This is a discussion in the form of a question that has been bothering me for some time. I will have to be more discreet about what I write on this site, because someone in my Christian family (at least one, probably more) has been snooping on my activities on this site through their own computer(s).
I finally found out about the extent of the snooping when the individual came to me and accused me of being a biggot; of being a person that hates religious people. They think I'm being "brainwashed" by all of you, that you are a "dangerous crowd" and a "bad influence." The person who approached me and accused me of being prejudiced against religious people said that this entire site is full of biggots that hate Christians. I have denied it to myself over and over. Tried to convince myself that I fight only against RELIGIONISTS - those who try to impose their views by force, and not religious people who practice in private. But... I can't deny that I do not approve of childhood indoctrination or religion in general. I try to keep this to myself around my deeply religious moderate christian family. But, I do read books about this and talk about this.
So... I find myself wondering... Do I hate religious people? How would I know if I was prejudiced against them. I am very angry at them for the way they treat me on a regular basis... (they look at me either with pity or anger and sometimes act like I'm something slimy that got stuck to their shoe). But is anger the same as hate?
Do you hate religious people? I can't seem to answer my own questions... so I need a little help.
One of the most freeing things about being an atheist is not having to put up with that BS of loving your enemies...which is neither possible or desirable, it's just semantic double-talk. The better question is: Are Christians our enemy?
My answer is a resounding: "Hell, yes!"
Do I hate my enemies: "You'd better believe I do and with a clear conscious to boot!"
My mother is a Christian, do I hate my mother? No. My brother is a Christian, do I hate my brother? Nope. My father was a Christian minister before he ceased to exist, do I hate the memory of my father? Absolutely not.
I do not hate my mother or my brother or the memory of my father.
I hate what they did to me in the name of their God. I hate the pyschological, social, physical, and sexual abuse they put me through growing up. They wound me so tight the springs inside me broke then turned me out into the real world unprepared and uneducated because it was "Their duty to raise me a Christian."
If you are right, and your parents are trolling this site, then I have a message for them:
Even if you reject the truth in favor of lies and fables, don't pass your sickness down to your children. Give them a chance to learn and to grow and to make up their own minds. Nowhere in the scriptures you claim to read literally is anyone but a grown adult asked to consider becoming a Christian. Stop abusing your children and let them grow to be free adults. Only then are they capable of making a choice whether to believe or not. It is your own fear, your own hatred and your own ignorance that you are passing on to the next generation.
It is you who need to grow up, your child is doing fine on her own in spite of you.
Thank you. The support is really refreshing. I am actually moved to tears by the support you guys give me, because there are no atheists in my family or in my immediate proximity that I can turn to. As for my parents infecting their children. They already have, and they think they have done the right thing. I was infected until I became curious in early high school and started to read up about the rest of the world. My education broke the bonds of my religious slavery and I spent 4 years in darkness, terror, and fear ... until I finally admitted I was an atheist and came to this site. The people on this site are wonderful. I came to them, lost... scared... confused.. and totally alone. God was my best friend and he had died and I had no one's shoulder to cry on and no direction at all. Until I came here.
My sister and brother are still extremely infected. I still have hope for them and I wait for the day that one of them will come to me and tell me that they "can't believe in god anymore and don't know what to do." If that happens [I don't know if it ever will] they will be very lucky. They will have someone to support and guide them. I had no one until I came to this site. Hopefully, my support will help them feel less pain. But... I'm still waiting...and hoping....
Wow, SkyCommet. Your message is such an important one! To those of us who have been religion free all our lives, religion is merely one of those astonishing annoyances. But to muster your own courage to stand up for yourself and admit that a centerpiece to your very definition of a being is...well just not true, and counter to every significant person in your life, is a place I hope everyone here tries to comprehend. You have earned higher honor than me because I have not had to endure that test.
If you had a wonderful relationship with an imaginary friend, what may you achieve with truly sentient individuals here! And to boot, people here are real.
uh... thanks. *flattered* I am, though, just one among many 1st generation atheists who had this experience. I think I heard that there are a couple of different types of relationships first-generation atheists had with religion. Some never believed. Some sort-of believed but didn't really care, and the third type [the one I'm part of] believed whole-heartedly and threw their entire being into their "faith." When I read the stories of other people in the third type, it's like the same story being told over and over.
