Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

In your opinion who tries to push their beliefs more on the general public?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (3695 points ) 2 months ago

Who tries more to install their beliefs more on the general public, the Christian believers , or the Atheism believers?

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166 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

It seems to me that some atheists are more aggressive and directly attack Christianity than the other way around.

rojo's avatar

I think this is a matter of perspective.

I also have some question as to whether you can believe in Atheism, although, this is probably just a matter of symantics

Dutchess_III's avatar

@rojo You can believe there is no God.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III OK I can see the battle between the two factions but are they trying to install their beliefs on the public?

rojo's avatar

BUT
From my perspective what you have is a bunch of people who say believe what you want, practice what you want, when you want and how you want, just don’t bother me with it.

And then you have a bunch of people who that say that they believe that the practice of their religion requires they bother others with it.

And therein is the rub.

tinyfaery's avatar

Politicians, of all persuasions. I guess that’s their job, though.

And anyone who comes to my door. Anyone who disturbs my life with their prosyletizing should be shot stopped.

rojo's avatar

Something to consider; there are not a whole lot of sites dedicated to the “War on Atheism” and turning a buck on the fears of the atheists.

hominid's avatar

I’m going to regret this…

Maybe you could start by explaining a few things from your question.

1. What exactly do you mean by “general public”?
2. What does it mean to “push beliefs” (or “install beliefs”)?
3. What could the term, “Atheism believers” mean?

Dutchess_III's avatar

There is one friend in particular who is constantly posting anti-Christian stuff on his wall on fb, basically pulling the “Imaginary Unicorn in the Sky” card. I’ve talked to him about it, and for some reason it seems really important to him to get his own message out.

My Christian friends just seem to post a lot of flowery inspirational stuff. They don’t seem to be trying to convince anyone of anything. The only people who do that are the JW’s. Oh, and some Baptists from Ark City.

ucme's avatar

Over here in englandtown, no one does.

MadMadMax's avatar

There is nothing to believe if you’re an atheist.

Why don’t we count published tracts and door bangers.

JLeslie's avatar

The Christians by a long shot. There are some very vocal atheists, there is no doubt about. There are atheist groups that take legal action to remove religion from places. They win their case a lot. Know why? Because the constitution and the law supports them. If the Christians didn’t inject their religion in places that are against the law there would not be so many atheist voices making a bunch of noise. I do think some athiests go too far. Too far and are too aggressve in conversations, in the public square, and in filing suit. But, there are many many more Christians using religious language all around us constantly. Athiests don’t generally say there is no God in every day life. There are very few atheist symbols around us.

Those Christian voices I mention happen most in the bible belt and some other small towns around the US. I never feel crowded by Christians in very diverse places outside of the bible belt, because religion almost never comes up and religious words are not strewn throughout a conversation.

Of course people can say whatever they want, and mostly the Christian message is from a good place with good intentions. Still, they are too often completely unaware in general of when they sound offensive to nonChristians. It happens on both sides though.

I really think if the Christians quieted down so would he atheists, but the vice versa is not what would happen. If the athiests were silent the Christians would go right on and maybe even ramp it up. Not most Christians, but there is a large enough portion of them that have to say things out loud that it is pretty significant in America.

Maybe as more and more northerners and foreigners move to the south this will stop because the areas are becoming more diverse.

Pachy's avatar

Christians and Conservative Republicans. We of the Jewish faith don’t believe in proselytizing on TV, in politics or on the bumpers of cars and trucks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, some of the stuff my friend posts is pretty funny! He just posted, “He says not to have sex until you’re married…then He impregnates a betrothed woman!”

Seek's avatar

If I leave my house, I will hit at least one church before I find a main road. You literally cannot get to my house without passing a church. There are eight churches total between me and the next stoplight. That’s less than two miles in any direction. One is a megachurch, one is not far from being one. And one is a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s WItnesses.

Any community events that go on in my town become church recruitment opportunities. There’s always a prayer or invocation, and it’s always Christian. There are two local rag newspapers, both of which print scriptures at the top of every page and cover mainly events from local churches and religious schools. The anti-liberal and/or atheist letters to the editor page is as irksome as it is predictable. There is no way to unsubscribe from these “free” publications.

I have to drive almost an hour to find a Humanist Association meeting, and no one gets the newsletter unless they’re a paying member.

hominid's avatar

Ugh. What is with these fluther questions being asked, and then seemingly abandoned, even though we have follow-up questions that are necessary to answer the question?

@Seek_Kolinahr – Maybe the OP is referring to the huge war among elected leaders in the U.S. For example, out of the 535 members of congress, we have a total of 0 (?) non-religious, or “out” atheists?

Or maybe it’s the abundance of atheist schools that litter the country. I believe there are currently 0 (?).

I wish the OP would come back and answer some questions. I don’t want to answer this incorrectly. Maybe there is something in particular she is referring to.

thorninmud's avatar

@hominid pssst—”...he is refering to.”

antimatter's avatar

I think it’s a battle for souls, every one is trying to force their religion or beliefs down on others. Where I am living it does not matter where you go you will find a church and to make matters even worse is that you hear the Islamic call to prayer every morning before sunrise, that’s my alarm…
And on Sundays I can forget to sleep later than eight, than the Christians starts with their bells. I think it’s a bit intrusive on both sides, they should teach their followers the correct times for services than they don’t need bells and a loudspeaker to remind their followers to attend their churches. There’s only twenty Pagans living in this town and from a Pagan’s point of view we don’t bother any one when we do our rituals. Last year we had a small gathering at a park and a pastor and his congregation arrived at our venue and started playing their gospel to show us their God’s power. The funny thing was that our Pagan Gods decided to let it rain… no pun intended…
My point is that we are all arrogant and have no respect for anthers convictions.

