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cockswain's avatar

Liberal atheists (or anyone else who cares to respond): Do you find you attack Christianity more frequently than Islam?

Asked by cockswain (15254points) September 12th, 2010

I noticed I tend to attack evangelical thinking regularly and could give two shits about their problems, but at the same time am enraged by anti-Muslim sentiment. As such, I feel I’m being a little hypocritical. Maybe because living in America, it’s because I’ve seen Christianity do more to oppress different faiths and races in my backyard than Islam, but I hate Muslim extremists at least as much as rednecks. Point is, I’ve noticed a lot of liberals and atheists are the first to attack Christians, but put barely any noticeable (at least to me) energy into complaining about the equally stupid and oppressive Islamic rules. Why is this?

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109 Answers

downtide's avatar

If I attack any form of theism, it’s fundamentalism regardless of the specific religion.

cockswain's avatar

Agreed, but which fundamentalist religion do you find you attack more frequently?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Well Christianity has done a lot more damage over the years… but aside from that… It’s generally just that I dislike fundamentalism everywhere as @downtide pointed out. I have to deal with Christian fundamentalism personally. I also will happily defend Christians if they are unjustly attacked (eg All Christians are terrorists!) Which is the real problem I have with what I’m hearing about the Muslim faith, of late.

downtide's avatar

@cockswain I would only be guessing but I would say most likely Christianity because it’s Christian fundamentalism that I encounter most frequently. I find myself defending Islam more often because, contrary to popular belief, not all Muslims are fundamentalists or terrorists.

jaytkay's avatar

Since Christian fundamentalists have real power in the US and fight against the interests of most Americans and the values embodied in the Constitution, I criticize them more.

If I lived in a Muslim country, I would be criticizing the Islamicists more.

cockswain's avatar

“If I lived in a Muslim country, I would be criticizing the Islamicists more.”

Except you’d be killed, tortured, or imprisoned for that. Definitely thankful to not have to worry about that.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t really care to attack. I prefer to try to understand. Since most of the people I’m trying to understand are Christian, I’d have to say that’s where I focus most of my energy.

Carly's avatar

I come in contact with Christians more, mainly because I currently live in the bible-belt.
I rarely meet Muslims in MO, but when I do, they’re very nice and they don’t seem to mind that I’m not very interested in religion (at this moment in my life).

Christians on the other hand tend to flip-out and tell me that I need to be saved. T_T

breedmitch's avatar

Muslims aren’t ringing my buzzer at too early an hour on Saturday morning trying to wittness to me.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

I don’t wake up every morning with a purposeful intention of attacking anyone or anything. Since Christian fundamentalism is in my face about ninety-nine percent of the time, and far more frequently than Islamic fundamentalism, I most often find myself in the position of having to defend my beliefs from theirs. I wholly defend a person’s right to believe or worship as they choose, but if that belief adversely or negatively impacts my own life, I can and do get very vocal in defense. However, if it weren’t for the existence and abundance of extremists, a militant defense wouldn’t even be necessary.

jaytkay's avatar

Except you’d be killed, tortured, or imprisoned for that. Definitely thankful to not have to worry about that

Practices not restricted to Islamic countries. For exampelm, the US has a recent history of killing, torturing and imprisoning innocent people, thanks to our recent “Christian” President and the “Christians” who put him in office.

UScitizen's avatar

Why would you attack any other person’s religion? ... any religon?

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@ jaytkay – “Practices not restricted to Islamic countries. For exampel, the US has a recent history of killing, torturing and imprisoning innocent people, thanks to our recent “Christian” President and the “Christians” who put him in office.”

As opposed to the Christians who helped elect our last Republican President?

cockswain's avatar

@UScitizen because many believers feel they are entitled to be oppressive to non-believers and enlist gov’t support.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Coming from a Catholic background, and self-identifying as an agnostic, I prefer to speak out against attack my own. I expect my counterparts who were raised as Muslims to do the same.

Fundamentalism is dangerous, not Muslims. Christianity is not dangerous, fundamentalists and evangelicals are.

HungryGuy's avatar

I try not to attack God specifically, but I often attack fundamentalists and other religious extremists who say contradictory, stupid, and hateful things in the name of God…

thekoukoureport's avatar

I didn’t leave christianity, christianity left me. How many imams do you know that raped innocent children? Muslims kept alive our knowledge while Christianity destroyed it. Muslims that I have met tend to have a live and let live attitude, while Christians are the most judgemental people I haver ever met(my mom incl.). Which flies directly in the face of Jesus’s teachings.

Tax’em all and let the IRS sort it out.

jaytkay's avatar

As opposed to the Christians who helped elect our last Republican President?

I was referring to our recent President, not the current one.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t attack anyone else’s beliefs.

cockswain's avatar

@marinelife Even when it results in people not being treated fairly?

laureth's avatar

Not attack per se, but criticize, yeah probably. It’s because I tend to notice the most egregious offenses, and because I’m usually for the underdog. (“I comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”) Christianity has gotten awfully comfortable lately trying to run things like science class and my uterus, but when I look at Muslims in this country, I see them getting attacked for their religion and their holy places bombed. That’s not right.

