I Don’t Hate Christians

Man, I stepped in it today!

While monitoring a webinar at work this morning, I wrote a post on Facebook about churches not paying income or property taxes. As usual, the point was lost on a few people, and possibly educational and helpful discussion was derailed. Imagine that! (that was sarcasm).

During my lunch break I read another post by Augusta conservative radio talk show host, and my former roommate, Austin Rhodes about someone tweeting for Master’s winner Bubba Smith to “die in a fire” because Bubba thinks the Bible is right about gay people. The comments from Austin’s loyal listeners were all about Bubba’s freedom of speech, of religion, how he was right, blah blah blah, and people using the Bible to justify their support for Bubba’s (in my mind) backwards thinking. I stupidly participated in that thread, too.

And then came the private messages:

Again you make a post with the only possible intention to insult Christians. You need to read some history about why our country was founded

Typical faggy ass anti-Christian liberal

You used to be such a good Christian. What happened to make you hate God so much?

Let’s get this straight. I do not hate Christians! I am not anti Christian! I do not hate God!

I am an atheist, but all that means is that I have not been provided with any evidence to convince me that any such being as “God” exists, and the reasonable position is that there is no God – just as I don’t believe in unicorns, or leprechauns, or wizards. That doesn’t mean I hate God.

As for Christians, I’ll be frank, I have absolutely no idea what that even means. Seriously. Christianity has more denominations than Baskin Robbins has flavors. Some Christians support and actively campaign for marriage equality and others fight against it. Some Christians think the Palestinians have a right to their land and other Christians think Israel owns it all. Some Christians think the communion wine and wafer literally become flesh and blood, others eat a crust of bread followed by a shot of grape juice. Christianity means nothing. It is a pointless word.

I do not hate people who call themselves Christians. I admire some of them. I would rather stay far far away from others. It has nothing to do with their faith, but with their character. Thinking churches should be taxed (to be fair to myself, I didn’t single out “churches”) is not an indictment on the people who tithe those institutions.

If I hated Christians, or even Christianity, I would hate every single person in my family except for my wife and my son (and maybe a cousin or two), and I absolutely don’t hate my family.

If I hated Christians, I would hate most of the women with the Atlanta Roller Girls, including one of my derby crushes who also happens to be a minister.

I don’t hate Christians. I do, however, have a great deal of dislike for people who want to their faith to be the guiding law for this country. I am impatient with people who think America is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. I have no desire to be around anyone of any faith who uses their religious beliefs as a foundation to discriminate against anyone. And I have no respect for anyone who rejects scientific progress and education because it interferes with their religiously narrow view of the world.

 

Let’s Talk About Arizona

On February 26, 2014 Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a “Religious Freedom” bill that had sailed through the Arizona congress. It has been called the “Turn Away the Gays” law that hypothetically would have allowed businesses to deny commercial services to gay men and women without fear of civil lawsuits if the business owner had a sincere religious belief that being gay was a sin. The impetus for this bill is at least two cases where Christian business owners denied services to gay customers – a bakery in Oregon refusing to do a wedding cake for a gay couple, and a photographer in New Mexico who refused to photograph a gay wedding. The failure of this bill to pass into law has been hailed as a victory for gay rights, and the country celebrated Jan Brewer for making the right decision. [Read more...]

How To Convert An Atheist

thinking monkey

I have been an atheist for almost half my life. At one time in my youth I was a Bible believing, Bible teaching, born-again Christian, but as it is written in 1 Corinthians 13:11:

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

I want to explain to you what an atheist is, and offer you some advice on how to convert an atheist (I’m making a North American assumption that you are a Christian and not a Muslim).

[Read more...]

Barrington Bunny

By Martin Bell from the book The Way Of The Wolf

Once upon a time in a large forest there lived a very furry bunny. He had one lop ear, a tiny black nose, and unusually shiny eyes. His name was Barrington.

Barrington was not really a very handsome bunny. He was brown and speckled and his ears didn’t stand up right. But he could hop, and he was, as I have said, very furry. [Read more...]

Letter From God At Christmas

(This is not something I wrote. It is something I grokked from the internet a few years ago. I think it is entirely appropriate and “right”.)


My Dear children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you’ve forgotten that I wasn’t actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime. [Read more...]

My Christmas Message

christmas-tree

Years ago, I delivered a sermon about the origins of Christmas at the Unitarian church my wife and I attended. It was, understandably, well received by most of the congregation. In that sermon, I disclosed that the holiday we know as Christmas is not new, was around and in full swing long before the celebrated birth of Jesus, and that many, if not all, of the symbols of Christmas – from the manger to the tree – come from decidedly non-Christian sources. The fact is, “Christmas” doesn’t belong to Christians only, and Jesus is not the only “reason for the season”. [Read more...]

Northern Exposure Christmas Message

One of my favorite all time TV shows was Northern Exposure, and on that show, in one episode, came the best Christmas story and the most inclusive tidings of comfort and joy I have ever heard. It deserves to be repeated – and repeated – and repeated.

Chris, the local DJ, known for his love of Whitman, is on the radio one Christmas and shares this brief, but beautiful story of Christmas. [Read more...]

How can an atheist enjoy Christmas?

The Bear and the Hare

I wish I could give a dollar to the Red Cross for every time I’ve been asked this question.

“But you’re an atheist. How can an atheist celebrate Christmas?”

I’ve tried to come up with some deep meaningful answer that encompasses the history of Christmas – that winter celebrations of new life existed long before there was a Jesus figure – that the customs and trappings of a traditional Euro/American Christmas are more rooted in Germanic pagan customs than nomadic Semitic customs. [Read more...]

Here Comes the War On Christmas

war on christmas

It is the first day of November 2013 and I have already had two posts show up in my Facebook stream about the “war” on Christmas. Seems my Facebook friends are sharing articles about a) people and businesses saying “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas” and b) public school choral concerts being required to eliminate the heavy Christian overtones of their holiday concerts. [Read more...]

Defending Starbucks

I Love Guns and Coffee

Let me preface this blog post with two very important facts:

  1. I really don’t care for Starbucks coffee. As a home roaster, I find their coffee roasting technique somewhere between meh and blech. I have bought, and probably will buy when pressed into it, coffee from them. But I am not a fan.
  2. I own and am permitted to carry a pistol.

Now let’s talk about guns and coffee.

[Read more...]