Good Atheist, Bad Atheist. Good Christian, Bad Christian…

… Yes. There exists people that fall into each category and if you’re looking to validate your preconceived ideas about one group finding that validation is easy to do. We see what we seek. If we are looking for examples to cast Christians in a negative light or are looking to vilify atheists finding conclusive evidence supporting either is quite easy to do.

It’s easy for me to immerse myself in Catholic blogs and media and from inside my bubble think the whole world is Catholic and shares my views. I’m sure the same can be said for any member of a religious community. It’s what we seek out. Catholics seek out other Catholics, and atheists seek out other atheists. Sometimes atheists seek out the most negative stereotypes of Christianity they can find to confirm their already preconceived notions about us. And vice versa. Our minds are made up.

Nobody likes to be wrong. Myself included. I’m guilty of clinging to negative stereotypes about Muslims. Everything I read online or see in the news confirms, in my mind, this dislike and mistrust. I’m sure if I tried hard enough I could find something that would challenge this prejudice but it’s easier to hate. I’m ashamed to admit that, but it’s true. I sort of can’t really hide this ugly fact about myself. It’s in my writing for all the world to read. Pray for me, please.

In a more recent example of times when I should have been the better person and just left well enough alone, I called an atheist blogger hateful for exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy to advanced his agenda against Christians. He used one tweet, out of the hundreds of thousands in support of the victims and their families, to paint all Christians as vengeful religious fundies.

I still contend it was a hateful cheap shot on his part and I think very little of this particular atheist who has the audacity to refer to himself as “friendly”. In reality he is the flip side to the evangelical fundamentalist coin. He is the atheist version of the Westboro Baptist Church. The Fundy Atheist. Yes, there is such a thing.

The incident forced me to recall all the times I’ve done the exact same thing. When a Christian church is burned to the ground by Muslim hands I am quick to post something nasty about the “religion of peace”. Hi, pot. You’re black. Love, the kettle. I do this because I need to have a reason to validate my hatred. It makes it easier to continue to hate and not to not feel bad for doing so. Again, pray for me. Please.

I suppose this makes me a fundy Catholic.

When his readers lashed back and attacked my comment boxes and email account with personal insults and streams of creative cursing I understood their need to tear me down. It all goes back to the human fault of pride. We all want to be right and on the right “team”. So no, I didn’t take it personally at all. In fact I was quite impressed with some of the more colorful abuses. I hadn’t laugh that hard in awhile.

I know this small sampling of atheism is not representative of the whole. Most just want answers to what they think is the unanswerable and are genuinely inquisitive and intellectually curious individuals. I can find no fault in that. And some just deserve our pity and prayer. I can only imagine how scary the alternative to atheism is for them. They have a desperate need to be right. Everything depends on them being right because if they aren’t… well. I understand this desperation is the the driving force behind mocking Christianity and must remind myself of this every time I encounter a barrage of hatred oozing from the internet. It’s not personal. It’s fear.

So while my first reaction to all this negativity was “Gee, atheists sure are a joyless, hateful lot” if I’m intellectually honest with myself I have to acknowledge there are good atheists and bad atheists. Just as there are good Christians and bad Christians. It’s all on what we seek.

“One can overcome the forces of negative emotions, like anger and hatred, by cultivating their counter-forces, like love and compassion.” – Dalai Lama

“To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted.” – Titus 1:15

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Cordelia

    Yes. Just, yes. Thanks for putting this all into words… I need prayer, too, for the very same things.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Kat, burning a church to the ground and murdering the parishioners and the priest are not the same thing. Islam has given rise to more violent organizations than any other source in our time, and the religion has a history of violent trappings.

    Now, this does not say that all muhammadans are bad. I have friends who are muslim. I have friends who are mormon. They are misguided by a group which uses scripture to take advantage of them. On the topic of Islam, there are two schools of thought, and if the rest of the muslim world doesn’t start taking care of business and atleast strongly condemning terrorist actions, we’re going to rightly look on it as a faith of violence.

  • Domush

    Irony is complaining about only surrounding yourself with similar thinking on a blog with comment moderation turned on.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      No that’s not irony. That’s called screening out profanities and obscenities which I am within my full right to do.

  • Mary Sorensen

    “Accountability and rational thought” – So, were those the guiding forces behind the murder of millions by famous atheists Stalin, Pol Pot, that guy in Germany, and othe atheistic dictators?

    If you do not like being painted with the same broad brush as those nefarious murdering atheists, please be so kind as to stop painting all Christians with a similarly-broad brush.