However, I think differently when I see the injustices change. For example, I am deeply disturbed and offended by the way Christians are treated in China which is something I do not see done to Christians in my country. Similarly, I thoroughly condemn Islam when it treats women like this, which doesn’t happen so much for the Muslims I defend in my country.

If the shoe were on the other foot, so would be my sympathy.

phoebusg's avatar

Great question, my answer has already been typed but thanks to all.
I’ll add some to the statistic however – I “attack” any form of theism but only passively. My point of view is similar to @wundayatta ‘s – I try to reach an understanding and find explanations for the religions and ways of thinking they create.

Ron_C's avatar

I am an equal opportunity anti-theist. I find any philosophical belief that purports to be the “truth” and feels free to condemn any other philosophy. I find it particularly disagreeable that the religions feel free to attack and sometimes hill people of the same religion but for a single phrase or two in their “Holy” book.

By the way any religion that destroys art or literature because it is deemed blasphemous is particularly contemptible.

jerv's avatar

@phoebusg I generally do too, except that I’ve noticed most fundies do not think. Seriously, they just follow programming and most are incapable of meaningful dialogue as they repeat their dogma while totally ignoring any form of external stimuli.

cockswain's avatar

@phoebusg @jerv I feel, as a kid born into a Catholic family, I totally understand their reasoning. But what good does that do if they continue to hate fags after I’ve heard their rationale?

Trillian's avatar

I’ve noticed way more attacks on fundamentalist Christians and christianity in general on the grounds that Christians believe in something that is not true. Atheists take a very “I’m superior to you because I don’t believe the fairy tale that you do.” attitude. I see it here enough that I don’t even try to engage in my own philosophy debate which is Jungian.
I think that the cause is familiarity with Christianity. Someone at the beginning said that Christianity has done more damage over the years, but this is really not true. Any group that continues to keep women in uneducated ignorance and allows them to be bought and sold like property and stoned when they become inconvenint has to be doing a significant amount of damage. I think that we are simply not aware on a day to day basis like we are with the funamentalist Christians who, as so succinctly pointetd out, are in your face all the time.
I advised to someone else a week or so ago in another thread; Seek first to understand. (Covey, S.) If you uderstand why your brother acts in a certain way, whether or no you would act that way yourself, you are a lot further along towards tolerance and mutual understandingand acceptance.

Ron_C's avatar

@Trillian ” Any group that continues to keep women in uneducated ignorance and allows them to be bought and sold like property and stoned when they become inconvenient has to be doing a significant amount of damage. ” I am sure that you are aware that with very few exceptions that was the policy of most christians also. Sure the Muslims are more blatant because they are stuck in the middle ages. Wrong is wrong and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Christian, Muslim, or Jewish wrong.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think it’s issue – dependent for me. When people, for religious reasons, try to stick Creationism into schools, keep abortion away from women, and provide our teens with false information about sex, I end up criticizing Christians for what seems like a non-stop period of time. However, when I hear about Shariah laws on the rise, honor killings, FGM (as it connects to certain cultures where people are Muslim), etc. – I get an intense hatred for men who interpret Islam in the way that they do. I have no need for religion and I believe in people’s rights to have one but I absolutely detest when people act and affect policy because of what they perceive is the right thing to do because of that religion. There are sane people in all religions, thankfully and I’ve had the honor of interacting with many. I will say, as I’ve done before, I have met many more Muslims with whom I was able to have an intelligent conversation about religion where both sides were challenged and learned from one another than I ever have had with anyone Christian. Post 9–11 Islamophobia angers me to no end, btw.

muppetish's avatar

I don’t attack other religions. I defend myself against them. Will I ever attack every individual member of any religion? No. That’s ridiculous. But I do harbor specific tiffs with most religions.

Based on where I grew up / currently live, I have come into contact with far more members of some sect of Christianity than any other religion. I respect their right to practice whatever religion they choose, but if (and when) they cross that boundary by pushing their beliefs onto me… well, I’m not going to stand there and say nothing. The reason I have more unpleasant things to say about Christianity is because of these experiences, the conversations I’ve been subjected to.

I have met Muslims who were quite radical in their beliefs. I have met Muslims who kept their religion to themselves and were peaceful and respectful of those around them. I have never been preached to by a Hindu. I have never been in a confrontation with a Wiccan.

There are surely fundamentalists in most theistic religions. The most vocal and active (on high levels and low levels) tends to get the worst reputation.

ETpro's avatar

I don’t make a habit of attacking anyone’s religion unless they decide they need to impose it on me or shape the laws of my land to fit their religious precepts. I would go ballistic if Islamist sought to impose Sharia law on my city, state or country. If I am guilty of debating Christians more about imposing their laws and tearing down the Constitutional separation of church and state (and I am guilty of that) it is because that happens to be the religion constantly crowing for the Talibanization of America. It is certainly not because I am inherently more supportive of the Muslim religion than the Christian faith.

cockswain's avatar

@ETpro “I don’t make a habit of attacking anyone’s religion unless they decide they need to impose it on me or shape the laws of my land to fit their religious precepts.”

