10 Things That Christians Are Better At Than Atheists

After posting the list of things that Christians do in church that annoy me, here is something slightly different.

I should say that not all Christians do all these things. And not all the items are positive. But atheists could learn a lesson from Christians regarding some of these…

  1. Doing charity work.

    (I’m not saying atheists don’t do it. Of course we do. But Christians do it more frequently and they are much more visible in this realm, even if we exclude the proselytizing missionaries. Most atheist groups rarely do this work on a consistent basis. Some do. That’s great. Let’s do more of it.)

  2. Giving money.

    (Sometimes, it’s the “required” tithe. But often, it’s more. Christians give back to the community they love. It’s a part of their budget. Many atheists might pay their organizations’ membership dues, but they do very little else to support them. Even college students can afford to give a donation of $5/month to a secular group. And adults can do more. But it’s frustrating to have to pull teeth to get them to do it.)

  3. Getting their base fired up about elections, social issues, etc.

    (Atheists have differing opinions on many issues, so it’s not easy to get them to vote in a bloc, but even when we have a need to be politically motivated about something, I just don’t see the drive and sense of urgency to take action that I see from Christian groups. We spend too much time arguing about the details. As a result, we forget the big picture.)

  4. Welcoming those who are new to the fold.

    (They have the swag, the pastor’s welcome, possibly a dinner with church leaders, books, etc. Oh. They have Heaven, too. When I joined American Atheists and the ACLU, I got a wallet-sized membership card from both. And nothing from my local chapters.)

  5. Marketing.

    (I got a nifty-looking postcard from a local church telling me about its upcoming sermons: I was ready to go until I saw that I disagreed with everything they were talking about– that’s how enticing this postcard was. Christian conferences get several thousand attendees. Yes, these churches and Christian organizations have both the money and the numbers, but if they want you to know about something, they’ll find a way to get the information out. Quick: How many atheists have heard of Christianity Today? Now, how many non-atheists have heard of Free Inquiry?)

  6. Getting the media to cover them.

    (It doesn’t matter if it’s a local church cleaning a sidewalk or a pastor making a statement on a particular issue. The newspapers and news programs will be covering it. We had thousands of atheists marching in Washington a few years ago. If you’re religious, did you hear about it? Hell, I’m guessing many atheists hadn’t heard about it, either. The lack of coverage was embarrassing. If we were a group of evangelicals, though, you can bet the media would have been there.)

  7. Public speaking.

    (Those pastors can get you excited about anything. But listening to lectures by prominent atheists just doesn’t get you fired up. Here: Watch Sam Harris speak. And then watch Random-Pastor-I-Found-On-YouTube. Forget the words for a second. Who gets you more pumped up? I’m not talking about content– atheists are great at content. But if we had atheists saying the words of Sam Harris with the energy level of Random-Pastor, we might get somewhere.)

  8. Spreading disinformation.

    (Intelligent Design is not science. Abstinence-only sex education has not stopped teens from having sex and has left them with more problems than before, Terri Schiavo was not responsive, and atheists were never declaring a “War on Christmas”– not until it became satirical to do so.)

  9. Setting the language we use.

    (George Lakoff can attest to this. Which do you hear more often: Anti-choice or pro-life? “Teach Intelligent Design” or “Teach the controversy”? When did “family values” come to mean “Christian values”?)

  10. Eating their words.

    (Pat Robertson. Jerry Falwell. Need I say more?)



[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian, Christianity, church, charity, tithe, Heaven, American Atheists, ACLU, Christianity Today, Free Inquiry, Godless Americans March on Washington, evangelical, Sam Harris, Intelligent Design, Evolution, Abstinence-only sex education, Terri Schiavo, War on Christmas, George Lakoff, Anti-choice, pro-life, abortion, Teach the controversy, family values, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell[/tags]

  • Ficus

    I got a nifty-looking postcard from a local church telling me about its upcoming sermons: I was ready to go until I saw that I disagreed with everything they were talking about– that’s how enticing this postcard was.

