I got the proverbial snot beat out of me on Twitter yesterday. It left a bad taste in my mouth for Twitter, but Twitter isn’t really the problem. The problem is the stereotypical attitude of Atheists.
When I was a Christian, I heard awful stories of how the church turned its back on people during their hardest times. I heard that people sit in pews and take sides while a judge stands behind the pulpit harshly condemning people who are no better than he is. I heard from people who were told they were going to hell for their music, their dress, their hobbies, and their questions. I never saw these things. I don’t know whether I met most of my church’s standards or if I was just naïve, but I never saw that kind of hypocrisy. Not until I became a victim of it.
A few years ago during my crisis of faith, I reached out to every Christian I knew (and a few I didn’t) in an honest quest for answers. When no faith-based answer satisfied my logic-based questions, I was forced to give up my faith. It was one of the most difficult journeys of my life, and I lost several friends while finding my way.
Some of the Christians I reached out to called me sinful and irreverent. A couple told me I was not chosen by God or did not possess the intelligence to understand, and that if I had all these questions, I was never a Christian to begin with. It was only after I walked away that I saw the things other former Christians saw. Imagine my surprise when I met that and so much worse from Atheists today.
International film star, producer, director, and comedian Ricky Gervais Tweeted today: Believing the earth is only 6000 years old, doesn't alter the fact that it's nearer 4.6 billion years old. But be my guest. It's funny :)
My reply was that “Faith trumps logic every time.” Some 800 responses later, I stand by that statement for most Christians. No amount of science, history, or ancient philosophy trumps the faith of a Christian who believes the Bible is complete, accurate, and literal. I first thought Mr. Gervais was reinforcing my statement when publicly replied, “Except in reality,” but after reading his followers’ comments, I now think he (and they) misunderstood mine.
For an hour after his reply was posted for the world to see, I was laughed at and called stupid, illogical, contradictory, a joke, retarded, and even the C-word; I won’t print that word here out of respect for my readers, yet a perfect stranger said it to my virtual face for millions of people to see. Not one person (all of whom were Atheists and not even Mr. Gervais) bothered to ask me to explain my statement. They simply attacked with the most awful language. One even blamed my parents for my stupidity.
It’s no wonder so many Christians have disdain for people who don’t believe the way they do. My friends today come from all religions, from the most radical Christians to those who believe we are nothing more than highly evolved animals. My Christian friends are those who accept that not everyone believes as they do and trust God to make things right. They pray for me, bless me, and speak from their hearts with kindness and compassion. I appreciate their intent and do not scoff at their beliefs.
My non-Christian friends are those who believe we all have our own path to walk and are not concerned by which path others choose. They put their faith in Truth, Love, and Light, rest on a higher consciousness of whatever sort, live by a moral code, and support the idea of people being who they are as long as it doesn’t harm anyone. After today, I wonder if my friends are the minority.
I realized yesterday that the very Atheists who hate Christians for being judgmental and forceful with their beliefs are the same ones Christians despise for the same reasons. Peaceful, loving people of all faiths cringe when they see people mistreated, yet those stereotypes exist because of the few who are hateful, insensitive, and mistreat others.
Are you one of them?