Apparently, you surrender any right to talk about or comment on God when you’re an atheist. Or so Christians would have it. ‘If you don’t believe in God, why don’t you just shut up about him? Why does it bother you that others believe?’ is the sort of line they take. You’ll find it in the comments on this blog and other sites that are critical of faith.
Like so much else, Christians are wrong about who can have an opinion about God. Unbelievers have as much right as believers, of whatever persuasion, to express views on the God-concept. It’s fair game for everyone.
So why do I bother? Six reasons.
1) I gave Jesus the best years of my life. Well, not really ‘Jesus’ because you can’t give anything to someone who’s been dead these past two millennia – but I was a Christian for twenty plus years and I complied with what the church and the Bible told me. It was a mistake; I denied myself, as I was told to do (in Matthew 16.24) and wasn’t able to be who I really am. I’m so much happier without being told what that should be.
2) I find the persistent proselytising by Christians to be thoroughly objectionable. It’s almost impossible to walk through the town centre where I live without being told by some street-preacher or other that without Jesus we’re all bound for Hell and that ‘evolution is lie’. (One of these claims is, that’s for sure.) If you get too near, a confederate will thrust a tract into your hand, replete with Bible quotations, spelling mistakes and dodgy grammar. And should you manage to avoid these particular desperadoes, you’ll then have to watch you don’t fall over the stands of Jehovah’s Witness literature, ‘manned’ by smiling ladies who think their brand of superstition is the truth.
3) Christians’ treatment of gay people is generally deplorable. ‘Hate the sin but love the sinner’ is the line frequently trotted out, even though it’s entirely unbiblical. They may claim to love gay people but it’s a hollow claim when ‘in love’ Christians condemn gay people as sinners of the worst sort; ‘abominations’ is the word used in their holy book (and some Christians use worse language than this). Because of what the Bible says, many believers seek to deny same-sex couples the right to marry and resist attempts to grant them the same rights as everyone else. Christians insult us all by calling this love.
4) Christians’ uncritical adherence to superstition is incomprehensible. There are innumerable Christian web-sites, some of which I read (purely for research purposes, you understand) that are, variously, sources of hilarity and despair in equal measure. There has to be some counter-balance to the irrationality and evangelistic fervour of these sites and thankfully there is. Hopefully this blog makes some small contribution.
5) However much they preach at the rest of us, Christians fail to do as their saviour commands them. They think they’re ‘saved’ through St Paul’s magic formula but ignore everything Jesus says is required of them (see previous posts and my book Why Christians Don’t Do What Jesus Tells Them To …And What They Believe Instead.) It’s all specks and logs, to paraphrase JC himself; Christians enjoy pointing out everyone else’s sinfulness – and arguing about doctrine, of course – while blatantly ignoring Jesus’ commands. I feel obliged to point this out.
6) If, through this blog, I can lead people to question their beliefs, help them reflect critically on what they are told by church leaders and very selective reading of ‘God’s Word’, encourage them to think rationally about their belief in supernatural beings and, most of all, if I can be instrumental in rescuing one person from the Jesus cult, then I’ll be more than happy.
That’s why I bother.