Which means it is a constant habit?

Corey_D's avatar

Living in America I naturally come across Christianity more often. If I criticize Christianity more it is for that reason. I do not hold anything back when it comes to other religions.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Same here. I only go after those who come after me and my lifestyle. In other words…

Ron_C's avatar

@jerv Excellent Poster! I’d print it out and put it on my company bulletin board but I got sent home the last time.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Thanks for that like. What a compelling way to put it!

DominicX's avatar

It does seem to be a stereotype that liberals hate Christianity and love Islam. I was going to guess that it’s just because Christianity is the primary religion in the United States and it’s what people have to deal with more often and on a more personal level.

I also assume some of this derives from the extreme “tolerance” that people try to have; “it’s just their culture” is the excuse for everything these days. Islam is seen as a foreign culture that we should respect, but Christianity is at home and doesn’t get seen in the same way and thus doesn’t get the same respect.

It could also just be a tendency to become jaded and resentful toward Western society in general. Western society is seen as corrupt and “wrong” in general and thus Islam, being Eastern, is not seen that way.

cockswain's avatar

@DominicX Well said. I think that’s the crux of what caused me to ask the question. In the quest to be more fair and tolerant, I’ve ended up at times being harsher towards contemporary Christianity when there’s just as much to be pissed about regarding Islam. I just want to be an equal opportunity hater.

Trillian's avatar

@Ron_C ”...few exceptions that was the policy of most christians also…” was being the key word in that sentence.
I do not deny that Christians commit all sorts of nonsense in the name of their religion today. The things I mentioned about Muslims are not among them. I thought we were confining ourselves to current issues and acts. If not, I guess we can trot out the inquisition as well, and witch burning, not to mention killing Native Americans and…Acccch! Really too long of a list. In that case, since we’re going back to the beginning of recorded history, but only counting the evidence against Christians, yes, they are horribly worse than anything the Muslim religion did or does.

jaytkay's avatar

It is a false dichotomy that if you criticize Christians you must be pro-Taliban/Islam/Osama bin Laden/terrorist and anti-American.

Really. really bad logic Also very, very common.

Ron_C's avatar

@Trillian I was just pointing out that any religion with inferiority issues and power makes things dangerous. On another post I suggested that welcoming Muslim immigration and limiting the extreme parts of the religion is a great American tradition.

We have a preponderance of Christians so they get the major criticisms. Muslims in Detroit, for instance are a growing minority and are likely to receive abundant criticism when they act out. Democracy is a great equalizer, any religion that seeks to impose itself on non-believers needs to be immediately smacked down.

cockswain's avatar

@jaytkay And similarly if you stick up for the rights of Muslims, you must be anti-American.

Thammuz's avatar

I attack the one that is the topic of the discussion.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The bottom line to me is this: I don’t care what you believe. You can believe in a white guy hanging out on fluffy clouds, 72 of anything ecstatically giving you a beej when you die, spaghetti monsters, celestial cubes, the man in the grass with a bullet in his ass, or Bob, even; if you’re hurting people, killing people, or otherwise fucking with people looking to control their behaviour because they don’t have the same beliefs as you, or if your religion is a proselytizing, “you aren’t going to heaven unless you convert the entire world” BS, then I’m against you, especially if the other person’s beliefs aren’t harming anyone else. As far as I’m concerned, Pat Robertson and bin Laden are the same breed of overcontrolling fucknut because they are too insecure to live in a world where everyone isn’t like them. Narcissistic whack-jobs, the lot of them.

I’ll tell you, growing up with a fundy has given me a lot of insight into people who writ their insecurity large, and use hard-core religion as a cover for their own fears and disgust at being human and the vagaries inherent of that state. Everything isn’t black and white or cut-and-dried, and that’s what these people can’t abide or live with. Well. Sorry. Everyone isn’t so insecure and the fundy types have no right to tell me how to live, as much as they would like to think they do. How dare they try to bomb the mote from my eye when they’ve got fucking sequoias in their own?

thekoukoureport's avatar

Why does liberal always come into the conversation. Is there no conservative that can think for themselves. Ya know free will and all!

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Rarebear's avatar

I know as many conservative atheists as I do liberal atheists.

cockswain's avatar

@thekoukoureport You know how I wrote in the question ”(or anyone else who cares to respond)”? I meant if you have something intelligent to add.

thekoukoureport's avatar

@cockswain yes but you singled out a particular political party. By saying liberal you inferred that this is only for liberals to answer. So by your question you are suggesting that only liberals have this quality. The fact that you said everyone else in parenthesis is irrelevant. so an athiest could only be liberal.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
cockswain's avatar

Fair enough. I singled out that group because I didn’t want to get noise from those who are actually anti-Muslim.

jerv's avatar

@cockswain This isn’t Sodahead; people here are generally more reasonable.

cockswain's avatar

I don’t know what Sodahead is, but you’re right, I could probably have gotten away without putting the caveat in the question.