Kropotkin's avatar

I’ve never met an atheist preacher. I was never taught about the truth or the good news of atheism. I was never brought up to be an atheist. I’ve never had an atheist complain or try to censor some work of art or performance.

Christians have done all of the above.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Christians aren’t the only ones who complain or try to censor some work of art or art performance.

I know an atheist Jew. :D

rojo's avatar

Is an atheist Jew just a Jew that doesn’t believe in the Christian god?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m an atheist Jew and I am favor of censoring some things. For the most part I don’t like censorship but some things cross the line too far or need to be controlled in some sort of way,

JLeslie's avatar

@rojo God is God. All the Abrahamic religions believe in the same God.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Christians, it’s kind of what we do. ;)

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

The born-again fundamentalist types. They are among the most annoying people around, next to former smokers who have quit and are in the presence of smokers. The born-again types won’t take “no” for an answer, as in “no, we don’t want to hear your testimony,” and “no, we don’t want to hear why we’re going to go to hell” (it’s obvious, we want to be around our friends) and on and on and on. These people persist in spreading the “good news” even to people who have absolutely no interest. Try to change the subject and within 2 minutes they’ll be back preaching to you again. Their religious beliefs are all they are capable of talking about – totally incapable of carrying on a conversation about anything else. This makes them annoying, rude and unpleasant to be around.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@TheRealOldHippie My uncle is like that, and it really turned me off, so I kind of learned my lesson. On the other hand, I’d defend my (or anyones) right to believe and worship as I choose with my dying breath.

rojo's avatar

And, most atheists and agnostics that I know would stand with you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@rojo,....No an atheist Jew doesn’t believe in any god, but continues to embrace the Judaic ways and rituals.

Hey…speaking of ,Rarebear’s girl is getting her Bat Mitzvah this weekend!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@rojo I know some really cool atheists in RL, I do believe you on that!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I mean it was this past weekend.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

As for all the great answers, I did ask for your own opinions, for my own opinion I see lot’s of religious TV programs wanting your soul and money so they can save you,the JWs going door to door saying we all need to be saved,and lets not forget the Religious FREAK OUT on abortion issues.
I have not seen one Atheist TV program wanting my money or soul, I have never encountered them going door to door trying to save me.
NOW I do believe in God, but don’t try and save anyone,and don’t believe abortion should be used as a form of birthcontrol, but in cases of rape,incest,or the mothers health I am ONE MILLION percent for it and if that bothers you then deal with it. BUT that is just my opinion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it’s the nature of Christianity that brings those things about. I mean, you don’t see any hairdressers on TV wanting your money and your soul either.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@all Let’s not altogether disregard the many wonderful thing’s that money does for the less fortunate in this conversation. Food/ water, clothing and shelter are pretty important.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III uh I have seen hair dresser shops on TV commercials wanting my money.

AshLeigh's avatar

I think it’s kind of evened out. There are some Christians who are complete assholes to anyone who does not believe in the same things as them. There are also some atheists who do the same thing. I think those people are the minority though.
It’s kind of like how most Muslims view Islamic Terrorists in the same way that most Christians view the Westboro Baptist Church.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Many if us don’t even do that. I don’t really do any of the rituals, except maybe light the manorah on Chanukah, but I didn’t even do that this year since it is packed somewhere. It’s our ethnicity, like being Irish or Polish. I identify more with being Jewish than being Latvian or Russian. Since we are a minority group who has a long history of oppression I think we feel we can’t escape people thinking of us as Jews so we might as well embrace it.

Paradox25's avatar

The fact remains that in many cultures there are default religions, and atheists have always been the silent minority in most of these. Most cultures with strong religious roots have always looked down upon atheism or less popular beliefs among their ranks.

I would have to state that religionists by far have been the less tolerant of the two, though there have been some exceptions. most secular cultures however have been much more tolerant of religious people than vice versa. Sometimes I wonder how many closet Muslim atheists there are. There’s a big difference between being cynical about religion vs getting your head cut off.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Paradox25 Great answer.

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SQUEEKY2's avatar

Good answer @Dutchess_III , Thanks.

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ETpro's avatar

I was going to say what @Seek_Kolinahr and @hominid said, but they beat me to it. I’ll just add that all the churches I pass have signs out front pushing their message. In all my travels, I’ve yet to pass an atheist sigh. Christians have muscled the legislature to add “In God we trust.” to the money I spend and insert God into our Pledge of Allegiance. Every politician ends every speech with, “And God bless America.” Until recently, just publicly admitting atheism would get you burned at the stake. I’ve yet to see atheists insisting our money have “We trust there is no God” written on it. We’re beset on every side by a constant barrage of Christian messaging, and it we even ask a simple question that makes a Christian stop and think, we are accused of being shrill, strident, propagandizing.

I won’t take it. Question everything. Particularly question things and people who insist they should never have to answer clear questions, who are infuriated by clarity and take it as an attack on themselves. I say it is those that act in that fashion, be they Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Scientologist, Mormon or what have you; that are really trying to push their beliefs on everyone else.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Anyone,or any belief that says don’t question us or it has me running for the hills.

