I post a lot of things about being atheist on Facebook; I realize this.  I live in the South immersing me right in the center of all religious perversions.  I have people delete me almost daily because of the things I post.  None of this ever really bothered me because I live a moral, ethical life and if someone didn't want to be digital friends with me because of my beliefs; so be it.  


It was different this time because it was one of my real life friends.  Someone that knows me, and knows how good of a person I try to be.  Cannot be friends with me because of my beliefs.  I'm generally a very insensitive person most of the time, but this hurt my heart. 

I'm becoming more and more of a militant atheist, and it's hard for me to even hear things about Christianity without getting heated in my head.  I need to move. 

Views: 1373

Comment by Tim Hopwood on May 4, 2013 at 7:17am

I feel for all you folk living in America. It seems to be atheist there is viewed as something akin to having leprosy. It's not like that at all in Europe, or even where I live, South Africa, the fourth most religious nation on earth. Most black folk here attend church weekly, but when they find out I dont believe in god they just shake their heads and say "Crazy Mlungu." (white man) I don't get any bad vibes from them for it. They seem quite accepting. Dunno what the response would be if I was black. Any thoughts, Bongani?

Comment by Dr. Bob on May 4, 2013 at 12:42pm

I work at a University and it is everywhere, out loud and in the open. It is scary to see educators reading books disparaging evolution and how "Climatism" is the new mania.

Oh for crying out loud!  Let me just say it makes me mad, but then I have a personal investment in the integrity of university education.  I think most of us old, traditional theists are perfectly happy standing with the atheists on this matter.   So don't feel too isolated.  They are definitely in the minority.

Comment by Dale Headley on May 4, 2013 at 12:45pm

Yes, I think you should move, the sooner the better - before the south secedes.

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on May 4, 2013 at 12:55pm

Hey Professor. Nice to meet you! 

It's great to have some alternative viewpoints, especially when they come packaged in polite words. Great to see you in the community! 

Just one thing, though: You might want to check out the 'No True Scotsman Fallacy' if you want your words to be heard instead of stereotypes reinforced. 

I know I for one, and many other atheists like me get our  hackles up when we see 'True Christian' or any other excuse for poor behavior by Christians. 

We all understand the desire to distance yourself from poor behavior, but the fact of the matter is, you don't have to right to label someone else in their religion. 

There are asshole Muslims, asshole Jews, asshole Christians and asshole Buddhists. 

Being an asshole doesn't make you any 'less' of a believer or follower. In many denominations, it makes you more of one. 

Saying someone isn't a 'true Christian' is derogatory to their belief system and factually incorrect. 

Believing in the Christ story makes you a Christian. 

You don't get to dismiss someone's religion because you don't like their actions. 

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on May 4, 2013 at 1:40pm

@Archaeopteryx-

That logic only applies if you dismiss the 'repentance' clause of Christianity. 

One who believes the Christ story is Christian. 

 

One who believes in the Christ story and acts counter to their leader is still a Christian, because they can apologize for their behavior and continue on. That's the concept of sin. 

One Christian can't call another a Non-Christian based on behavior, because all Christians are sinners. 

One must not fulfill the stereotypical 'Christian' lifestyle to be Christian. One must only believe. Further, cherry picking and interpretation of the Bible leads to huge variations in what's considered Christ like and what isn't. 

Comment by Dr. Bob on May 4, 2013 at 11:13pm

Hi @Misty, thanks for the kind words.

I appreciate the argument you're trying to make, and I agree with it to a certain extent.  Certainly my language could have been more precise and less colloquial, it's just that colloquial language seemed more appropriate for the context.   However, you must understand that I'm coming at this from a religious perspective within the community of Catholic Christians, not from the social perspective you're taking.

It is possible for those of us within the community of scientists to say with a degree of confidence when someone is not doing real science, regardless of whether or not they claim to be.  Scientific creationism is not real science.

You're quite right, from the perspective of an outsider, it might not be at all clear why a creation scientist is different from an evolutionary biologist.  They both lay claim to the word "science" in defining themselves and their community.  Such an outsider might look and claim "saying someone isn't a 'true scientist' is derogatory" or "being a poor scientist doesn't make you any 'less' of a scientist".  However within the community, the distinction is understood and is real.

In the same way it is possible for those of us within the Christian community to say with a degree of confidence when someone is not practicing real Christianity, or is teaching something that is not truly Christian, regardless of whether or not they claim to be.  In both cases, it's defining the bounds of what is acceptable practice or teaching within our respective communities.

Believing in the Christ story makes you a Christian.

Ah, you must remember that I'm a Catholic.  We would not agree with that claim.  Thinking about it, I'm not sure that any Christian denomination would. 

Comment by kaito girl on May 5, 2013 at 6:41am

ohw,,that's why i have second thought of posting something about being an atheist on facebook,,

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 5, 2013 at 7:35am

@Prof. Robert - I agree with you on the understanding of the meaning of words from “within” the community and from the outsider point of view certain terms will have different nuances. However could you explain how someone can be a Christian without believing ion Christ? I have often been told by Catholics that all I have to do is accept Jesus as my lord and saviour (into my heart) and I will be saved. Surely that makes me a Christian? If I do not obey the rules or follow the dogmas or all the various tenets I am still a Christian. I accept that I would be a poor example of one but I would still be one.

Speaking of outsider perceptions have you ever given consideration to the Outsider Test?

Comment by Cody Kirchner on May 5, 2013 at 8:36am

    You mean other than the verses in the bible which call us atheists fools, and order you to run us through with a sword for trying to tempt you away from your god, right Professor? Other than those things, yeah, there's nothing in Christendom at all which advocates what her friends did.

   As to the poster that said its not geographical, I assure you, in the south, its geographical. Finding atheists down here, especially in florida where I live, is like trying to find oil in a water fountain. Its possible if you're lucky, but don't count on it.

Comment by Ed on May 5, 2013 at 9:10am

Don't move!!!!

We need logical critical thinking atheists to be lifeboats in the sea of religious ignorance that surrounds us here in the Deep South. We can't all flee to Oregon or Vermont. I have both atheist and theist friends in my area (Arkansas) and our friendship is based on mutual respect. 

You're not alone. There are others nearby who are of a similar mind; you just haven't run into them yet. Sometimes it helps to have a sense of humor about your predicament.

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