Are Atheists Really Against Those Who Believe in God?

There was an an interesting letter to the editor in a local newspaper recently wherein the writer claimed that as a group, atheists were strongly opposed to ANYONE believing in a deity.  The letter stated:  “I don’t believe in Allah, but I don’t protest Muslims’ beliefs;  I just feel sorry for them.  Likewise, I don’t protest that atheists do not believe in God;  I just feel very sorry for them”

The very act of writing this unsolicited letter to the editor is the first proof that this writer is clearly protesting what he feels is a offensive non-belief system.

He also shows incredible arrogance by stating he feels sorry for Muslims because they believe in Allah (which is their word for the one universal God), the same God of Abraham whom Mohammad (Islam’s founder) believed in.  So ignorance joins arrogance as part of this writers characteristics that are clearly demonstrated as well.

But perhaps more importantly is this writer’s belief that there is something wrong and to be pitied in people who do not share his personal belief system.  Based upon how sorry he says he feels for atheists and Muslims, it logically follows that he (and people like him) feel sorry ANYONE whom does not embrace his belief system, such as Jewish people who don’t include Christ in their religious beliefs; or Hindi or Buddhists folks who do not believe in the western religions’ version of a supreme deity.

That is just plain “holier-than-thou” arrogance.  And yet, as heinous as this truly is, this writer is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the arrogance of the religious right.  These folks truly lust for their personal religious belief system to be forcibly implanted into the daily lives of EVERYONE, by writing laws and controlling government.

Sound familiar?

Besides the obvious similarity to the single-minded, brutally intolerant and inhuman arrogance that fuels the Islamic State’s (ISIS/ISIL) and its supporters and fighters, is that every major religion has had its share of brutal attempts at conquering free human thought.

For instance, the middle ages saw the crusades, which were little more than an excuse for the Holy Roman Catholic Church to rape, murder, pillage and steal land on their way to “liberate” the “Holy Land” from its Islamic residents.

And even in more modern times, there have been brutal acts of genocide in the name of some initially-religious-turned-political cause, such as the Nazis in World War 2 and most recently in Africa by fundamentalist Islamists in multiple African countries and multiple religious extremists.

It all starts with the arrogance displayed by the author of the letter to the editor mentioned above.  One group of people with strong unprovable beliefs wants to control the belief system of those around them, because the freedom the non-believers enjoy as they eat, drink and do Mary with impunity bothers them;  They have to follow weird restrictions in the name of some religious dogma.

Clearly, but for the nation’s strong law enforcement systems, these folks right here might be engaging in their own “jihad”, if they thought for a minute they could get away with it.  The fact that they CAN’T get away with it is quite probably the ONLY reason we don’t see more of such activity in the USA or other advanced western industrialized (and educated) nations.

By the way, the responses (so far) to the letter to the editor mentioned above are as follows:

“I was intrigued by the letter to the editor in the October 1st edition of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, in which the author asked:  “If atheists do not believe in God, then why are they so against anyone else believing in God?”

“The author also espouses a belief in God, but not in Allah, and claims to feel sorry for Muslims as a result of their belief in Allah.  But I was always taught, at multiple times in multiple venues by multiple teachers, that there is only one God and that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe in that same one God, regardless of what name is used in reference.  Additionally, the author’s statements begs the question:  “Do you also feel sorry for Jewish people because their religion does not mention Christ?  And how about Hindu and Buddhist folks whose religions do not include the same form of deity as the “western religions?”

“Atheists as a group in any free country are NOT “so against anyone else believing in God” or any other deity.  They are against the arrogant imposition of religion and religious beliefs by the religious right on government and other public entities.    To this end, I would respectfully submit that the problem atheists have with the those folks is their denial of clear, data-, evidence-, and proof-based science, as well as their endless attempts to influence government and other non-religious entities with their personal brand of religious “belief”.

Kill for peace, eh?   🙂

3 thoughts on “Are Atheists Really Against Those Who Believe in God?