GloPro's avatar

For more personal experience, I have had Christians leave me those little books as tips occasionally. I have had 3 (random) people tell me I have a good heart, and encourage me to give it to God and ask me to pray with them.
My mother believes my father and I are bound for hell because we aren’t devout Christians. At least I will be joined, according to her, by the Dhali Lama. It does make me sad to know that my mother is honestly bothered and believes I am going to hell, and prays for my soul and cries for me. Talk about pressure.

I just roll with it. I guess those people believe so much in what they say that they want to share it. As long as they aren’t hypocrites or haters I listen.

LornaLove's avatar

To my mind, neither, but then I live in the UK. This is where belief is a personal issue and is respected. Perhaps that is very different in the USA? Where people shove things at you?

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Dutchess_III's avatar

The thing is, for some people, being a Christian is the utmost definition of who they are. Their lives revolve around it.
However, being Atheist or Agnostic is just a small part of who we are. Our lives don’t revolve around it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Good point. As I think about it being an atheist growing up was like a nothing. We never talked about religion or God. We were just void of the topic. On a religious holiday God might be mentioned, because it is in the passages we read for a holiday, that sort of thing. My sister had an incident in middle school where she wouldnt, stand and say the pledge and the teacher and principal freaked out. They were were horrible, and actually were acting illegally, she had every right to do what she did. At that time there had just been a case on the topic, I think it was a Jehovah Witness and if I remember correctly it went tonthe supreme court. Otherwise, my family didn’t think about, or worry about anything religious.

But, through the 70’s and 80’s the Christians seemed to ramp up, especially politically. I’ve even seen articles where Pastors talk about this. That Christians have put others on the defensive.

My being an atheist is not something I generally think about, not even when I am with my religious friends, even at religious events like baptisms. The only time I think about it is during a discussion about the topic, or when someone makes me feel they negatively judge or make negative assumptions about atheists or if they are impeding on the rights of atheists and religious minorities.

If the country was 90% atheist, the topic would never come up probably. But, if the country is 90% Christian, God and Christ do come up. It’s part of the main conflict between the groups. Religious Jews can also use God in their conversation, and if they are observant practically every move they make is dictated by God’s laws, but they never are trying to “spread the word.” You still might have to live with some inconveniences because of them though. I just helped my sister move in to a new apartment and one of the two elevators is a Sabbath elevator, which is basically like only having one elevator inbthe building Friday night through Saturday. She luckily lives on a relatively low floor, so even if she winds up taking the sabbath elevator it isn’t too annoying, bit the point is that elevator isn’t able to respond to a person calling the elevator it just hits every floor.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right. We never set aside a few minutes at night to think about being atheist. We don’t put everything we see or hear into the context of Atheism. It’s a non-thing.

JLeslie's avatar

Exactly. It seems like some of the most vocal atheist voices, the people who are most combative and harsh were raised innvery religious homes. It isn’t always true, but it seems to be a pattern. I would guess some religious people here on fluther would consider me combative; I try to have respect for other people’s religious views, I don’t know if it always comes thriugh in my writing. I have no problem with people believing in God, I can’t see any negative to believing in God. My frustration is only when theists use their beliefs or religion to judge others, control others, or want everyone to believe as they do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would not consider you combative @JLeslie.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was invited to join a group on FB called Godless Engineering. All they do is post examples of the “ridiculousness” of Christianity….and I don’t know why. They’re all of a like mind, no one is arguing with them. They don’t have to convince any of their members, so I don’t know why the page even exists.

We do have some interesting off-topic conversations, but many of the members seem to equate being an atheist with being a total disgusting dick, like atheism means you have no social boundaries, no couth.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Your first paragraph and second paragraph seem not to agree. You talk about a facebook group that thinks theists are ridiculous, but your second paragraph is about people thinking atheism is disgusting. It confuses me.

In the south I encountered some people (not the majority of people I knew, this is a small group) who think atheism means people are more likely to be criminals. They also tended to be a little racist, so I think in their mind they think of unruly minorities who don’t have God to help them control their behavior. Since some Christians feel their morality is from their religion, they figure immoral people don’t have God. They kind of wrap it all up in a package. A=B; B=C, so A=C. They don’t know many atheists, or don’t realize they know us, so they have a very negative stereotype in their head that they can maintain through ignorance.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I don’t think atheism is disgusting. I think the behavior of some people is disgusting. Has nothing to do with anything, really, except they seem to think atheism makes it ok to say the trashy things they say…like it’s expected.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I don’t think atheism is disgusting either, honestly I admire anyone who is an independent thinker regardless of the way they CHOOSE to believe, at least they’ve made a choice for themselves.

Personally I don’t care what religion or non-religion a person is, if you’re a jerk you’re a jerk.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@KNOWITALL Now that I totally believe,doesn’t matter rich or poor, Christian or Atheist if your a jerk your a jerk plain and simple.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@rojo Could it BE any slower though…hahaha, thanks!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Exactly @SQUEEKY2. But the people in question seem to use their atheist status as an excuse to be a jerk. I realize they’d be a jerk just the same, even if they were a theist. I just think it’s sad to drag a concept down in the gutter with them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess My aunt was angry for a long time, too. Told me not to say God in her home or to her friends. I don’t get it

Dutchess_III's avatar

Guess you’d have to know what she went through in the “name” of God.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Christian Mingle sites ( commercials).

Seek's avatar

@Dutchess_III – I’m an admin on that page, actually.

