….Agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists….pretty much anybody who’s not them!
‘Good Christians’ often paint themselves into a corner with reality and society. The more Fundamentalist they are, the more numerous, and tighter, the corners.
Churches are not bastions of religious discussion. They are merely echo chambers. Congregations congregate in buildings which are full of people who think exactly like them – no further thought required. The strangely-dressed bellwether at the front says ‘Baaa’, and they all nod and pass the collection plate, eager to be fleeced. There’s a reason that they’re called a flock.
Atheists are happy to be on their own, thinking their own thoughts and making their own decisions. For many Christians, it is not enough that they accept the existence of God, and Christ as their Savior; they must Have Faith, and Believe, to be able to go to Heaven. The mere existence of Atheists, to say nothing of some of their more loudly-held opinions and arguments, undermines that faith and belief, and it scares the Hell into the Fundies.
If someone tells you that they CHOOSE TO BELIEVE – in God, or anything else – they’re full of bullshit, and they’re trying to feed some to you. People believe because they are convinced. They can become convinced, but it’s not controlled by an on/off switch. They can claim that they’re convinced. They can fool others. They can even fool themselves, but if the God that they ’believe’ exists, really does, they’re not going to convince Him. And so, the hatred of, and discrimination against, Atheists begins, to remove all doubts.
I can’t count the number of blog-posts and articles I’ve read, where someone raised in a ‘Good Christian’ home, becomes an Atheist. It seems the more Fundamentalist and Evangelical the household – the more likely it is to happen. Possibly it’s because the mistakes and hypocrisy and fuzzy logic are more apparent, and easier to see.
It is sadly amusing how so many of these poor souls realize and admit that, based on the claims they’ve heard, they find no proof that the God described really exists. Many of them strongly resist calling themselves Atheists, because they’ve been taught that Atheists are evil, nasty and sinful. I’m not evil, nasty, or sinful. I’m a nice person. I can’t be an Atheist! But the Christian families that kick them out, or entire Bible-belt towns who shun them, harass them, and force them to move away, are evil, nasty and sinful.
I’ve been preaching for years about the ego and insecurity that fuels this type of behavior. Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger. You don’t have to blindly believe in My truths, because, while I’m not imaginary, I’m only G.O.D., not God.