Recently a response from a dear friend of mine made its way through one of the many channels of social media and rightly states a case for introspection within our community – a self analysis, an understanding of opposition perspective, and – most importantly – a change if deemed necessary; to refuse change would be to act with an ideology akin to what we regularly rally to ridicule and weaken.
The entirety of the response can be found immediately below and is being reproduced with complete consent of its author- once again, someone I respect highly and genuinely value in perspective and friendship.
“I found this to be an interesting article regarding Atheists. What illuminated for me was this quote, “I, for one, would just like to be able to express my views in an intelligent and heart-felt way without fear of reprisals, shunned, or otherwise being looked at as an abomination just because I do not believe in God” My assumption is the author is referring to his/her frustrations with theists when presenting his/her convictions regarding God, gods, or the lack thereof. The author emphasizes a desire for acceptance, but does not find it with theists, particularly Christians.“
“What strikes me about this is that the exact same sentiment is shared by Christians regarding Atheists by changing the phrase to “….because I do believe in God.” Often, the narrative of Atheists contains a tone of hubris and the assumption of undisputable intellectual high ground, while offensively attacking religion. Consider these titles from Atheist Analysis: “Ignorance Loves Ignorance, the Religious Wall Around You” , “Christianity Isn’t Irrational… It’s Worse Than That.” In my opinion, the berating tones of these titles alone quickly discredits the individual and the view they’re presenting. I make no excuse for the Christian who can’t speak truth in love, however, I believe some in the Atheist community need to apply some introspection and identify their own hypocrisy to build credibility amongst other communities in order to open a more diverse dialogue regarding the quest for truth.”
I agree with the majority of the message here, that we are only going to create a secular state, one of equality and hegemony, if we truly respect the thoughts and positions of those we do not agree with, on philosophical terms or otherwise, and are willing to protect their basic human rights as they would ours. Applying the golden rule, we have to act as we would wish the rest of world to treat us.
Continue reading “A Letter from the Editor”
The tragic and detestable murder in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, of 3 young Muslim students at the hands of Craig Hicks has presented a critical opportunity for us to examine the rhetoric used in the ongoing debate between theism and atheism. This happening as it did, in the wake of the controversy caused by President Barack Obama acknowledging that atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity forces to the fore the need for clarification.
Does religion cause atrocities? There have been volumes written to answer this question with a resounding “yes” (perhaps most notable of these is God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by the late Christopher Hitchens, whose book reads like a Ciceroesque polemic against religion). It is an easy talking point for atheists: the atrocities committed during the crusades, the inquisition, the Muslim expansion shortly after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, The Reconquista, The 30 Years War, The Holocaust, the human rights violations and war crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians, almost everything the Catholic Church has ever done (like raping children and working to cover it up, or discouraging condom use in AIDS-ravaged parts of Africa, using Church resources to advocate and facilitate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda), 9/11, and so on. Theists are always quick to counter with examples like Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, The Kim regime of North Korea, Stalin, Hitler (who was a theist and had close ties to the Catholic church, and whose anti-semitism was nothing new in Europe and derived from medieval Christianity), and coming soon to an apologetics forum near you, Craig Stephen Hicks.
Continue reading “Craig Hicks: Consumed By Rage”
Hate is like an ocean
A person drowning
Who is this poor soul
Torn and ragged
Who is this person fighting against the current?
Is this person a man? A Woman? Gay? Straight?
Does it matter?
Aren’t we all in an ocean?
Is there an all-powerful being controlling the tides?
Allowing souls like this one to sink
For the good to drown
For the evil to find land and safe harbor
Is this soul like so many others
Sinking in the sin of being different?
They are drowning in the cold,
Disdainful contempt of society
Not to the life guards
Advocates battling the storm rescuing the submerged
But too the critical ignorant bigots
Too the passive onlookers
How many more will drown?
How many more will die till things change?
That answer is in your hearts
It can only be found in society’s
Endless Ocean of hate
Samantha is a guest writer whose heartfelt prose has warranted a special poetry edition of the Atheist Analysis Blog today. Please let us know if you would like to see more like this in the future and please take the time to comment for such a wonderful piece of art.
The return of the Bi-Weekly Blasphemy, after a New Years hiatus, is a call to action against forum trolls and to step up in the necessity for us to act as we wish others would, to lead by example in making a difference in this world.
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