    I found this statement to be a bit strange. Not that I’m trying to point the finger at you in particular; however, it seems that many atheists accuse Christians of the same closed-mindedness that the above statement seems to embody — “I don’t agree with it, so I won’t listen to it” rather than “I’ll listen to it regardless and make up my mind as to what I agree with or disagree with and why.”

    Personally, I think that Christians, atheists, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, and people who believe in flying spaghetti monsters should take the time to find out what each other believe and why they agree or disagree with them.

  • http://www.friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    Ficus– I could have been clearer here. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I’ve received these postcards regarding Intelligent Design as well as how sex before marriage is 100% wrong always. I’ve heard the arguments that are used in these types of sermons many times already, and knowing the pastors of these churches, I could safely assume no new arguments were going to be used. That is why there was no need for me to go.

    That said, in many cases, I will download the sermons when they are on the churches’ websites and listen to them later.

    The point I wanted to make was that the “flashiness” and “wow” factor of the postcards are often enough to get people to go to church– people who might not otherwise go.

    – Hemant

  • http://www.indefual.ca/ Indefual

    I take issue with #1 and #2, assuming you mean more than with regard to church.

    Are you counting atheist money going to Christian charities like Christian Children’s Fund or Habitat for Humanity as being “Christian” money?

    And are you counting Christian money going to pay for heating for their own Church building to be “charity”?

    You say that giving is part of the Christian way, and atheists just pay membership dues. Are you saying that atheists don’t give to charities? Or just not to Churches?

    If we are drawing a line between Christian charities and atheist Charities (which is what? A charity that is non religious?) are you counting all money raised by Oxfam as an atheist charity?

    Depending on what you mean, you could be right. But comparing a Church to American Atheists or the Humanist Association of Canada is misleading.

  • qiblix

    Interesting list.

    Indefual, I’ve seen serious studies backing up #1 & #2. I think it’s pretty clear they should be on the list.

    I wonder about #4. Certainly it varies quite a bit from one Christian group to another. Probably it’s right, I guess..

    I’m pretty iffy about #9, though. You gave the example of what to call the pro-life position. Well, what about the pro-choice position? Which do you hear more, “anti-life” or “pro-choice”? Possibly thinking that #9 is true is an easy trap to fall into, because we notice the phrases that annoy us, but not so much the ones that don’t.

  • http://www.indefual.ca/ Indefual

    I think I’ve seen those studies too. I just don’t count 100% of tithing as charity, since it pays for hydro for the church (for example). Or, at least, shouldn’t. If churches were treated as other non-profits (non-prophets?) and I could see what % went to real charity work, I might change my mind.

    And I don’t include NOT giving water to Katrina victims because it was supplied by a beer company to be “charity” work.

  • Ficus

    Ficus– I could have been clearer here. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Actually, in context of your overall blog, I think the comment was clear enough. My comment wasn’t intended to be directly pointed at you, just a rash generalization regarding similar statements I’ve heard from others who share your [dis]beliefs.

    And by the by, there are many of us Christians who are as annoyed as you are by many of the things you mentioned in your “things that Christians do in church that annoy me.” Though you left out a couple of my own pet peeves.

    And, in defense of #1 and #2, I think you can see it best on a local level. Churches run shelters, soup kitchens, give out clothing to the needy… when we had major floods here in New England a couple years ago, people were flocking to churches for aid, and churchgoers were practically giving them the clothes off their backs. I don’t recall the local freethinkers society inviting people in for soup and a blanket.

    (Though, they may have… perhaps they just didn’t have media coverage.)

  • David Adams

    >>Welcoming those who are new to the fold.

    What fold. I don’t believe gods exist. You don’t believe gods exist. That doesn’t mean we are part of the same club.
    This is one of the things that bothers me about the Christian establishment when they talk about “Atheists”. There is always the assumption that it is a “movement” and that leads to the held believe that Atheism is another believe system, when it actuality it is simply the absence of a god belief.

  • http://www.unoriginalgangster.com Adrian MacNair

    Need you say more? Yes. Ted Haggard.