  1. Religious people are taught that they are special…that THEY are, by the gift of their faith and belief, on the good side of the deity and that is a very wonderful place to be. Therefore, anyone who is outside of this circle, outside of this privileged place, is NOT on the good side of the deity and is to be pitied. And, since they are taught by their elders that their way is the ONLY way to this special place, EVERYONE else falls into this group. Arrogance and delusion seem to go hand in hand.

  2. The song writer said it best when he wrote something like….you can say there ain’t no Heaven but you better pray there ain’t no Hell! I profess to be a Christian….so I believe in Heaven….ergo….I must also believe in Hell.

    Do I feel sorry for Atheism? Of course. But that’s their choice. I don’t have any crusades planned.

  3. Howie, Howie, Howie. I have to respond to this. 🙂 There is so much here that it could easily take tomes. I’m certainly not the one who can do that, but I can at least say something.

    Please please, read the following as calmly as I wrote it, and know that we are friends no matter what! (ECA etc!)

    I’m coming at this somewhat blindly, because of course I don’t know the context nor the writer nor the publication etc that you refer to. Nevertheless, as a professing Christian, I think I can respond to this a little. (I say “professing” because this is very sobering stuff and intensely serious, yet I am not beyond giving lip-service only, and have been ignorant and hypocritical enough times in my life that I hope to always guard against it. I know that I profess, but not sure how well I live it.)

    There are two people in your description who are not clear at all about the Christian biblical teachings generally accepted and professed by the vast majority of us. The first person not clear is the supposed believer you describe as having a “holier-than-thou arrogance”. And the second person is you.

    Now I am not a pastor or priest, but I have been an active part of mainstream churches (and non-mainstream) for decades and have a family history of several ministers and priests in all sorts of churches in various countries and on both sides of my family. (Russian Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Anglican, Assembly of God, and ‘even’ Catholic, to name a few.) I say all that, not to declare myself an expert on Christianity (by no means!), but rather as someone who has simply experienced decades of nearly continuous conversations, readings, studies, seminars, (about many religions, especially Christian), and continue to read the scriptures in the admittedly reluctant hope of exposing the depths of my heart to the God I believe in.

    So, my first declaration to you is… if you meet anyone claiming to be Christian and who is also truly arrogant, please know that they have missed the very core of Christian teaching. If there is any hint in their heart of “holier than thou” because of their professed beliefs; if they are truly haughty about being better in some way than you (and not just something you imagine or want to see in them), then you can know they understand little or nothing of being a Christian.

    No Christian could possibly stand before another person with that attitude, because they would know without a spec of doubt that the God they profess (through Jesus don’t forget), has given ALL humanity the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. No one can earn that gift, not ‘even’ the Pope, so there is no room for pride or arrogance. (And if you ask the Pope, he will tell you that, too). The only real difference is that the Christian became such by accepting that gift of eternal life by faith. After that, the Christian may or may not attempt to improve his/her performance as a person (and now ambassador), but not all succeed in that, nor is it an absolute requirement.

    Yes, I know there are far too many professing Christians who can be a bona fide pain with their attitudes, but I submit they have missed the heart of what they proclaim. Believe me, Christians are put off and pained by well-meaning hypocrites even more than unbelievers are.

    I also need to point out that the most basic Christian teaching, the heart of it all, says that we will all end up in one of two places, and God Himself, in the person of Jesus, has made it possible for us to have a choice. One is unimaginably wonderful, and the other unimaginably awful. Both are eternal. It is that belief that can make us sad about anyone who rejects the good gift. That decision to accept on faith, or to reject, is the only thing that separates one from the other. After acceptance, scriptural studies can and will open the Christian’s eyes to deeper understandings, but understandings and knowledge are not what makes one a Christian. Only faith in what Christ has done and said does that.

    I know I’m preaching here and if it is tedious I sincerely apologize. I do not want to put you off further than you already are, but it’s something that I want to live up to in this life and that I will one day willingly, eagerly, happily trust with my step into eternity. And I believe the alternative is unthinkable, so it’s nearly impossible not to preach!

