first .. I'm not even atheist, I am agnostic. (but I'm still going to hell.)

There are some situations in which I feel the need to defend religion and its followers from hateful atheists.

Everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe, and to worship what they want to worship. There is no rule in any lawbook that says otherwise. You can be Jewish, Buddhist, you can worship the ground, nature, space, or goats. It doesn't matter, you have that right as a citizen. (Now, keep in mind I'm talking about America because I am not sure about other places.)

There are Christians who openly bash and persecute peoples of different religions and cultures. There are Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist people who do the same thing. Pagans and Wiccans, Satanists, and Atheists.

And unfortunately..

There are some atheist people out there who are unforgiving and unrelenting in their bashing and hatefulness towards peoples of any religion.

The one thing I was taught in life were morals and ethics. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Christians preach love for all, and there is a bible verse in which it says (roughly, don't know word for word)"He who gets slapped in one cheek, turn the other and ask no questions, for it is your duty to forgive." I took this to mean that you should let people walk on you. Of course, they don't, and neither does an atheist. Unless that's your personality.

So occasionally, I will meet an atheist whose purpose in life is to be hateful towards Christian people. I feel ashamed of these people. I am, as agnostic, a part of this "disbelieving blasphemous group" and people like those who actively seek to be hateful offend me. Their screams of "GOD ISN'T REAL, YOU'RE A STUPID MORON AND YOU NEED TO JUST KILL YOURSELF AND GO TO YOUR HEAVEN SO THE REST OF US CAN LIVE PEACEFULLY" and etc are offensive to me.

They are the types of atheists that religious people think of when they think of atheists. It is human nature to take a little bit of good and a mouthful of bad, and then complain and bitch and moan about the bad, while ignoring that tiny piece of goodness.
These are the same atheists that scream respect from religious people and tell the religious people they are not following their God's wishes by being angry and spiteful in return.

This comes back to, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Religious people can be just as hateful, but I am not talking about that group, I am talking about OUR group. They should be ashamed of themselves just as much as hateful atheists should be ashamed of theirs.

Sorry this was so long and I hope I don't lose any friends over it. It's just something I was thinking about.

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Answer what question? The only one I can recall is my definition of "child abuse," and I have only discussed that as generally being understood as harsher than "teaching a child god loves them." There is no need for a more specific definition, unless you disagree with that sentence.

What other questions are you pretending you've asked?
I've asked several questions that you have ignored. Unless you have not read my posts that contained questions, of which there were more than one. I'll point them out later for you if you want. I'm too busy at the moment to go searching through this thread.

Do you consider emotional neglect of a child by parents to be abusive?
Do you consider genital mutilation of a child to be abusive (as is performed on females in certain cultures)?

I'm trying to get a handle on what you do consider abusive.
The first can be, depending on the context (knowledge and ability of parents to do differently). The second is definitely abusive, especially when it is done is western countries strongly against medical and child-protection establishment.
What am I here to proselytize for? You people are REALLY good at making up words and pretending I said them.
Um, what do you mean by "you people"?! In reading your posts, it seems to me that you believe all "moderates" and "atheists" believe exactly the same thing about nearly every one of the arguments you've articulated here.

I thought that the biggest claim-to-fame religious people (e.g. people who believe in God) use to assert moral superiority over atheists is their deep commitment to love, forgiveness, etc., etc., etc. I haven't seen that demonstrated here, that's for sure. You seem to better fit within this camp: "The loud, noisy fundamentalists in any group are the ones who get the attention, stir up resentment and hostility, which eventually leads to greater problems" (your words).
Chelsea, I have only responded to what the fundie atheists here are saying, so I hope you have me confused with someone else. I'm nearly certain that those words you quoted aren't mine. I have responded to the argument that all religion is child abuse. If disagreeing with that is being loud and noisy, then so be it.
The words are Ralph's, Rich. I suspect that that is who Chelsea was trying to reply to.
Wow, Ralph, you sure have shown your true colors here.

First, when I use "faithiest", I use it in quotations for a reason. But your derogotory terms are thrown out quite freely.

A second thing, what is the point of bringing up moderators (and yes, you are the only one that has mentioned it in this entire discussion)? Has anyone been oppressing you by using their moderator status or is this part of this paranoid fantsay you have?

I have apparently wasted a lot of time trying to explain certain things to you and you either don't get it (forgiveable), don't listen (less forgiveable), or don't care (unforgiveable). Because you continue to misrepresent what I have, at great length, tried to explain to you, I can only figure that you don't care and are dishonest. Please, disabuse me of this notion. Or don't, because I don't care now either way about what you think.

Your mantra has remained steady and now you throw my name in the mix despite all the words I have typed to you. If I said I wanted to eradicate AIDS, you'd start screaming about how I wanted to kill people who had HIV/AIDS. That is the gist of your argument and I can't continue to try and point out the flaws to a willfull ignorant.

And again this all plays into your fantasy where a "New Atheist" is being mean.
You are the most involved, oppressive moderator I have ever seen on any forum.

... No, that would be me.

Pip, pip, cheerio....
Seriously, Ralph. Lost all respect. You obviously have an agenda and are blinded by your passion on this, or else you would not continue to ignore what I tell you in favor of your incorrect interpretation of my words, and in some cases blatant misrepresentations, that fit your paranoid delusions.

Reggie, I have a very deep respect for Ralph McRae. He is an ardent supporter and champion of various human rights issues, including women's fundamental human rights, namely the right to bodily autonomy — something that too few people in this country care about due to the normalization of cruelty and abuse towards women.

Ralph, like myself, believe that it is important to address this fundamental human rights issue as well as working to ameliorate poverty, religiously-inspired classism, and political disempowerment of countless Americans.

I happen to know Ralph very well. He is my friend, and he is an atheist, but he does not believe that the ONLY thing atheists should be concerned about is eradicating religion. He believes we need to work on eradicating the hate religion has caused over the course of the past several centuries and to encourage people to question religion on their own. I don't believe it is fair to say Ralph is here to proselytize and say that he has a theist agenda. I may have some points of disagreement with him on this particular issue, but I still deeply respect him and all of the contributions he has made to this site.

As an aside: Many moderates in Catholics For Choice have begun questioning their doctrine on their own simply by being involved with the pro-choice movement because of recognizing the importance of valuing women's lives. They did not need to be beaten over the head and told how stupid they were for believing in a Sky Daddy. They began questioning this on their own...because many of us pro-choice feminists have corrupted them. It is through this that many will come into atheism. ::wink::
@ Rich - Because I am convinced you are having trouble making the connections, I will spell out why female genital mutilation was brought to the fore. You thought it was for shock value only, I guess. In cultures that practice it, the very women who were victims of it subject their daughters and granddaughters to this practice. They are convinced it is for the greater good and the benefit of their girls. If you, a man who sees value in terrorizing children, were to object to this practice in that culture and even dared call it abuse, they would accuse you of "watering down" the term. Is that more clear? It really is a simple point I am making about your ill defined position on the matter of abuse.
This is my belief of why atheist must not relent to theists claims. This first part goes a bit off track of your post but I will come back and respond to your post at the end.
Here is an important fact regarding theist: According to most religions, especially the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity), there is an apocalyptic aspect that allows theist to agree with global catastrophe as part of God’s will. I have heard things such as Orthodox Jews claiming that 9/11 and even the Holocaust happened because Jews throughout the world weren’t being observant enough. We are all familiar with the New Testament book of Revelations and its predictions of global catastrophes. I think that when religions are more agreeable to these concepts, they are less likely to attempt to find solutions to prevent them from happening because it is God’s will. I believe either Sam Harris or Dan Dennett put this concept to the extreme by evoking a logical argument of possible Nuclear war and the possibility that as the conflicts arise, religion will accept such global behavior as the end of the world, the return (or first coming) of the Messiah, and will not put enough thought or effort into controlling the global conflict. This is only a concept, but it has a reasonable outcome.
The theists and this way thinking puts all of humanity at risk of extinction, and as if warfare on behalf of religion wasn’t enough. Theists have been able to manipulate the population into believing that science is merely another belief and not true evidence. Science is the only tool for human survival that can objectively find theories that work and can be replicated.
Now, after I have made my argument for why Atheist should be bold, stand out and up against Theists, I will respond to your posting.
I, like you are ashamed of people who are hateful and that discriminate against others for any reason. It is not only a dark spot on groups of people, but a dark spot on all of humanity. I disagree with all forms of acts of violence towards other living beings. The only difference of our viewpoints is that I take into account proportionality. Richard Dawkins defends this point very well in the God Delusion in the chapter on the Moral -Zeitgeist. Throughout history there are a significantly higher number of cases of discrimination from Theists than from Atheists. As I noted on you posting, one of the replies was that the majority of Atheist are more likely to be Humanist. With this in perspective, I do not feel as sorry for the Theist as I do the Atheist. Especially in the Bible belt of the United States, discrimination against Atheists is very high. I do believe that a percentage of the Atheist population in the United States feel suppressed which this would account for outburst of discrimination. Even though I understand those who are hateful towards Theists, I do, however, agree that acts of discriminatory violence brought on by Atheists do not help our image as Atheists.


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