Liberal Christians, in my honest opinion, are just goosestepping agnosticism and ultimately, their true atheistic feelings and skepticism. A liberal Christian is like an atheist apologist. Too afraid to have unpopular opinions and too weak to stand up for them.
Recently a friend and I were discussing an episode of "The Cleveland Show", where a character is asked whether or not he is an atheist. The animated thirteen year old character said that he prefers not to use the word atheist to describe himself because he thinks it is another religious belief.
I must address two things about that previous sentence.
First, of course, atheism by definition is not a form of religion. It is simply stating that a person does not believe in a god or god's. Atheism is a religion only if bald is a hair color.
My second thought is that this was a pseudo-politically correct move on the writers behalf. It also reminds me of those annoyingly senseless people who try to convince you that they aren't religious, just "spiritual". Throw these types in with those who believe in ghosts but say that there are only certain circumstances in which one can observe one.
You see, it's all the same argument in the end. "I believe in such and such, but only just a bit! I swear! Those other people who believe in it all the way are crazy, but me? No way."
If I could brew this weak standpoint into a beer I would call it, "Faith-Lite".
All the of flavor of faith could be found in this new lighter version, but with fewer constrictions and lesser convictions.
If you truly believe in the Bible and you have faith that it is a direct message to mankind from G-O-D himself, then you must also accept it as a whole and not cherry pick yourself into a comfortable "belief system".
It even says, in the not-so-good-Book itself:
"So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth."
This means that your Sky Daddy would rather see you become an atheist than a damn dirty Liberal Christian. You have to either believe it all, or you have to recognize that there are very obvious and fundamental flaws in The Bible. And if you recognize the flaws for what they are, you just pissed off your god.
Strangely, I side with the Judeo-Christian god on this one particular issue. Whatever your personal morals and convictions are, you should stand up for them and not back-peddle when you realize that some of your beliefs may not be popular, even among those who you usually agree with.
I cannot express the absolute disgust and hatred I feel for the Westboro Baptist motherfuckers. And I use the word motherfucker here both for emphasis and because this church ACTUALLY IS one big inbred family. But for all of my disdain I have a modicum of respect for these people. Why? Because they practice what they preach. They believe every blood drenched word of that vile book, and they don't give a damn who does or doesn't like that. True convictions. False source material.
Sidenote...if Jesus is God, and God is Jesus. And Mary is the mother of Jesus, and God impregnated Mary...then logically Jesus Christ is a motherfucker.
But to seriously, the same cannot be said for some of my fellow atheists. My friend with whom I was talking about this television episode with, felt that a lot of atheists take their beliefs to the extreme and are just as silly as the religious folk.
For a moment here let me use myself as an example.
I was raised in an incredibly religious family, school, and overall environment. Breaking free from that as a young man was astonishingly hard for me to do. As so many of my fellow non-believers know, it can be hell when you feel like you are the only one who is different. A sick mixture of a guilt and anxiety plagued me for an entire decade of my life. My freedom scared the living shit out of me, because I was so deeply programmed to believe that being a Southern Baptist was who I was as a person and who I needed to continue to be if I was to be happy. I tried to kill myself at one point because I believed that there was something for me in the afterlife. That maybe this hell on earth was just something to walk away from so as to try something new and exciting. I thought death, was not the end.
My beliefs were dangerous. They were systematically ingrained within me starting at a very young age when any child would trust their parents. I was not happy as a Christian once I started to study the Bible on my own. I felt like either my parents and family were either devious liars who knew better all along and yet still tricked me into believing in nonsense, or that they were victims of the same brainwashing and religiously segregated friendships as I was. I went from being angry, to guilty, to depressed, and to scared one after another. But much like one must learn to brave the darkness to learn there is nothing to fear, I had to brave the fact that I knew I was a non-believer and that if everyone else was right I was going straight to hell. It's rather hard to feel open to learning new things and hearing new ideas when you are taught that science and secularism are evil and the very tools of Satan himself.
Fast forward to this year, where me and a group of friends are counter-protesting a WBC event. We were singled out as atheists, homosexuals, and humanists. Oh my!
An enraged mob of Christian fundamentalists attacked us physically. We were escorted out of the small Texas town by very angry handlebar-mustached Sheriffs who I could tell wanted to look the other way and just let that crowd tear us apart. We were told if we spoke we would be arrested. Even to ask questions or to simply see if where they were leading us was in fact, safe. I got the feeling that these men of the law were confused and angered by people who were different then themselves. That wasn't the only thing I got that day, but the mess of bruises and four fractured ribs would help me remember that terrifying day for months to come.
Some of non-believers I have since talked to about this actually had the balls to say that we had it coming. That holding a sign that says, "There Is No God" was just asking to get killed in such a small town.
Yes, I understand there is a logic to thinking that keeping quiet strategically, is not a bad idea in many cases. I also understand that such blasphemous sign would undoubtedly anger small town folk.
But I also understand that blasphemy is a victim-less crime. One could argue that my friends and I were the victims that day, but it was intolerance, bigotry, hate, and a belief in the non-existent that we were victims of that day.
It shouldn't matter what someone wants to say, or protest, or sing on the radio. Words are noises and vibrations made by evolved primates and interpreted in the brains of said primates. Simplified, words are nothing but what you let them be.
I am not sorry for what was written on signs, I'm sorry for the morons who became enraged by them.
So now, I celebrate the fact that I am an atheist. That I am freed from my mental prison. I don't think that makes me as fervent as a religious person. It certainly doesn't put my mind into a box that I am not allowed to think and feel outside of out of fear of eternal damnation.
Atheism doesn't get me out of bed every Sunday morning, and it certainly doesn't put me on my knees every night before bed. I don't call Richard Dawkins when I have a problem, and I don't bow before an idol of Christopher Hitchens for good luck.
Atheism is not a religion.
Being an apologist does not make your beliefs, fears, and non-sense all valid.
It just means you're too much of a tin soldier to stand up for what you believe is true, what you believe is the right thing to do, and who you are as a person. It means, you want to have your cake and eat it too.
Be brave, stand up, be heard, and don't back down.
You'll be proud of yourself no matter the result.