HungryGuy's avatar

Sodahead is a Q&A site populated mostly by right-wing wingnuts…

soarwing11's avatar

I definitely attack Christianity more than Islam. Not because Christianity is more ridiculous or anything… or that I’m especially enraged about anti-Islamic sentiment, but because in my neck of the woods, Christianity is by far the most popular ridiculousness. However, I think that attacking theism, in general, is the most satisfying because I don’t get bogged down into this or that dogma, creed, or set of magic tricks.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Personally, I argue with theism as an abstract concept, because my thoughts on the matter can usually be generalised to most religious/spiritual beliefs.

Jabe73's avatar

I’m not liberal or atheist but I will answer this from my own experiences. I don’t run into muslims too often but the few times I did they seemed pretty cool. I deal with Christians much more. Most Evangelicals and Jehovah’s Witnesses usually condemn my spiritual beliefs (many even personally gave me a hard time) so I can see the point of this question. I do not care for people threatening my salvation. This is what I deal with more from fundamentalists and JW’s.

ETpro's avatar

aprilsimnel Great rant. Great Answer.

Trillian's avatar

@thekoukoureport Your self esteem must be fragile indeed if it really took a hit by my legitimate question. College? Are you under the impression that one does not learn grammar and punctuation until college? I learned question marks and where they go in second grade. In a public school.

delirium's avatar

I only bite when my cardinal (no pun intended) rule(s) is/are broken.
I will respect your faith as long as you keep it out of my schools, off my body, and out of my government.
Violent extremists have always existed and recognizing them gives them more power. They are rare, even amongst fundamentalists and I avoid placing blame on those who, although part of the same overall group, are not perpetrating or condoning those actions themselves.

Christianity breaks and threatens my cardinal rule more often and therefore receives more criticism.
I an, however, seriously pissed that my school is spending my tuition to build a prayer room for the Muslim students and often express my dissatisfaction with the decision.

plethora's avatar

I’ve been a Christian, and a conservative Christian, for a good part of my life, and I’m just wondering where you guys are meeting all the characters you are talking about on this thread. The only posts that make any sense to me are the ones by @laureth and @Trillian . And I’ll “second” the observation that with the term atheist goes an incredibly superior attitude about not believing in any theist “fairy tales”. Trust me, folks, that “fairy tale” tag applies equally to every atheist.

The little band that fled England in the Mayflower had a document called the Mayflower Compact. That document stated clearly that they were fleeing religious persecution (by a state established religion, which is why our constitution ended up with a prohibition against state established religions, not a “separation of church and state”) and that they fully intended to establish, as far as within their power, a nation based upon Biblical precepts.

Now a few hundred years have passed and whether you think its a great idea or not, this whole nation was started by people who held a very high view of the Bible and Christianity, and they were not ignorant people.

Two additional points because I see it so much on here. The Crusades were not offensive military operations to conquer the world. They were defensive operations to protect or retake lands that had fallen to offensive Islamic military campaigns.

Last, if you’re bitching about the Jehovahs Witnesses, know that the JWs are a cult. They are in no way, shape or form Christian.

This is not a blast. I would really like to be enlightened about the things I appear to be missing on here.

delirium's avatar

Note: This isn’t a christian nation and some of the founding fathers were, in fact, fairly obvious about being atheists.

ETpro's avatar

@plethora Here we go. First, you lump all atheists together as having “an incredibly superior attitude” and then you falsely state that the Founding Fathers meant to create a Christian nation. That’s the sort of stuff I won’t abide.

Thomas Jefferson ought to have known a thing or two about what the Founding Fathers meant by the Establishment Clause. In letters explaining it to his friends, he gave us the term, “A wall of separation between church and state.”

The colonists who came her to escape religious persecution only to set up their own brand of it in place of what their home country had made a terrible mess of running things. Many of our Founding Fathers were deists, and they were well aware of what a disaster colonies with state religions were. They had no intention of making the US a Christian nation. Had they intended to, it seems reasonable to expect that they would have included the word “God” and “Christian” (just to be clear on which god) somewhere in the Constitution or its Amendments.

jerv's avatar

I concur. Saying that you have no idea where we “meet those characters” and then, in the same breath, going on about “superior attitude” is a bit odd. It makes me think that some people never look in the mirror.

