Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Christians are:

The Friendly Atheist asked a question, "If Christians would listen, what would you say to them?" In the comments, I noticed there were a number of statements about Christians. From reading all the comments, it looks like many of them are directed at fundamentalist Christians and others are more general. I plucked out the statements I noticed.

Christians:

are hypocritical.
think atheists aren't human.
try to convert people.
only talk about Christianity.
need a spiritual being to cling to.
believe everyone needs his/her specific beliefs in his/her life.
hold modern beliefs which aren't Christ-like.
think that philosophy, science, postmodernism, movies, etc. are out to get them.
tell others how to live their lives.
are judgmental.
have insider/outsider thinking.
are narrow-minded.
follow the golden-rule over empathy.
reject reality.
believe that God created the heavens and Earth in 6 days.
think they are horrible and unworthy.
have been brainwashed into believing something that makes them intolerant and hateful.
are trapped in a religion that takes advantage of good intentions.
limit their understanding of the whole wide universe to the Bible.
manipulate family members to isolate and reject atheists.
think that moral behavior is impossible without belief in God.
don't think before they speak.
have been told what to think by their Church.
don't realize its hurtful to be judged.
force people around them to obey parts of their behavioral code that comes solely from the Bible.
think that atheists are ignorant, angry or abused.
condemn others.
do good things to build a magical castle in the sky for when they die.
believe in a magical place of fire where some people go when they die.
don't practice tolerance.
think shellfish are ok, but homosexuals are not.
are arrogant.
believe they can behave in whatever manner they want.
think atheists haven't been introduced to religion.
think atheists are mad at God or at believers in God.
have not read the Bible.
don't use evidence based in reality.
have not researched science.
fear atheists.
come to beliefs through reflection of what they believe about the world.
think they are right.
believe that they are going to an imaginary Nice Room and atheists go to an imaginary Naughty Room.
use evangelism to score more members for their cult.
live their life in the service of their master, real or imaginary.
think asking questions and searching for answers is a bad thing.
are being spoon fed.
hate people that are different.
are in an abusive relationship with god.
play the victim.
force personal beliefs on others.
are raised to be judgmental.
act as though Jews and Muslims are so different even though all three religions worship the same deity.
indoctrinate their children.
take the Bible seriously, but disregard other holy texts.
don't condemn religious actions that are extreme, illegal, or in violation of the separation of church and state.
actions and inactions are contributing to many of the major ills the world currently faces.
think that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.
push an ideology on people based on undemonstratable propositions.
do not have a scientific mindset.
hold nonsensical beliefs.
promotes ignorance and stifles a child's natural curiosity about the world around them.
use words, actions and votes to express disrespect for another's sexual orientation.
constantly attempt to convert atheists.
are on the wrong side of big issues like slavery, segregation, discrimination against blacks, discrimination against women, discrimination against gays.
made war, tortured others, fueled the Inquisition, destroyed cultures with missionary work.
close their eyes to progress and scientific evidence.
wreck families and ruin lives.
are unwilling to change their opinion on whether god exists or not.
don't read the Bible critically.
don't try to see where other people are coming from.
use the Bible to justify already present hate an d bigotry.
afraid of logic.
know that the truth will prove them wrong.
have a church whose negative judgmental behavior is responsible for a lot of pain and mental problems in young teenagers.
demonstrate bigotry and homophobic behaviors.
choose to act based on morality handed down from an authority and/or to avoid punishment or receive a reward.
think the Bible is the absolute truth.
know that the atheist argument is more rational but choose to believe because its what they want to do.
actively try to conform the rest of the country's beliefs and laws to theirs just so they can feel safe.
hold onto beliefs which are verifiably false.
think they hold a monopoly on feelings of awe or compassion or happiness.
would run riot in the streets without a belief in a god.
think that atheists are immoral.
don't apply empathy to their worldview.
actively work to keep gays second-class citizens.
can't see the beauty of the world for what it is.
have not read the Bible with an open mind.
assert they have the moral high ground.
support other Christians who are impolite or bigoted by not asking them to stop.
judge people based on actions and don't value people alone.
are blind to the simple truth that Jesus loved hanging out with "outsiders."
expect atheists to do more volunteer work than anyone else or else atheists are amoral and selfish.
believe that the Bible would condemn a Christ-like individual because they did not profess a belief in Jesus.
think that their religion is true because it is how they were raised.
believe that since atheists don't believe in God then they believe in Satan.
believe that humans are God's most prized creations.
get defensive when you ask them why they think what they think.
don't think they would believe in another deity if they had been born in another part of the world.
won't listen to atheists.
can't have a discussion with atheists without trying to convert them.
think life is meaningless without a belief in God.
think Christians are oppressed in America.
are offended that atheists exist and question Christian views.
think that atheists are ignorant.
think that God favors some of the human race over others.
attend political rallies which are the very intersection of bigotry, hatred and willful ignorance.
have pastors who are human, hateful, spiteful and manipulative humans who use their power to spread agendas of intolerance and bigotry.
should worship their God in private.
only believe because they want to believe.
think that they are nothing without God.
think that atheists deserve eternal torment for not believing in God.
think their religion is the one true religion.
spew vitriol and hate.
think that atheists want to take away their beliefs.
believe in a middle-ages God.
worship a big mean man in the sky to avoid being responsible for his or her own actions.
try to create laws which mirror rules in the Bible.
think everyone should be subject to the rules of God, whether you believe in God or not.
insist on forcing others to listen to their prayers in public.
who run for public office are the ones who hate other groups and make Christians look like lunatics.
struggle with difficult things in the Bible.
don't follow the teachings of Christ.
don't allow themselves to doubt.
are subjected to group think.
think similar things, express similar views, ask similar questions, give similar answers in one congregation and everything is different in another.
treat everyone like they too believe in God.
treat non Christians like they live a wild, party lifestyle.
think they have the upper hand regarding morality.
have not studied other religions.
hold beliefs which cannot be proven objectively.
can't see people beyond his or her religious identity.
think they are guarded by a supernatural protector.
are not perfect. No one is.
deny medical care to children.
violate Jesus' instructions every time they pray in public.
worship idols if they attend a church which has an American flag in it.
abuse children by threatening them with hell.
think atheists hate Christians.

