How I Wish More Christians Would Respond

Here’s an encouraging story from the Las Vegas Emergent Cohort leader about one Christian high school student’s response to the atheist bus ads. It starts:

I recently read an article in the New York Times that explained how Atheists in Britain, with the strong celebrity of Dr. Richard Dawkins at the helm, launched a campaign to preach a godless message across their country via bus advertisements.

I shared the article with my Apologetics students (I’m a teacher at a private school) and asked them to give me their initial thoughts. Most of the kids were filled with outrage. “We should hit back with our own billboards”, one yelled. “Yea, and the government shouldn’t let Atheists write that kind of stuff anyway, it should be illegal”, agreed another.

I kept a blank face while I listened to the students campaign for censorship and more aggressive proselytizing, but in my heart I sighed with discouragement. These kids don’t hear anything I say, I thought to myself, despite months of instruction, they still see these issues in only two dimensions. But then, to my great astonishment, one my students bravely put forth a different opinion…

Click here to read the rest.

  • Eric

    Sorry, but I find this incredibly condescending.
    Especially this bit, “We know that its hurt that caused the Atheists to do this.”

  • Beowulff

    I have to say, the student started off pretty well, but I couldn’t help but wince when he started to see all the new possibilities to proselytize opened up by the atheist bus campaign.

    I also couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at the fact that a high school, even a private one, teaches Apologetics.

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    Sorry, but I find this incredibly condescending.

    My thought exactly. Still better than anger and violence though. I mean, atheists are quite often condescending toward Christians as well….

  • Sara

    The kids talk about hitting back with their own billboards? Those

    “[insert I'm-watching-you-esque statement here]” – God

    billboards have been dotting the highways for years before atheists got these bus billboards. Theists beat us to the punch there.

  • Aj

    a) They do realise that Great Britain isn’t in the United States right?

    b) “Christian” schools, more like indoctrination centres, how they speak creeps me out.

    c) I don’t know what’s so “evil” about the sign.

    d) Are they teaching these kids classical elements? Fire is the opposite of water?

  • Karen

    Meh, that teacher sure has a great memory to remember that student’s words like that. Sounds like a short story to me, not a real life encounter in the classroom, but that’s just me.

  • SarahH

    I agree that, while the student started out well, his tolerance seemed to come pre-packaged with evangelism and pity.

    Still, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t better than those who would rather respond with censorship and insults.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    As a Christian Mike, I shall take up your invite to respond :)

    1) British Christians views on the signs range from ‘Meh’ to ‘Great! More opportunities to talk about God”.

    The fact is the Christian religion is led by a man who was violently, brutally killed as a convicted criminal – Call it insane if you will but most genuine Christians see persecution in any form as a privelege and opportunity to stand with Christ and spread the gospel!

    Through history, the church has done better in times of persecution and it will always.

    2) There are a few who are weak in faith and perhaps new Christians, or they have lost their way and these will protest.. and when they do the media will always give them the microphone to broadcast their ignorance.

    But so far the worst response I’ve heard from any Christian is that it’s silly. That’s it.

    3) I personally wish that they had dropped the ‘probably’ and gone for something much stronger. I wish it DID say “THERE IS NO GOD”.. with it the slogan is very poor and really isn’t worthy to be considered an attack or something like that. (Also the excuse given to include “probably” has to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard- very stupid)

    The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons. It’s not, it’s a nod to the British talent for understatement. Silly woman!

    Must try harder.

  • http://cheerfulatheist.ca/ cheerfulatheist

    The “probably” isn’t weak – it’s intellectually honest. We don’t know for sure, no one can. We are just pretty damn sure and live our lives accordingly. I’m not British but I really like the “understatement” element. It’s not preachy, it’s not an attack, it’s as if all atheists just shrug and say “hey, chill out”.

    I like it.

  • Aj

    Alex Fear,

    see persecution in any form

    Are you suggesting the bus ads are a form of persecution to Christians?

    The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons.

    The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

    Lots of people are getting this wrong, so here’s a quote. Lots of atheists don’t believe “there is no god”, they can only agree with statements like “there is probably no god, although I and others prefer “almost certainly” as it’s more accurate.