  • Tony

    1. Why is it irrational to believe that something can’t be created
    out of nothing, which is what atheists believe about the creation of the
    universe and humanity? Something as simple as a bologna sandwich needs
    a creator. If I were to see a sandwich on a table and insist that it
    created itself out of nothing, that would be irrational. A complex
    universe creating itself out of nothing – no laws of physics, no time,
    no space – is an irrational statement.

    2. If atheists have “no dogma, no rules,” then what makes anything wrong? Is the taking of another life that’s inconvenient to you wrong? In a world where
    objective truth exists, it would be. In a world with “no dogma, no
    rules,” it would not. Everyone would essentially be at the whim of the
    wishes of whoever holds power making the rules that best serve them.

    3. People like to find all the parts of the Old Testament where God
    is seemingly endorsing torture or murder. What they ignore is that the
    people of the time were steeped in a culture that believed those
    things. God was talking to people in language they understood and
    pushing them to evolve their beliefs beyond how the pagans were living.
    The Old Testament is a journey of evolution. The New Testament spells
    out what exactly God was pushing humanity toward: things like loving your enemy, praying for those who persecute you, forgiving others countless times.

  • Lee Gilbert

    Domush, unbeliever extrordinaire-

    You present yourself as a man of science. Which science? Well, let us suppose you are a neurologist, or a nuclear physicist, and not an adjunct professor of philosophy in a junior college. Since you write down to us from such heights, one must suppose that you are truly on top of your discipline. If that is the case, which I doubt (since I have very little faith in unbelievers- an attitude they must surely applaud ), you must necessarily be a man of deep faith- unless, of course, you personally conducted all the experiments and synthesized all the knowledge that comprises your particular discipline. Here you can only splutter that all the certain knowledge in your particular discipline was derived from experiments whose discoveries have undergone thorough-going peer review and which can be replicated. Since I am a man of faith, I don’t doubt it for a moment, and neither do you, for you in fact have not replicated them, nor could you. The only way forward in your particular discipline and practically any other is belief in credible authorities. Belief, then, is a form of knowledge. In fact, for you personally- as for us all- it is the predominant mode of your knowing anything whatever.

    Of course, there many differences between the discipline of history and that of neuroscience, for historical events cannot be replicated. Yet, we do not doubt the existence of Aristotle any more than that of Heisenberg, the existence of Jesus Christ any more than that of Fermi. There is far more evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ than practically any other figure in the ancient world. For you to say He is imaginary simply reveals the lacunae in your own education and reading. It seems pretty obvious that you have not undertaken a serious investigation of the claims of Christianity, but are content to read its critique by fellow atheists. Fine, but this is obvious and affects your credibility.

    If you want to bring yourself up to speed and join the conversation in an informed fashion, you might begin with Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell; Miracles by C.S. Lewis; The Last Superstition by Edward Feser.

    Peace and all good things to you and yours . . .

  • Katrina Fernandez

    Then by your own words you are dishonest.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      Your lack of rational thought and inability to engage makes you intellectually dishonest. I have no further need to waste my time and thought on you. You will find no platform for your determined belligerence here. I bid farewell.

  • Katrina Fernandez

    I’ve read your writings enough to know what you claim is completely & utterly disingenuous.

    And I don’t think you actually believe what you just wrote … “most often than not, we just hear a lot of silence”. Then you’ve stuffed your ears with cotton and closed your eyes to reality, because to claim that is what Christians have been doing, remaining silent on Sandy Hook, is the most laughably ridiculous thing I have read all morning.

    Most have been condemning the violence and offering prayers. The politically lecherous are the ones using this to advance agendas – like gun control etc.

    They are in the minority. But they are there, sadly. You chose to seek out this negativity because it’s easy for you to validate your genuine hatred – what this post was about.

    You, in my opinion, are part of that lecherous group. You are intentionally seeking out the most negative examples of Christians you can find to fan the flames of hatred. How about just offer your condolences and move on. That would be the classier thing to do.

    Your & your readers look for any chance to paint to Christians in broad sweeping negative stereotypes. And you find those examples because it’s what you seek.

    Your particular blog is nasty and you have no interest in intellectual discourse with people of faith & you consistently mock theists of lacking reasons. Why? Because you believe in nothing and therefore have nothing to defend or explain. All you can do is tear down.

    The theistic sites explain their theism. The atheistic sites only explain why they think everyone else is full of shit… yes, you are so “friendly”.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Hemant, your writings for the genocide of abortion and the utter worship of lust and greed that is gay marriage, are what proved to me there are no good or friendly atheists, and that there never will be.