Atheists suffer from a lower public opinion than that of rapists, sex offenders, and abortion doctors.
It wasn’t until I wrote this article that I realized just how much disdain our fellow Americans have for us. There’s no lack of evidence that Americans make a sport of hating things, like homosexuality, gay rights, Islam, and the list goes on. The hate seems to stem from fear, which results from a lack of understanding. Everyone falls victim to personal prejudices, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or religious views.
Theists think atheists are a lot of bad things
Atheism is very much a misunderstood position. Christians believe that atheists are doing the devil’s work here on earth. They call us pro-gay, anti-Christian, and anti-faith. They call us pro-abortion instead of pro-choice. They accuse us of following a religion. When we argue back, they plug their ears and sing as loud as they can so as not to hear us. They don’t like arguing with us, and they think that we’re crazy because we don’t believe in God. They think that we lack morality, so we’re more disposed to murder, rape, and homosexuality. They think that we control this country (yes, really), and that we’re somewhat responsible for “rampant liberalism”. They think that we worship the devil and we force others to worship him too. They think that we worship science, and that we manipulate it to say things to lead Christians away from their faith. They think that we’re out to disprove God’s existence, and that we actively preach that he doesn’t exist. They think that this is a Christian nation and there is no place for us here. They say it’s wrong for us to believe in secularism, and that humanism is a tool of Satan. The list goes on!
If you never are exposed to atheism, I can see how the concept of not believing in a god can be so perplexing. Especially since you believe that your God is good, just, and merciful. But this is not so. Atheists can be good, just and merciful. We just choose not to get these ideas from God.
We are not devil worshipers, and atheism is NOT a religion
Atheists are not devil worshipers. In fact, atheism is not a religion, as many theists would claim. Atheism is a position – it’s the rejection of belief in a claim of any God. It doesn’t cause us to make poor choices, oppress people, and promote immoral behavior. Atheists are not motivated by the fear of God’s wrath. To a theist, it may seem like since we don’t fear God, we just do whatever we want. Instead, we are truly altruistic and kind to people. We respect the rights of everyone, even if we don’t agree with what they believe or say. That doesn’t prevent us from talking about our viewpoints, but that’s the beauty of this country and the beauty of our own autonomy.
I frequently hear things like, “atheists are worshiping the devil and they don’t even know it!” If I was worshiping the devil, I would know it. I don’t worship anyone or anything. Nor do atheists convene for corporate worship. It’s not necessary for us to give praise and honor to any supernatural entity, especially if we cannot prove it exists. Of the many misconceptions or flagrant attacks on atheism, this is one that really upsets me. How dare you accuse me of being a devil worshiper? It’s rather insulting to me that you take the absolute worst evil ever thought to exist and accuse me of worshiping it.
Atheism gets a lot of attributes that it doesn’t need, want, or represent. Just because we don’t believe in a God doesn’t make us all prone to accepting science in the same way a parishioner accepts what his or her priest says. I use science as a method to determine what is true and what isn’t, but I certainly don’t worship it, or put any “faith” in it. And science won’t always be able to answer what is true and what isn’t, but it provides honest explanations for what it can determine. Faith is not a pathway to truth!
Atheism and evolution don’t mean the same thing. Not all atheists believe in evolution, and not all evolutionists are atheists! In fact, many Christians believe in evolution and recognize its veracity in many aspects. Evolution is currently the best explanation we have for origins of life on this earth. It is probably true that atheists tend toward this position more than any other, but any sound mind does (or should) subscribe to the Theory of Evolution. This has been proven. What is still not totally proven is the exact origins, but evolution as an actual mechanism for life on this planet has been proven and a little research would show a theist that this is the case.
Separation of church and state is a good thing
We believe in the separation of church and state, too. Big surprise, right? Actually, this institution is exactly what protects Christians from losing their rights as well. If the government endorsed any particular religion based on its prevalence in the USA, it’s possible that over time, Christians could lose their majority and wind up in a country that has a government pandering to Muslims, or Buddhists. Not that this is a major fear, but why should our government endorse Christianity? How is that fair to people that do not share those beliefs?