It exists mainly as a social site, so we can associate with others without the question of religion hanging between us. We all know we have atheism in common. So we can vent about how our mother in law is trying to convert our six year olds, or share the latest silly thing Ray Comfort is saying, or just post pictures of hot chicks.

As far as people acting like jerks, the page is uncensored up to the limit of Facebook group rules. People can say what they want. Anyone who is a real jerk is likely to be trolled right off the page anyway. ^_^

AshLeigh's avatar

I’ve said this before, but it’s always relevant: I will respect any religion you choose to practice, so long as you never knock on my door to tell me about it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III She’s my aunt, I do know, she went to the same church I did and my mom still goes to. :) If not believing makes her happy, great, but it sucks we can’t hang out because I’m certainly not going to walk on egg shells around her. And I don’t expect her to do that for me either although she did take me to a Satanic Subway…lol. That being said, if she’d told me before I tranvelled to her house in another city, I wouldn’t have gone and subjected myself

Dutchess_III's avatar

But it may not have been the church itself that turned her away so badly. Could have been someone in the church. Satanic Subway??!!! :) That’s one for Godless Engineering, Seek!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III My point is that I’ve seen a form of anger in many atheists, not all, but quite a few, and that is what I don’t understand. If you make a life choice that makes you happier, wouldn’t that be what you’d want to exude to others?

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s exactly what I was trying to say. Good job, @KNOWITALL. There DOES seem to be a bitterness and anger in many atheists that is directed at religion, and I don’t know why.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III One of the reasons I take it so personally and keep asking about it is that I see so much of it, and I love my aunt but we’ve not been close since that incident. I want to bridge the gap but am not sure how because she is so prickly. And frankly, it reminds me of some here as well.

I know a few people here are cool and I care about them, but I feel like as soon as I said I was a christian or told them they should chill out on the God’s a unicorn/ Christians are stupid idiot-talk, it was like I said I was a dog killer or something. I thought we were friends and could tell each other when we pushed each other too far, but I guess I was wrong.

thorninmud's avatar

@KNOWITALL and @Dutchess_III
I agree that there’s often an angry edge directed toward religion by atheists. I think there are a couple of pieces to that:

First, many atheists were raised in religious households, where they felt that they were being compelled to lead inauthentic lives. That can build up a lot of resentment, but for complex reasons that resentment often can’t be vented toward the family and social circle that was the source of the compulsion. I think that much of the angry edge in atheist rhetoric comes from the lingering resentment finding a safer outlet. We can say things to strangers that we never could to those who raised us.

And then too, I think much of the anger surfaced when the conservative Christian Right became more politically activist back in the early 90s(?). I never saw Darwin fish on the backs of cars before Christian fish started to appear there. It was a push-back reaction to efforts to bring Christianity more overtly into the public sphere. That created a more strident and militant form of atheism.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@thorninmud Well, I’m thinking the more in-your-face Christianity of the 90’s started as a result of more and more people questioning it. I mean before that there WAS no question. God just existed, end of story. You didn’t have to convince anyone.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@thorninmud So you think it’s that they’ve been empowered and take out all their frustration on us on the Internet? Understandable to a degree but not cool.

Politically is a different story, that gets a little more touchy because I personally can’t vote against something my religion says is wrong and they (atheists) want me to (abortion for instance.) When I’m called out for voting how I want, then I feel attacked and coerced, which is what they don’t want anyone doing to them, see the endless circle there?

Dutchess_III's avatar

IMO, you should vote against something you feel is wrong because YOU feel it’s wrong, not because your RELIGION says it’s wrong.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Agreed, and I do not agree with it personally but if it had to happen, I’d want it to be safe.

A lot of people in my area vote for Pro-Life candidates, even when we know they change their stance when it’s politically helpful and probably a lie, then we get these tools in office and it’s the same old good ole boy putting money in his own pockets again.

It’s not that I want to push my beliefs onto society, but I want someone in office who takes both sides into consideration and can find a good compromise of mutual respect.

thorninmud's avatar

@KNOWITALL Not cool, I agree. But very human. I can relate to it, because most of my childhood I felt that to be accepted by everyone who mattered to me, I had to go along with the religious program (despite my many misgivings), and never express my discontent. My place in my whole social circle depended on living a pretense. That really takes an emotional toll. Stuff like that later surfaces in indirect ways.

In your second paragraph, you hit on what irritates so many atheists: they see religion as the force that keeps people from acting according to reason. It is frustrating to them that even if they can make a compelling rational case for a particular position, it still won’t convince a religious person, if only because their religion has pronounced otherwise. That leads them to think of religion kind of like a computer virus that keeps human “software” from running properly. They feel combative toward that virus because they think it holds back the potential of human culture.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@thorninmud Thanks for sharing. And I do understand about going along with the religious program to fit in. You know I don’t attend church because of the hypocrisy and greed, so in a way, I ostracized myself, so please understand I have no agenda here other than understanding.

Religion as a virus, okay, good analogy. I have to be true to my own personal beliefs though, and isn’t that what a vote is for?
If I feel like abortion holds back the potential of human culture and they think it does not, then how can we resolve something like that if we can’t even discuss it calmly?

