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Activism, Atheism, Christianity

Examples of Christian Love

This is one of the posts that has been deleted from FOX’s Facebook page.  Mike Holeschek has clearly voiced his opinion of the American Atheists’ opposition to the inclusion of a cross — and ONLY a cross — in the WTC Memorial Museum.

Many more Christians are posting equally vicious and hateful comments on the FOX News FB Page.  Though they’re being taken down almost as fast as they’re being put up, they are being saved for posterity by friends of American Atheists who have quick trigger fingers for the “Screenshot” button.

Thanks, Paul Altum.  Thanks for showing me that your religion is a religion of love and peace.  Thanks for helping me see the light, and bringing me out of my darkness with patient emulation of Christ.

This brings up an interesting point.  In a week or two, that Facebook page will be clean swept of any threats or incitements to violence.  If anyone goes back to read it, they’ll see Christians and atheists arguing — not always politely, but without threats.  The words on the page will be gone.  But for me and my fellow atheists, they will live on as long as we live.

I’m glad you can’t, Joe Martinez.  But thanks for making me live in fear that one of your less restrained Christian brothers will have a moment of weakness and put a spray of buck shot into my skull in the name of Jesus.  You’re a real humanitarian.

Every day, we have to live with the knowledge that there really are people who wish we were dead.  They hate us.  They think we are evil hellspawns deserving of nothing better than crucifixion, torture, and death. This is what it’s like to be an atheist.  Either isolate yourself from Christians or subject yourself to this kind of abuse.

What’s worse, we have to spend hours defending ourselves to the “Good Christians” who would never do that kind of thing, and think we’re awful people for trying to paint Christians with such a broad brush.  How dare we call attention to the hateful Christians!  How dare we suggest that we’re a hated minority and that Christians are responsible?  The gall of it all!

Who should shoot me, Joseph?  Are you going to do it for Jesus?  Or do you mean someone else?  This is what lawyers refer to as incitement.  In some cases, this kind of language can get you thrown in prison.  But thanks, Joseph, for having the love of Jesus in your heart.  Thanks for putting your name out there with no fear.  You’re taking one for the team to further the will of Christ.  And I admire you for it.

The thing is, day in and day out, we see the hate.  We get it in our inboxes.  We get it on Facebook.  We feel the icy stares when we have the temerity to wear an atheist shirt in public.  And then we get shouted down when we wonder aloud why all the supposedly “loving Christians” aren’t standing beside us against those who they claim are “Not really True Christians.”

Well I’m wondering aloud.  WHERE ARE YOU?  If there are so many good Christians out there who think we atheists are decent people and that we deserve equal treatment under the law, where are you?  Why aren’t you helping?

You’re a real Crusader for Christ, there, Casey M Jones.  No… I mean it… Your attitude is just like that of the Crusaders.  Those Christian zealots who killed thousands and thousands of non-Christians to purge the earth of their filthy beliefs.  I’m sure to have a change of heart any minute now and present myself for dunking at the nearest church.  Way to go.

If there are so many of you who believe in separation of church and state, where are you?  Why aren’t you outvoting that tiny little minority of Christians who are misinterpreting God’s word?

Why is it that all we ever see is the hate?

Yep.  Nineteen people thought this was a good idea.   Crucify us in a public square.  That’ll teach us how much you love us!

To put it another way, there are really only two possibilities.  Either most Christians really are hateful and vicious towards atheists, or most Christians are silent when they should be shouting at the top of their lungs, denouncing these evil people and voting with their feet against anything that would further divide this country.

Here’s an easy experiment.  Off the top of your head, name five famous Christian leaders who are at the forefront of the battle to keep church and state separate and preserve rights for all Americans, Christian or not.

If you can’t do it… it might be time to rethink the old adage that “most Christians are tolerant, accepting, and loving.”

Thanks, Richard Silvia.  It’s good to know you’re ready to kill for your lord and savior.  (And people wonder why we atheists think we’re hated and persecuted!)


UPDATE:  Here’s another great one:

Thanks, Raylene Ingmire.  I’m sure your junior high students are learning a lot about love and compassion from your good Christian example.



22 thoughts on “Examples of Christian Love

  1. I think the best part of going from Christian to atheist all while interacting with the atheist movement, is that I got to see these kind of comments directed at me by both sides.

