Does God Really Prefer ‘Kind Atheists Over Hateful Christians’?

No. Because god doesn’t exist. *Point for atheists.*

That’s the message on the church sign outside Rose City Park United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon. It’s getting a lot of press, too.

“It is my hope from our little sign board in Portland, Oregon that perhaps some good discussion will take place among those of all faiths and no faiths. It is my hope in this world that treasures violence over gentleness, the love of power over the power of love, that we might behave a bit more kindly toward one another. God knows, the Christian church these days is taking a beating and needs to have some good publicity,” [Rev. Tom] Tate wrote on Facebook.

Well, I’ll give him credit for acknowledging that there are kind atheists as well as hateful Christians. Now, I’d like to hear some examples of “hateful Christians”: Rick Warren with his anti-gay bigotry? Mark Driscoll with his men-are-superior attitude? Westboro Baptist Church makes for low hanging fruit. The pastor’s platitude is nice, but let’s hear him call out some of these “hateful Christians” who always seem to be praised for their goodness.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • FSq
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

      Do something bad? Repent and everything is peachy keen. Bullying some kid? Perfectly fine so long as it’s in the name of faith! Christian logic: It may not make sense, but God says it’s right, so it must be!

      • FSq

        Isn’t that so. Go forth and conquer, and if you happen to kill/bully/rape or hurt in the process, just ask god for a “get out of jail free” card and all is well.

        Idiots.

        And on a side note – I am wearing my “Atheist.” hat today. It is a simple, khaki ballcap with “Atheist.” stitched on the crown. WOW! You would have thought I was trying to molest children with the reactions I have had today. I am getting some work done in a Starbucks and I have been verbally called out, and been given the ol’ stink-eye by many. And one of the employees said, “Wow. You picked a day to wear that.” I guess because we are so close to Zombie Christian Savior Day, any representation of atheists is tantamount to raping puppies.

        • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

           It’s ok, just ask Jesus to forgive you for raping those puppies and you’ll be A-OK.

        • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

          “picked a day to wear that?” I wonder how big the safety zone around Easter is supposed to be.

    • Anonymous-Sam

      The hell? Just about every anti-bullying law already has an out clause for Christians to continue hate speech as much as they like. Did they just feel left out?

  • Skyweyr

    I’ve been a long time reader but I feel you should be corrected on one point. Perhaps self flagellation is in order. WBC are NOT low hanging fruit. They are grubs trying to kill the trees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

    Is that ‘prefers’ meant in the same way as I prefer beef over chicken? I think so! :)

  • Joe Rockhead

    What? I thought God was mysterious and unknowable!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

    I don’t think actually calling people out as being hateful would really fit his world model on how to behave though.  That would be actively judging people, and that’s what he’s trying to tell people to avoid.  

    So, actually, I think he’s doing just about all he should be doing…considering it is a Methodist ministry.

    • Kevin S.

      No. Don’t let anybody get away with that crap. There’s never any excuse for not speaking up in the name of kindness. It’s the same as the “you’re a bigot because you condemn us for being bigots” shit the anti-gay crowd pulls.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

        I’m just saying, I bet that is the nature of this person.  From the Methodists I know, they tend to be pretty non-confrontational.  The fact that such a message made a sign of theirs should make us happy.  We shouldn’t be bitching at this church for not doing enough.  Bitch at the ones that say nothing.  

        Or do we just want to run off any little bit of support we get with being douches?

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    This just demonstrates that the pastor doesn’t understand the tenets of his own religion. Christian theology is pretty clear- you accept Jesus as your savior, or you are damned. That’s a pretty fundamental component of the religion. By definition, an atheist does not accept Jesus as a deity at all. So how can a Christian see an atheist as anything other than damned? And if we’re damned, what does it mean that God “prefers” those of us who are kind over hateful Christians? I guess that it means as we are all burning in Hell for eternity, we can gloat over the hateful Christians around us that “God likes us better!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

      Yeah, but, no, but..