  • Almundo

    Hmm, interesting article. But I take issue with one thing, the lumping of all atheists together like we are some kind of “new” church. Atheists are disparate and often have radically different views on a wide range of subjects, its our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. We (atheists) are not held under common goals, principals and views unlike most religions (I have not mentioned morality, shared or otherwise, because we derive morality from society, relgions just reinforce that, they do not create it.) but it means it is much, much harder to have one voice to shout about the few common views we have.

    I do not label myself an atheist like a Christian would labels themselves, perhaps there is less need to “pick a side” here in the UK but I still find it slightly absurd (and very partisan) that people who find no need for religion must somehow identify themselves as one “group”.

  • kezrah

    hey Ficus, I believe in flying spaghetti monsters… want to start a support group?

    :!

  • http://www.indefual.ca/ Indefual

    And, in defense of #1 and #2, I think you can see it best on a local level. Churches run shelters, soup kitchens, give out clothing to the needy[…] I don’t recall the local freethinkers society inviting people in for soup and a blanket.

    I understand your point. However, how many of those Christian organizations were using money from non-Christians and non-Christian people? Do you think no agnostics, atheist, Jews, Muslims, or Hindus ever give to the Salvation Army when they are on the street corner?

    Why should a freethought organization go out of their way to duplicate a service–along with duplicating the overhead to run the service–when they can just give to another organization which, because of their tax free status as a religion and under employed (in some cases) clergy men–can afford to run such a charity?

    I’m not saying the point is wrong–it may be right. But I question the common sense approach, and I question the above quoted statistics. And please be aware that I don’t question the honesty, or integrity of any of these sources, I just think things are slightly more complicated than meets the eye.

    Also, as others have said, to suggest that a freethought organization could do this even if it already existed is silly–many non-atheists would not donate to such a group (see recent CNN “panel” discussing prejudice against atheists, which did a great job of picking people with prejudice against atheists).

    Also, atheist groups tend to not be closely nit, have high enough membership to get enough money, nor enough people to fill the positions required to actually run a charity. Churches can choose among 80% of the population.

    It’s apples to strawberries. They are both fruit, but you eat them for different reasons.

  • racer

    I’m not an athiest but your last couple blogs have been very interesting. I couldn’t help but laugh at #10-is that how the secular world sees Christians? Those kooks on tv?

    reece
    http://www.squad77movie.com

  • txatheist

    racer,
    I don’t see most xians like that but I don’t deal with them very often. There are several churches near my home that I would dare say have preachers like Falwell who have a limited view on what is acceptable and what is the righteous path all of his parishioners need to follow. xians are across the board in thought and behavior but imo there are way too many fundies in my part of the world. I’m talking about regular educated people who somehow think the earth is 6000 years old, evolution is a hoax, and other non-scientific ideas.

  • steve

    Don’t remember the source, but there are studies that they live longer and handle stress better.

  • gd

    Christians and Atheists, like many other groups, are hampered by the baggage of those unrelated views they bring to build fervor.

    The bible does not say a word about contraception, evolution, or many other issues trumpeted today as fundamental. Those views are from interpretations of vague readings. Yet, many contenders which could form focii are criminal, such as stoning homosexuals. Without strife, there is no purpose for some, so enemies are found. Wounds are claimed and slights exaggerated.

    Atheism has it worse. By definition, it has no point around which one can rally. Non-car owners don’t have associations for that purpose. There are no anti-skiing clubs that own chalets on unspoilt hills. To this end, Atheism has made itself synonymous with socialist views. The poster somehow feels the ACLU is an Atheist club. Many Christians would agree. In reality, it is an organization for certain views on the Constitution and First Amendment in particular. Atheism, for many of its sympathizers, is an anti-Christian organization, as it appears to be for this site’s poster.

    I am an Atheist. I am an economic Republican. I am a skeptical Environmentalist. I am a gun-owner. I am a gay rights supporter. I am a militarist. All these positions can co-exist fundamentally, are well reasoned, were researched over decades, and influenced by hundreds of books, articles, and studies.

    It is the baggage each group carries that will stop me from ever attending a meeting. Especially of my fellow Atheists.

