I was over at Atheist in a mini van's blog. PossumMomma has been smacked by Patsy,a fundy, for not just ignoring christians when she gets bothered by them. There have been a variety of good responses to the little fundy. One really stands out. It reads like a "No, Virginia, there really isn't a santa claus" letter.
I really debated about the ethics of posting this comment here on my blog. However, I'm not claiming this as my own writing and I am providing a link to the original source material.
The reason I am posting it is for more people to read this blogger's thoughts.
If Russ or PossumMomma asks me to pull this- I will immediately. Until then enjoy a very well written response to a fundy!
When someone expresses the sentiments that Patsy did, "Why can't you just leave christians alone? I mean it, why can't you just not comment on things if they bother you," a wave of disgust washes over me as I recall the ever on-going inhumanity of Christianity. Sometimes I literally tremble in outrage thinking of the untold millions of my fellow men who have suffered horribly at the hands of Christians over the last two millenia.
So, "Why can't you just not comment on things if they bother you?": simply this, Patsy: it is immoral to be silent in the face of the crimes against humanity which Christianity is guilty of; it is immoral to hold one's tongue when innocent people are made to suffer and die for human-created Christian dogma; it is immoral to stand mute when the world over, in Christianity and most other religions, people are intentionally psychologically battered as children to make them dependent as adults on the cruel dictates of their church; it is immoral to avoid speaking out when the most politically influential factions of Christianity have sworn themselves to destroy the only real tool mankind possesses to improve its quality of life and to protect itself from the ravages of nature: science; it is immoral to silence oneself as Christianity, through the crooks, charlatans, frauds, thieves, and perverts it euphemistically calls clergy, steals money from people - so often ignorant and poor people - who desperately need it for their own families, through the con job called faith; it is immoral to hush oneself as Christian dominionists who want the world to end in a great conflagration edge ever closer to control of the US nuclear arsenal; it is immoral to be tight-lipped when a child is allowed to die from a routinely curable affliction because of its Christian Science parent's faith; it is immoral to remain quiet when one Christian sect, has always and to this day continues to support a worlwide network of Christian child rapists, molesters and sexual predators, in the guise of Catholic priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes (Patsy, should we allow children to be victimized because it's Christian clergy committing the crimes?); it is immoral not to speak out when the clear intent of Christians is to impose their superstitions, fears, and uncivilized ethics on all others; it is immoral to stifle ones voice when Christians, despite all their claims of moral guidance by the hand of its god, are certainly no better behaved than non-Christians; and, it is immoral to be tight-lipped while watching Christians piss away thousands of hours of their lives in religious observances when they could be involved in something more useful for themselves and their fellow man.
That is but a partial list of the reasons why I refuse to be silenced concerning the outrages and abominations of Christianity.
Patsy, you impress me as being, like essentially every other Christian on the planet, completely unaware of what it means to be Christian in the modern world. Christianity is, in fact, so diverse in theology, doctrine and dogma, that there is not a single idea that might be thought of as Christian that is common to all of them. You might say, "Well, they all believe in God!" Nope. Wrong answer, Patsy. There are lots of Christians who are atheists. That's right, Patsy. No god and nothing else supernatural either: no miracles, no virgin birth, no divine Jesus, no resurrection, etc. My favorite example in such matters is Episcopalian Minister Reverend Harry T. Cook, since I know Harry will take questions - yes, you can ask him yourself, Patsy - and answer them(Harry's contact information is: e-mail: email@example.com phone: 248.709.9689 web: http://www.harrytcook.com). Visit Harry's site, Patsy, but be prepared to have your eyes opened. Remember, now, Patsy, you can't play the "he's not exactly like me so he's not a real Christian" game. Harry's been active mainstream Christian clergy for more than forty years. He's a real Christian, all right, he's simply nobody's Patsy. Harry's a good man, a good atheist man, a good rationalist, empiricist man, working to make the world a better place, guided by evidence and reason, not superstition.
I have an uncle who is an atheist and is active Christian clergy. Patsy, you may resist the idea, but you could easily be attending church with atheists. You see, atheists like being with other people; atheists like music; atheists like pot luck dinners; atheists like social involvement; and, there are millions of them who attend Christian churches, owing primarily to the fact that, as a rule, atheists don't tend to herd well. As Richard Dawkins is fond of noting, organizing atheists is like trying to herd cats. Atheists are so independently-minded that they don't coalesce well. That's also why they are not good prey animals for religious predators.