@plethora You raise some good points, but the way you did so made me laugh. Choose your words a little better unless you are actually here for comic relief.

plethora's avatar

@ETpro Don’t think I even referenced the Founding Fathers, only the Mayflower group, the earliest settlors, and their intentions. Did not reference a “Christian nation”, just to be clear. But will note the reference to God in the founding documents (and in every state constitution). Yes, Jefferson did mention that in a letter, and that was the first mention of it. It was not in the official documents. Phrases in a letter are written much more casually than phrases in documents of such import as the Constitution. The weight of the meaning would go to the official document, not Jefferson’s letter. I hardly think that Jefferson, in his letter, would be raising an entirely new concept that was not supported by the constitution. The interpretation of his wording would have to be in line with the wording of the constitution, “wall of separation” meaning “separation of the state from any role whatsoever in establishing a state church”.

From which follows no establishment of a Christian nation in the official documents. You must remember that at that time, the population was small and fairly homogenous, and primarily Christian of whatever ilk.

@jerv My reference to a “superior attitude” referred back to the post by @Trillion which mentioned that. I agree with his post. Mmmm….sorry for the offense. “Choosing words” would be good for both of us.

Thammuz's avatar

@plethora You’re wrong. And i can prove it. The eleventh paragraph of the Treaty of Tripoli, which i’m sure you know about and just chose to ignore, openly states that your country is NOT based on christianity or any other religion.

Also your comment: “And I’ll “second” the observation that with the term atheist goes an incredibly superior attitude about not believing in any theist “fairy tales”. Trust me, folks, that “fairy tale” tag applies equally to every atheist.” while not being unexpected in the slightest, is just the last of a long series of misrepresentations, due in part to the behaviour of some more known atheists.

Atheism means not believing in god. Period. Nothing more nothing less. Whatever the reason, whatever the attitude. One can even be an atheist and not know the first thing about science, like the Piraha people Daniel Everett wrote about.

Therefore, even if you happen to think that science is comprised of fairy tales, in which case i suggest you stop being a hypocrite, get off the internet, stop using your refrigerator, your oven, your bathroom and modern medicine, you can’t consider atheism as following fairy tales of some other brand. There are people who only believe what they see, there is one entire, even though small, people who does, and that’s more than enough to kill your statement.

Unless you think the entire sensible world is a fairly tale too and, if that’s the case, i suggest you refrain from dodging the next car that comes speeding towards you, just out of consistency.

plethora's avatar

@Thammuz Oh, my mistake

cockswain's avatar

@plethora Have you noticed a trend that when you post on this or similar topics, people thoroughly disagree with you because of your logic and facts? Ever wonder why that happens? Maybe stick to other threads. The only contribution you make is you force people to reiterate their stance.

“I’m just wondering where you guys are meeting all the characters you are talking about on this thread.” Oh the irony.

thekoukoureport's avatar

I’m pretty sure that the Puritans did not escape persecution but where in fact thrown out of the country for their whacked out beliefs.

Jabe73's avatar

@plethora Who is anyone to say which religion is a cult. Technically I can call any religious belief system a cult. Evangelicals are quick to disrespect other belief systems (including mine) yes that is ok. Well I reserve my right to call Evangelicalism a cult as well (just a bigger one). Both Evangelicals and the Jehovah’s Witnesses “cult” do this “my way or hell” baloney. Like I said in a previous thread, religious tolerance is a pipedream. This is why I left religion altogether.

soarwing11's avatar

@plethora: Even if the founders wanted this to be a Super-Dooper Christian country – and named it “Christland”, it doesn’t make the supernatural claims in the Bible true. Further, about the only striking difference between a cult and a more popular religion is how much real estate and money is involved. And like Thammuz mentioned, atheism means not believing in God or gods. It’s very simple.

Trillian's avatar

This thread is being derailed. The question was whether or not liberals attacked Christianity more than Islam and why. And I think it was mostly directed at those who are vocal in their attacks on Christians, and there are plenty on this site who do just that. As I stated in my first post, the atheists who attack Christianity frequently have a superior attitude believing that they are above those who believe something that an atheist does not.
Someone sidetracked in the very next response about how Christians do stuff just as bad as muslims.
Not the point of the post. Point was – more attacks on Christians. Someone else said ”...
false dichotomy that if you criticize Christians you must be pro-Taliban/Islam/Osama bin Laden/terrorist and anti-American.” Again, not the question. It seems that what we have here is a group of people who do attack Christianity based on some fundamentalist Christians who make the nmjority of good Christian people look bad. These same people protest attacks on Islam by stating that the greater proportion of Muslims are good people and should not be judged on the basis of a few extremists. Does that not sound even a tiny bit familiar to anyone?
The thing is, we do not live in an Islamic country, so we are not exposed to the constant barrage of negative actions perpetrated by the Taliban. We all might have a better idea about what to complain about if we had it in our faces on a daily basis. We do get a steady diet of Christian fundamentalism, so we naturally have a more negative view of that.
So if you attack Christianity more than you do Islam, you are not alone. In fact on this site, you are among friends. But I would urge you to reconsider your stance if you use “in-your-face” christians or the over the top Christians as your reasoning for attacking their beliefs. If you look at the numbers of Christans and Islamists, then look at the number of fanatics or extremists in each group, I wonder what the ratio would be. And for those who say that you don’t have a problem with Islam because the nuts are not reprsentative of the entire group, I say that the same applies to Christianity.