*Also, understand I don’t want Seek’s son to be forced to say prayer in school, I don’t think her JW neighbor should keep her son from playing with Seek’s, and I don’t think it’s fair that the atheist groups weren’t allowed to participate in the 9/11 memorial service – I get it & I’m listening, I know some thing’s aren’t right, but if anger is all we show each other, we aren’t moving forward.

antimatter's avatar

I like what @ETpro and @JLeslie said. Forgive me if I may ad this and if we look back in history back to the Crusades, Spanish inquisition and the dark ages just a few to mention than I would say Yes to this question. Religion may be healthy if it is practiced right. But I have no idea where do you cross the line when right becomes wrong.
I think it’s when people from different religions start judging each other about their belief systems than I think it’s a good sign that someone is crossing the line. @KNOWITALL I find it interesting that religion can be a virus if it’s implemented wrong.

thorninmud's avatar

@KNOWITALL I hear you.

I’d say it’s not so much a question of whether you feel this or that policy is right that concerns atheists; it’s more how you come by that determination that matters. If it’s through a process of reasoning, or even of feeling, then dialog remains possible, because atheists understand the validity of reason and feeling in their own lives, too. So there’s common ground. But if it comes down to “because God said so”, then there’s no more possibility of discussion, no common ground.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@thorninmud I would think or hope that our common ground is our humanity and our compassion and love for each other. Frankly, if anyone has a chance of convincing me, it’s a couple specific people here, not a church or preacher because I’ve seen theists here be awfully cruel and antagonistic, it’s certainly not just one side.

Seek's avatar

Religious people use their vote to legislate their religion’s version of morality, then want exemptions from law to further their religious practice.

Does making abortion/birth control/same sex marriage illegal help any Christian get into heaven? Does it help the pregnant girl/gay person get into heaven? No? That’s all based on personal choice, isn’t it? So why vote to legislate what God wants a person to choose of their own free will anyway? Did God give us free will only to allow it to be taken away by His followers?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I’m religious but I don’t need any exemptions, I’m all for taxing churches since it seems more and more to be a business.

“Does it help the pregnant girl/gay person get into heaven?”

If you believe abortion and being gay is a sin, like a lot of theists do, then yes, they do truly believe they would be enacting a law that allowed sin to be a law, that’s why they cannot vote for it no matter what you say. (You know I feel differently about SSM since it’s not a choice imo.)

Did God give us free will only to allow it to be taken away by His followers?

Good point, but it requires participation from us via our vote, which is where it gets tricky for us. It’s like we have to personally endorse a perceived ‘sin’ to make it legal.

Seek's avatar

Would you support a law banning women from going outside without their heads covered? There are religion that believe women being in public with their heads uncovered is a sin. Or is that a personal choice?

Seek's avatar

If the majority religion of the country decided to listen to Deuteronomy 22:5, would you support a law stating women cannot wear men’s garments, and turn in your Levi’s?

Seek's avatar

A vote is not an endorsement of a personal opinion.

It is a declaration that there is something that it is the right and responsibility of the government to regulate.

The hope is that the majority of people will use logic and reason to determine which things are the purview of the government, and which are the purview of personal choice.

Unfortunately, religious people believe their personal choices come from a higher power, and they thus have the right to use the government do dictate what nonbelievers should do, for their own good.

That is not law, that is tyranny.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr
1) I’m Catholic and understand the whole concept of keeping your head covered and being humble in God’s House, but no I wouldn’t support a law for that at this point.

2) No, I would not. I also feel like if a woman is born in a man’s body that she is being her authentic self, not sinning. (Many theists disagree with me on this of course.)

3) In specific instances like abortion, we’ll have to disagree because to some theists, our vote IS a personal endorsement of an opinion.
Too bad there is not universal morality we can agree on, but generally anything promoting acting in your own self-interest and selfishness is ‘evil’.

Seek's avatar

How is voting to force other people to follow your religion’s rules NOT being selfish?

Seek's avatar

So, you only support voting for religious laws that don’t affect the choices that you would already make for yourself.

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’m really confused about this statement “In specific instances like abortion, we’ll have to disagree because to some theists, our vote IS a personal endorsement of an opinion. ”

You’ve stated pretty consistently on Fluther that you support a woman’s right to choose what is right for her – but if that is true, why would you vote to take that choice away? How is voting anti-choice a “personal endorsement of an opinion”? It sounds to me like you are voting against your own personal sense of morality, and giving that vote to the church. That kind of behaviour is what troubles so many of us.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr If my religion didn’t teach me love and compassion I wouldn’t care in the slightest what you did at all or how my vote affected you, I would do what I want period. I’m simply not okay with using my vote for thing’s that I don’t agree with to make you happy.

Have you ever heard that old saying about catching more flies with sugar than vinegar? Try not to get so mad every single time we talk, I’m listening and I care, otherwise I wouldn’t be trying to understand.

@glacial True and I do want a woman to be able to choose and have a safe procedure if it’s necessary but it still bothers me contemplating NOT using the life issue as a factor in my voting process. It’s never been the only factor however.

Seek's avatar

Making a 15 year old girl who wants an abortion a criminal isn’t love or compassion. Telling two people they aren’t allowed to get married isn’t love or compassion. Rewriting laws on health insurance so your company doesn’t have to provide birth control coverage isn’t love or compassion.

And you can say all day long that you support same sex marriage, but if you’re voting for anti-choice representatives, you’re ALSO voting for “traditional” marriage representatives.

You want a woman to be able to choose, but you’re going to vote to take away that choice. You’re a hypocrite. There’s nothing else to be said about it.

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL “True and I do want a woman to be able to choose and have a safe procedure if it’s necessary but it still bothers me contemplating NOT using the life issue as a factor in my voting process.”

