Today, Christians get a lot of slack for being intolerant, belligerent, pushy and vehement in their beliefs. This is not falsely attributed, but that's a subject for another time. The irony of these claims is that the people who try to imbue people like myself as "intolerant", "ignorant", "war mongering", et cetera... are doing the very thing they're accusing me of. One shining example (you don't have to read it in full detail if you don't want to) in particular stands out, where my views were openly attacked and for defending them, I was considered the antagonist. Mind you, the link is completely unadulterated and unedited for your viewing pleasure.
But that's not really the basis of this article because I can cite a hundred similar arguments (better ones, at that) where, simply, for citing my beliefs, I'm attacked. It doesn't happen as much in open society because people are more reserved about their beliefs; whatever they may be. However, in politics and on the internet, it's increasingly difficult for someone to say "I believe in God" or "I don't believe in Evolution" without getting absolutely attacked.
And the reason why many Christians are sensitive to atheism is because, for many atheists (not all), it's not enough to just not believe in God. It becomes its own religious doctrine to destroy other religions. On internet forums, people may make their signature something like this. Or post a news article about some lunatic who did something in the name of God and attribute it to all religious people.
Not to say that I don't believe they should have the right to do so. I think they should have the right to do so. But the hypocrisy of it astounds me because it seems, to me, that atheists can be much more belligerent than Christians. And I think part of that is because atheism isn't its own belief, so in order for them to follow it, the requirements are to take open sword against the contrast to their beliefs.
And that's where I feel the division between intelligent atheists who made a concious choice not to believe in God and the overzealous, committed atheists come in. I don't have a problem with anyone not believing in God; if they have questions, I will be willing to answer and if not, then that's their decision. But their lack of belief shouldn't impede upon those who do believe.
If you read my article on whether or not homosexuality was a sin, you may or may not know that I posted it in places other than MySpace. One, of which, was the forum above, where the topic question was "is homosexuality a sin" and instead of responses to that, I received these:
"I don't care what this popular book that other people are interested in says. I like men. I like hugging them and would love to kiss them and love them and just everything. I honestly don't care whether it's a sin. As long as you don't fuck with me. I'm going to do men anyways." -- Zach O'Lantern
"I don't think a book should tell you whats right and wrong.
Sin is just a word anyways. " -- deadpie
"If it is a sin then 1/10 Chrisitians should be put to death.
However, god loves all of us correct?
And we havent died from him yet...
so I say keep living!
I personally don't believe in that hypocritical sctuff that is in the Bible.
For all we know some old pope guy who hated the world wrote it. " -- Venus
"Homosexuality is not a choice, nor is it an abomination. This type of Christian bigotry is one of the primary reasons I left Christianity, and avoid it like the plague. As a non-Christian, I have no concept of Sin. Sin is a Christian creation, designed to keep it's followers following a standard set of morals. Sin isn't needed for this purpose, and it's unnecessary and outdated.
Sin is a sin. Modern society doesn't need sin just to be moral.
As a Wiccan, I try to live my life following something called the 'Wiccan Rede', which states, "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt." or "An' ye harm none, do what ye will." which means, as long as it harms no one including yourself, you're free to do what you wish. It's as simple as a code of morals can be, yet, it limits in all the ways that a well-rounded individual should be limited." -- Raynes
"Sin doesn't exist." -- liveyoungdiefast
"I'll just give you a straight-up, bottom line answer here.
Homosexuality IS NOT WRONG. IT IS NOT EVIL. IT IS NORMAL.
Now... a lot of RELIGIONS say that it is wrong and evil... and the only reason why is because "magic man in the sky says so". Sorry, that's not gonna cut it for me.
Did I mention I'm an atheist? lmfao
Sure you can call homosexuality a sin... but sin is bullshit anyways and only "exists" to people who are afraid of the judgment of some divine being. So tough." -- ThatCanadianGuy
"IF god has problem with love in the world then he really needs to see some sort of cosmic psychologist " -- The Boy Genius
"The whole sin thing is bullshit so i guess thats alright
i dont just say that cause i dont give a hell about religion and their st**id laws but i just think its perfectly normal , i mean , if your happy that way , cool" -- Vladimir Lenin
"no .. cuz there is no god. " -- JacobHerrington
"It would be a bit unfair of god to equip his creations with the ability to love, an overpowered sex drive, and homosexual tendencies, and then make it a hellbound sin to be just that. Claiming that homosexuality is a damnable offense is fine, but at the same time many people that claim such things would have to abandon their concepts of god as all loving and all powerful (or accept predetermination as a viable theological truth). god is either setting you up for failure or letting you live freely free of eternal ramafications for the activity.
Doesn't affect me either way, because there is even less evidence god even exists in the first place. and if god does indeed hate fags then I'm not gonna waste my time worshipping it. As a matter of fact, I'm going to give it the middle finger salute" -- Meteoric
If you take the time to read through these, you can understand where I'm coming from and I even responded to a few of them. One response, in particular, is pertinent to this discussion. I'd like you to take note of the comment by liveyoungdiefast because that's one I responded to rather coarsely and this was the turn out:
Ripplemagne: "Neither does your brain, obviously."
liveyoungdiehard: "Sad that a potentially good debate has been invalidated by an immature ad hominem attack."
Ripplemagne: "No. It's sad that you feel the unrelenting need to spew your pseudo-intellectual, overzealous, piss-mommy-and-daddy-off views on in a topic that has nothing to do with it. No one asked you for your opinion on religion or if sins exist or not. The topic is: from a Judeo-Christian/biblical standpoint, is homosexuality a sin?
What's sad is a self-aggrandizing, militant atheist who can't let a topic outside of his views continue without stuffing his projected ideologies of the world upon the discussion to look superior.
If you don't like what this topic is about, jump ship to another thread. Now, get that crap out of my epic and plz2goawaynao."
And this is the focal point of this topic. Zealous atheists seem to think that they are above standards and ethics that they demands from theists because they're somehow enlightened and smarter than the rest of us. It also seems to be a common trend among these individuals that they believe themselves to be better educated and more well informed despite being very unlearned on the subject; we call these individuals pseudo-intellectuals.
And the major problem here is not that they have these views, but the fact that they feel the unrelenting passion to interject in any discussion that even hints at a religious theme (and in some cases, attacking even where it's not mentioned). Look at any Christian forum on the internet and you will find that atheists flock there. No matter what people of faith are discussing, a zealous atheists feels the need to remind you that they don't believe in God.
This isn't a novel concept. Many people across many faiths (including atheism) agree on my diagnostic here. It just reaffirms the fact that these people are just as willing to go to war for their beliefs than anyone else.
It's common place for younger and more inexperienced Christians to be bullied by atheists on the internet until they feel like their entire belief system is a sham. And while I don't fault forcing someone to reanalyze their belief systems, that's seldom the case for doing such. It's no different than the overzealous missionaries that atheists are so found of citing when trying to convince us that Christians are crazy. They aren't asking you questions and trying to get you to think; they're making fun of your beliefs until you are scared of them.
That's part of the reason why I've set out on so many cyber debates with these individuals in the past. Not just to point out the error of their ways, but to show those who are still confused that the one-dimensional pantomime they're feeding them is not as air tight as they're making it out to be.
Remember. When someone tries to tell you that the debate is over, that's when you should raise the most questions.