      That’s the joy of a vague and contradictory holy book.  Jesus said it was ok to deny him, 
      Matthew 12:30-32: “And so I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy. But the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

      See Luke 12:8-10 for the same thing in different words.  So deny Jesus, deny God but don’t deny the Holy Spirit (remember, this was before the “revelation” of the trinity.)

      However, there is of course John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

      So, you can deny Jesus and get into heaven, but you can’t come to the father except through the son, as it were.

      The point being there are as many doctrines as there are interpretations of the vague and contradictory text.

      The only thing I can see that bind Christians together is the notion that Jesus rose from the dead so we can survive death and go to the happy place.  After that … it’s all horses for courses.

      • Jim McCall

        Yeah, but, yes,

        That’s the joy of a rigid hierarchical authoritarian sect.
        Courtesy of the United Methodist Church.

        “Salvation cannot be earned. There’s no behavior, no matter how holy or righteous, by which we can achieve salvation. Rather, it’s the gift of a gracious God.”

        http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.2311271/k.8CA9/We_Are_Saved.htm

        (the pastor is probably a closet universalist)

        • popi

          the church is affiliated with Reconciling Ministries Network

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        No, accepting Jesus is pretty much a core tenet of nearly every Christian sect. Go around and ask a bunch of Christians if you can get into heaven by not accepting Jesus as your savior, and I don’t think you’ll find many who allow for that.

        • Anonymous-Sam

          Go around and ask a bunch of Christians if institutionalized rape, slavery and murder are in the Bible and they’ll deny that, too. Silly man, one of the primary tenets of any religion is to make sure the majority of the followers have no idea what they’re worshiping and just take the priest’s word that they’re good, moral people.

          • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

            Not very convincing. Most Christians are neither fundamentalists nor biblical literalists. Most Christians don’t buy into the more extreme stories found in the Bible. Most moderate the obviously questionable ethics of some biblical teachings with the more natural ethics common to most humans. In other words, most Christians are generally good, moral people… in spite of the Bible.

            And probably the single most common belief amongst Christians of all sects is that you must accept Jesus as your savior or you are beyond salvation. So as I said initially, it’s a bit odd for any Christian pastor to argue that God can “prefer” anybody who has chosen to be outside the Christian fold.

            In fact, I doubt the pastor does believe this. Rather, this is his idea of a witty way of telling other Christians to be kind. The message isn’t directed towards atheists at all.

        • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

          “Pretty much a core tenet of nearly every” doesn’t make a defining feature. Outliers will still exist.

          Criticizing him for not toeing the line is the job of the other Christians. Encouraging independence should be ours.

    • Jim McCall

      I’m pretty sure he understands the tenets of his religion. I’m not sure how far he can go with liberal church signs and still keep his job.

      • Pseudonym

        This is a United Methodist sign, not a Southern Baptist one. He’s far more likely to keep his job with a liberal sign than a fundamentalist one.

  • http://twitter.com/bunderbunder Sean Underwood

    I wouldn’t mind starting with the very beginning.  For example, Paul’s hateful comments in Romans 1,  which culminate in the assertion that the targets of his ire deserve to die.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

      The way to read Romans 1 is with verse 33 at the end.   Moving it–the way the church did–completely obscures the original message.  Which is EXACTLY why the church moved it.

  • Anton

    Hi Gang,

    Five years ago when I was battling cancer I made the “Prayer List” in several churches several times . . . and some of the Christians even claim that their prayers helped me survive. During that time, the atheist community managed one invitation for me to “go out for a coffee” so they could pick my brain on another project. I didn’t mention my cancer . . . nor did they, ever!