These two statements are complete opposites. There are two ways that I could interpret this. Either (1) you say that you want a woman to have the right to choose, but secretly you don’t really believe she should have it, or (2) you haven’t made up your mind whether women should be allowed to make their own reproductive decisions.

I suspect that (2) is true – but if so, it would be helpful if you state that more clearly when discussing matters of abortion. You’ve been quite vocal in the past about women having the right to choose, but your actions indicate that this is not what you want – or at least, that something would still have to convince you that it is a right that shouldn’t be taken away. Otherwise… you wouldn’t be voting to have that right taken away.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr
Making a 15 year old girl who wants an abortion a criminal isn’t love or compassion.
-I’m not doing that.

Telling two people they aren’t allowed to get married isn’t love or compassion.
-I’m not doing that.

Rewriting laws on health insurance so your company doesn’t have to provide birth control coverage isn’t love or compassion.
-I’m not doing that.

And you can say all day long that you support same sex marriage, but if you’re voting for anti-choice representatives, you’re ALSO voting for “traditional” marriage representatives.
-I don’t vote on one issue.

You want a woman to be able to choose, but you’re going to vote to take away that choice. You’re a hypocrite. There’s nothing else to be said about it.
-That’s not very nice.

hominid's avatar

Many Christians are comfortable with the infusion of religion into ethics and laws because they happen to believe in the majority’s religion. Would you be comfortable if a majority of U.S. citizens were suddenly Muslim? What recourse would you have to argue laws, ethics, rights, etc? Would you be comfortable trying to argue for “compromise” concerning required head scarfs?

Many of us (atheists) are so supportive of logic, reason, and science informing our ethics and laws specifically because a) it addresses real issues, suffering, and happiness that all people experience, and b) it’s something that can (and will) change as we gain more evidence and understanding of reality.

If the U.S. were suddenly ⅓ Christian, ⅓ Muslim, and ⅓ Hindu, there would be only one game in town that would allow us to all sit down and productively form a peaceful society where we can all live – the tools secularists use to evaluate and build their ethics. It surely wouldn’t be the religious certainties of the 3 competing and (often) opposing religions.

All it would take would be a simple thought experiment (the one where the Christian imagines being in the minority) to open the door to efforts to work on ethical systems that truly benefit us all and give no special consideration to beliefs that are without evidence (religion). The absence in theory of religious preference in the U.S. has arguably strengthened the growth of religion here.

On the other hand, many (or most) religious people truly believe that their god exists. This is a truth claim. Their holy book, therefore would reasonably be a good source for how to live. I mean, if I truly believed that there is a book that contains the literal or inspired words of the creator of the universe, then why would I ignore it when making political and moral decisions? This is precisely why the entire question of existence is important. It’s important to address god claims seriously and with passion – because they matter. The path from good person to immoral actions is paved with sincere, unjustified belief.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hominid I like that you see both sides, thanks for putting forth the effort.

I get crap from both sides, theists and atheists, for not doing what they want, which is why I encourage discussion and compromise. I’m fairly immune to being judged at this point.

There are candidates who pander to both extremes, with not a lot of middle ground, which is why it’s difficult when it comes to voting.

Did you happen to read my thread from a year or so ago “How does God prove His existance in your life?” It was pretty interesting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL May I ask, do you think your views would be different than they are now if you weren’t a Christian?

hominid's avatar

@KNOWITALL – Would you be more or less comfortable voting for a politician who would use his Christian beliefs to inform his votes on major issues if…we knew that next election cycle we would be a majority Muslim nation? Would you be more or less of an advocate of building a secular, evidence-based ethics? And why?

And if we were a Muslim-majority nation, would you see yourself advocating for more laws that reflect Christian values or a more secular society?

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL I can only speak for myself, but I’m not actually interested in giving you crap for anything… you’ve made some contradictory statements, and I’m asking for your help to understand your meaning, since both statements can’t be true at the same time.

Again (not directed at you personally, @KNOWITALL)... asking questions in order to disentangle contradictory statements is exactly what most questions about religion are about. I don’t understand why that is always perceived as an attack.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III You know you can ask me anything, I hope! :) Although it’s hard to say since I was raised Christian from a very young age in a religious area. I did go through a very anti-religious stage in my life and honestly I got a little mean and less tolerant, so yes, I think my views may be very different if I weren’t a Christian.

@hominid I don’t feel that Christians and Muslims are all that different in a lot of ways, politically and culturally though it gets a little tricky. Hmmm, let me wrap my head around that hypothetical a minute…I think I’d still be more comfortable with a more secular Christian because they would probably represent my beliefs more accurately (don’t sweat the small stuff). If we were a Muslim majority I’m just not sure how that would affect me due to the culture difference so it’s hard to say.

@glacial Sorry, I didn’t see your post above.
#2 I see women choosing to be irresponsible and the child pays the price with their life, that is what bothers me.

*One thing you should understand is that when one person is antagonistic, and gets lurve in the process, it tends to discourage my willingness to be open about how I feel in open forum. There’s been enough of that crap around here and I’m not willing to make a mockery of this subject again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^^Give that woman some lurve! She deserves it!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I haven’t changed much since I let go of my beliefs. If anything, I’m more tolerant.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Remember I was raised by hippies, I’m very tolerant with most people.

rojo's avatar

Something that @hominid said ”... one where the Christian imagines being in the minority…” brought to mind that I have noted that if you listen to Christian radio and read their blogs, etc. you get the distinct impression that many already have this mindset. Yet, when you look at the numbers, they are most assuredly in the majority here in the US.