ETpro's avatar

@Trillian Getting back to the topic then, I think Christian beliefs are pretty silly and Islam’s beliefs are even a bit sillier. Should I begin praying to a God I don’t believe exists that he restrain some Muslim extremist cleric from putting out a Fatwa on me?

liminal's avatar

I am in the @laureth camp on this one. In addition to the underdog, I am tend to give my attention to the ones who are declaring exclusive ownership of truth.

Jabe73's avatar

@Trillian I do not know who you were referring to but I did answer the question in the best way I could. The question was “why do liberals seem to attack Christianity over Islam”. Probally because most here on this thread deal with and are more familiar with Christianity over Islam. By pointing out the “cult” term used above I think I pointed out what leads to the answer of the original intent of this question.

You said And for those who say that you don’t have a problem with Islam because the nuts are not reprsentative of the entire group, I say that the same applies to Christianity. Yes I agree with this statement. I was just pointing out reasons why it seems many liberals do seem to attack Christianity more than Islam (which was the real question). It had nothing to do with attacking an entire religion or everyone that practices it but the way certain individuals carry out their beliefs. When atheists (and others) are consistantly threatened with “eternal hell” yes more liberal atheists will (justifiably so) will tend to be more ticked with many Christians since they personally deal with them more. This is what most atheist (many former Christians themselves) were exposed to.

When Muslim extremists do bad things (becauses most do not deal with them as much) it is usually tied by many liberal atheists as “those few extremists” rather than all of Islam itself. The Quran (what little I know abou it) is actually very respectful (for the most part) of women. Women are only required to dress modestly. It is the individual religious theocracies and governments themselves that require women dress to hide their entire bodies and the oppressive laws against women. It is all about what people are more exposed to. Attitudes in many western countries may start to change however as more Muslims migrate to secular countries. This attitude about Muslims (especially if the majority do not stand up to the fundamentalists) may start to change drastically as more Muslims start to migrate to more liberal secular western countries. There is probally a fear factor from many liberals not to offend Islam in any way because of all the violence by Muslim extremists (even over the most simple statements or actions). A fundy Christian at the worst will just react by saying “you are going to hell for eternity”. Both the bible and Quran contain peaceful messages mixed with many violent ones. The answer to this question is both exposure and fear.

Trillian's avatar

@Jabe73 I agree. The degree of exposure is also a matter of close vs remote. It’s different when you can walk up to and talk to a fundamealist Christian yammering about abortions or whatever, and only hearing on BBC news about some Islamic fundamentalist stonings or beheadings. It’s kind of far away and not real.
@ETpro Yeesh. I hope that won’t be necessary. I prefer not to attack any religion, I’ve stated that before. And addressing fundamentalists of any stripe, to me, should not be about religion, because what they preach and live is against the spirit of said religions. If I comment about fundamentalists, my remarks are confned to the funametalist extreme view, not the entire religion. @Quingu can spout Old Testament all day and say that’s why Christians are wrong, yadda yadda yada. We all know that Christians today go by New Testament law and those who use Old Testament as a reason for their vitriol are just dead wrong and looking for an excuse for their hatred. (I mean Christians, not @Quingu) The problem with many Christians, I’m sorry to say, is a lack of education and understanding of the bible. This is a faililng of several levels and unfortunately adds to the bad name that Christians have gotten.

plethora's avatar

Have you noticed a trend that when you post on this or similar topics, people thoroughly disagree with you because of your logic and facts? Ever wonder why that happens?

Ya know @cockswain I’ve noticed exactly that. How perceptive of you to mention it. Christianity, in its various manifestations, deserves plenty of criticism. But it would be nice if it came from people who had the barest understanding of Christian beliefs. The blind ignorance on this particular subject on this site is nothing short of breathtaking.

Thammuz's avatar

@plethora But it would be nice if it came from people who had the barest understanding of Christian beliefs.

The day you’ll all agree on what is “christian” and what isn’t, give me a call. Saying “I’m christian” by now only means that you think you follow jesus. How, why and what it entails, are all left as an exercise for the listener.

I know you will tell me “no, because christians believe this and that”, to which i preemptively reply that i could most likely find a self appointed christian who disagrees, practically running headfirst in a no true scotsman fallacy.

So let’s avoid the next part if you don’t actually have a solid list of beliefs shared by all christians that don’t entail thinking that jesus was so fucking dandy, but instead focus on morals, ethics and whatnot.

soarwing11's avatar

@plethora: Asserting that there is “blind ignorance” on this particular subject, on this site, in this node, is not the same thing as demonstrating the alleged ignorance with evidence. Just saying.

Ron_C's avatar

@Thammuz good point. If Christians can’t agree on what makes them christians, how can us innocent bystanders decide. To me, the differences between the multitude of christian beliefs and philosophy are a blur. It seems that during the reformation, a slight disagreement in phrasing could get you burned at the stake.