6 comments:

conley said...

yep, sounds right to me. i have known good christians... but they are the exception... not the rule. i am a fan of nero...
c

Bjorn said...

Conley, what if your statement were reversed? I've known good atheists, but they are the exception, not the rule?

The reason for this post is to show what stereotypes people hold about Christians. It would be interesting to see the reverse, what Christians think of atheists.

Leah said...

Thanks so much for putting this together. I must say it was somewhat dispiriting. Even if many critiques are valid in many cases, it's bad PR for atheists to complain in a way that looks condescending.

--Leah @ Unequally Yoked

sam said...

as a christian (although pretty far removed from anything i would consider fundamentalism) i have a few things to say. first, some of this hits pretty close to home, and a lot are incredibly valid critiques of christian actions.

but in general, this list seems to suffer from a lot of the same things it accuses christians of. a lot of these things are human nature - which is something that christians are not immune to.

so when this list says, "christians are hypocritical," i don't disagree. but it's the pot calling the kettle black.

and when this list finishes with, "christians think atheists hate christians," i'm unfortunately sort of inclined to agree. at least based on statements like the ones being made here.

Brian Jay said...

Damn that is a long list!!! Don't have time to read it all. Read 1/2, and I'm sad to say that it's mostly true. I was one of those people once. :( But the important thing is that Christians are people too and need our love not our hate. They need to be freed from their oppressive religion. Let's show them that atheists are not to be feared and can be trusted and are good people too! :)

Palaverer said...

"who run for public office are the ones who hate other groups and make Christians look like lunatics."

This one was probably culled directly from my comment on Hermant's blog. I think it's really the crux of the reason WHY we have such a huge list of grievances against Christians, and I'd like to reiterate my point here:

There are many, many wonderful Christians. These people are our friends, family, and loved ones; these Christians manage to live in harmony with their faith AND other people. They don't push their beliefs on others.

It's the obnoxious Christians that make the news and the elections, and try to force their arbitrary and harmful beliefs on everyone else. It is they who stand out in our minds when we think of Christianity because they've done everything they can to put themselves in our faces. They are an enemy to atheists and compassionate Christians alike.