  • aimee

    this entire list could be modified to say that christians are better at one thing: organizing. and why are they better at organizing? a long history and an existing infrastructure. although faith is an individual choice (as i see it, at least), religion is hugely institutionalized (and that institutionalization, rather than any persuasive arguments, is a major part of why religion continues to thrive). pretty much all of the things that christians are “better” at stem from the fact that religion is inherently organized, while non-religion is inherently… not (and rightly so).

    christians have churches, officials, and major existing infrastructures at their disposal–not to mention a whole nation of people who generally support the assumption that something religious is somehow better or more moral than something not religious. plus, “church” is just something that people conceptually understand (as a positive thing, in most cases). even if you were in an area without a church, you could probably round up people to help you found one relatively easily: “yay, church, let’s celebrate god,” etc. people can understand what this would involve, and can support a religious mission.

    if you wanted to found an atheist center or a freethought center of some sort, however, people would be suspicious that it was just a front for selling drugs or killing babies (especially if you gave it the “atheist” label). outside of higher education, and possibly some government and nonprofit endeavors, we don’t have much in the way of institutionalized physical locations where we help each other think or support each other in thinking. that’s too bad, really, but it’s also why it’s hard to create a non-religious “presence” in life or the media.

    i am an atheist, and i’m with previous commentators in that i feel no need to organized with other atheists specifically. i do sometimes feel a need to organize *against* the political ambitions and practices of some nutjobs (some/many of whom happen to be christian), but i don’t think that organization absolutely needs to be atheistic–it just needs to be thoughtful. as a knee-jerk, bleeding heart liberal, i could possibly collaborate with a liberal christian better than with a gun-totin’ republican atheist–though of course it would depend what issue we were organizing on…

  • http://www.marked35.blogspot.com Mark E

    Both your lists have been really interesting, and written in a considerate manner.
    Thank you for the perspective.

  • allonym

    Sorry to bust in on what is, by now, a dead post – especially for something that is essentially off-topic. I just couldn’t stand to see one of the comments here go unanswered. It was this comment by qiblix:

    “I’m pretty iffy about #9, though. You gave the example of what to call the pro-life position. Well, what about the pro-choice position? Which do you hear more, “anti-life” or “pro-choice”? Possibly thinking that #9 is true is an easy trap to fall into, because we notice the phrases that annoy us, but not so much the ones that don’t.”

    Those who identify as “pro-life”, and whom it has been suggested might equally be called “anti-choice”, are against choice (literally anti-choice) with respect to abortion. It logically follows that those of this view favor continuing the lives of all of the unborn (literally pro-life) with respect to abortion. Thus, it is both fair and accurate to label anyone with such convictions as either “pro-life” or “anti-choice” in the limited scope of their views on abortion.

    Those who identify as “pro-choice”, and whom you suggest might equally be called “anti-life”, favor choice (literally pro-choice) with respect to abortion. It does not logically follow that those of this view favor ending the lives of all of the unborn (literally anti-life) with respect to abortion. It also does not directly follow (though perhaps there is an indirect implication) that they favor ending the lives of some of the unborn. Thus, it is fair and accurate to label anyone with such convictions as “pro-choice”, but it is neither fair nor entirely accurate to label them as “anti-life”.

    The inappropriateness of the term “anti-life”, rather than any media bias, probably accounts for why you don’t see the term being used in common debate. The same cannot be said of “anti-choice”, which has no media traction despite that it is a (mostly) fair and accurate description of the pro-life point of view.

  • Mriana

    ROFLMBO! I love #10. It’s so true and they are the two evangelist I can stand least. I can’t stand any of them really, but it does seem they eat their words a lot.

  • http://uncrediblehallq.blogspot.com/ Chris Hallquist

    I’m not so sure the random pastor is really a better speaker than Sam Harris. There’s much to be said for the ability to calmly, unemotionally skewer your opponent’s beliefs. I wish I were better at it. It may not be effective if you want to whip up an angry mob, but it seems to me the best way to actually win people over.

  • flashman

    Apples and oranges. Atheists are not a movement, not a group. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with another atheist at bar and laugh about the fanatics, but that is as far as it goes with me.

    What you seem to be wishing for is exactly what most atheists are liberated from. i.e. being sucked into yet another group based on their views on life and nature. Ugh.