    No, I haven’t converted after more than 60 years of being an atheist, but for my social needs I have found that church “functions” are at least enjoyable, especially since no one is trying to convert me. I guess it doesn’t help that I don’t drink. Nursing a soda during a “meetup” still doesn’t cut it with the atheist crowd. My solution was to leave town.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    I’d like to add that this viewpoint seems to be fundamentally that of atheists and humanists. While atheists don’t believe in a god, most are open to the idea that a god could exist. And if so, most would probably agree that if this god judges us at all, it is going to prefer kind humans to hateful ones, regardless of their religious beliefs.

  • HitchsApprentice

    Their IMAGINARY ghod possesses whatever attributes they bestow on him……  nothing more, nothing less.  It’s all very convenient.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    Keep in mind, they’re not talking to atheists.  They’re talking to Christians, and they’re essentially shaming them:  ”if you’re not kind, you are lower than the lowest.  You’re lower than a . . . than a . . . . than an ATHEIST.”

    From the Christian point of view, I don’t know if that’s true doctrine or not.  Maybe?  Dave Ramsey is fond of quoting a bible scripture that admonishes believers that if they don’t provide for their families, they are “worse than an unbeliever.”  Not the same thing, but apparently there is scripture about things believers can do that make them worse than atheists.

    • Anonymous

       I suspect at this point you can’t say one way or the other whether that’s a true doctrine. I can’t speak to past versions of Christianity, but in today’s world there are certainly many variants where the sentiment expressed by the sign is the sentiment expressed by the church: good people go to heaven, regardless of faith. That could, however, be a smaller percentage of the overall Christian population; there are certainly many in any case who believe the opposite.

      The bible isn’t terribly helpful in this respect. It appears to have bits and pieces that could be used to argue either way. The “good people go to heaven” crowd will argue from the parts of the bible wherein it’s said that God judges people by their deeds. The “only Christians go to heaven” crowd will argue that Jesus essentially said you can only get to heaven through him.

      So I honestly don’t feel as though you could reduce it to a “true doctrine.” Perhaps in the past, before the religion was splintered in so many different directions.

      • Anonymous

        You mean the bible, the ultimate guide to everything ever, can be used to support two completely contradictory arguments? Well, who’d have thought. ;)

        • ac

          There are at least some parts of the Bible that doesn’t contradict itself. Like, it’s pretty clear that God hates queers and, even in the New Testament, it states that he is going to damn them to Hell (1 Cor 6: 9-10). Too bad atheists don’t have such loving moral guidance.

  • Guest

    Why does everything always have to be so negative with you people? God doesn’t exist. We all get that. Why not just take a step in the right direction as exactly that?
    By we, as athiests acting smug and retorting, “No, because God doesn’t exist” and feeling oh so very pleased with ourselves we really do nothing to actually fix ANY of the problems before us.

    Smug atheism is probably worse than moderate, unmovable religious folk.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

       http://xkcd.com/774/

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      Pointing out the hypocrisy so prevalent amongst the religious is doing something to fix problems.

      You are certainly limiting yourself to a subset of the conversation that goes on amongst atheists if you see only negativity. All sorts of articles, blogs, and discussions emphasize the positive aspects of atheism and its (usually) accompanying philosophy of humanism. But most of us believe that theism, and especially religion, are negative forces in our society. So when we have the opportunity to demonstrate that, we do so. As we should.

      • Guest

        It’s doing bugger all, other than congratulating yourself. I am / was a smug athiest myself, but the pig headed negativity of posts like these really have my questioning the point of why I subscribe to such websites. You (and I) are hypocrites, too.

        While I agree that organised religion has an overall negative impact of society, blindly hating every facet of it changes nothing, creating a divide between believers and non, rather than just accepting that religion is a part of humanity, and trying to work towards harmony, accepting moderate views, and pushing hateful zealots to the fringes.

        I wholly endorse the message of that sign. I don’t believe in a god, but it shouldn’t matter. This sign is embracing KINDNESS over the dogmatic hatred of atheism, and what, you attack it?

        You’ve lost a reader.

        • TiltedHorizon

          “You’ve lost a reader.”

          Shouldn’t a reader actually read? You are not alone, there is more than one post supporting Tate’s message, feel free to add you opinions. If you think an atheist is slipping into fundamentalism, call it out, join the debate and try changing a mind.  If you would rather run off……  then you failed to accomplish anything. 

  • Lina Baker

    What we need to remember is that a lot of Christians *don’t* take the Bible literally, and believe that the prejudices in it are a reflection of the times in which passages were written (or re-written) and the human flaws of the writers, rather than the word of their imaginary, invisible, magical friend. There are people who consider themselves Christian who don’t think Jesus was a magical being, and who believe the “miracles” were exaggerations. Of course, other Christians condemn them as not really being Christians. If you grew up in church, then you know that many Christians spend a lot of time proclaiming who is and isn’t a Christian (growing up in the Bible Belt, I heard about how Mormons weren’t really Christians, Jehovah Witnesses weren’t really Christians, Catholics weren’t really Christians, anyone who doesn’t call their church a “Church of Christ” isn’t really a Christian, people who were sprinkled rather than dunked weren’t really Christian, blah blah blah). Granted, those folks that don’t take the Bible literally or as a historical document have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to explain their religious beliefs – and often end up joining a universal unitarian church – but they are far, far less annoying to me than the fundies. So, that’s my long-winded way of saying this sign doesn’t surprise me.

  • Matto the Hun

    Never mind Rick Warren and co. He will have to address his own Bible which is explicit that God will torture for eternity anyone who doesn’t follow Jesus or otherwise love him enough.

    I like this guy and appreciate his message, but Rick Warren and his like are more Biblicaly correct.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

       Rick Warren tends to pick-and-choose translations so as to make the Bible say what he’d like it to say.    Or so I’ve read.  But given his behavior during the 2008 election, it appears to be quite in “character” for him.

      • Pseudonym

        Thanks for making a point that gets lost in these conversations: There is nothing that is morecorrect about “Rick Warren and his like”, either factually or biblically, than a liberal United Methodist minister (Methodists don’t use “pastor” as a title).

        There are three main problems with this:

        1. It’s obviously wrong. Rick Warren ignores plenty of inconvenient bits.

        2. It’s a circular argument. The assumption is that the fundamentalist way of reading the Bible is “biblical”, and from this we conclude that fundamentalists are more “biblically correct”.

        3. It violates the principle of charity, as you should remember from the first lesson of any decent critical thinking course.

  • Bananafaced

    Kind Atheists are not always kind and hateful Christians are not always hateful. The difference is that hateful Christians can just say a prayer and ask for forgiveness and they are given a free pass for all their transgressions. Kind Atheists cannot afford to be unkind, ever, or they will be villified forever by hateful AND kind Christians.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Even if he doesn’t go into calling out specific people, I have to admire Reverend Tate’s courage for taking just this one step, because he’s going against centuries of very basic Christian dogma.

    He’s emphasizing good behavior over belief, which the early Christian leaders realized was a way to go broke. People can behave well at home, and don’t need to come to a church (and bring some cash) for reinforcement.  On the other hand, insisting that it is belief and not good behavior that determines salvation means that people have to keep coming to the church (and bringing some cash) because believing in invisible things is difficult to maintain without regular reinforcement.  Using this business strategy, the burgeoning church steadily got rich.

    • Michael Makhal

      Dear Richard Wade, Christianity is not about just BELIEF, but it is obeying what Jesus said, it is about following him by sacrificing everything for the mankind and glorification of Heaven. So, you see, no one can live in Christ until he/she develops the greatest three qualities taught by Jesus: Faith, Hope and Love. Hence, there is nothing called “Hateful Christians”, because, you can’t be ‘hateful’ and ‘Christian’ at the same time. You can’t be a follower of Christ with such corrupt heart. You are a Christian only if you are carrying the Cross, otherwise you are not. – Michael Makhal (India)

      Matthew 16:24-26

      English Standard Version (ESV)

      Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

      24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

  • Linda Turnipseed

    I always have to wonder how pastors who add their own interpretation to the bible can know what ‘god’ really means. I want to ask, “And you know this ….how?”

  • TiltedHorizon

    Thank You Tom.

    Your message accomplishes several things. Firstly, it addresses the myth of inherency, i.e. a person who is X is inherently good or bad.  Secondly, it places behavior over belief in terms of importance.  Lastly, its a true embodiment of tolerance often claimed but sorely lacking in the Christian community. 

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what makes the church sign incorrect:

    God is free of sin.  He can’t have sin in his presence. 

    All human beings are born with sin natures.  We cannot erase our sin natures.  It doesn’t matter how kind we are to animals, how much money we give to charity, how much we love our childrens, etc., because doing good deeds is NOT going to make us good people.  Doing good deeds is NOT going to change our natures from sinful to righteous.  We will always be imperfect. 

    This means there is nothing that we can do to earn a way into God’s presence.   This means that we will die in our sins, eternally separated from God.  That’s why God sent Christ.  Being both God AND man, he was sin-free because of the former and able to die in our place and atone for our sins as the latter.  When we accept Christ, he gives us HIS righteousness in exchange for our sins.

    But he does more than that.  He recreates us, that is, he regenerates our spirits which have been dead in sin.  In other words, he gets rid of the old sin nature and replaces it with a new one.  Old habits die hard, however, so Christians still have to wrestle with the desire to return to the sin habits that held them captive.  However, upon true conversion, God fills us with the Holy Spirit that, first of all, points out what sin is (I had no idea of what it fully constituted until the Holy Spirit showed me) and then empowers us to overcome the temptations and refuse to submit to sin.  The goal is to become like Christ.

    This process is called sanctification and it lasts a lifetime.  You won’t find any perfect Christians in this world, but you will find Christians who are in the process of being perfected. 

    As for “hateful” Christians, bear in mind that anybody can wear the label and attend church and spout any kind of blather in the name of God without actually being a true Christian, that is, a person in a relationship with Jesus through the infilling of the Holy Spirit who is purposely working to become like Christ.  And, as I said, even the ones who are in the process of being sanctified are still going to make mistakes and do things wrong from time to time.

    I’m sure that your average atheists would be appalled if they were condemned because of famous atheists who were evil — people like Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao, etc.  I would never attempt to lump all atheists in with them.  Yet, atheists have this tendency to lump all Christians together and condemn Christianity on the basis of some jerks who wear the label, but don’t follow Christ at all.  Can you see how unfair that is?  I am quite willing to admit that some people have done and said awful things in the name of God, but that isn’t Christ’s fault.  Nor is it mine or Christianity’s.  If you want to measure Christianity, measure it by Jesus, who he was and what he said and what he did.

    Finally, let me make it clear that God doesn’t love kind atheists any more than he loves hateful people wearing the label ‘Christian”.  Kind deeds apart from an acceptance and understanding and relationship with God are not going to impress him.  They are done in rejection of him and they will not cleanse their doers of their sin or remove their sin nature.  It will still remain and they will still be an affront to God.  Horrible acts done in his name by people who call themselves Christians are going to sicken and grieve him.

    But God loved ALL humanity enough to send Christ so that no one has to remain separated from him in this life or the next if they don’t want to be.   But the gift of salvation is like any other gift.  It has to be opened and used to do any good.  If you choose to leave the gift unwrapped and sitting on the shelf, then you will not receive its blessings.  It’s a matter of free will and free choice.

    • FSq

      Prove it.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

       The threat of hell takes free choice completely out of the equation.  If my so-called choices are accept Jesus or be tortured for eternity, then I have no choice.

      Or are you saying you would vote “not guilty” if you were on a jury and the defendant said, “Your Honor, I’m not a rapist.  I gave that woman a choice between stopping her struggle or getting her throat slit, and she FREELY CHOSE to let me stick my penis in her instead of my knife.”

    • Anonymous

      And they call us nihilistic

    • TiltedHorizon

       ”God is free of sin.  He can’t have sin in his presence. ”

      It is often argued that god is omnipresent, meaning present everywhere simultaneous. The implication of omnipresence is that god & sin cannot be separated, you can argue that god is free from committing sin but to argue that “He can’t have sin in his presence” means god does not exist in any reality containing sin; as in the reality you & I share.

      Signs you may be an Atheist.

      #1: You inadvertently prove god does not exist. 

      “This process is called sanctification and it lasts a lifetime. ”

      Each sect of Christianity has a differing definition of sanctification. What makes your version right over all others? 

      • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

        Ooh, well-put!

    • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

      However, upon true conversion, God fills us with the Holy Spirit that, first of all, points out what sin is (I had no idea of what it fully constituted until the Holy Spirit showed me) and then empowers us to overcome the temptations and refuse to submit to sin.  The goal is to become like Christ. [. . . ] 
      And, as I said, even the ones who are in the process of being sanctified are still going to make mistakes and do things wrong from time to time. 

      You imply that while those filled with the Holy Spirit are not perfect, they are nonetheless going to be doing better at avoiding “sin” than those who aren’t. We should thus be able to see this in those with the Holy Spirit, and judge them by their success in avoiding sin. You’ve given us a hypothesis, and a prediction, one which competes with the hypothesis that many of us hold, that being a Christian does not correlate to being a more ethical person. Of course, to properly test this, we would have to know who’s filled with the Holy Spirit. Do you have a way of knowing that? Or any other way of falsifying our hypothesis? You know, besides waiting to die and see who’s right.Of course, we would also need to understand your use of the word “sin.” What, exactly, constitutes sin? What actions are considered sinful, and why? Since you claim the Holy Spirit has shown you this, I’m hopeful you can clarify this. 

      I’m sure that your average atheists would be appalled if they were condemned because of famous atheists who were evil — people like Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao, etc.  I would never attempt to lump all atheists in with them.

      Thank you for not lumping us with the likes of Stalin (Hussein? Wasn’t he a Muslim?) and others. Other theists have done that, and it’s not cool. It should be pointed out that while some atheists do have an apparent tendency to lump Christians together, most of us recognize that many Christians are, in fact, good people. 

      If you want to measure Christianity, measure it by Jesus, who he was and what he said and what he did.

      “Hate your family” “Love your neighbor” “Rich men have a hard time getting into heaven” “Washing my feet with expensive oils is better than selling the oil for money to give the poor” “Those who don’t follow me burn in hell” . . .  Seems kind of a mixed bag to me. Just like Christianity.

      • Ohmessi@

        Hey you, if I tell you that u are as sweet as apple pie, does that necessary mean that I tasted you and u actually tasted apple pie or does it mean that u are sweet? Understanding some things is easy but other things is harder. If ur already thinking that what you read is wrong you wont be able to read beetweeen the lines!

    • cipher

        God is free of sin.  He can’t have sin in his presence.

      Apparently, sin is God’s kryptonite.

      For an omnipotent begin, he certainly has some arbitrary limitations.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      God is free of sin.  He can’t have sin in his presence.

      “God” made sin. His “presence” is everywhere.

    • cipher

       In other words, he gets rid of the old sin nature and replaces it with a
      new one.  Old habits die hard, however, so Christians still have to
      wrestle with the desire to return to the sin habits that held them
      captive.

      So you’re saying God does a half-assed job?

      If he were a contractor and did such shoddy work, I’d refuse to pay him.

  • Anton

    Hi Gang,
    Apologies — posted comment to wrong article.

  • Danny

    But those that are hateful aren’t TRUE christians…

    • ac

       …they are just Bible Literalists.

  • Marguerite

    Much as I like this sign, I disagree with its theology (putting on my “former Lutheran” hat for a moment, and acknowledging that Methodists may be different for all I know). Christians are saved by grace (Lutherans are big into grace!). That means that whether they’re hateful or not, God loves them. Now, I will admit that many Lutherans of the ELCA persuasion probably want to believe God’s going to save everybody in the long haul (at least I never heard many of them saying that nonbelievers would go to hell), but if they believe that, then they imagine nonbelievers are somehow being saved by grace, too. But your actions on Earth have no bearing whatsoever on how much God loves you. I don’t think being hateful even gets you a stern talking-to when you get to heaven.

    I’ll take off my hat now, and admit that this is one of the things that caused me to become an atheist. It’s hard to see why a good atheist should be condemned to burn in hell for all eternity, while a bad Christian is welcomed into heaven with open arms. And if one takes the liberal route of assuming that everyone will actually get into heaven– well, that pretty much contradicts what Jesus is supposed to have said. Do Christians believe in Jesus’ words, or don’t they? It’s stuff like this that made me realize I couldn’t justify my own beliefs when my daughter asked me to explain them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roccim Marlo Rocci

    Um, I think the entire bible is basically against that sign.

  • FSq

    It is actually as silly as it gets.

    This operates on the assumption god exists….so it is akin to arguing over whether a unicorn likes skittles or peanut M&M’s better.

    • Antfaber

      E.T. doesn’t exist, but we know he likes Reese’s Pieces.

      • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

        But would he like modern white chocolate Reese’s or dark more?

        • FSq

          That’s not politically correct.

  • Anonymous

    Hypocrisy,

     The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own
    behavior does not conform; pretense.  

     If you talk the talk of tolerance you must walk the walk of tolerance. 

     As long as Richard Dawkins and others condone ridicule and holding religious people in contempt then atheist are nothing but hypocrites.  As long as atheists act as if they are superior and have superior beliefs then religious people, then atheist are nothing but hypocrites.  If religious people are wrong for being hateful then so are atheists.  Additionally, Please keep your justifications to your self I have heard it all.  Intolerance is intolerance no matter how you justify it.  You can criticize and hold people accountable with out ridicule or contempt or arrogance. 

    As Jesus said take the log out of your own eye first before you remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Harold

    • chicago dyke, venomous lesbian

      i tolerate you. as do most here. 
      i would die to defend your right to hold your own opinion, even if i disagreed. and served in the military as proof of that belief. i pay taxes, despite the fact that some of them go to religious orgs i don’t support. i enjoy and encourage free debate on this and every other forum in which  i participate. what i am intolerant of: people who actively support, advocate, and fund organizations and belief systems who want to KILL ME. like, christians. you don’t want me to be able to marry, not get fired for being what i am, and many of you say i should be stoned, to death, for loving another woman. bring it on, liar. i’m not afraid of you. and i’m more educated, too. you’re all the same. all your kind can do is project. you’re the hypocrite, and you know it. 

      • FSq

        Well said!

        And yes, Harold, you are inverting things, but that seems to be the modus operandi for christian idiots – like you. You seem to feel that “I know you are but what am I” is a valid and solid argument. Sorry Harold – you lose.

        • Anonymous

          FSq,

          I am not inverting anything.  I am pointing out a fact.  Whether you like it or not Richard Dawkins and others like him are being intolerant.  One more thing I am not using a “I know you are but what am I” argument.  If you condemn Christians for being intolerant while at the same time being intolerant; you are being a hypocrite.    

          Harold

      • Anonymous

        Close
        minded people think in black and white terms. 
        They paint all people in other groups with the same brush.  This is what you are doing.  I am a Christian so you make some general
        stereotypical assumptions that are totally wrong.  

        First off as a Christian I see no reason why
        you can not get married.  Actually I
        support gay marriage and so does my wife who is also a Christian.  We were invited to one of her gay friend’s
        marriage ceremonies, it was very nice. 
        The cheese cake at the reception was to die for.  Next you claim that I want to kill you or
        support groups that do.  Actually, I
        agree with the Quakers and other pacifist Christian groups’ war and violence
        are wrong. 

        Then you say I want you to be
        unjustly fired because you are gay.  Once
        more an incorrect assumption based on a prejudicial stereotype.  One of my best friends at worked was gay.  Actually, I worked with several gay people
        and feel my life is better for it.  I
        have news for you, not all Christians are the same.  

        Believe it or not the prejudice rhetoric you
        hear form other atheist is not necessarily true.  Open your eyes some try to look around a
        little and realize that not everyone is the same.  Lastly you call me a liar.  A liar because I tell you something you don’t
        want to hear.   You talk about not supporting
        groups that want to kill people.  

        Sam
        Harris in The End of Faith states, “some propositions are so dangerous that it
        may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.  He is talking about Muslims and religious
        people in general.  Sam Harris and
        atheist is endorsing killing people based on beliefs.  If atheist gained power and started killing
        Christians or Muslims would you reject atheism?  

        Lastly you state that you are more educated
        then me.  I have a masters in early
        childhood education.  This means then
        that you have a doctorate.  What is your
        doctorate in?  

        Harold

    • Anonymous

      When I saw Dawkins express that opinion on “Up,” I was pleased to see that 4 of the other 5 atheists on the panel disagreed with him. It struck me as funny because I have heard Christians claim many times in the past that Dr. Dawkins is atheism’s deity. That’s the cool thing about being a freethinker, I guess – we all, you know, think for ourselves. It is absolute nonsense to say that as long as one atheist, regardless of his prominence, thinks one way about one thing, we are all hypocrites.

      • Anonymous

        gurudwara,

          I agree that not all atheists are hypocrites.   I am talking about only those people who condemn Christians for being intolerant while being intolerant themselves.   I also agree it is foolish to say that Dawkins is atheism’s deity.  These Christians are just grasping for straws.   Let me also point out that atheist can be kind and wonderful people.   I have two very good friends that are atheist.  What I am saying is that there are atheists who are also being intolerant and that they need to be criticized just as much as intolerant religious people are.

        Harold

  • cipher

    Ech – The Christian Post. A developmental disability is a prerequisite for posting comments there.

  • Isilzha

    Amazing how so many people know the mind of god!  Especially when that god has so many contradictory decrees.

  • But

    But if he called out the other hateful Christians, that would make him a hateful Christian. Catch-22. Better to just speak in vague terms and let those who fit the description recognize it in themselves. Because that always works.

  • Dano

    I spent a lot of time at two Christian Schools Isaac Newton Christian Academy in Cedar Rapids Iowa, and Harding University in Searcy Ar. 

    I never experienced more hate at these two places than anywhere else in my whole life. I feel like you need to reconsider saying “There really isn’t many hateful Christians.” I would say most of my peers at these places were pretty huge pigs, even tough the leaders of the school tried their best to evaluate these guys to places of leading in worship and other spiritual areas. Very hateful indeed.

  • Michael Makhal

    Dear Mehta, Christianity is not about just BELIEF, but it is obeying what Jesus said, it is about following him by sacrificing everything for the mankind and glorification of Heaven. So, you see, no one can live in Christ until he/she develops the greatest three qualities taught by Jesus: Faith, Hope and Love. Hence, there is nothing called “Hateful Christians”, because, you can’t be ‘hateful’ and ‘Christian’ at the same time. You can’t be a follower of Christ with such corrupt heart. You are a Christian only if you are carrying the Cross, otherwise you are not. – Michael Makhal (India)

    Matthew 16:24-26

    English Standard Version (ESV)

    Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

    24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?


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