    Here’s an easy experiment. Off the top of your head, name five famous Christian leaders who are at the forefront of the battle to keep church and state separate and preserve rights for all Americans, Christian or not.

    Barry Lynn

    Nelson Mendela

    Ken Miller

    Barrack Obama

    Desmond Tutu

    Posted by Alison | July 29, 2011, 7:01 pm
  2. Alison, have you had death threats from atheists? Abuse, yes… but death threats?

    Let me rephrase my question: Can you name five current American Christians at the forefront etc…? (Because this is a specifically American issue at this moment.)

    I’ll certainly accept Barry Lynn, although I should point out that he is not in the news an awful lot, and far from “famous.” I was only very vaguely familiar with his name, and I read the religion news every day, and have been doing so for at least four years.

    Ken Miller probably gets props as the most famous pro-science anti-discrimination Christian out there. So we’ve got one and a half famous Christians in America.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | July 29, 2011, 10:56 pm
  3. If you don’t think Obama is American, I can produce a birth certificate for you 😛

    Three more is Al Sharpton, Jimmy Carter and Chris Hedges. But I’m not American, and I don’t really watch the news or anything like that. I think you’re forgetting just how much of a jebus freak I was. I used to love finding other Christians who share my views. I read A LOT of Christian literature.

    I don’t have failbook, so I can’t see the discussion so I don’t know just how many Christians are speaking out against the bigots,[or how many atheists are bigots] or if they even saw the posts considering you said they were being taken down. I’ve always maintained that position that those who do speak out are just ignored.

    I know it happened to me when I spoke out. In that regard I think I have you beat in terms of anecdotal experience on this.

    Posted by Alison | July 30, 2011, 12:56 am
  4. Thanks, Alison. Jimmy Carter and Chris Hedges are both very good examples. So my list is up to four now. (I don’t know if I’ve said it before on the blog, but I am a personal fan of Carter. Hedges irritates me with his theology, but I appreciate what he does to expose the Christian Fascists far more than I am irritated with his faith.

    In any culture, if only one or two (or… let’s see, our list is up to four) people out of millions speak out, they are definitely ignored. You can see that with the atheist movement. Until we got some critical mass, everybody ignored us. Now, we’re on the news, and receiving public death threats, and so forth. Notice comes with popularity first — THEN the ideas are (hopefully) judged for merit.

    That’s why I’m not going to pat Christians on the back for being “good people” unless they’re being vocal about it and actually denouncing their wayward brethren.

    Posted by Hambydammit | July 30, 2011, 12:47 pm
  5. OHH lets play this game.

    Off the top of your head, name five famous Atheist leaders who who are/were at the forefront of the battle to keep church and state separate. Ill start the list…

    1) Pol Pot
    2) Stalin
    3) Mao

    Wonderful examples of “ATHEIST LOVE”?

    Posted by PG | July 30, 2011, 1:21 pm
  6. Hamby, what about Obama? He’s a Christian and he’s fighting for seperation of church and state. And Al Sharpton too.

    But notice how you are setting the bar high? What about all the normal Joe Christians that speak out against bigotry? They don’t count unless they’re on CNN? I’ve seen lots of regular Christians speak out against the fundamentalists.

    But I can turn it around too. My main complaint about the atheist movement is that they don’t do enough to speak out against he bigger idiots that are in their movement. Good luck trying to speak out against Hitchens, or Harris, or Darrel Ray. I admit that there are atheists who do it, just not enough.

    I’ve always maintained that change comes from within. It’s up to Christians to change the Christian movement and up to atheists to change the atheist movement.

    Posted by Alison | July 30, 2011, 2:11 pm
  7. Oh another thing

    In any culture, if only one or two (or… let’s see, our list is up to four) people out of millions speak out, they are definitely ignored.

    Double standards. You cite seven Christians who advocate violence out of millions. It just boggles my mind.

    If I were to go there and take snapshots of say 20 Christians who denounced the violence, you would just ignore them and focus on those 7.

    The number of Americans who believe that the First Amendment requires a clear separation of church and state remains about the same as last year, with 67% agreeing there is a clear separation and 28% disagreeing with the statement.

    So 28% are the majority?

    I view this issue like I do any other. The existence of fringe Socialists, doesn’t mean that the sane Socialists aren’t speaking out. The existence of fringe nationalists, doesn’t mean that the sane nationalists aren’t speaking out.

