One last post at Daylight Atheism about whether it does atheists good to take a condescending, mocking tone when talking to Christians. (Spoiler alert: I still think it’s bad strategy and bad for you). This is the last one I’m doing there trying to call out bad tactics; the next one will be a strategy for questioning Christians that was inspired by seeing The Book of Mormon on Broadway. So here’s my last shot:
[I]f Christians have been criticized before, why do we expect it will be our sneer that does them in. After all, even if they aren’t particularly well versed in their faith, they’ve probably heard the Beatitudes, specifically Matt. 5:10-12.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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.
Most Christians are braced for criticism and welcome it. Whether they see an attack as an opportunity to evangelize, a moment to demonstrate righteousness in defense of their god or a chance to play the victim on the public stage, they’re ready to take advantage of it. And they didn’t last for 2000 years by being flat out dumb; their responses have undergone a kind of evolutionary selection. Almost all Christians have answers to common atheists to denominational questions, so a quippy attack is of limited efficacy.