I'm taking a science class where the instructor spends about 1/4 of class time talking about how love is the answer to making the world better. I can tolerate it (if it doesn't continue into the next weeks), but he proudly makes it clear a few times per class that it's all about accepting God's love in order to love others appropriately.
A lot of heads in the class nod in agreement when he talks like this. He's really good at the science part, so I'm trying to determine if there's a polite way to ask him to consider teaching science 90% of the time instead of 75%.
But he's intelligent, passionate, his heart's in the right place, and I really like his charisma, so I don't know if/how I'll be able to resolve this conflict in a calm and friendly manner. I might have to point out someday how science conflicts with one of his anecdotes purportedly "proving" how faith always heals, if only it's believed in strongly enough. I guess I'll at least focus on maintaining mutual respect, which I'm sure he believes is important. I don't want to come off as an angry atheist, because I'm not, but I might come off as pretty defensive in front of all those believers.
I wouldn't call that overt intolerance, because he has a good heart and means well, probably even for us atheists. If I actually approached him with my belief, I think he would respect it and just feel sad.
Meanwhile, I don't call it intolerance, but the peer pressure to believe is currently in full force, in my secular school. I don't want to convert him. I just want him to stop forcing his personal issue(s) onto the rest of us.
My experiences have led to the following observations:
If you want to follow the Old Testament then become a Jew - it was their holy book first and I have NEVER seen a Christian who followed it, only hateful vile Xians.
If you intend to be a Christian (and not a vile Xian) then follow only the New Testament and stop spewing hatred.
Espousing hatred is evil.
Unfortunately, the new testament has its share of garbage (mostly from Paul). And in spite of some of the decent Jesus stuff, Jesus also said not one little bit of the law (OT) would go away until the end of heaven and earth.
That's why I didn't advise just following the NT but also stopping the hate-spewing. True there needs to be even more admonitions but if we can get them to at least start with ending the vile bile, cool.
Brad, I think it's great that you're asking.
In addition to the specific anecdote I shared as a reply elsewhere on this thread, the biggie for me is the accusation that as an atheist, I must have no moral compass. This has come up more times than I can count. The truth is that most atheists I know feel even more strongly about being ethical, treating each other and our planet well, precisely because the only life we know for sure that we have is this one here and now. There's no do-over.
Interestingly, if an atheist screws up and wants to make it right, we have to actually ask the person we harmed for forgiveness - much harder than just confessing in our heart. (Again, back to my quaker upbringing - we were supposed to go to the Friend to make things right with them, but there was always the fall-back that if we asked god to forgive us, he's still let us into heaven.)
I work in a big company where many people have jesus paraphernalia in their cubicles. If I put up some public proclamation of my beliefs, you can bet I'd face ostracism at some level.
Look in the phone book at business which add the jesus fish to their yellow pages ad. They clearly feel comfortable that this will be seen as a positive driver for their business. Do you think a darwin fish would get the same response? Not bloody likely.
See, we don't even have to be 'in your face' or angry or militant atheists. Just the statement that we don't believe what you believe leaves us open to being told to leave the country, or told we are of the devil.
Of course, plenty of christians aren't that overt in their reaction. But even the nice ones tell us they'll pray for us. So insulting. Like there's something wrong with us! Ugh!
I would say the blatant disregard for the separation of church and state (obviously in the U.S.) is one that comes to mind.
Society is slowly waking up to the nonsense of religion unfortuantely it wont be phased out completely while im walking the Earth.
If you are an intelligent student and you research atheists reasons to non faith effectively enough, you too will have a reverse epiphany, an awakening as such. I hope you do for your sake because if you do you will be able to enjoy life much more instead of worrying over irrelevant bull shit each and every day.
I am Australian and it is no big deal to be an Atheist here. Our Prime Minister is an Atheist AND Female.
I just happen to be born here, bad luck if one is born into a relgious society/country.
@ Brad just has to look at the 13/17 year olds, trying to come out in their community/family. There you will see xian family love at it's best.
There have been young'uns 'Friended' me, then apologized because they had to remove that friend status, 'cause they didn't want it known - to their family - that they were Atheist, they would be disowned.
The following is a comment from another Atheist website of what can happen in the 'Land of Free Speech'.
Well I don’t know about you lot but you’ll have to count me out of face-to-face confrontations where I live.
These thick-headed fools around here have the power to make my life hell or to simply do away with me entirely.
One word in the right ear can lead to your body never being found and local law enforcement shrugging and walking away from the whole thing.
These are vicious batshit crazy people and I wouldn’t trust them with a piece of roadkill much less my personal freedoms or my life!
Well, I may live in the USA and have rights on paper, but in the real world I have their smelly boot on my neck and the certain prospect that this will continue for decades.
Besides, just what the fuck do you think these people are going to do when you stand up and say shit they look upon as blasphemous, heretical, or profane? Give you a back rub?
Are you fucking daft? Yes. Are you being realistic? No.
Did you think things through? It appears you don’t have a fucking clue how to do that.
Yes, you are dreaming. No, this is not a “cunning plan”.
The judaism/islamic/xian's all subjugate women, Jehovah Witnsess don't want any of their sheep getting an education - Exclusive Brethren won't tolerate TV. Computer or any divise where one may gain knowledge. The problem isn't with just one religon, they are all the same - Religions per se are about power and money and need people like you to prop up the hierarchy. All religions to me are cults and fearful, which is why they are getting even more vicious and hateful.