  • http://members.fortunecity.com/northsider/index.html Sandra Garrett

    Atheists do volunteer work. For for one do quite a bit of volunteer work. Isn’t any group out there praising me for it. Letting the world know I do it, but I do volunteer work. I also help support financially groups I volunteer for; but, I am very careful about money I give to charity. Too afraid that it will end up in the hands of some religious organization which will use the money to try to force prayer in schools and end the right of women to have control over our own bodies. In short, I don’t give much to charity because I am afraid the money will be used against me. I suspect many atheists are the same.

  • Stephan

    “In short, I don’t give much to charity because I am afraid the money will be used against me. I suspect many atheists are the same. ”

    Wow…so it’s better to let those Africans starve than for them to hear about Jesus while they eat their free lunch? Are you implying that poor people NOT hearing a message which which you disagree is MORE important than them receiving help? Is it your job to “protect”/ “convert” from ideas you dont like or to help them?

    Are you views on “prayer in schools” and abortion rights MORE important than human life??

    Pardon me if that sound all the world to me like religious zealotry.

  • TXatheist

    No, it’s not better to let them starve but it’s better to feed them through a secular organization that teaches them a skill than to make them listen to something I find nearly useless in helping them in the future.
    Is it more important that a woman has a choice than it is to get her to go and use a coat hanger? Yes.
    Are my views more important than prayer in school? Not private prayers, they are entitled to pray if they choose to just as atheist kids rights to not have to pray are just as important.

  • TXatheist

    Stephan,
    Does your religion think it’s ok to bribe? Can they take the sandwich and tell you they don’t want to hear about your Jesus?

  • Stephan

    TXatheist,

    “Does your religion think it’s ok to bribe?”
    Of course not! It is true that a man could buy flowers for a woman to “bribe” her to like him, or he could do it simply because he loves her. Of course the difference in motive is shown if she rejects those flowers! Does he become spiteful and angry or does he continue to express love in ways she will receive?

    I was as mean as a snake to Christians for a LONG time…that didn’t stop them from loving me or helping me. That’s when i saw it was REAL love not an attempt to “get” anything. It was revealed that the source of this love was the God they served and before they met Him they were as selfish and mean as I was…that made me interested. I wasn’t bribed…i was Inspired. If you don’t see the difference I cant help you.

    Here are some scriptures to show this really is the Christian position:

    “God causes the rain to fall on the righteous and the wicked.” Ie. someone can be a God-hater and He will still let their crops grow and the beautiful sun-shine on them.

    Romans 5:7-87
    Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Would you die in someone’s place to save their life if you KNEW they would reject what you did for them? That’s what Jesus did. HE died for the sins of the world KNOWING some for whom He suffered would reject his sacrifice. Christians are called to do the same, to give love because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of if the people appreciate it or not. Remember some of the very people Jesus fed later chanted for His crucifixion. Were He trying to bribe them He would have let them starve.

    God created Adam and Eve with a free will, there was a choice to disobey, HE didn’t keep them captive. We value that. Love requires RISK. The risk of rejection is what makes love genuine.

    “Can they take the sandwich and tell you they don’t want to hear about your Jesus?”

    Of course! What do you think we are Catholics on a Crusade? Again, read your Bible and you will find that concept TOTALLY foreign to the teaching of Scripture and the practice of 99.9% of Christian churches. We give the food, and then if someone wants they can talk to us about WHY we even give a rip in the first place. That’s standard practice. James Robinson didn’t say “we don’t preach the gospel when we feed the poor” he said “We don’t make a DEAL with them. We feed them out of love. ”

    And by the way, I would encourage you to do a little research on the topic because I don’t know very many Christian organizations that don’t ALSO offer trades for the people to learn. World Visions is a good example. The goal is to make every village self sufficient. To work ourselves OUT of a job. If you can prove otherwise then very well. But I think you’ll be able too.

    So your straw-man arguments aside
    again I ask:
    assuming the people are NOT forced to convert or listen, but ARE presented an opportunity to listen to the Gospel which they can either accept or deny without consequences. Assuming the people ARE taught a trade and the goal is to make them self-sufficient. And assuming (as is case in many parts of the world) Christians are the only ones in that area reaching out…would you still withhold contributions on the grounds that the Gospel is also presented with everything else ? Would you withhold your support and the saving of human lives because of ideological differences.
    If so you are a religious zealot, end of story.

