Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Rudeness Of Atheists

Pope Benedictus XVI
Pope Benedictus XVI
I became involved in a discussion last week on my Christian beliefs, and as at many times before when I have stated my belief in God, I was immediately verbally attacked and in quite rude terms.  I find this quite a lot, there seem to be quite a lot of people who cannot feel secure in their own atheism without being quite astonishingly abusive and deliberately attacking my faith.

I do consider myself a Christian, I believe in God and Jesus, I am not a fervent follower and won't be proselytizing in order to try and convince you to accept my set of beliefs.  I really don't mind if you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, agnostic, a white witch or actively bow down and worship Accrington Stanley FC.  I do find though that a fair number of people who profess to be atheist have to attack you for not sharing their life view.

The discussion was one of those rambling after dinner chats when one of the diners said to me "You believe in God don't you ?", I replied that I did.  The follow up comment is sadly fairly typical "I find it hard to believe that any so called intelligent person can believe in religion." My response to this rather rude outburst was to say that there are many far more intelligent people than me who also believe in God, but the attack had to carry on and try to poke holes in my belief and to 'prove' that I was foolish for so believing.

If this situation was turned around and I was fairly rude to people on other topics, for example let's say I verbally attacked fellow diners for having children, thereby increasing the already almost insupportable world population, draining our resources faster, damaging the ecosystem and bringing the world perilously close to an ecological tipping point.  If I said this, and added that I was astonished that any so called intelligent person could have children, I feel fairly sure that people would be rather offended and the likelihood of me being invited round for dinner again would be somewhat diminished.  In modern British society though it has become acceptable to attack religion, in almost any terms you wish to employ, and for that to be accepted as a reasonable way to behave.

Why are some atheists so intolerant ? What is it about what I do and believe that angers them so much.  I go to church once in a blue flood, I pray more often when I'm out in the countryside hiking or running, there is something in the beauty of nature that calls to my faith.  I have been reading the Bible, and I am interested in learning more about religion, not just my own, what is there in this simple set of actions that so angers some non-believers ? I really cannot see that I am doing anything that should bother anyone or cause any sort of offence.

Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the UK, at ...
Jonathan Sacks
On his visit to the UK last the Pope warned of the threat of the "more aggressive forms of secularism" that he perceived in British society.  Lord Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, warned in July this year of the growing, and state sponsored, religious intolerance in the UK.  In Wakefield a housing worker of 15 years good standing was sacked for displaying a palm cross on his van, what sort of intolerant buffoon is offended because the electrician who comes to fix his faulty fuse box wears a cross, a star of David, a turban or nips out for a prayer break instead of a tea break ?

I would like to reiterate that if you are an atheist, I am quite happy with that, I don't see the need to bother you about it. I don't profess to have all the answers to life and the universe, I cannot explain to you the mysteries of cancer, Alzheimer's or any other illness you bring up in the "If this disease exists then there can be no God" argument, I am not a professor of theology.  I'm just a cook who also happens to believe in God, why does that offend you so ?
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  1. Very true. Whether it's because they are scared they are wrong or scared of not being able to substantiate their own non-belief under examination who knows? They often change their mind when death gets close.

    I often see some witty one liners on church notice boards, this one from yesterday. Q - What is the best vitamin for Christians? A - B1

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head with " I don't see the need to bother you about it."
    Everyone is entitled to believe in whatever they want, as long as they don't try to ram it down someone else's throat - be it christianity, judaism, islam, atheism or indeed the worshipping of some football club or other.

    }:8) I believe in mud, wind, rain and hills.

  3. Anonymous12:33 pm

    Of coarse there is nothing wrong with you referring to me a complete stranger to you as being rude right? There are rude people on this planet whether they be believers in "Gods" or not. But to base all those who do not share your beliefs as rude based on people in your circle is the height of ignorance in my opinion.I have never attacked anyone about their beliefs but have being attacked by SOME believers for not sharing their beliefs,even to be told that my children will burn in a lake of fire.I find that quite insulting.But I am not not complaining in a blog that all Christians are insulting because I do not know all Christians to make such a claim,if I did make such a claim it would be dishonest of me.