Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Charlotte Allen Anti-Atheist Editorial In LA Times
A couple of days ago the Los Angeles Times released an anti-atheist rant by Charlotte Allen that clearly shows the lack of understanding many religious people have regarding atheism.
Charlotte Allen is bored of atheists? We're bored of the standard Christian arguments and hate speech - there's nothing new under the sun there.
Clearly Allen has apparently never visited a discussion board where atheists and theists debate with her insistence that "few of them [atheists] are interested in making serious metaphysical or epistemological arguments against God's existence, or in taking on the serious arguments that theologians have made attempting to reconcile, say, God's omniscience with free will or God's goodness with human suffering." Many atheists can play "God's advocate" and perform the arguments used by theists for the existence of God and can recite those theologians' attempts to defend God's goodness in the light of suffering and God's omniscience with man's free will.
When Charlotte Allen questions, "If there is no God -- and you'd be way beyond stupid to think differently -- why does it matter whether he's good or evil?" she forgets one major thing. The followers of God believe in Him. No matter what we believe, almost everyone around us believes in God. If those believers follow an evil God it will manifest in their behavior. It will manifest in excusing and fueling bigotry. Belief in the existence of and a desire to worship and obey an evil God or even a God of questionable ethics will manifest in hate crimes and hate speech, marginalization of people of other or non beliefs, and feelings of justification for these actions.
She needs to read some news and get into some discussions with real atheists. She belittles the problems real atheists face by saying, "My problem with atheists is their tiresome -- and way old -- insistence that they are being oppressed and their fixation with the fine points of Christianity. What -- did their Sunday school teachers flog their behinds with a Bible when they were kids?" She writes as if atheists don't get death threats from Christians simply for writing about atheism or talking about it in public. She writes as if we don't get our property vandalized by Christians if we get outed as atheists. She writes as if there are no parts of America where we could lose our jobs for being atheists. Allen writes as if completely unaware that Christians spend millions of dollars every year to put their religious beliefs into law - laws which everyone, regardless of religion or non-religion, will be required to follow. She writes as if Christians don't intimidate the children of atheists in attempts to convert them which sometimes ends up in peer violence visited upon those children.
Show me several million atheists trying to force their beliefs into law, trying to use legal force to coerce all Americans to follow their beliefs. Show me the school children forced to perform atheist rituals under fear of punishment from adults and peers. Show me the atheists protesting at funerals - and I might start to listen to you, Ms. Allen.
Stop the things we are "whining" about such as Christian laws, religion-based bigotry against gays, religious discrimination in the workplace, religious influence in child custody cases, remorseless atheist bashing, and evangelism - and we'll stop "whining" about them.