Even today, Baptists don’t like Catholics and everybody seems to hate Mormons. To me they are all the same. So along with Thammuz, I am awaiting a clarification of what a TRUE CHRISTIAN believes.

thekoukoureport's avatar

The intrusive nature of religion is what brings about this rabid response. Christianity has forever intruded on our life in ways we may never fully realize. with education has come doubt and with doubt one side begins to attack a belief system of the other side. Which like a cat in the corner will fight to the death rather than allow you to discredit their belief system. So while the world was dark, The christians controlled most of the white world. When the light came on people began to realize that they control their own destiny and quickly seperated (4–500 years) government from religion.

So as we become more and more enlightend to the hypocrisy of religion we are more and more willing to attack.

Tax em all and let the IRS sort them out

ETpro's avatar

@plethora I thin @Thammuz nailed it. Since there is no agreed definition of “True Christian” it is rather silly to expect everyone here ot be an expert on an undefined term. I can only assume that your real meaning is that those you encounter here do not share your exact belief system, and are therefore obviously all extremely ill informed. It is exactly that sort of religious pomposity that draws my ire with Christians and Muslims and any other isms you car e to list.

cockswain's avatar

What I’m taking as the general answer to my question is that most of us agree we condemn all forms of fundamentalism, Christian, Muslim, or anything else. We notice we go after Christianity more because it is closer to where we live. We stick up for Muslims that aren’t fundamentalists because there is no reason they should have their rights violated by the ignorant.

I liked the responses, thanks to all. Even when @plethora rears his ugly head on these threads, it usually stimulates far more responses than if he hadn’t. I usually learn something new in those responses as well, so it all works out. Thinking and writing are always good things.

jerv's avatar

@cockswain @ETpro Too true…

@plethora “But it would be nice if it came from people who had the barest understanding of Christian beliefs.”
What I find odd is that many of the critics have read at least as much of the Bible (if not more) than many of the people thumping on said Bible, and often get into parsing it’s syntax and thinking about it as opposed to merely accepting it at face value without thought. Definitely enough to have at least a “barest understanding”, and often considerably more.

delirium's avatar

Yeah, I have to agree with @jerv. Quite a few atheists are theologians by practice and learned as much as they could stand before discrediting anything.

I personally learned extensively about all the main religions and then eventually realized that secular humanism made the most sense.


@plethora But it would be nice if it came from people who had the barest understanding of Christian beliefs. The blind ignorance on this particular subject on this site is nothing short of breathtaking.
I must say I agree with you 100%. I don’t think all of the folks on this thread that are denouncing Christianity, do it for the reasons they try to make us believe. I think there are many selfish reason that they claim there is no “God”, including something as shallow as, it is not macho to say “I believe in God”.
Unfortunately you become their whipping boy in the process of trying to convince themselves and perhaps others of the belief there is no belief. In fact in saying “I don’t believe in God, is saying there is a God, I just don’t believe in him.
I am sorry you have to endure the nastiness that these atheist, liberal, whatever they call themselves, delivered to you on this thread.
In order to attack something or someone, one must know exactly what they are attacking and why, in order for it to have a without a doubt purpose.


@jerv @cockswain This isn’t Sodahead; people here are generally more reasonable.
I am thinking I might want to know more about this Sodahead site.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
laureth's avatar

(That Koran thing is bunk, by the way.)

jerv's avatar

@RANGIEBABY If you seriously believe that Obama is a Muslim then that raises a few questions about what other falsehoods you believe. You are also ignoring the long list of things that the Bible lists as offenses worthy of death…or are you saying that you want to kill over two-thirds of humanity for not being Christian?


@laureth I said he wanted to take oath on the Qur’an, not that he did.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)

@jerv So, I take it that you know for a FACT that he is not a Muslim. That is very interesting. What is false to you, may not be false to another. If you have written a book on falsehoods, I would like to know the name of it.
I do not ignore what the Bible says. Where did I indicate I wanted to kill anyone? I find it positively unbelievable how you comprehend what someone has written. I find it very difficult to have a conversation with someone that inserts their own words or ideas, in what I have said.

jerv's avatar

@RANGIEBABY The feeling is mutual; it’s hard to have a decent conversation with someone who seems to be divorced from reality and facts, preferring their own ideology over evidence. You are entitled to your opinion over whether or not he is a good president as that is subjective, but spewing stuff that is provably false is a quick way to lose credibility.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
laureth's avatar

@RANGIEBABY – How do you know what he “wanted” to take the oath upon? Maybe he wanted to take the oath of office on a hot fudge sundae, we don’t know. (How do you know that your so called facts are truly facts? Just because you say something, does not make it so.)

However, it does seem like a very plausible lie that the Right would create, especially since that’s where the whole “Obama is a Muslim” thing came from. How odd that he would be a member of a church, and even take the oath on his own personal Bible, but somehow people “know” in his secret heart of hearts that he would have preferred a Qur’an.