    “Is it more important that a woman has a choice than it is to get her to go and use a coat hanger? Yes.”

    Another straw-man argument.
    1. She could have the baby and give it up for adoption. “Coat hangers” are NOT the de-facto alternative, for your argument to be valid it would have to be.
    2. Please provide me with the link to a study that shows this “coat-hanger’ thing to be more than an urban legend or more than an isolated incident that got tons of media attention. I’m willing to be wrong.

  • Stephan

    “But I think you’ll be able too.”

    Should read:
    I DONT think you’ll be able too.”

  • Karen

    Another straw-man argument.
    1. She could have the baby and give it up for adoption. “Coat hangers” are NOT the de-facto alternative, for your argument to be valid it would have to be.

    Oh, sure. Because just “have-the-baby-and-give-it-up-for-adoption” is such an easy, casual thing to do. (rolling my eyes) Your lack of compassion and misunderstanding of women and the emotional and physical rigors of pregnancy and birthing are breathtaking. Have you ever carried a pregnancy and gone through labor yourself?

    2. Please provide me with the link to a study that shows this “coat-hanger’ thing to be more than an urban legend or more than an isolated incident that got tons of media attention. I’m willing to be wrong.

    An urban legend? That millions of U.S. women used to die from infections and blood loss and other complications of botched abortions and self-induced abortions is a well-documented fact. Lots of women still remember those awful times. What in the world gave you the idea that that was an urban legend?

    Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

    A study concluded in 1968[2] determined that over 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed every year in the United States, a portion of which were performed by women acting alone. The study suggested that the number of women dying as a result of self-induced abortions exceeded those resulting from abortions performed by another person. Due to estimated underreporting of illegal procedures, these numbers may not be accurate. [citation needed] A 1979 study noted that many women who required hospitalization following self-induced abortion attempts were admitted under the pretext of having had a spontaneous abortion.[3]

    Here are some of the horrific methods desperate U.S. women before 1973 used to induce abortion (and unfortunately still use in parts of the world where abortion is illegal):

    * physical exertion designed to bring about a miscarriage
    * abdominal massage
    * receiving blows to the abdominal area
    * attempted removal of the fetus with a coat-hanger or similar device inserted into the uterus through the cervix
    * attempted piercing of the fetus with a knitting needle or similar device inserted into the uterus through the cervix
    * self-induced suction through the insertion of a rubber tube into the uterus via the cervix
    * ingesting abortifacients, high quantities of vitamin C, or other substances believed to induce miscarriage
    * douching with substances believed to induce miscarriage (beginning in the 1960s, many women used Coca Cola for this purpose, although its utility is at least dubious)

    Many of the above named methods present significant dangers to the life or health of the woman. In particular, attempts to insert hazardous objects into the uterus can cause punctures leading to septicemia. Ingesting or douching with harmful substances can have poisonous results. Receiving blows to the abdomen, whether self inflicted or at the hands of another, can damage organs. Furthermore, the less dangerous methods – physical exertion, abdominal massage, and ingestion of relatively harmless substances thought to induce miscarriage – are less effective, and may result in the fetus developing birth defects. However, abdominal massage abortion is traditionally practised in Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia [6] [7].

    The cheap prescription drug Misoprostol is often used as an abortifacient in self-induced abortion in Latin American countries where legal abortions are unavailable, and its use has also been observed in immigrant populations in New York.[8] Although abortion proponents deem this method to be safer than those using insertion of objects or chemicals into the uterus, they also note that failure to effect an abortion by this method can lead to the child being born with serious birth defects.[9]

  • Stephan

    Nice study, I was wrong about the amount of women affected by illegal abortion. See…told you I was willing to be wrong,

    “Oh, sure. Because just “have-the-baby-and-give-it-up-for-adoption” is such an easy, casual thing to do”

    Umm…as opposed to the psycological and physical trauma of having your own child ripped apart inside you..which i guess in your view IS an easy casual thing to do? Once you are pregnant, NO option is easy and casual.