    There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t). As Richard Dawkins states in The God Delusion, saying “there’s no God” is taking a “faith” position. He writes: “Atheists do not have faith; and reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist”. His choice of words in the book is “almost certainly”; but while this is closer to what most atheists believe, “probably” is shorter and catchier, which is helpful for advertising. I also think the word is more lighthearted, and somehow makes the message more positive.

    ‘Probably’ the best atheist bus campaign ever by Ariane Sherine

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    The kids talk about hitting back with their own billboards? Those

    “[insert I'm-watching-you-esque statement here]” – God

    billboards have been dotting the highways for years before atheists got these bus billboards. Theists beat us to the punch there.

    Exactly the other student’s point if I recall. Personally I don’t think he intended to be “condescending” by implying that atheists were acting out of hurt. I think he meant simply to call attention to exactly what you have here – that Christians have been attacking atheists for years, and that we should therefore understand these sorts of “counter-attacks” as simply a returning of the favor. (Not that I personally think that these ads are much of an “attack”.) In other words, he’s calling Christians to be reflective about their own bad behavior instead of getting offended by the viewpoints of others.

    As for “prosyletism”, that’s usually just a label applied to whatever the “other side” does to promote it’s message, while one’s owns attempts are seen as simply “speaking the truth”. Tell me, how are the bus ads any less “prosyletism” than the student’s suggestion that the ads could be used to spark conversations about God? And what’s so bad about either of them? Personally I’m all for open dialogue between viewpoints in a free marketplace of ideas. If an ad placed by an atheist, and an opportunity siezed by a young Christian can help spark conversations about the deeper questions in life, more power to them. I agree with the kid, most people in life live on the surface, too busy with trivial things to consider deeper matters. What I like about most atheists I meet is that they tend to be people who don’t live that way – they have wrestled with the deeper questions of existence. So I like this kid’s suggestion that the bus ads could be used as an opportunity to invite others to wrestle with them as well.

    Let me ask this, isn’t that what you hope would be the result of those ads? Wouldn’t that be the ideal outcome – that people, on both sides, would start talking and thinking more deeply about the issues? If not, what was the point of them in the first place? Just to piss off some Christians during the holidays?

  • Miko

    While I wouldn’t have used that exact language, I don’t think it’s overly condescending. Once you get past the words used, they do make some good points. e.g., I wouldn’t say that “hurt” caused it, but almost all organized action by atheists qua atheists is in response to action by theists (since we wouldn’t bother otherwise, at least not in meaningful numbers), so they’ve got the underlying idea right. And any opportunity for them to use it as a start to proselytizing is equally an opportunity for someone to agree with the statement in the ad. (And based on my personal experience, Christians are going to be constantly proselytizing on buses no matter what ads are or aren’t there anyway.) Perhaps its just a libertarian thing, but tolerance is among the highest virtues for me, so I’m doubly glad that they hit on that right away.

    On the other hand: a class in apologetic? I support their right to have it, but still…seriously?

  • Miko

    Let me ask this, isn’t that what you hope would be the result of those ads? Wouldn’t that be the ideal outcome – that people, on both sides, would start talking and thinking more deeply about the issues? If not, what was the point of them in the first place?

    To me, the second sentence (“Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”) is the more important one. I see it targeted more to atheists than theists, in the same way that gays coming out of the closet is in a large part to provide support other gays rather than to convince straights to become gay. With widespread semi-demonization of atheists, something like that could be an enormously positive message to an atheist who’s afraid to admit it. But even though I don’t think the goal you saw was the primary goal, I support it as well; call it a bonus.

  • Richard Wade

    comment lost.

  • TygerFish

    Ah, if only more religious people were like that…

    Sorry, but I find this incredibly condescending

    At least they’re not trying to kill, torture, or explicitly oppress us. Look on the bright side: the more they want to talk, the more we can explain to them why these silly beliefs of theirs are not only ill-founded but often harmful. :)

    Oh… was that condescending of me? Probably. But hey, the theist and I both think that the other is wrong. No way around that. As long as we treat each other as human beings, though, we can have a civil discussion about it and coexist peacefully in the same society.

    So bravo for this guy and his student!

  • Richard Wade

    I don’t see the young man’s response as deliberately condescending. It may be naive and burdened with some misconceptions about atheists because he’s probably never actually known any atheists well enough to understand their experience more accurately, but it promises a far better outcome than the reaction of his fellow students.

    The encouraging thing is that he made an attempt at empathy, accurately or not. That will improve with age and experience. He was also willing to take responsibility for how the dominance of Christians’ assumptions has allowed them to ignore, dismiss and suppress those who doubt, and so many Christians have become smug and intellectually fat and lazy. He is wisely saying that they should not continue in that manner.

    The other students, immediately expressing outrage, threat, and aggression are doing what I would call reacting.

    The one student, who at least talks about having dialogues and respectful interactions with atheists, fence-sitters or the simply disinterested is doing what I would call responding.

    A reaction is instantaneous and done without circumspection. There is no stopping to consider alternate points of view. The focus is on the reactor’s needs only.

    A response is more well considered and involves at least a modicum of examining other viewpoints. The focus is on the best outcome for all concerned.

    Like Mike, I also wish that more Christians would respond in the manner of this young man. Not only would it encourage more searching dialogue between people, it would encourage more searching dialogue within people.

  • Miko

    Richard: Love the reaction/response distinction. I think I’m going to have to steal that in the future.

    Like Mike, I also wish that more Christians would respond in the manner of this young man. Not only would it encourage more searching dialogue between people, it would encourage more searching dialogue within people.

    The only flaw I see is that the student skipped the step of self-exploration. Looking at things from atheists’ shoes is a good step and I wholeheartedly support reflecting on how that should guide their behavior towards atheists, but it’d be nice if the student could also add a moment reflecting that we could be right and considering what that means for his/her own beliefs. My understanding of my atheistic beliefs has certainly benefited from such considerations during my conversations with Mike C.-style Christians. And as J.S. Mill wrote, you can never fully understand your own position without fully understanding the opposing views.

  • Richard Wade

    Miko,
    I think that the young man will eventually turn his eyes toward himself, but that is usually a much slower process. He took what a 16 year-old would see as a big risk in the company of his peers just to propose that they try empathy. To actively introspect is even more difficult even for adults who are less dependent on peer approval for their self esteem. By the time he’s 21 he will probably be both a very interesting and very interested person.

    What a delight it is to have polylogues such as these with all you remarkable people.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Mike, I don’t find the prosyletizing aspect troubling. Or even the condescension or pity. Yes, this is clearly in many ways a good response.

    Still, there’s a fair amount in his response that I find troubling. I think there’s a real lack of perspective in his view that the ads are a “pushy and aggressive” attack, but that they should, like Christ teaches, “beat evil [not] with matched aggression, [but] with love.” I see Christian advertising all the time—pretty much every time I drive by a church—and it never occurrs to me to view them as attacks, or to describe my lack of anger at them as Christ-like. He seems rather self-congratulatory about “turning the other cheek” to what is nothing more than a billboard stating a belief different than his own. I know I’m focusing on the negative, and it is cool that he’s taken the time to try to look at things from the perspective of an atheist, and argue against the majority of his class; but I feel like there’s still some stuff here that’s not so cool, too.

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    Richard, once again I find myself agreeing with you from across the [ir]religious divide. I found it heartwarming to hear of these kid’s speaking out, in a way which shifted the conversation amongst his peers. I find it heartwarming that atheists like yourself can recognize the openness this represents, despite their naivete and evangelistic zeal. It’s a step towards genuine understanding and peaceful coexistance.

  • http://www.vegascohort.blogspot.com Jim

    Hello everybody, I am Jim, the guy who wrote this post on the blog you are discussing.

    I wrote a second post that is directly addressed to all of you at this website, and if you have a moment, I would appreciate you giving it a once over.

    It can be found at the same website, http://www.vegascohort.blogspot.com, that the original post was found.

    Thank you,

    Jim

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    I really liked the Christian response. It shows a level of thoughtfulness that isn’t often displayed on either side of the debate. I know that I would just ignore a Christian sign on a bus rather than be treat it as a reason to discuss atheism although a strongly worded evangelical response might raise my hackles and prompt me to mutter something about keeping personal faith personal.

    Now I’m off to read Jim’s follow up post.

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    Here is a question: is it possible to completely separate our personal and public selves?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    I was touched and encouraged that there might be a better breed of Christianity brewing… But I couldn’t help but think back to those old Saturday Night Live skits with Steve Martin where he portrays some medieval character spouting enlightenment about some subject and then at the end say “Nahh” and goes back to the dominant belief system.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    @Aj

    Are you suggesting the bus ads are a form of persecution to Christians?

    Actually I thought about this and I thought my wording was wrong.. no it’s not an attack (though some might see it this way) but you get the gist of what I am saying. It’s a good opportunity not a declaration of war or anything.

    The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

    “After that, I Googled Carlsberg and found this marketing site, which suggests that using the word “probably” at the start of the ad saved Carlsberg from litigation.” – Ariane Sherine, Atheists – Gimme Five, 20/06/08

    Long before the article you quoted. They’ve given all manner of excuses since then.

    And the Carlsberg Ad:

    http://www.brandrepublic.com/Campaign/News/472122/Scandinavia-Great-nordic-conquerors/

    “According to Jakob Knudsen, Carlsberg’s international brand director: “The Scandinavian understated sense of humour is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. If you take other premium Scandinavian brands such as Bang & Olufsen, they won’t tell you they’re the best. Instead, they let the quality speak for itself.”

    Only America would produce, “King of Beers” or “World’s Finest” and market their products as the biggest, best, favourite, fastest, greatest etc…

    This advertising (up until recently perhaps) would never work in the UK, but picture 2 blokes in a pub, one declares “This is the best lager I’ve ever tasted!”, the other, being British is likely to respond “I don’t think so, I think I’ve tasted better.” But if the first was to casually mention “This is probably the best lager I’ve ever tasted” then the other may likely agree with him “Probably.”

    Typical MSM journalist, gets her research from an internet forum rather than the source. :D

  • benjdm

    Wouldn’t that be the ideal outcome – that people, on both sides, would start talking and thinking more deeply about the issues? If not, what was the point of them in the first place?

    I thought the point was to normalize atheism as a viewpoint. Make it a ‘typical’ thing in the culture.

  • Spork

    Typical. Where I accurately see condescension and a complete lack of critical thought, Hemant the doormat sees hope.

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    Christians are supposed to rejoice and be exceeding glad when they are persecuted. They are not supposed to get mad or fight back. They are not suppose to whine and complain. They are not supposed to file lawsuits or take out ads. I guess most have not heard the sermon on the mount.

    Matthew 5:11&12 (KJV)

    Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

    I think that today’s Christians are spitting in Jesus’s face by the way they so often directly reject his teachings. Talk about taking the name of the Lord in vain. It’s not about profanity. It’s about claiming to follow Jesus while ignoring his words.

  • benjdm

    Typical. Where I accurately see condescension and a complete lack of critical thought, Hemant the doormat sees hope.

    Read who the author is again. Hemant hasn’t commented on this.

  • SarahH

    Typical. Where I accurately see condescension and a complete lack of critical thought, Hemant the doormat sees hope.

    Hemant posts all sorts of stories and lets us decide for ourselves whether we see hope or condescension, for instance. Shades of grey, anyone?

  • Eric

    @Spork

    While I agree that it was condescending (after all, that was my last comment), I don’t think Hemant is a doormat. The view of the student how stood up is refreshing compared to the majority of the class. At least he’s trying to understand. I’m okay with small steps as long as it’s in a positive direction.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    I appreciate the intent and lesson behind this, but there’s still a good deal of elitism in that’s student’s response and reasons for drumming up a professional retort for the bus ads.

  • Skeptimal

    While (like Karen) I’m skeptical about the extent of the discussion in the classroom, I don’t find the idea of the kid’s response to be unbearably condescending. The fact is that they think we’re wrong. How are they supposed to act? We think they’re wrong, too, and a lot of things we say are taken as arrogant because of that.

    I don’t care that most of the people I know think I’m going to hell as long as they’re not smiling at the thought.

