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What do Christians prevent you from being and doing?

You are always whining that Christians don’t leave you alone to be and to do whatever you want.

Please can you explain how Christians are preventing you from being and doing certain things.

Posted: April 18th 2009

Reed Braden www

In the US, they’re preventing our children from getting a decent education in the natural sciences, they’re preventing Atheists from becoming elected officials, they’re preventing homosexuals from having equal rights as heterosexuals, and they’re egging on the escalation of a war in Israel of which we have no real interests if the prophecies of Revelations are untrue.

Those are just four of a long and ever-growing list.

Posted: April 28th 2009

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George Ricker www

This is a remarkable question for several reasons.

First, it’s remarkable because, in my experience, most of the whining that goes on comes from religious people rather than being directed at them. Here in the United States, for example, Christians are constantly complaining there is a war on to drive their religion out of the “public square” or that someone has done or said something critical of religion that offends their tender sensibilities.

Whenever anyone suggests government agencies have no business promoting specific religions or religion in general, or dressing up in the trappings of religion, or encouraging religious practices like prayer, this is declared to be an attack on religions.

The question is also remarkable because it demonstrates total ignorance of what is going on in the world today. Around the globe, in nation after nation, religious groups are attacking individuals and groups of individuals who do not conform to their particular superstitions. In some nations, religions, in collusion with governments, are undermining the basic human rights of women and minority groups in the name of the orthodox faith.

Here in the United States, the right of same-sex couples to marry, the right of women to obtain safe abortions and to have access to reproductive and contraceptive services, the right of public school children to be given the very best scientific education possible have all been under attack by various religious factions. Research that has the potential to cure some of our most debilitating diseases and save lives has been slowed because of religious opposition. The health and safety of young people has been put at risk by the dishonest and misleading information promoted in “abstinence only” sex education programs. Our tax dollars have been diverted to various religious organizations in the name of promoting “faith-based” solutions to social problems, and everyone’s tax burden is made higher by the blanket exemptions given to churches and religious organizations in virtually every part of the nation.

Those are just a few of the ways in which religions, Christianity included, have a negative impact on humankind. Since I belong to that group, they affect me as well.

Posted: April 20th 2009

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flagellant www

This question reminds me of nothing so much as an apocryphal story that probably predates the French Revolution. A French princess, when told that the peasants had no bread to eat, said “Let them eat cake”. In other words, the princess had no conception, let alone understanding, of the problems encountered by the starving.

You clearly have no conception or understanding of the difficulties experienced by atheists in a country run by a Christian cabal. That you could pose your question, in the way that you do, is indicative of a selfish “I’m all right” attitude, not something traditionally associated with the all-loving, charitable, compassionate Jesus, the source of your religion.

You will be aware of the extraordinary benefits accruing to Christianity, just by virtue of belief: tax advantages, prominent positions in the media, and even constitutional benefits (e.g. Episcopalian bishops in the Upper House of the UK parliament.) In the interests of free speech, do you advocate equal airtime for, the granting of tax breaks to, and the inclusion in the legislature by right, of freethinkers? I thought not…

However, there appears to be some hope in the US: Barrack Obama significantly, and bravely, said during his inauguration:

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.
Here’s a link to the full speech .

The most significant part of this sentence is the recognition that there are American non-believers, so two cheers for that – a big step forward from the Bush and Shrub years. You might ponder on the inclusion of Muslims, Jews and Hindus, too, because there are many faiths. So what makes Christianity so special? Think about it: How and why is your religion the right one? How can you be so certain? What if you have it wrong? Come to think of it, what is “the true faith”? The one that you say it is, I guess…

I don’t readily talk about my atheism, unless specifically asked. It should be the same with faith systems: religions should be restricted to consenting adults in private.

Atheists have a live-and-let-live attitude: you can believe what you like, but we do not want faith – belief in something for which there isn’t the slightest evidence – to advantage anyone. Nor do we want it pushed down anyone’s throat. We no more want it to be acceptable to inculcate religions in children than to teach the veracity of the man in the moon. It is all about education, perception and understanding.

I hope that you appreciate how loaded your question was. I am sure you didn’t really want to endorse discrimination against non-believers, but that was, unfortunately, the impression you gave. Perhaps you could now, given your new-found objectivity, join those of us who would like non-belief to be equally – but not more – generally acceptable.

Posted: April 20th 2009

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brian thomson www

I presume you’re from the USA, since you are focusing on Christianity specifically. Even outside the USA, there are instances where religion, Christianity or otherwise, has too much influence over daily lives. In the UK, faith-based schools receive public funding, which they use to indoctrinate children against those of other religions or none.

I’m writing from Ireland, where the Humanist Association of Ireland is currently running an ad campaign, protesting the mandatory religious oaths for people seeking public office. The Constitution of Ireland has some nice things to say about freedom of religion in one section, but appeals to religion in other sections.

Finally, you should recognise that Christianity is only one of many religions, some more hostile than others. The most serious problems seem to be the establishment of state religions that criminalize other religions or criticism of the state religion. You folks in the USA have it easy. And, before you say it: yes, we know that some regimes such as Stalinist Russia tried to enforce atheism, and we also think that was unacceptable. The debate is about freedom: freedom of religion, and freedom from religion.

Posted: April 20th 2009

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SmartLX www

If atheists are always “whining” to you about this, why don’t you know exactly what they’re saying?

The worldwide movement to hinder the teaching of evolution in schools, and thus keep children from learning real science at the expense of superstition, is almost entirely driven by Christians. The rest are at least in Abrahamic religions.

The reasons for denying gay couples the joy of parenthood through adoption or artificial insemination are entirely religious, and primarily Biblical. Research has never shown that the upbringing of kids with same-sex parents is adversely affected by the situation.

Those are two big examples of things many (not all) Christians work to prevent people of all faiths as well as none from doing. Christian-led oppression isn’t specific to atheists.

As for atheists specifically, they come up against tremendous religious opposition for simply wanting to talk about atheism. Illinois rep Monique Davis tried to silence an atheist activist testifying before a government committee, saying he had no right to be there. Oklahoma rep Todd Thomsen proposed two resolutions to keep Richard Dawkins from lecturing at U of O. George H. W. Bush famously said that atheists should not be considered American citizens, let alone patriots.

Those evangelicals who have the power to affect the rights of atheists have tried to do so on many occasions. So that’s why atheists “whine”.

Posted: April 19th 2009

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logicel

Atheists do not buy into any religion, though Christianity is often focused on because of it being the religion that many atheists in America identify with playing an prominent role in the encroachment upon the constitutional separation of church and state. I regard most so-called moderate, peaceful Christians in America as playing deaf, dumb, and blind to this threat.

Religion has no role whatsoever in the public, tax paying sphere because there is no evidence to support religious beliefs. Religious beliefs are a private matter for consenting adults.

I will now answer your next switch and bait question (you have a great talent with this kind of intellectually dishonest tactic).

Posted: April 19th 2009

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