Thinking and trying to understand why I came to the following hypothesis; That any given religious affiliation actually lumps all other Christian denominations that are not their own, or whose beliefs may differ from theirs, in with the unwashed heathen and, since there are more people who do not believe exactly like they do that those who do then it makes it very easy to see yourself as a downtrodden minority.

Conversely, the agnostic/atheist horde lump all Christian denominations together as do media and the survey takers.

Seek's avatar

Persecution complex is a huge part of Christianity. If you’re not being persecuted you’re not doing it right. “Be in the world and not of the world” and all that nonsense. So if they’re not being marginalized by the populace as a whole, they’ll imagine they’re being marginalized by other Christians.

The church I came from used to preach against other types of Pentecostals. Do you know how far into the Fundie forest you have to get before you reach Pentecostalism anyway? And here we were speaking out against the ALJC church because they allow their pastors to own televisions. And there is another Pentecostal sect that preached against MY former sect because we were allowed to wear dresses above our ankles and sleeves to our elbows.

So you can imagine how high I have to roll my eyes when I hear “Boo hoo, I’m a persecuted Christian” here in America. Because it doesn’t end. If everyone in the country were Christian they would simply invent another reason to feel persecuted.

Seek's avatar

@rojo Exactly like that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Did you read my post above where I mentioned your JW neighbor, your son and atheists not being invited to the 9/11 memorial? You told us all that and more.

So it’s okay for you to complain about those things, but a Christian has a ‘complex’. No need for a bloodbath here, I’m just clarifying the dichotomy.

Seek's avatar

The perception of persecution is a component of the religion.

And note, in this thread, you brought up those things, once again calling me out personally as an example of atheism, despite my repeated requests for you to cease this practice.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I don’t recall you ever asking me to not do anything honestly.

So let me clarify, I am not to say that you’re an atheist or mention anything you’ve ever said in open forum? Even though you didn’t use your @, you were talking with me above were you not?

I actually thought listing those examples of atheists being persecuted was a good and fair thing to do. I’m sorry, I guess I’ll pretend you don’t exist if that’s what you want.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some people have a need to feel persecuted every day.

rojo's avatar

Can’t they just flagellate themselves?

turtlesandbox's avatar

Carnies. They hound and hound and tell all the little children how they are going to be big winners.

They lie.

edit- I think I missed the details of the question. sorry

ETpro's avatar

I’m reading the late and great Christopher Hitchens’ book, god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. In it he provides a storehouse of logical reasons atheists oppose religion when religion oversteps its bounds as personal faith and begins to assert control over others, over healthcare choices, over government, over education, over the dismissal of science in favor of superstition. If you don’t believe virtually all religions—including large areas of the Christian faith today—do these things then I urge you to read his book and look up the references he lists to the atrocities being committed in the name of God in the here and now. We’re not concerned so much with what happened in the dark ages.

I personally know many Christians who are fine, moral people, and who would never dream of supporting the abuses Htichens mentions. But a belief in your god’s perfection and the perfection of his holy book; a belief in an authority that transcends human reason and that is so beyond questioning that believers excuse horrors like natural disasters, children being eaten alive by parasites in poor nations, starvation on a massive scale and say “His ways are higher than our ways.” to shrug it off; such apish belief can be turned by callous priests to destruction at any time. It happened not long ago in the former Yugoslavia. Christians did that. It is happening today in Ireland. Christians are doing that. Catholics are teaching people throughout the developing world that condoms cause AIDS to spread.

With belief in a god that can be imminently cruel and yet called infinitely good, with belief in a god that can never be questioned or doubted, the potential for destructive perversion of faith is always just below the surface. We’ve got fundamentalist Jews, Muslims and Christians all working feverishly to bring on nuclear Armageddon in Jerusalem because each faith thinks they will get everything they want from is and they could care less about the rest of humanity that they will kill. They believe their god will shield them from the horror they bring down by their militarism, even though there are enough nuclear weapons poised to go right now that such a war would wipe out all mankind and most of the other species on Earth and in its seas.

We are concerned for very sound reasons, not just because we are intellectual bullies that enjoy humiliating others for what we consider unfounded beliefs.

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL – I have mentioned on numerous occasions that I am not to be made an example of. If you cannot find a way to talk about the subject of atheism without naming me personally or bringing up my personal anecdotes – especially in conversations in which I am not taking part – I will discuss with the moderators what further action may be taken.

Would it be so hard to reference “children being made to pray in school” as opposed to “Seek’s son”? Honestly.

longgone's avatar

@KNOWITALL “One thing you should understand is that when one person is antagonistic, and gets lurve in the process, it tends to discourage my willingness to be open about how I feel in open forum. There’s been enough of that crap around here and I’m not willing to make a mockery of this subject again.”

You are extremely good at explaining your way of seeing things. I know hardly any theists in real life, so that’s interesting to me. Thanks for always staying so calm. I’m not sure I could do that.

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hominid's avatar

@KNOWITALL – Thanks for your response. I would like to hear more about how Christians think about about Muslims.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Okay, that’s not a problem at all and I apologize if you mentioned that in the past and I forgot or didn’t read it. Of course feel free to discuss with mods if that’s what you want, no worries here.

@jca It wasn’t heated for most of the thread, I’m sorry if you perceive it that way.

