Some might think that atheists would be content with simply not believing in God and leave the theists to themselves. After all, if God doesn't exist, then what's the big deal? Why not let the theists believe in God the way a child believes in the tooth fairy? To the atheist, neither exists. So why bother?
Even though many atheists don't care if people believe in God or not, others feel obligated to fight what I have often heard them label as "oppressive religious bigotry." To this end, many of them are active in politics, social groups, the internet, and even use lawsuits to change society into a more atheistic temperament. They often consider Christians as a threat to freedom, common sense, and a good life. Consider this quote I found on an atheist website at atheists.org:
"We are constantly being overrun by people trying to get their ticket to Heaven at our expense, and if we don’t stand up and be counted we will lose the very freedom we hold most dear; freedom of thought . . . "
This kind of statement is quite common in atheist circles. It is inflammatory, illogical, and paranoid. Many atheists I've spoken to tell me that I cannot think logically, that I am deluded, and that I believe in myths. They tell me that I am bound by foolish antiquated beliefs, and that I need to abandon my religious bigotry and become a 'free thinker' like them. In other words, they don't want me to think the way I do.
Additionally, after reading much atheist material and debating with them over the internet, I've discovered they often use mockery of God, religious leaders, and the Bible as weapons to further their agenda. This isn't the case with all atheists, as I have had very good conversations with some of them, but ridiculing attitudes are surprisingly prevalent and strong. Character assassination, half-truths, and out-of-context Bible quotes are typical tools used by many of them in attempts to make Christianity look bad.
Now, I am not trying to dismantle the atheist position with a generic character attack aimed at them. I am only making an observation. In the majority of my dealings with atheists, I have encountered great arrogance, rudeness, and condescension. Atheists have told me that religion is only a giant con-game designed to get peoples' money, that clergymen are in business for themselves, and that I was mentally ill for believing in God. Following are some of their comments:
- "I do not want to be bound to archaic mythologies. This is the 20th century."
- "Christianity is an oppressive system used to control and manipulate people."
- "Logic demands that religion be proven wrong."
- "Christians should all be in mental wards."
- "We are free thinkers and not bound by outdated and oppressive myths."
- "Christians are sycophantic sheep."
Atheists often imply that reason is best used by them and not by Christians who, as many say, need psychological help for believing in God. This condescending attitude is a fountain for derogatory comments. I have been called stupid, absurd, illogical, and a slave to my religion. I get the impression from atheists that they are so convinced they have the truth that no other options are available to them; and that if you don't agree with them, you're not smart. Of course, they will deny this and say I am being ridiculous, but this is what I have observed--right or wrong.
Consider some of the terms atheists use to describe themselves: "Free thinkers," "Free from religion," "Rational," etc. They use these self-descriptive terms in juxtaposition to statements of Christians as religious bigots, losers, and brainwashers. On the atheist.org website I read,
"Critical thinking, objectivity, scientific methodology, and peer review are all hallmarks of Atheism. Submission, fear, credulity, and insupportable claims are the hallmarks of religious belief."
When I read statements like this, I cannot help wondering which religion they are referring to. It can't be Christianity because the Bible teaches us to love God and love our fellow man. It teaches that the fear of the Lord is wisdom, that truthfulness is a way of life, and that eyewitness accounts of the miraculous is one of the evidences for its validity. Of course, the atheist would argue with all of this because he must in spite of the facts. But still, if an atheist wants to attack religion in general and Christianity specifically, he should, at least, do so objectively. But this doesn't seem to be the hallmark of the atheistic movement--at least not from what I've seen so far.
Consider the following statements from Atheists:
- "Godism is consistent with crime, cruelty, envy, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness."
- "As long as religious purposes are served, ethics, inquiry and reason are abandoned."
Are these the statements of tolerance, impartiality, truth, and sound judgment? Not at all. It seems to me that if the atheists who authored the above quotes were in power with their views of religion being cruel, evil, and unreasonable, would they then either imprison the 'offenders' or legislate complete and total annihilation of all things religious? Who would then be full of hatred, malice, and bigotry? It is something to ponder. Does atheism really teach freedom? No. It teaches bondage for its adherents and for those who disagree with it.