  • Jaroslav Sveda

    writerdd: “Christians are supposed to rejoice and be exceeding glad when they are persecuted. They are not supposed to get mad or fight back.”

    Sice when is running an ad campaign persecution? If GB or USA were ruled by e.g. islamic theocracy or communists, and would be imprisoned/slaughtered for their beilefs, that would be persecution.

    But the reaction of the rest of the class was more like reaction of spoiled child from which something, which the child took for granted, is suddenly taken away.

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    Sice when is running an ad campaign persecution?

    It’s not. But they sure act like it. So even if it’s just perceived persecution, the point stands.

  • elf_man

    Okay, this kid is 16 and figured out this much despite the influence of his classmates. That’s damned impressive. And I can see some of it being criticized as condescending, but to me it mostly reads as naive, which makes sense because, again, he’s 16 in what sounds like an excessively Christian private school. Look at the hypocrisy of so many adult Christians who can’t even see why these adds are a response and not an attack, who think that whatever they do is fine because it serves their God and are oversensitive to perceived persecution. If this kid keeps working with this train of thought, even if he remains Christian, at least he’s one we should be able to get along with.

  • http://resurrectiondebate.blogspot.com/ Steven Carr

    Here is what the author wrote on his blog ‘However when the Israelites killed their enemies, even their women and children, it was merely an act of war (justified killing according to the conditions of one nation at war with another).’

    Killing *all* the men, women and children of a tribe is justified killing?

    The author writes ‘We see God himself striking down countless people, even innocent ones, which looks from every angle like murder, but Christians again defend this as Just -since God is Master of all things it is His prerogative to give life, or take it away.’

    Somebody thinks it is just to strike down ‘countless’ people, even ‘innocent ones’ does not have the right to crow about how tolerant he is to allow a poster on a side of a bus.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Typical. Where I accurately see condescension and a complete lack of critical thought, Hemant the doormat sees hope.

    This seems to be a recurring problem. Whenever I post something at least a few people assume it came from Hemant. I’m not sure what to do about that except remind folks that this is a group blog and to always make sure you check who the author of a post was before reading. Perhaps knowing that this was posted by the token Christian blogger here will change the assumptions you make when reading it. At the very least, you should know that if you don’t like it, your beef is with me and not with Hemant.

    Peace
    -Mike

  • J. J. Ramsey

    Steven Carr, you should have provided a link to the post from which you quoted, at least so people can see some of the last parts in the original post, such as this:

    My attempt was to demonstrate how easy it is to make one’s argument by slanting scripture in their direction, and then accusing the other side of being disingenious. As I said at the end of the essay, it is a caricature.

    From http://vegascohort.blogspot.com/2008/11/god-is-pro-choice.html

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Wow, Steven, that’s some quality misrepresentation.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    To be fair to Steven, it looks like the author of the post “God is Pro-Choice” did, for example, take seriously the idea that Abraham had the authority to kill his son, although it’s equally clear that he doesn’t think that authority can be exercised arbitrarily, e.g. not for something as trivial as refusing to do chores. It’s just that what he said about his essay being a caricature makes it maddeningly unclear what kinds of killing he really thinks are justified.

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    This seems to be a recurring problem. Whenever I post something at least a few people assume it came from Hemant.

    That’s why we started using the avatars on skepchick.

  • http://aurorawalkingvacation.blogspot.com Paul

    Like many 16 year olds, the student in question here is very naive and idealistic sounding. As he grows up a bit, he will learn what most other Christians eventually learn: honest, open dialogue, and rational intellectual thought are the enemy of religious belief.

  • http://odgie.wordpress.com odgie

    Like many 16 year olds, the student in question here is very naive and idealistic sounding. As he grows up a bit, he will learn what most other Christians eventually learn: honest, open dialogue, and rational intellectual thought are the enemy of religious belief.

    Or, he may meet too many people like you and decide its not worth it.

    This kid is doing his best and attempted to encourage empathy amongst his peers. And the only thing many (not all, but many) of you can think to do is shit all over him. And you wonder why atheists have a bad reputation.

  • http://resurrectiondebate.blogspot.com Steven Carr

    He did say it was a caricature,and he clarifies in his comments that Abraham would have been justified in killing his son, simply because he believed a god had told him to do it.