    You’re right, I’m a man, i’ve never been pregnant, however ‘ve worked with women who have had abortions, and it’s not so cut-and-dried as you make it sound. MANY of them suffered horrible emotional and physical side-effects as a result. I’ve seen that first hand. I NEVER ONCE saw a woman leave an abortion clinic smiling. I remember one particular woman we spoke with (who didn’t kill her baby thank God) telling us that she had an abortion a year before to the day she was there again, and that whole year she kept on having nightmares of her baby calling out to her…”easy and casual” my foot.
    So legal or not, It’s not exactly as if even legal abortion is a SAFE procedure. I mean you have to know that’s a well documented fact.

    Heres one website among many that talk about it. Some are on “your side” and only list the “mild” (if you call internal bleeding mild) ones

    http://www.americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/possiblesideeffects.html

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/birth-control-pregnancy/abortion/risks-and-side-effects.htm

    And of ALL people planned parent hood, which is the largest abortion provider in the USA has a conflict of interests in the stuff they list as side-effects.

    Some point out those ignore facts.

    http://www.abortioninfo.net/facts/affect2.shtml

    And some expose the history of these racist butchers for what they are. I’m a brown guy remember?
    http://www.klanparenthood.com/History_of_Abortion_Statistics/

  • Stephan

    “Some point out those ignore facts.”

    Should be “some point out those ignored facts”

  • Justin

    You forgot about Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. They’re not as boring to listen to.

  • Andrew Evans

    Great piece friendly atheist.

    I have to say I’m not convinved about no 9 though.

    On the “pro-life”/”pro-choice” thing I think both sides could make this claim. So which you you hear more often: “pro-choice” or “anti-life”?

  • Polly

    4. Welcoming those who are new to the fold.

    So true! I remember the day I finally said I was an atheist out loud.

    I waited all day and no one stopped by! I kept thinking someone from the EAC should be here any minute now with a black briefcase containing “supplies.”
    You know – evolution chart of man showing progress from hunchback on the left to modern man on the far right, a copy of Richard Dawkins’s latest book or S.J. Gould’s, some kind of ring or membership card…but NOTHING, not even a nice tote!

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  • justanotherjones

    I also disagree with numbers 1 & 2. I think whatever figures they use might be skewed in some way to reflect, for instance, all monies collected by a religious organization. And which groups are getting the money? I’m an atheist but I shop at and donate to charity thrift stores, for example.

    I also give money to secular groups like The Red Cross.

    As for 5, fewer and fewer of us are hiding our atheist lights under proverbial bushels. That’s sort of like stealth marketing.

    And 8, I try to battle the the dissemination of ignorance and lies by speaking out where I find them.

  • shawn burch

    umm so you go out and do something, not because you want to help. not because you feel compassion. but because your afraid that if you dont some god is going to send you to hell? that makes you worse! aethiest who go out and do charity work are doing it because they actually want to help. and because they dont use a crutch like religion to hold themselves above other people. that whole im better than you because i have faith is bull. religion does not make you better. most people it makes worse. look at history, religion is the leading cause of death. (if there is a hell) you deserve to go there because you have no compasion for those who need it. you just do something because if you do you can brag about it like its some medal of honer. your a horrible person. go find a single mom with three jobs and still finds the time to pick up her kid at school and take them to soccer practice and tell her your better than she is because you have FAITH. i dare you. your sick

  • Sandra

    It really simple….abortion is Murder! If you are a Christian or an atheist, if someone killed your mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, etc….it is illegal, it is murder and the killer would go to prison. Killing unborn babies is NO different, it is MURDER! I agree with Stephen, none of it is cut and dry…but I would rather carry and birth a baby and give it up for adoption than to have to live the rest of my life knowing that I took life.(murder a unborn baby!) I have 3 beautiful children of which one is born from a rape. Life or Death you have a choice. Murder is illegal no matter how you look at it.

    I am also a single mother and I have never encounter a Christian who thought or said they were better than me. Faith is an awesome thing! It’s what gives hope and says things will get better, if you have ever been in a tragic situtation and knew that you were going to be o.k in the end you exceried faith.