Patsy, the way you've presented yourself, here, tells me you're one of Christianity's victims. You're told what the Bible says; you're told what you believe; you let others tell you what your morality is since the Bible is so bizarre that, left to yourself, there is no way you could possibly find in the Bible what your church is telling you; none of what you say you believe is yours; it's what someone else has invented and you pay for it every time the collection plate comes around.
You ended one comment saying, "My GOD is a loving GOD. HE is comforting and everlasting. HE takes my fears away because HE is all powerful." This tells a person a lot about you, Patsy. Clearly, you have never read, or perhaps more correctly, you have never been allowed to read the Bible using your own critical thinking faculties. No sane, moral person could read the Bible and come to the conclusion you state here. This is not yours; this is someone else's conclusion forced on you. That thing you call a god, Patsy, obviously does not quell your fears, since forced as you are to fear non-believers, you end up in fear of many non-believing Christians.
Not long ago, I witnessed twenty people in a Bible study group abandon Christianity because they actually read the words as though they were words that they, being the mere mortals they are, could understand. They put them into sentences they could understand. They pieced the narratives together in context looking for the big picture view. Then, they applied common standards of plausibility, the same standards that thinking people, but clearly not the Bible authors themselves, would have used at the time the Bible narratives were written. Comparing that view of the Bible - their own, remember - with what they know of the world and what it means to think, they realized it could not be divinely inspired. It was not the work of someone who understood humankind and the rest of the natural world even to the extent that a young schoolchild understands it today. They understood for the first time in their lives that the Bible was written by ignorant, superstitious, men - specifically, males - with cruel moral codes, men with whom they had nothing in common - not language, not knowledge, not culture, not thought, and certainly not morality. In light of their new understanding they did what sane, normal people do: they followed the evidence. They all abandoned Christianity, and most of them abandoned faith of any kind.
Patsy, I truly wish for every person on the planet the best that life can offer them among which are peace, joy, happiness, understanding, compassion, and love. If you really look at religion with open eyes, you will see that while religion has always promised these things, religion has never delivered on those promises. If you consider further, looking, for instance, at the myriad problems religions of all sorts, including your own Christianity, are causing the world over, you will see that it can't deliver on those promises.
After giving religions some serious thought, then, make this comparison, Patsy: look at your life, your health, the society around you, the world at large, and even the cosmos to see what you owe to rational thought, reason, and science. One itsy bitsy little fact will make a very strong point: only a fraction of the people alive on earth today would exist at all if not for science. Science in agriculture, medicine, and logistics, for instance, doesn't simply make life better, for most people, science makes it possible to be alive at all. While science and the other rational arts won't promise you love, or those other largely subjective things religions do, science does provide you the most fertile ground for those things to grow: life itself, good health, a clear vision of world, and an understanding of man's natural place in the natural order. Those are not given by gods. They are the products of hundreds of years of man's intellectual efforts, efforts, often impeded, often stymied, and often murderously opposed by the minions of Christianity. Knowing itself to be powerless to fulfill its promises made, Christianity put its full power and authority into keeping non-divine human efforts from fulfilling them. If Christianity could conjure no cure for disease, no man was to be allowed to find one. From the church's standpoint, better for all of mankind to suffer if the church didn't get the credit. So much for Christian promises. Another fine example of Christian immorality.
I have no reason whatsoever to think that outside religion you would be anything but scrupulously honest, Patsy. Now is the best time for you to turn your honesty toward religion and ask: "Does religion live up to its claims?," remembering that we must be honest; "Is there any human endeavor that comes closer to fulfilling religion's claims of benefitting mankind?;" and, "Since religion can't fulfill its claims, and there do exist other human endeavors which, by doing an observably better job of making life and health possible, come much closer to fulfilling religion's claims, why should anyone persist in supporting religion?"
Like the Bible study group I mentioned earlier, uncompromising honesty can lead you to truth, then, if you are strong enough to accept it, that truth can set you free.
Thank you Russ for your unsuspecting guest spot on my blog!