It’s time we had a talk about religion, Internet. It seems that there are some misguided people who, flying under the flag of atheism, have taken it upon themselves to fight theists as though they were a plague. I know it’s a touchy subject, but I think it’s time people realized that attacking people for their religious beliefs is no more justified than attacking people for their sexuality or skin color.
To be clear, the only side I’m going to take in this blog post is not being a dick. My own religious beliefs are not in question here, and in fact, I’m not even sure what my own religious beliefs are. So before you yell at me for being a theist, or for being an atheist, let’s get this straight: I don’t care what you believe, as long as you don’t persecute or harass other people for their beliefs.
Argument number one is the easier to digest of the two. We’re small beings, living on a small planet, on the edge of a small galaxy, somewhere in a huge freaking universe. This makes people feel small and lonely. If some people are comforted by the idea that there is a greater purpose to all this emptiness, then who are you to screw with that? I agree than some religious people are zealots and fanatics who support horrible things, but those people do not represent all religious people. By classifying ALL religious people with the likes of the Westboro Baptist Church, you might as well make similar generalizations about black people or gay people, and we all know how that ends: bigotry.
Speaking of bigotry, a bigot is defined, in the Oxford English Dictionary, as “A person who is prejudiced in their views and intolerant of the opinions of others.” So yes, if you attack people for believing in a God or Gods, then you are a bigot. Welcome to the club. Other members include the Nazis, the aforementioned Westboro Baptist Church, the old American South, opponents of Gay Marriage, and many other perpetrators of nastiness throughout history and the present day. Attacking people for believing in God doesn’t make you a hero, it turns you into exactly the sort of person you hate: a bigot.
Finally, let’s say that the atheists are right. There is no afterlife, and we’re all just going to die and rot and eventually be vaporized when the sun burns out. Congratulations, atheists, you were righ – OH THAT’S RIGHT YOU’RE DEAD AND GONE SO NO ONE CARES. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who’s right. (To be fair, I’m also unaware of any religions that will exclude all their members from the afterlife because of the existence of non-believers.)
The spark that ignited this rather frustrated blog post, was a Jezebel article whose message is essentially, “I’m ok with theists who stay out of my business. But wow, look at all these idiots who believe in God!” Anyone who has spent time on Reddit, and who has encountered r/atheism, knows exactly how much theism-bashing goes on online these days, and it’s really disheartening. You’re not helping, people, you’re just proving that people can be bigoted for reasons other than the fact that they are religious.