1. Person is brought up in a devoutly religious family 2. Person truly believes in and is devouted to their faith 3. Person usually has above average intelligence. 4. Person begins to question beliefs after some life trauma/ exposure to other religions, viewpoints etc/ and/ or exposure to the bloody and hypocritical history of their faith, or reads religious text and can't reconcile contradictions/ absurdities/ attrocities with what they've been taught. 5. Person loses faith [gradually or sudden complete collapse - mine was sudden collapse] 6. Person may try many different religions and philosophies to fill the void 7. Person declares agnostic/ spiritual but not religious 8. Person finally declares atheist
As far as I have seen this seems to be the most common pattern of deconversion for those in group 3 of 1st generation atheists. [Although I'm sure there are others]. The deconversion process was for me the most profound thing ever to happen to me. The fact that so many deconversion stories among 1st generation atheists in group 3 sound the same - I think that deserves some investigation. Maybe it might be the key to understanding why some religious people deconvert and how. ^_^
No, I don't hate xians, I feel very sorry for them. I have no respect for them.
I know that they have been indoctrinated and brainwashed, usually from a very early age, which I consider in an evangelical atmosphere, child abuse, and bloody hard to get that fear out of ones head. I can't imagine being bought up in that atmosphere, and still have the balls to reject it. It takes guts and brains. The arrogance of these people to treat you the way they do, typical loving xians. Don't hate them, that's is bad for your psyche. They are poo beneath your shoe - nothing will piss them off more than for you to be happy and centred and achieving. Have a touch of French arrogance. It really works, and can be fun. Don't let them get to your self-esteem.
Atheists in general would not have any problem with religious people at all, except for all the charlatans and pedophiles and misogynists that hide behind the cloth and cross. Atheists are only becoming more strident because xians are getting in our face. I don't give a damn what people believe or not believe, just stay away from me.
No, anger is not the same as hate. I don't really hate anybody. I really do believe that atheists have more morals and ethics than religious people of any persuasion. Why were they invading your privacy? Bloody sneaky. See, you can't trust them.
Fear trumps logic. Religion is a crutch. If one truly believes whatever they think, why be so hateful. More power to you, Skycomet, for having the guts and intelligence to overcome this claptrap.
I try very hard not to hate anyone; It is not the person so much as the doctrine of faith that bothers me most. I hate willful ignorance, but to hate the person is not a good thing. It is also not easy, I do tend to have a kind of prejudice when someone professes their religion and I am working on that one. I want to learn to be as tolerant as possible however I do get defensive when religion is forced upon me by state run schools and organizations. Religion is what taught me to hate in the first place, so I would like to eradicate that part of my indoctrination from my life. I observed that there was a great deal of animosity among the various Christian sects and I found this to be confusing and I knew it to be wrong. I never understood why we should hate another Christian group, it seemed like we were rooting for and rooting against the same team all the time. It was crazy. I learned intolerance from religion, I learned not to ask questions from religion, I learned to be subservient and to accept my "fate" in life because of religion and that is why I do not practice a religion any longer. Once I dropped religion I experienced a kind of freedom like I have never had before. I now know that I can go out and volunteer and help out in my community that I am doing it out of a need to help others and not to gain a foothold in a fantasy land from above.
"But... I can't deny that I do not approve of childhood indoctrination" Well, that makes perfect sense, childhood indoctrination is completely wrong.
I don't hate religious people, i dislike hateful or rude religious people. Their are religious people that have tried to convert me and muslim and hindu friends, and been completely disrespectful of their views. I also dislike people who use religion as a reason to offend, oppress or attack people for their twisted reasons (eg. homophobia, racism, other religions).
But I also dislike atheist people who do the same, so i guess it has nothing to do with religion, it just tends to be, among my community, the religious people who do all the offending.
It is rare that I hate anyone, only 2 or 3 people i've met I think i hate/have hated
There is a huge difference between not approving on some of the actions of the religious (indoctrination) and hating the religious. Many of us know plenty of religious people that we get on fine with in every day settings. we may not agree on some subjects, but that doesn't mean one has to hate the person as a whole. Say you and a friend have a different favorite band. Say you don't consider what your friends favorite does as 'music' or you object to the band's lyrics. You're not going to have to hate your friend from that point forward are you? No! That would be absurd. For us, religion is the same way. We may not agree theologically, but if you're still a good person otherwise, you're still a good person. I've heard it said before "love the believer, but hate the belief". I feel that this is valid here. Now, hate may be a stronger term than some would use, but the point remains the same. While what they believe may be absurd or objectionable, that doesn't vilify the person as a whole. Also, they were likely indoctrinated into the belief as well. So it likely wasn't their own choice to start believing such things. It seems to me that your e-spy is displaying the typical traits of exaggeration and the considering any difference of opinion as a personal challenge toward their beliefs.
It takes a special type of person to get me to the place of hate. I know so many great people who are religious that to even suggest I hate them is a wickedness deserving of that place. You tell your voyeurs that, for them, I have hate. Unless they read this themselves, first, in which case to them I say directly: you earned it. Feel it.