This question is addressed to those of you who antagonistically profess no belief in God, in Jesus. I know that you of little or no faith are uncomfortable. How? This is a truth revealed by the intensity of your insistence in denying God. Many of you achieve an almost spiritual fervor in this regard. I’ve even encountered one person who claims to be an evangelical atheist.This person seems to have dedicated their life to utterly destroying religion in all its forms. There is no limit to the ferocity of their attacks, and they see no argument against God’s existence as being too inappropriate, too insulting, as going too far. They seem to take a certain delight in ridiculing those of faith. The more one tries to argue with them, the worse they become.
People who engage in this sort of behavior in other areas of on-line discussion are commonly referred to with the decidedly unflattering name of “troll.” The difference is that a troll is deliberately trying to goad another person, to push their buttons, to make them angry just for the fun of it. Most trolls don’t really hold any disdain for their targets. But an aggressive atheist is trying to destroy a person’s faith by whatever means necessary. A troll is out for a lark. The aggressive atheist delights in being hateful and hurtful.
One wonders why this is so. Methinks this abrasive and inconsiderate behavior arises from a certain discomfort that lives within the heart and soul of the atheist. Deep within themselves, they feel that they are wrong, but wrapped as they are in stringent smugness, they refuse to outwardly admit it, to others, to themselves. In lieu of respecting the feelings of others, of respecting the faith of others, of respecting the constitutionally guaranteed right to believe in the faith of one’s choice, these aggressive atheists prefer to be rude and crude and boorish. They choose to belittle those of faith, to paint them as fools, as people with a lack of practicality and intelligence. It’s an old and unfortunately overused tactic. If one’s inner self knows that one’s views are difficult to defend, then one engages in the tactic of belittling and tearing down of those around one. The thought is that if all others lie in ruins, then one cannot help but be seen as superior. Trouble is, this feeling lies solely within the mind of those who engage in this shoddy tactic. Most others see through what they are doing, and view it as pitiable.
Look at the politics of today. Those who adhere to views of one sort or another inevitably encounter those who will openly disagree with them. The obvious thing to do in such a situation is to engage in valid debate with such people. From debate comes compromise and from compromise comes progress. But some people active in today’s political theatre, too many people, choose instead to engage in the politics of destruction. They mock, they belittle and they openly and aggressively seek to impugn the character of those who disagree with them. That this approach too often goes so far as to ruin the lives of those on the receiving end of such assaults doesn’t seem to matter. It’s almost as if some political players firmly believe that the way to victory lies within the scorched earth philosophy. Destroy anyone and everyone who gets in your way and to hell with how it affects other people.
Over these last few months, I have noticed more and more atheists adopt this approach. They are so smug, so certain of their feeling that God does not exist that they appear to be unable to let that be, quietly. Instead they seek out every opportunity to belittle, ridicule and destroy the faith and character of the religious, especially Christians – not so much with other faiths.
Many aggressive atheists appear to follow this path. To be sure, I am certain that there are many who profess to be atheists who are content to keep their lack of belief to themselves. The overwhelming majority of Christians follow this approach. Are there those Christians who are of the “get in your face” sort? Certainly. There are aggressive, even fanatical Christians. And the worst of them can be as every bit as bad as the most hurtful, hate-filled aggressive atheists. Every faith, every belief system has its collection of rabid adherents. The folks who go to the funerals of fallen soldiers to scream their fanaticism at the top of their lungs are a well-known example. Do they go too far? Are they misguided? Oh, yes. But they do not represent Christianity as a whole.
But, you know, I have to forgive them, just as I forgive the aggressive atheist. The teachings of my faith requires it. Beyond that, I was brought up to respect others, even those with whom I disagree and who I dislike. On occasion, I am moved to reply when I encounter a particularly abusive statement, on-line or elsewhere, but most times, I try to do as Jesus taught, to turn the other cheek. But in all cases, I sense that discomfort within the hearts and souls of atheists, especially the aggressive atheists. It often seems as though the audience they most want to convince….is themselves. One can not help but wonder why this is so. But truth be told, we do know why.
One thing I have noticed. More and more Christians are feeling that they have been pushed once too often. Many of us are adding our two cents’ worth to on-line discussions and some are taking it a step further. One small town in Tennessee found itself on the receiving end of a threat made by a well-known atheist group. Seems this town had allowed a local Sunday School class to place a cross atop a city-owned water tower. No taxpayer funds were spent on the project. Nonetheless, the atheists group threatened to sue the city if the cross was not removed. The city has no high-powered attorney, nor does it have the funds with which to engage in a lengthy legal battle. So the mayor had his workers remove one horizontal arm from the offending cross, so that it nows looks something like – ⊦ – which is apparently enough to say, in terms of the law, that this is not a cross. Most who look upon this still see a cross, but the law is the law, and the atheist group was forced to stand down. The people of the town, however, did not. They began to erect crosses in their yards and in their businesses, taking care not to place these on public property. There are now hundreds of such crosses in this hamlet.
Another small town in Texas is under assault by this same atheist organization. Seems that the community has a decades-long tradition of erecting a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn. The atheists group is threatening to sue if it is not removed. The city’s response? As stated by a county judge, “We’ll remove the nativity scene when hell freezes over.” Local officials appear to have the full support of the community in this defiance. The atheist group claims that – one – resident complained about this display. So in order to prevent this one citizen from being offended, they offend an entire community. Slam the city government and the hell with how it affects the town.
Now, I started this all after reading an entry in another blog. It touches upon something in today’s headlines. I’ve included a link to the post. It’s an illuminating read. Take it. May it serve you well.