    Let me end this by describing people at a happy feast who are at table about to eat an incredibly great meal, and word comes to one of the diners that the food has been horribly poisoned and consumption of even the smallest part is certain agonizing death. Wouldn’t that person feel compelled to urgently warn the would-be diners? And wouldn’t they feel horrified and sad for those who laughed it off or had all manner of excuses to not believe the news? If you were convinced your family and friends would be horribly poisoned, yet they mocked and ridiculed you as they began to eat in defiance, extremely “sad” is what you would feel.

    The sadness is not about rejection of a “belief system” (that’s “religion”), but about a soul that may unnecessarily exist eternally in conditions too horrible to think about. I promise you, Howie, our hearts break when we do consider that, and it has nothing to do with lust for control or wishing we could eat, drink, and do Mary. Many of us have experienced those sorts of temporal things already and learned first-hand that they only lead to pain and emptiness and death. Every time.

    (And by the way, there are no restrictions in scripture against eating, but against gluttony; not against drinking, but drunkenness; not even against doing Mary, but against sex outside of marriage.)

    There are two last things I will mention, and only mention, because I know this is way too long already for this forum.

    First, it is NOT the same God worshiped by Christians and Islamics and others. There is indeed but one God, but some have decided to define Him in their own mage or in some other distortion invented by men. (And yes, to answer your question, the Jews are in the same boat as we all are, in that rejection of Christ is rejection of salvation – which is why the Jews for Jesus organization exists and whom I love and actively support at every opportunity). I have deleted much of my sorry attempts at writing about this aspect of “the same God” here, because it’s too big for me and would take weeks of labor in the writing to get it ‘right’. 🙂 So I will here only say that study of the Old Testament will show you how Islam came to be and the split away from God and how it is a major distortion and a lie, etc.

    If you only want to complain and sound indignant about this for readers who like to blindly shout “Yeah, me too!”, that’s one thing – but if you care about any of it really, then please take a look, or a listen, to a site such as http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/dark_side_of_islam and others where real studies and comparisons are written by both Christians (ordained ministers, PhDs, and theologians, if that stuff is important to you) and former life-long Muslims (themselves once Islamic leaders). They can respond to this far beyond any paltry attempts by me. There are other amazing sites with more such info.

    Secondly, you are parroting common myths about the history of the Crusades and similar. There are many well-written and substantiated writings about this, like http://www.strangenotions.com/the-crusdades-urban-legends-and-truth/ and many others. You will be amazed at what you learn about it. Did you know, for example, that “Muslims had been attacking Christians for more than 450 years (!!) before the First Crusade”?, and that Muslims had by then succeeded in taking over much of the known world by force of violence? The first Crusade was the eventual defense response to those violent takeovers. It reminds me of current Hamas firing thousands of deadly rockets into Israel over the span of months, and repeating that intermittently for some years… then rebuking the Israelis when they finally hit their limit and fire back. That is upside down thinking at best, and those who cannot see that are nothing less than blind, or do not want to see it. (Not saying this about you, Howie, just the many who have expressed it elsewhere.)

    The key question asked here was “Are Atheists Really Against Those Who Believe in God?” and many Christians today might say “Only if they are Christian or Jew”, because we have seen that over and over for some time now. But Christians are not surprised, and have been forewarned of it. By definition, atheists stand against God (could there possibly be anything more arrogant than that?), and we Christians see God as our Father – so, of course they are really against believers. If people mocked and rejected and disallowed your loving earthly father into society’s norms, would you just shrug that off as if it was completely separate from you and say “Well, they are not really against ME, so I’m okay with it”? Probably not.

    It’s clear that there is no end to what can be said about all this, so I’ll just stop now. I am writing this out of passion and concern and love, Howie. You may not believe that, but nevertheless, t’is true. 🙂 I apologize for being so wordy, but I hope you will look into it more. I also apologize for using smiley faces in my writing, but I can’t seem to do without them anymore! I blame it on too much texting!

    Karl T.

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