    To be fair, I am re-thinking my view of atheists not speaking out enough against the atheist movement, but I don’t flat out deny that they exist, or even claim that they are the majority.

    Posted by Alison | July 30, 2011, 2:23 pm
  8. I dunno what I think about Obama’s religious faith. I suspect he may be a closet non-believer. However, since I’m holding Christians’ feet to the fire over Christian terrorists, I have to be consistent and allow him as a Christian for separation of Church and state. I’d have to look more carefully at Sharpton before passing judgment. I honestly don’t know what he’s done for atheists.

    And… um… I don’t speak out against Hitchens, Harris, or Darrel Ray mostly because I agree with them… mostly. And when I disagree, I do speak out. Publicly.

    I think that’s a majority opinion.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | July 30, 2011, 4:17 pm
  9. A mob of angry Christians wants to crucify us? Wow. Just, wow.

    By the way, I just checked and was pleasantly surprised to see your article on the front page. Grats!

    Posted by Ian | July 30, 2011, 6:17 pm
  10. No kidding? This one or examiner? That may explain why I got slammed on examiner yesterday. Biggest day ever, actually.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | July 31, 2011, 11:43 am
  11. Hamby, what makes you think Obama is a closet atheist? Everything I’ve heard from him about religion indicates that he’s Christian.

    Posted by Alison | July 31, 2011, 2:15 pm
  12. Anyone can call themselves anything and say that they belong to an organisation, etc. But the question has to be asked is whether they adhere to the rules of that organisation or act as the founder did and does. If they don’t they should not be so called by anyone, be they friend or foe.

    Those who call themselves Christians and advocate violence against other people are acting contrary to how Christ behaved and told his followers to behave.

    Posted by Adrienne Franklin | August 1, 2011, 3:07 am
  13. To put it another way, there are really only two possibilities. Either most Christians really are hateful and vicious towards atheists, or most Christians are silent when they should be shouting at the top of their lungs, denouncing these evil people…

    So then, in order to prove to Hamby’s satisfaction that “most Christians” aren’t the evil, vile scum he apparently seems to think they are, “most Christians” have to monitor each and every podunk online venue with their trigger finger at the ready to shout down any other “Christian” who vents online failing to live up to the Christian ideal during those particular few moments of online presence. Otherwise, Hamby’s preconceived judgement, that “most Christians” are vile scum, stands…

    Guilty until proven innocent.

    When in truth, “most Christians” simply don’t have the time to monitor their brethren online, and assuming they even have Facebook accounts at all, probably just use them to maintain friendly chats with their friends and probably don’t bother doing anything controversial online.

    I am curious — were there in fact zero posts from fellow Christians denouncing these inflammatory posts on this particular Facebook venue? Or were there in fact at least a few and they’re just being ignored for rhetorical and theatrical effect?

    I suspect that you won’t even see anything good in this:

    At interfaith vigil, religious leaders unite against pastor Terry Jones

    Posted by CB | August 1, 2011, 10:38 am
  14. Alison, it’s just a hunch from a lot of things I’ve heard or read about his pre-presidential days, and how he was raised. I’m not sure he’s a closet “atheist” in the strictest sense of the word, but I’d be willing to bet he has very serious doubts about the literal Christian story. He was exposed to a lot of different religions as a kid.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 1, 2011, 2:02 pm
  15. Way to prove the point CB. Instead of agreeing that Christians should be more Christ like and denouncing this type of behavior, you’re effectively endorsing it. I would act surprised, but we all know it would be a lie…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | August 2, 2011, 1:34 am
  16. Way to prove the point CB…

    Way to miss the point, Alex. I would act surprised, but we all know it would be a lie…

    Posted by CB | August 2, 2011, 9:00 am
  17. Hey guys…. I am a Christian and I’d like to apologize to atheists for these comments. These “christians” (and I really hope I’m using the term loosely) are NOT acting at all the way Jesus tells us to act. Personally, I think the cross at the WTC is an ok thing and I’m not a fan of the suit to get it removed. BUT, that in no way makes it ok to spew the kind of hatred and vitriole that’s being pointed out here.

    Jesus said “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Any of these yahoos that think it’s ok make these kind of hateful statements are off the mark. I think most Christians would agree with me on that, even if they don’t have the guts to stand up and say so in public.