    And for you all who believe you evolved from an ape. LOL. I haven’t seen any apes jumping out of any trees lately in suits and carring brief cases. LOL. I was fearfully and wonderfully made.

  • Mriana

    Sandra, a blastocyst is a set of cells that attach to the uterine wall, not a baby. A zygote looks more like a frog than a human. Sure the DNA outcome is human, but if the mother’s physical or mental health is in danger, then IMO, it is ok to terminate the pregnancy. There are other reasons to terminate a pregnancy too- like the father rapes his young teenage daughter who is not fully grown physically. I have heard other legitimate reasons too.

    Now here is a question for you, a miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion. Humm…. Think about it. By your definition, your God is a murderer.

    BTW, you are also an ape. We descended from a common ancestor of other apes. You also share similar DNA of a pig too.

    And why are we commenting on something that was posted 2 years ago, anyway?

  • Piledriver

    I second what Almundo said: “I take issue with one thing, the lumping of all atheists together like we are some kind of “new” church.”

    I think many of you folks (atheist writers and activists) do think you represent a church of some sort and everyone in the fold agrees with your doctrine.

    If that’s how you see it, go ahead and file for your religious tax exemption. The rest of us can then maybe come up with a better descriptor of our non-participation in all forms of groupthink.

  • Pingback: The myth of Christian charity (part 1) « YASHWATA

  • bwah1234

    I quite disagree with #1 and #2. Here is a wonderful analysis of the myth of christian charity, and another discussing why if you donate money you shouldn’t donate it to a church as less than 20% of it is used for the actual charity purpose.

  • http://www.andysstudy.org Andrew Evans

    Bwah1234: obviously if you define all the things churches do as not charitable you will conclude that not much of a church’ spending is charitable!

    But, of course the pastors (like me) whose, usually very modest, salaries you criticise spend much of our time, apart from preaching, visiting the sick, counselling relationships, burying the dead and comforting the bereaved. Of course the evangelists you see on TV don’t do that. Bu they aren’t typical Christians any more than Richard Dawkins is a typical secularist! Using the worst examples of something does not, as you ought to know, constitute a good argument against the whole.

    Since millions (in fact billions) of people globally find such services helpful what authority have you to determine that they are not charitable?

  • anonymous

    As one poster already mentioned, the problem with this article is that it compares apples with oranges.

    Christians are part of a club because they share many common beliefs derived from a thick book which is the bible. They have a lot of stuff to talk about and they share the common mission to save unbaptized souls. That’s a big mission that requires people to work together.

    Atheists only share the idea that they do not believe in god(s). They do not have a common mission, nor do they usually want one. The Atheist club you describe is actually a political club with political missions. It’s not a bunch of people hanging out repeating how they don’t believe in god(s) and giving each other high fives every time someone restates the claim.

    As an atheist-ignostic, I would never want to be part of an Atheist club. The core of an Atheist’s thinking is usually that he is a logical and rational thinker who requires evidence before believing a certain claim. He is an individual thinker who likes to read and come to his own conclusions, he is not a ‘clubster’ looking for friends to partake in his beliefs. Create an Atheist club and it won’t be long before you apply for a tax exemption under the pretext that you have formed a religion, and the truth is it won’t even be a pretext, you really will have a religion on your hands.

    Perhaps it would have been better to title your piece “10 Things Christians are better at than Congregating Atheists” or “10 Things Christians are better at than people who favor umbrellas over rain coats.”

  • Anonymous

    10 Things they are ACTUALLY good at:

    1) Lying

    2) Promoting their cult

    3) Brainwashing Children and not allowing them to experience more than 1 opinion

    4) Getting offended all the time

    5) Believing in god, even though there are thousands of mechanical and scientific errors through out and around the bible

    6) Generally only accepting information from people that believe the same as them

    7) Telling others that they will be sent to hell, making them uncomfortable (Great way to promote your religion)

    8) Wasting their time doing religious stuff

    9) licking windows

    10) Eating crumbs off the floor

  • http://twitter.com/annovig annovig

    Lol you people need a life. Focus on yourself not others. focus on being a better person, not bringing others down.