@hominid I’m always happy to discuss religion in a positive manner, I find it fascinating and would welcome the opportunity to learn more about Islam!

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JLeslie's avatar

Sea stars and starfish are the same thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was trying to start an argument @JLeslie! You ruint it!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’ve never heard THAT here before, that someone TRIED to start an argument and failed…hahaha, that’s hilarious!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ll try again. Seastars are not real Christians! Star fish are the only true Christians!
That should do it….

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Speaking of pushing agenda…That stupid fucking bill that allows for legal discrimination against gays.

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JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Is that bill real? A friend of mine posted it on facebook. I find it too crazy to believe it can be real. Makes me think of what I have been saying about the media going on and on about gay laws in Russia. Just look at us.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie It’s VERY real. I hate to admit it, but some of the most religious areas are the most homophobic in my experience. It repels their macho nature (women are usually subservient) and is against God laws to them.

The whole thing really bothers me. It’s almost like they see gay people as another species incapable of love.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thought it had to be a hoax too @JLeslie. But it’s real.

hominid's avatar

@KNOWITALL – But it would be reasonable to feel this way about homosexuals as a Christian, right?

Leviticus 18:22
Leviticus 20:13
Corinthians 6:9

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hominid Reasonable, no, understandable based on some sects teachings yes, I’ve heard every argument there is about the Bible versus homosexuals.

For me, and you can call this cherry-picking if you want, but Jesus came to abolish all the old laws. Jesus teachings were about love and compassion.

I’ve also heard that Islam is the same way, very anti-homosexual, to the point a gay man is agraid in a Muslim country. :(

hominid's avatar

Yep. The Koran contains a handful of additional passages condemning homosexuality.

And I meant “reasonable” in the “understandable” sense you described. If I were a Christian, it seems that I would also be forced to see homosexuality in this way. I can’t see any way around it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hominid Yes, the similarities intrigue me.

I have several gay friends and a transgender friend, and none feel welcome in a church and feel unwelcome with other Christians. To me, that is completely against what Jesus would have wanted, based on my interpretation of the bible.

For a transgender to wonder whether I’ll condemn them or love them when I say I’m a Christian, is so very wrong and cruel and against everything I’ve ever learned about loving our neighbors as ourself.

It hurts me very deeply that Christians can say they’re Christians and yet do these horrible things to other children of God. I try not to judge my fellow Christians too harshly because they are probably following the teachings of their church, but I do urge them to read Jesus words and use an open mind to interpret them through a lens of love.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would THE similarities be intriguing @KNOWITALL?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III History between the two.

hominid's avatar

@KNOWITALL – Well, I’m sure glad you have jettisoned much of the bible. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to try to argue you into taking a more literal interpretation of the bible :). But this whole topic fascinates me. I’m as interested in why we believe things as well as what we believe. The exact path from a book that condemns homosexuality to an acceptance of homosexuality is fascinating to me. I’d love to hear more if you’re interested. Anyway, thanks.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hominid Yeah, I eat bacon and speak back to my husband sometimes, too, but it works for us- lol Always willing to talk, thanks for being cool about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well….they have a common history. The Koran and the Old Testement are pretty much the same thing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Is that true? I’ve read the Koran/ Quran but I think I’d like to.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here is a comparison. The two religions claim Abraham as their founder and Adam and Eve as the first humans.

JLeslie's avatar

I take some pride in liberals at least questioning when we see stuff like this. We don’t just grab on to some facebook post or email to be able to be disgusted with the extreme Christian right wingers. I am really really dissapointed this is true. I would assume the majority of Christians do not agree with this sort of law. I am shocked at the chutzpah it takes to propose such a thing, or are these politicians so oblivious to the rest of the country. I used to think this about Michelle Bachmann. She would say things that I guess made sense to her Christian followers, but sounded ridiculous to the rest of us. She interacts with people from all over the country, I could not understand how she could be so ignorant.

I remember once while at work a couple of Christians, I don’t know what sect, came in to prosthelytize. It is not allowed in our store, but they tried anyway. Very quickly I told them they could not do that in the store. A black sales associate of mine said to me after they left, “back in the day Christians used the bible to justify slavery and many awful things, and they still do it today regarding many groups.” I had never thought about it that way until she said it. This is about 15 years ago in NC. I have no idea what religion she was. Before that I would have assumed she was Christian. Assumptions are never reliable though as we know. Maybe she was nothing, maybe she was Muslim, maybe she is Christian, but takes issue with certain Christians? I have no idea, we didn’t discuss it.

thorninmud's avatar

@KNOWITALL I read a book awhile back by Karen Armstrong, a well-known writer on religion. You’d probably like her. She makes the case that a couple of thousand years ago, there was a revolution in the way people thought about religion, and the main consequence was that, for the first time, compassion became the principle at the heart of religion. This happened at roughly the same time period within different cultures, imperfectly replacing older religions with these compassion-based ideologies.

She goes on to say that all of these traditions, as revolutionary as they were at their founding, have lots of superfluous baggage that runs counter to the core principle of compassion. Clinging to this stuff is what has so often made religion a force for harm in the world. She calls on people of all faiths to do a pretty simple thing: reject any aspect of the teaching of your religion that fails the compassion test as being inconsistent with the core truth and not worth keeping.

It sounds like you’ve already made some steps in that direction.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

@thorninmud Sounds like a woman’s movement was on. Makes me wonder if Jesus was a woman.

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