    Posted by reconciling viewpoints | August 4, 2011, 5:51 pm
  18. Hi, My name is Matthew, I am 18 and I am a Christian. I am supposed to do a communion meditation at my church this Sunday, so I was searching for examples of Christian love to go along with my message. I saw this title and clicked the link. Of course, I was deeply saddened when I saw what people were posting. Sir, I am extremely sorry that this was how the Christian faith has been portrayed to you. I don’t even know what the argument is about, but I do know that isn’t the way, as a Christian, that we are supposed to handle ANY situation. The people that posted these things are just bullies hiding behind their keyboards, and using the Christian faith as a shield so they don’t have to take any flak for it. But us Christians are not all the same. There are extremist Christians, just like any other group, but please don’t just generalize us all as violent and hateful, or too cowardly to stand up to our own kind, because there are Christians who are trying to right the wrongs and spread the Love and not the violence.
    Thank you for your time,
    Matthew J. Hughes

    Posted by Mjhughes | August 12, 2011, 2:33 am
  19. G’day… Like the last two writers I am a Christian who stumbled on this blog and am upset by the hatred expressed by alleged Christians. I am not an American so what you do with your monuments is not for me to buy into. However, as an observer it seems that many Americans seem to confuse Christianity with patriotism. You are a very patriotic nation, you have much to be proud of but while Christian ideals and belief in God were foundational, so was Freemasonry and non-christian symbolism appears on your money and elsewhere. You are a secular society and hold secular values, many based on Christian ones. It looks like some alleged Christians become very threatened and angry when confronted with people who are honest enough to stand up for something different. There is a strong right-wing political movement that latches on to “Christianity” and uses it’s version of it to oppose any opposition and promote their agenda. Jesus was not political, He taught Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Justice, Peace, for this He was crucified by the sorts of people who misguidedly thought that their hatred was justified. May God bless America, may His LOVE reign, may Christians and Atheists all experience His love and turn to Him.
    To those who wrote the hate-mail, think about what you said, ask for God’s forgiveness, put your energy into something positive, perhaps an Atheist needs a friend who will help them to see God’s love in action.
    Rob (Australia)

    Posted by Robert Fazakerley | November 3, 2011, 7:41 pm
  20. I am a pastor who is neither conservative nor liberal, but from a denomination that maintains a “middle of they way” between both. I have never met a Christian who hates or wishes any harm upon people who do not agree with us or our beliefs. I am very sorry that you have had to put up with bad examples of Christianity. But it is like anything else, you have those who are genuinely good people and those who are genuinely bad. I have met atheists who are extremely violent and judgmental as well as very kind and loving atheists who have become my close friends. We never argue, but respect each other’s beliefs. It is my personal aim in life to present a much more biblical and loving view of Jesus Christ only to those who are willing to listen, but many supposedly Christian people make him out to be nothing more than a glorified version of themselves. I have read that you can tell when you have made Jesus in your image because he hates the things you hate, hates the people you hate, and supports whatever you support. It’s just a way for people to justify their actions and make themselves feel better while not seriously allowing the love of God to challenge their current beliefs and actions. Bad examples of Christians are among the worst heresies a person could commit. It would be better to not be a Christian than to be a bad Christian according to the scriptures. I just hope that you find it in yourself to seek out genuine Christians who can show you what it truly means to represent Jesus and actively dialogue without all the self-righteousness and cynicism that you have so far been exposed to. Jesus is nothing like that. He is love and joy itself!! Take care!!

    Posted by Justin | March 3, 2012, 6:26 pm
  21. I wouldn’t call any of those people mentioned in the article “Christ-followers”. Hateful people hide behind all sorts of cloaks be it Christianity, Atheism, Muslim, Hinduism,Judaism, etc. Their true colors will always shine forth. They might have used the title of Christian but like the Crusaders , it does not make them followers of the Messiah.They can only hide their true selves for so long until their own vileness and sinfulness comes to light. I am not an atheist and neither do I call myself a Christian. I choose to take a step back from mainstream religion and get back into the Word only and be a Follower of Christ and him alone. I am sorry that so many are hateful and cruel and I pray for all. Love and Peace to all.

    Posted by Enid | February 22, 2013, 12:42 pm
  22. There are many that I know and am friends with that do not believe the way that I do. Not once have I ever thought to ostracize them or threaten them. We have been known to agree to disagree even , but there is never any animosity.

    Posted by Enid | February 22, 2013, 12:45 pm

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