Seven Ways to Answer When the Religious Tell You That Atheists Are Only Defined By What We’re Against
Sometimes it’s a honest expression of puzzlement. Often, it’s a deliberate provocation, a cheap way to try to rile a non-believer.
I’m talking about a line I’ve heard from believers (and some apatheists) at least a dozen times:
“For an atheist, you sure care a lot about religion.”
Sometimes that’s followed by the grizzled canard that atheism is itself a religion (to which the best answer probably is “Yeah, just like ‘off’ is a TV channel”); or there’s some premature Schadenfreude and nose-thumbing about how atheists are unable to ban religion from their lives because we are defined by our opposition to it.
Over at Camels With Hammers, philosopher/blogger Daniel Fincke carefully unpacks that criticism and shows it to be lazy and illogical. His essay runs to almost 3,800 words, but I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version in seven quotes that stood out for me.
It turns out the pastor at the center of the film, Paul Burress of Victory Church, has been accused multiple times of sexual abuse. Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow has been looking into this story for weeks now and has posted emails and conversations with most of the key players: