Inquiring Christians want to know.... What do you think about us?...and Why?

I really want Christians to HEAR what YOU think of them....good, bad, or ugly.

Brief stories and examples would be most helpful for them to understand your perspective.

Since most Christians won't visit ThinkAtheist to read it, please submit your comments via this site: http://tinyurl.com/245dov5. If you don't use my site...that's fine too...it will just take me longer to read through and summarize the points.

Some disclaimers:

I am not here to attempt to save your soul or preach to you. I'm not here to set you up or attempt to trap you. I don't have any ulterior motives.

My mission is to help Christians live what we preach. Among other things...to love one another...and that includes atheists and non-believers. I want us to coexist. We can't do that if Christians are adding fuel to the fire and visa versa. We must seek to understand and respect each other if we are to coexist in peace.

Again, I'm not trying to change YOU...I'm trying to change Christians...for everyone's benefit.

Tags: Christianity, Christians, of, opinions

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Thanks Matt. I've heard the Ghandi quote several times and it is classic! I love it. It SAYS so much about what I'm trying to change within the church. philosophies and differences aside...if you just look at the personality of Jesus. He preached a different message: love God, love others. true love is dying to oneself...for another (e.g. not seeking all gain for yourself at someone elses expense, treating others as you want to be treated, serving others selflessly, not judging others (whichever among you is without sin...cast the first stone...and since we believe everyone inclusively doens't measure up to that standard...we CANT judge others)....but alas...we often do to our own discredit. Ghandi had it right. If we lived as Jesus did...it would be a different and better world. I'm fighting for that.

Of course, many of you would say don't help the christians change, bring the house down and get rid of them. And if that's anyone's opinion on this site...I say humbly, you will have to find another advocate for that cause :-).
.but alas...we often do to our own discredit. Ghandi had it right. If we lived as Jesus did...it would be a different and better world.

It would be a different world, but I seriously doubt that it would be better. Far from it.
Challeng: Anti-homosexual & intolerant; Opportunity: Loving and accepting of the person. Not viewing this
sin as more sinful than any other sin. Treating others
who are different as still worthy of God's love.


Your site bothers me because you are trying to give your beliefs a public relations make-over so that you can convert more people. So you want your belief to sound more socially acceptable to atheists, without changing it's meaning or intent. There are Christians that I think are naive and unpleasant; there are others that I respect and love, but this is completely irrelevant to me being an atheist. The truth is that the evangelical Christian belief that being gay is a "choice" and a "sin" is homophobic, and perpetuates a culture that wrongly discriminates and marginalizes. Merriam-Webster defines homophobia as the "irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals." I would classify this belief as an "aversion to" homosexuality and actions taken upon this belief, no matter how polite, as "discrimination against" homosexuality. I will not argue with your right to believe these things, but do not spin culturally ingrained homophobia as "love."

Challenge: More interested in "Saving"
someone, than loving them; Opportunity: Genuine love and care for the person first

Again, just another pr spin. Christians believe that accepting Jesus Christ as one's personal savior is the only way to get to heaven (and to avoid hell). So there is "us," true Christians. And "them," everyone else. Thus humanity is seen as split in two. An "us" can never come to a "them" and look "them" in the eyes, then honestly say that "us" feels on the same plain as "them." as an equal. Why? "Us" believes to know something that "them" is blind to. That something makes "us" special and also unable to give "genuine love and care" because that requires empathy and reciprocity. Furthermore, I would also throw out there that genuine love and care is selfless. This will make things very difficult for Christians, as no matter how much one can claim to be selflessly motivated, one cannot deny that there also happens to be a spiritual/heavenly (not to mention social) reward for such efforts.

All this to say, that as long as becoming a Christian means adhering to these (plus pretty much every other belief you have), you can save yourselves the effort of re-branding it. There's a reason that atheists aren't buying what you have to offer, and those reasons are not going to change no matter how it's packaged.
What's so interesting to me is that although we are on different sides of belief, we are sort of on the same team...yet you and many others in this discussion...instead of saying "go for it...help those christians be more loving, less judgmental, etc..." you criticize me. I would expect that reaction from judgemental christians...not free thinking, just leave us alone, atheists.

I knew full well when I started my site and cause that MANY would interpret it as a PR stunt. It's not. I don't want to rebrand christianity without real heart and mind change. that statement is also on my site, because I knew that would be a reaction. How can I say it any more than I've already said it in this discussion...HELP me. Give me the ammunition to take back to my church (globally) to be able to say "we are called to love...but here is story after story of us not loving. What's up with that?...you hypocrites!".

Help me....don't fight me. Send every christian you know to my site (not for traffic....but for change). http://www.changingthefaceofchristianity.com

By the way...for everyone as of 7/16/2010, 11pm CST...starbucks is kicking me out. must go home and sleep. It may be a week before I get on the site again and crank it back up. Please don't think I've abandoned the discussion :-). Be patient...because by then, I'll have 100+ more posts to read through and respond too. It's like an ant trying to climb a mountain when the mountain is growing faster than he can climb. I can only do so much...
yet you and many others in this discussion...instead of saying "go for it...help those christians be more loving, less judgmental, etc..." you criticize me. I would expect that reaction from judgemental christians...not free thinking, just leave us alone, atheists.

Two things:

First an analogy; encouraging someone to inject heroin in a safer way is better than the unsafe way, but why should we not encourage all heroin use by criticizing it as a whole.

That may seem a harsh comparison, but defenders of reality really do see comforting delusions as a drug in many respects.

Secondly, us "just leave us alone atheists" are here on our site being solicited by you. Don't mistake me, most of us appreciate your presence, conversation, and the intent behind what you are doing. However, you came here obviously with a set of expectations that are not being met. Where does the fault for that reside?

Go for it, Brad. Help those Christians become more loving. However, most of us think this can be accomplished only by their voluntary "de-conversion" from Christianity. Otherwise, their more loving nature is a mask hiding bigotry and old hatreds sanctioned by their religion.
As long as you don't insult me or try to convert me then I don't care what you believe in. It's your life, not mine. I try to remain as open-minded as possible (sometimes it's not as easy as it seems! haha).

I don't have a problem with the people, I have a problem with the religion itself. I see religion (all forms) as a crutch and a way to control the masses. I think that instead of trying to look for other answers, some people just use God and Christ as an excuse or explanation for certain circumstances and situations. I see it as a cop-out, but you know... that's what you think and I can't change you, nor would I want to try and change someone's opinion or force mine onto someone else. Everyone has to follow their own path and discover things on their own. That's why there are so many different thoughts and beliefs in the world. People come to these conclusions about the world, life, and death as a result as their own personal experience. It's what makes us unique.
lol
I posted this response:

I was raised in a Christian home; my grandfather was a kind, funny and loving Southern Baptist preacher (one of the best men I've ever known). Until I was 24, I was a very devout Christian myself. It's obviously difficult to sum up my "Christian walk"; suffice it to say I took it very seriously and had many extraordinary experiences... as well as many amazing/intelligent Christian friends.

I won't go into it, but I became atheist on accident. I was trying to get closer to God when I discovered he wasn't there (that's the simple version). My biggest frustration with Christians NOW is that they think they know what my true motives were/are. They think I'm just rebelling against God because of my bad experiences. The ones I've been open with are very presumptuous and judgmental. They think they have the entire human population figured out without even having to have a real conversation with them. They refuse to believe that I genuinely no longer believe there is a god. The reasons I give them just seem to flow in one ear and out the other, if it ever flows in at all! I feel like they're not truly listening; they're just too afraid to even entertain the idea they may be wrong.

I understand where they're coming from because I've had the exact same thought process. But, they're not able to sympathize with me in the same way. Basically, I believe Christians are brainwashed... and that I was brainwashed, too, I just didn't allow people to tell me I couldn't ask questions, or that there were some things we just couldn't know. There's a lot that I didn't know as a Christian, and would never have known if I'd kept my ears plugged up. Knowledge is power, but Christians seem to put a barrier up between themselves and information.
PS I also think Christians only want to know what we think so they can think of new ways of converting us. This is a clever ploy because I completely took the bait! Deep down, I want to have a real, rational conversation with a Christian and at least feel like they're not just smiling and nodding at my story, all the while thinking of their next reply. This little survey thing is a great way for me to vent my true frustrations, although I'm quite positive this will go the way of all the conversations I've had with my mother or Christian friends.

FYI I'm not a project. You won't be winning any points in Heaven for converting me (reason one being: there is no Heaven. reason two being: I'm not converting).
I once asked my grandmother, bless her tiny uneducated, bigoted, soul, if she had ever even considered the possibility that there wasn't a god. She got a horrified expression and said: "No! I couldn't think such a thing."
Eck... I've had that experience, too. I know so many people that just don't even wanna rock the boat; they don't need to know there isn't a God. If there isn't one, it doesn't matter? What's the harm?

The one argument I do understand is the one that they don't want to harm their relationships. When I was going through my deconversion, that thought was far from my mind, but now that I'm fully atheist, the sting of relationships that will never be the same goes deep. Even still, I'd rather have the truth. I don't understand people that don't crave the truth; that are not horrified by the idea that they've been lied to by a group of people whose purpose is control and manipulation.

I can thing of a whole lot of things that are harmful about believing in a god when there is none! Why waste your ONE life worrying about an imaginary, asshole of a friend?!
Brad, Tell us what converted you. I am really interested to know. Or wont you do it in case we debunk it?

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