I'm sad to hear that you've met so many jerks.
    I don't think I act in the way you describe, but sometimes when I'm very critical of ideas and approaches to reason that I find dangerous and harmful to humanity and to the planet I'm accused of attacking people. This is where discussing religion becomes very difficult. I want to be able to criticize, and yes even ridicule ideas that I find worthy of criticism and ridicule but I don't mean to attack my mother, brothers, many friends, or millions of strangers who believe in these ideas.
    Mostly though, I feel like you saying any group of people are jerks, or even kind of jerks, based on your anecdotal experience is a perfect example of prejudice and bigotry.
    I hope you meet some kind, sweet atheists. I know many.

  2. If that's too many words:
    Atheists are jerks, because they call names. Names like jerk?

    1. "Calling people out on their bad behavior makes you a bigot. And it's ok for me to be mean to people I want because I believe your ideas are worth making fun of"


    2. If that's too many words:

      It's a hard conversation to have if people can't be emotionally honest when they have it.

    3. You use quotes but that isn't what I said at all.

      Had this been a post about a specific atheist, specific group of atheists, or if you'd even used the phrase "some atheists" it wouldn't be bigoted but you said, "Atheists are kind of jerks". Notice when I use quotes I put the words that you actually typed within them. It's not that you called people out for bad behavior but rather that you denigrated a whole group based on your own anecdotal experience.

      As for "If that's too many words" I can see how that appeared snarky and I apologize. It was meant to be self deprecating as I wasn't as succinct as I would have liked to have been in my initial post.

    4. seemed like an honest, EVEN objective response to this post. i can be emotionally honest! Christians can be lumped into a group, just like you lumped Atheists into a group. They SHOULDN'T, but your post is VERY one-sided and hypocritical at best. "Resistance of compromise and understanding? That's really your best choice? That's really helping things? What does it matter if someone doesn't believe the exact thing you do? How does it make anything better to take something someone finds very important and scoff and call it mere fairy tales?" If you REALLY felt this way how would anyone even KNOW you're a Christian?? Ooooh, you TELL them. So, you scoff at OTHERS beliefs and SHARE yours, and probably vote based on your religious beliefs. That's TOTALLY fine! But, if I go running around professing my beliefs to others, I should be prepared for backlash from some. That's just human nature. Odd that a Jew has to come along to take up for an atheist......but, Christians don't even follow the "Old Testament" they have misrepresented and misunderstood most of it. So, here I am defending an atheist, because OBJECTIVELY he is right.....

    5. KLJ,

      True, but lets be honest............I did go on to explain that my point is that my atheist friends are, in fact, quite lovely people in every other aspect of their life. I didn't simply just say "atheists are jerks" and leave it at that. Context, please.

      This is my life experience or anecdotal evidence. The older I get, the more striking it is to me that the most hostile, intolerant people I know in regards to religion identify at atheists.

      My point in all of this is that, sure, you can dismiss that if you want. But I feel that's disingenuous. You can justify WHY it's ok for people to be jerks to other people. But I don't think that's helpful.

      As a Christian the Bible teaches me about authentic relationships. I should be able to go to my friends and say "Hey, you're being a kind of a jerk about this" or "Hey, you're hurting my feelings/offending me" and have that be a discussion, not an argument, you know? But I'm not living in a hole, I know that isn't often a reality. It is what it is.

      And, at the end of the day, I like the idea of of "what did you do to make your community better today?"

      Whatever side one is on, trying to justify hostility probably isn't the best contribution you could have made to your community at any given time. Which is what I said at the end. Again, context.

      Dillon - I just............that's a lot of incorrect assumptions but you seem pretty dead set that you're "righter" than me, so more power to you. If you gotta make up that story to work with it, cool.

    6. And, I'd like to mention, Keith that this was pretty personal for me. And it's my personal blog that I ONLY published on my private FB page. I'm just some nobody mom in Sacramento.

      Honestly, I wrote this because I have a handful of atheist friends who I don't think realize how hurtful they are with their judgment. And because I travel in a very progressive, liberal crowd, I sit by A LOT and listen to a LOT of hate speech against Christians. But, like I said..........I believe my friends to be genuinely nice people about everything else. But maybe if they stepped back a second and decided NOT to insult people who believe differently...........maybe things could be better? Or maybe on a very basic level, they wouldn't hurt their friends?

      I mean.........being nice to people we like is generally a good thing, right?

    7. Athiests are the most intolerant of religion? I think that goes to the way one religion regards other religions. When I hear Christians discuss Muslims or vice versa I hear a lot more vitriol. I will behead you as opposed to I think you believe in something foolish, big difference to me.

    8. I have never in real life observed a discussion between two Christians in which they literally planned to behead another person for religion (or, really, for any reason).

      And that's my point. I hear atheists claiming this awful things all the time. Based on things that happened hundreds of years ago or based on things horrible people are doing to each other in other parts of the earth. I don't mean to diminish the horror of those things, not at all. But that's not what I'm talking about, either.

      I'm talking about right now, in our regular old North American culture, and a regular old day to day basis, as a regular old person in a pretty conservative area.........what I observe regularly, and with more frequency lately is atheists going out of their way to be hurtful and harmful to people who believe. I observe fairly regularly atheists saying incredibly hurtful and instigatory things. And maybe I'm hanging out at the wrong church, but I don't observe that in my Christian friends.

      And I see reactions like that reactions I've gotten here..........the equivalent of "well, Christians deserve it!"

      And I'm not really sure how or why that makes my community better.

  3. I'm an atheist. I send my kids to a private Christian school because I like the environment and the wonderful people they are around, many of whom are some of my closest friends. Some of the other parents are atheists, too. I never hear anyone put anyone's beliefs down. I hope I don't come off jerky :(

    1. Kelly of course not. But that's probably just because you're one of the nicest people I know, all around. <3