    I quote him once more ‘God certainly does have the right to take life, but to say that ONLY God does is to blatantly ignore all the times in scripture that humans kill humans and this does not offend God. By analyzing those instances we can see the authority answer start to emerge.’

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Like many 16 year olds, the student in question here is very naive and idealistic sounding. As he grows up a bit, he will learn what most other Christians eventually learn: honest, open dialogue, and rational intellectual thought are the enemy of religious belief.

    Well, I just turned 30 and I’m still both a Christian and a fan of honest, open dialogue and rational intellectual thought. But hey, maybe I’m still not old enough to be cynical and snarky yet. ;)

  • GullWatcher

    As he grows up a bit, he will learn what most other Christians eventually learn: honest, open dialogue, and rational intellectual thought are the enemy of religious belief.

    In Paul’s defense, he was right but too narrow. It’s something that most people learn, that honest open dialogue and rational intellectual thought are the enemy of all those who want you to shut up and do as you are told – whether the authority figure is parental, governmental, societal, religious, or simply your boss. The real trick is learning that without becoming cynical about it, and how to fight the worthwhile battles without screwing yourself over too badly.

  • http://aurorawalkingvacation.blogspot.com Paul

    I always get a kick out of people who claim to believe in God, and claim to be rational at the same time. The two things are, by definition, mutually exclusive. It is intellectually impossible to come to a belief in God via rational avenues. That, in fact, is one of the basic tenets of Christianity: that faith is required in the place of evidence.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com Derek

    I always get a kick out of people who claim to believe in God, and claim to be rational at the same time. The two things are, by definition, mutually exclusive.

    Eh, I disagree. It’s simple enough to be a generally rational person and still take some things for granted. “Being rational” is not an all-or-nothing proposition.

  • Aj

    It’s only a problem if a religious person tries to make out that they’re being open, honest and rational about their religion. It’s the same with them saying they question their religion or they doubt their belief in God, there are no grounds to question something you’ve taken on faith in the first place, there is no room for doubt. They can be perfectly rational about other subjects. They are anything but open, honest, and rational when it comes to their religion.

    Paul,

    It is intellectually impossible to come to a belief in God via rational avenues.

    I wouldn’t say impossible, but I will say it’s never happened, and almost certainly never will.

    Derek,

    Eh, I disagree. It’s simple enough to be a generally rational person and still take some things for granted. “Being rational” is not an all-or-nothing proposition.

    I agree, to be generally rational you don’t have to be rational about everthing.

  • Polly

    Generally if the OP starts to sound too Christiany, I scroll back to the top to find, lo and behold, Mike C’s name! :)

    This kid not only has guts but wisdom. As far as I’m concerned he’s passed 1 test of freethinkers, the ability to stand against his peer group based on his own sense of fair play. (yes, he got a semester’s worth of instruction, but look at the difference in effect it had on him compared to the rest.) If he believes in other stupid things, like slaughtering women & cildren is OK, I trust he’ll eventually come around.

    So what if “pity” sounds condescending? Atheists use the word “delusional” all the time. That’s no less condescending. I mean, just ’cause we’re right… ;)

  • Autumnal Harvest

    I can’t be the only atheist here who’s embarassed about how this conversation about whether this Christian is condescending has turned out. I think we’ve won the condescending contest, guys.

  • Spork

    Thank you for the correction Mike, and everyone else. My error.

  • grazatt

    MikeC, ya know I love ya but that whole story sounds made uo to me!

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    MikeC, ya know I love ya but that whole story sounds made up to me!

    Well, take it up with the author then, not with me. He’s invited comments at his blog, though I personally have no reason not to take him at his word.

  • Siamang

    MikeC, ya know I love ya but that whole story sounds made up to me!

    Well, take it up with the author then, not with me. He’s invited comments at his blog,

    I think he means the Bible. ;-)

  • http://resurrectiondebate.blogspot.com Steven Carr

    IT was a really heart-warming story of how one Christian looked at atheists and thought to himself ‘These people need help’

    And then we had some crocodile tears.

    And then we found out that the author had been a militant atheist too!


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