Not sure if the PostSecret submitter is gay, atheist, or something else entirely.
Check out other religious PostSecret entries here. [tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]
Having grown up in fundi thumper land and having been an atheist since day one, I’ve had quite a few people believe that I am going to hell after I die. That being said, it has also always been the fundi bible thumpers that have cared enough to try to save me. I guess everybody loves a project. I think you get extra points if you save an atheist anyway 😉 I do say that there is a soft spot in my heart for fundamentalists even if I think their focus on the afterlife is VERY misplaced.
It may surprise some that I do attend an evangelical church and also participate in an adult bible-study “small group” that meets once a week. I fulfill their need of wanting to have the small group reach out to an unbeliever and they fill my need of wanting to learn more about how fundamentalists think. I do, though, make a effort to see things from their perspective and don’t argue with them. We had an interesting breakthrough the other day… One of the small group members confided a few things to me out of the group where it was hinted at that the small group tended to be a bit intimidating where they were all “perfect Christians” and it was hard to open up. I quipped to the group when that person was absent that perhaps each of us, when we next meet as a full group, should list the top 3 reasons why we are each going to hell… to create an atmosphere where it is more conducive for people to open up. That actually went over very well. Some of them quipped that their list would be much longer than 3.
Jeff…you’re my hero. I’ll write more later about why but…you’re LIVING the “friendly atheist” lifestyle. Just wow. You’re awesome!!!
My family probably thinks I’m going to hell unless I return to the church, but they never talk to me about it. They probably know it wouldn’t do any good to challenge me on what I think.
“Still, it’s sad (and scary) that someone could believe that to be true…”
In all seriousness, Hemant, why? I’ve run into quite a few people who get upset at the idea that other people believe they are going to hell. Many of them are my fellow queers. Maybe I’m just clueless, but it has never bothered me at all. If there is no hell, then I’m not going there. If, on the other hand, the Christian hell exists, I certainly am. Granted, many Christians do feel some malign satisfaction at that idea, but no more than the nonbelievers who read the Darwin Awards feel at the idea that some people are too stupid to live.
I get the impression that even many atheists want their faith to be painless, so to speak, requiring no conflict or any price at all for being a bold, courageous dissenting nonconformist. There’s a bit of a contradiction there, I think: ‘I’m a bold courageous dissenting nonconformist who dares to think differently from the stupid brainwashed masses — but don’t disagree with me or I’ll immediately collapse in panic and tears!’
There’s a fair amount of passive-aggression in the religious stance of weeping crocodile tears over the ‘fact’ that I, as an atheist (or homosexual, or Presbyterian) am going to Hell. (Oh, it really hurts me that you’re going to be tortured forever! [Not as much as it’ll hurt me!] Won’t you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ so I’ll be able to sleep at night? [Well, it depends. Is he cute?]) But there’s at least as much in this yammering over the fact that many Christians take seriously one of the basic premises of their cult. (It really hurts me that you think I’m going to hell. You’re not a nice person, like me.)
Jeff’s approach is similar to mine, though mine (depending on the Christian I’m dealing with) is a bit more direct. I’ve told more than one Christian, “I’ll see you in Hell.” Which, if their beliefs are correct, I will, because they’re going to face the same judgment they expect for me, and they will certainly come up lacking. Has anyone besides me read Walter Kauffmann’s dialogues between Satan and a theologian, Christian, and atheist respectively, in his Critique of Religion and Philosophy? Maybe it’s just a sign of my generation, but I think that Kauffmann was a much better thinker on these matters than Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. (They don’t make atheists like they used to in my day!)
Well that is a good Sunday morning laugh. 😆 I’ve heard that before too. Not to mention a whole list of names. Most of the time, I can laugh.
You know Google’s putting anti-atheist ads on your site, right?
I’ve never been bothered by people thinking I’m going to hell, but if it were my best friend? That would bother me. If she could think that and be happy living with that belief, I’m thinking I would want a new best friend.
And you might want to consider clicking on them. That’s Google’s AdWords advertising, and everytime someone clicks on one of those and goes to their site, it costs them ten cents, and that’s ten more cents they can’t do damage with by spending more effectively.
Won’t you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ so I’ll be able to sleep at night? [Well, it depends. Is he cute?])
Thank you, Duncan, I *will* be using that line!