I was planning a lovely Christmas post extolling the virtues of both secular and religious celebrations. I was even going to explore the reasons why a secular holiday is valid to non Christians. In the last few days, though, my eyes have been opened as to just how deep the divide is. As usual the battleground is Facebook. I have chosen propaganda pictures of both camps to illustrate where I stand, firmly in the Atheist camp but acknowledging the right of the religious to their view.
I wrote recently about this because I was tired of seeing religious posts, mostly conservative Christian in nature. However since then I have become a little more aggressive regarding the more outrageous posts. Because of this I have been added to two Atheist groups. Mostly they are harmless but I am seeing mocking posts regarding Christianity which are at least as cruel as the claim that Atheists have no moral compass.
The revealing of your Atheistic leanings is regarded by some, apparently, as equivalent to coming out of the closet. My beliefs are my own, I can’t see why it would be such a big deal. My sister is a churchgoer in the once a week category. We quite happily agree to disagree. I can understand why it would be difficult to discuss this in a Conservative Christian family but if you choose your religion over your family you don’t think much of your family.
A recent Meme mocked the story of the Ark, a story lifted directly from many racial groups. A normal Christian guy picked it up as mockery and politely questioned it. I said that, in my opinion, it was aimed at those who take every word in the Bible as absolute truth but some of the non-religious contributors were mocking in their replies. One Christian lady started telling people to unfriend her if they found her faith funny. To quote a line from this thread ‘And so it begins.’
So there are extreme militants on both sides, families disagree and are , in some cases, torn apart by it. We will never agree about this.
Here is my take. I am an Atheist. If the Christians are correct I have an eternity in hell when I die. That’s OK, Hell and the Devil were concepts created by the early Church to ensure the Status Quo was maintained by fear. I don’t believe in them either. I believe I am a good and honest person but I do not beat myself up (Literally in the case of some Christian sects!) when I fail to live by my own morals. I learn from these lapses and none of them hurt anyone else.
I firmly believe in the right of Christians to live according to their creed but it does make me angry when some of them seem to see it as their duty to attempt to mock Atheists. Nor do I see it as their right to claim the moral High ground. Some non believers are the most charitable people on the planet. Most importantly I fail to see why either side feels there is a major divide here. Christians seem to be the first to look for criticism where none is intended but Atheists are far from Saints (Pardon the juxtaposition please.) and are starting to get into mocking memes.
Personally I wish that we could all get on and discuss more interesting stuff but it looks as if war has been declared. No one’s belief should be criticised by others. Some of the memes on both sides are very funny though. Maybe we should do what I do with anything I don’t like on my timeline, scroll on by.