Standing up for Atheists

I don’t know why this struck me as so profound, but I can’t stop coming back to this conversation. This is a post by a student I know named Katie on her MySpace blog. Below it are the comments from her friends and from me.

I think part of the reason this strikes a cord with me is that I really want to be a youth group where atheists feel free to come and share their views and know that even though we may not agree with them, we love them and will accept them just the way they are. I want to be a church where honest dialog replaces judgment. I want to be a church where everyone feels like they are wanted and loved.

Katie’s post really brings up a big point, that most of the Christians that she comes in contact with don’t accept her. That has to change. We have to stop living like us against them and start loving people like Jesus did. Anyway, I will stop preaching here is the post.

I was just sitting here reading some of those little announcement things and I just couldn’t help but rolling my eyes at some of them. I’m just going to warn in advance that this might offend some people. You don’t have to agree with me, just hear my point of view…

The only things people post are surveys, chain letters, and religion stuff. All are equally annoying. However, the religion things really make me think.

So I opened one announcement labeled "makes you wonder" or whatever, because I was curious. It was about how people have to "stand up" to be a Christian, when in reality, you don’t. Remember, this is all coming from an atheist, but think about it. I tell people I’m not a Christian and they automatically think I’m a bad person. I’m really not, I pretty much have the same moral values as Christians, but I don’t do it for religion, I do it to better myself. So who really has to stand up? Me. I have to convince people that I don’t worship Satan or hate Christians or burn down churches.

So, what is it that Christians have to stand up for? They are the majority, and almost all U.S. laws are created around Christianity. So wouldn’t it be more embarrassing to be a non-Christian?

Maybe I’m wrong. It just seems that way to me.

Jessica’s Comment

True that. True that. I just don’t like to get in the whole religious talking thing, Cause if you ain’t what they want you to be, then you are wrong. yeah. I love you chick. And no, you are not a bad person at all…

Jeremy’s Comments

I agree with that 100%, only to me it is not confusing at all. Religion has become more of a way to control people rather than to better them. You are right about once someone hears that you aren’t a Christian they instantly think that you are a bad person. What a stupid stereotype. Another thing that gets to me are the people who sell religion…you don’t see me going around trying to turn everyone away from what they believe/don’t believe in. It really annoys me sometimes…

My Comments

You guys hit on exactly what is wrong with religion. Of course on the outside it might look like my job is religion and trying to sell people on what I believe, but that is just another stereotype. Really, I am all about a real, honest relationship with God. I know that sounds a bit weird, and I don’t know much about your life, but I know that many times in my life God has shown himself to be real. I’m not out to change what you believe or try to convince you to follow some different set of rules. I just know that in my life, I couldn’t survive without God, and I want to let everyone know how amazing He is.

As for Christians, "standing up" in internet stuff it just makes me laugh. It is very easy to "take a stand" and post something online. It is another thing entirely to actually love other the way that Jesus did. It is easy to hit reply on MS, but it is much harder to get up at lunch and sit with someone who is alone. I believe when Christians really begin to "stand up" and start loving like Jesus loved we will see a major difference in this world.

I just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone in thinking those things are silly, and just like all people who call themselves atheist aren’t Satan worshipers all people who call themselves Christians aren’t closed minded bigots. Anyway, I loved your post and would be interested in hearing more of your take on Christians, God, and the whole religion thing.


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