Why offending Christians is ok
Just this week, the American Atheists (great organization) paid $20,000 to put up a billboard on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel stating “You KNOW it’s a Myth – This Season, Celebrate REASON!” Great message… if you’re an atheist. However, like normal, people immediately began to bitch and whine about how this billboard “OFFENDED” them. So, although this billboard is a perfect example of free speech – the right that allows them to bitch and whine – they have to create a controversy over it. For me, that’s fine – the more attention it draws, the better.
But it made me think… “Why are people so concerned about offending people?” I understand not wanting to offend friends and family (you do have to spend a lot of time around them). But, why are we so concerned with religious sensitivities. I am often told that atheist should sit back and remain silent – church doesn’t hurt anyone. As I’ve show in another post, this isn’t true. Even if it was, it doesn’t hurt anyone for me, as an atheist, to express my opinion. No one ever got the feelings hurt, went home, woke up with cancer, and then died. No, it doesn’t happen that way. We are adults. Grow up, stop whining, and respect the fact that if your pastor can go around telling people stories from a 2,000 year old myth, then I should get the same right to complain about it… even if it makes Baby Jesus cry. (crying baby photo by: Jill Greenberg)
Do Christians care about our feelings with their messages of faith? Some do but others really don’t. They just want to convert us and “show us the light”. I often have the “True Scotsman” argument used on me and am told that I must not have ever been a “real” Christian because if I truly felt the warmth of god’s love, i could have never departed from it. Bullshit. I felt it. I was as deep in it as it gets. But, I woke up. I don’t go around telling them that they must have never “really” read a science book or couldn’t possibly have a “real” brain if they believe what they do. Of course not (although now that I think about it…).
I make it a point not to troll Christian groups online. I know some atheists and while it is very funny the shit they stir up sometimes, it isn’t what we should be doing. The billboard from American Atheists is exactly what we should be doing. David Silverman, President of American Atheists, talks about this on FOX News. As he puts it, we aren’t trying to convert believers, we are just trying to help those on the fence realize that there is a community of people (millions of us) who, like them, DON’T believe in the fairy tales of the bible.
The numbers don’t lie – churches are losing numbers in the United States and around the world, especially young people! The next generation is smarter, better at critical thinking, and has a firmer grasp on science than their parents do. They find it harder and harder to believe the nonsense that is spoon fed to them at church. The internet has become and “atheist church” for many of us. If we sit around silent, as Christians would have us do, then many of those young people will stay hidden in their youth groups and continue to pretend to pray to a god they don’t believe in. If you don’t care about them… then go ahead and keep your mouth shut – you won’t offend anyone but me.
However, if you do care… then speak up. Don’t be afraid to offend. Be proud to be an atheist. Break the stigma (we do’t worship satan – or believe in him either). Get in peoples’ faces when the opportunity arises. Learn the fact we present on this website. Don’t be a stupid atheist. Learn how to debate. Learn the proper questions to ask… but most importantly, DON’T REMAIN SILENT! And, don’t be afraid to offend a few religious groups… they’ve offended us for years!