Thammuz's avatar

@RANGIEBABY To my credit at least i didn’t say jesus was a fucking fraud.

Anyway, if you can’t get past the presentation to get to the content of an argument, i assure you that the feeling is mutual.


@laureth Sorry, I may be consufusing him with another politician. My bad.


@Thammuz Sorry, I can’t give your credit for any remarks you seem to be making about Jesus.
I did get to the content of the question, or did you not read it?
Sorry for the use of “tiny man” since I really don’t know how big he really is. Maybe he is a really big man.
Why did you not comment on my answer to the question? Or is it more fun to attack me along with your liberal supporters?


@Thammuz As a Christian, I would really like to know, just who you think Jesus is. If you don’t mind my asking. At least you must think he is/was somebody if you refer to him To my credit at least i didn’t say jesus was a fucking fraud. in this manner.

MissAnthrope's avatar

[Mod Says:] Flame off, folks.

Thammuz's avatar

@RANGIEBABY I thought i wasn’t worth your time.

I did get to the content of the question, or did you not read it?
I meant MY argument, the one i directed to you. Your comment sounded a lot like “i stopped reading here” so i assumed you did.

What i said is that you agreed with @plethora.

If you agree with plethora and think we don’t know jack shit about what being christian means then enlighten us:

Give us a set of beliefs that is shared by ALL christians, and i mean ALL of them, that doesn’t concern jesus (meaning that i want the part of the set of beliefs that doesn’t concern jesus, i want the ethics/morality part, you know, the actually important part).

And i’m being generous because if i wanted to win by default i could ask you to produce the jesus part too.

If you can’t produce this set of beliefs, then there is nothing to know about christianity, there is to know about your particular brand of beliefs stringed together with pritt-stick and spit, which may or may not borrow heavily from the bible. don’t think i forgot the other parts of my argument, i just put them on the back burner for now

At least you must think he is/was somebody if you refer to him in this manner
Actually no, i don’t have to think he was somebody to refer to him like that. I can say “harry potter was a fucking fraud” without actually believing he existed, it’s called working in context. If i were to discuss the content of the bible in itself i’d do so in its own context, if i had to discuss its truthfulness i’d do so in reality’s context. As for what i think he was:

As a Christian, I would really like to know, just who you think Jesus is.
I think jesus was a guy whose deeds, much like elvis’ skill in bed, have been vastly overblown by a group of hardcore fans that happend to have more power than the average joe.

The fact that no roman text talks about jesus until two hundred years after his supposed death, and even then only talks about christians and not him specifically, speaks volumes about how important he really was to the world at large. The fact that jewish and arab texts don’t acknowledge his miracles, even though they came from peoples with vastly similar belief structures, doesn’t look good either.

If you don’t mind my asking.
I never mind people asking, what i mind is people disregarding the answer. Don’t make me mind, please.

One last precisation: I’m not a liberal.

For two reasons: a) i reject the US’s stupid fucking political labeling system. and b) I’m an anarchist. To me, any politcal label can not apply, because i think politics in general are a zero sum game where the people always gets the minus and the poitician always gets the plus. If you’re interested i will expand on what i think, but i will do so in PMs, in order not to derail the debate any further.


@thekoukoureport Why does liberal always come into the conversation.
Because that was the question.


@Thammuz I will answer in PM also.

iamthemob's avatar

I think that the problem that arises with Christianity (especially EVANGELICAL Christianity) is that the New Testament was meant, in many ways, to break the hierarchical structure and insular rigidity of the Hebrew faith, so that God became of all the people (both in terms of who would spread his message and who would receive his message) and not just the chosen people.

This means that much of the message built into the New Testament is both that (1) everyone deserves saving, and (2) everyone can work to save souls, and that was Christ’s most important work. So being a good Christian means both following his example in terms of how he lived as much as it means converting souls so they don’t end up suffering. It is not, therefore, a divine right to spread the word – it is a divine duty.

I’m not sure what the Islamic take is. But the majority of the country is Christian, and therefore that is the message that we get assaulted with much of the time.

In terms of feeling like a hypocrite – WHY!?!? Christians are not Christianity, Christianity is not the Bible, Muslims are not Islam, and extremists I’m not really sure are even people in the end (they seem like a bunch of crazy stuffed into skin with a bunch of agenda). Attacking the premises of Christian belief is something that will just happen more often because of where we live and the nature of the Christian drive to convert. But anti-Muslim sentiment is based on a connection made between Islam, extremism, and 9/11. For me, the reason why I’m enraged is that (1) the targets end up being innocent, but more (2) it shows how the message about what 9/11 has been distorted.

I think that brings us back on thread, right?

basstrom188's avatar

If you want to hear someone attacking Islam you ought to go onto YouTube and listen to Pat Condell. He is an ex-Catholic born in Ireland living in England. When he is not attacking the Moslems he vents his spleen on the Catholic church. I used to agree with him but now I am not so sure because he become such an extreme militant atheist.

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