I don’t believe that prayer should be endorsed in school. It’s okay if I have classmates who are Christian and want to pray silently before a test. I don’t disrespect their rights as human beings, or American citizens. But a teacher has no right to lead prayer in a class. This is unconstitutional! Children do not go to school to listen to preaching on the Bible or any other “holy” text. They go to learn facts. If you want to destroy your child’s ability to reason and think for himself/herself, do it at home. Oh, burn!
Christians have a lot of misconceptions
While atheism isn’t the only thing that Christians have misconceptions about, it’s certainly one of the most frustrating for me. The second most frustrating, though, is the belief that this country is a Christian nation.
I touched on separation of church and state a couple paragraphs earlier, but I never actually addressed the issue of the constitution and whether or not it endorses theism or non-theism. God is not mentioned ONCE in this document! Our founding fathers were a pretty diverse mix of deists, theists, atheists, and non-religious people who spent a very long time debating about what the religious slant of this country should have. They decided to not give the country any religious slant, and instead let everyone be free to practice what they believe. If you’re a theist, how can you advocate free speech if people aren’t allowed to believe what they want? Wait, I get it – free speech and free thought only if everyone thinks or agrees with your viewpoint. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.
The issue here is that the church is pressuring the state to allow organized prayer in schools. It’s pressuring schools to provide Christian counseling for nonreligious kids, or kids who belong to other religions. It’s subverting the ability for young kids to reason and think for themselves. There is a lot to be lost if the Christians win, but our only gain is more security in secularism. I can’t imagine how my parents would have felt if I was attending a public school where there were mandatory prayers or Christian counseling, classes on creationism, and so forth. I would never send my child to a place like that. If you disagree, check this article out.
It’s for this reason that there are still many Christians who believe that Adam and Eve were real. These people might also believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Any other possible answer was given by Satan in order to distract someone from Christian “truths”. Falling victim to the circular reasoning or authoritative arguments of priests and pastors is so common in the church, we don’t need it in the schools, too. If the church takes away the ability for one to reason, they’re going to chalk everything up to faith. But having faith in something doesn’t make it true.
A lot of people do this with different things. You have to effectively remove your mindset from this system to take an objective look at what is being done. The turning point for me was exactly this: if this isn’t true, it’s a huge scam. When you look at who benefits from scams, you start to investigate the history of these perpetuations and make some pretty amazing discoveries.
In order for a theist (and yes, I’m picking on the Christians again) to believe in the grand lie that is Christianity, the church needs to do a few things:
- Provide a doctrine
- Declare it as truth
- Put something at risk if you don’t believe (i. e. your eternal soul)
- Purport any other evidence not in alignment with the doctrine as a ploy by the enemy to damn you eternally
If you’re constantly looking over your shoulder to defend yourself against an enemy, you’ll always be attributing science and evidence to the enemy’s work. You have to realize that first, there is no enemy. You have to take the fear you have in questioning what you have believed as truth your entire life and deal with it while you do your research. You have to understand that if God is real, and he is forgiving, he’ll be okay with you doing research and investigating whether or not he’s real.
If you believe that science is fallible, then you are right. Science is fallible. But so is everything else. Is the Bible not fallible? Or the Book of Mormon, or the Qu’ran? All of these books have demonstrated that they can fail in certain areas. But the difference is that science doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Science is optimistic that it can make discoveries and make sense of the unknown, but it doesn’t proclaim irreversible truths. I’m not attached to the Theory of Evolution. If it was agreed within the scientific community tomorrow that it was no longer a viable explanation for our origins and I was able to review the evidence, I’d stop believing it to be true. This mindset is how we can make progress and actually find answers. You have to admit when you’re wrong. Deceit doesn’t lead anyone to truth.