Dripping of hate

Sometimes when I have a little time I write in the comments section of the Fresno Bee.  The local religious opinion is too often unopposed by anyone who is not religious, unopposed by those who require evidence before stating something as a fact.  I have no illusions that I will change the minds of others commenting there, but perhaps I can help plant a seed of rationality of anyone else reading.

Recently, one person commenting said that my blog "drips of hate for Christians and our God."

Hate?  Really?  Prone to hyperbole much?

I don't hate "God" any more than I hate the Easter Bunny.  They are fictional characters.  Heck, God isn't even as real to me as Hello Kitty - at least I can get a plush doll of that.  (And my wife had many!)

What I do "hate" - which in this case means, "disagree with vehemently" - is the religious right's attempts to hijack America's laws and Constitution for their own purposes.  What I "hate" is the religious right's attempts to dehumanize people in order to demonize them. 

But being disagreed with, having your position worked against, this isn't "hate" - if it were then every politician would be guilty of it.

And I have to wonder... which of my blog postings "drips of hate"? 

Is it when I write about the Christian problem with Heaven?  When I talk about the inherent hypocrisy of the Christian position against same-sex marriage?  When I examine the question of why Christians are breaking the law to flood Iraq with bibles?

Do Christians think I'm hateful because I've identified what those feelings of the Holy Spirit were when I was a Christian, and have learned to reproduce them at will?  Are they upset when I tear apart the religious right's "proof" that abstinence only education is sound science?  Maybe they are threatened at my exposing the inherent religious hypocrisy in "Don't ask, Don't tell"?

I know... it's my approval of student organized, and student led prayer in school that is so "hateful".  I'm so sorry!

Here's a clue.  Having a contrary opinion, a different moral philosophy, a different worldview is not "hate".  Having someone work against your position because they honestly believe it to be incorrect is not "hate".

But "Hate the sin, love the sinner" does seem, to me, to be a very special form of hatred that discounts a person's convictions merely because they differ from your own.  This is not a position that I - or any atheist I know - holds.


Unknown said...

"I don't hate "God" any more than I hate the Easter Bunny. They are fictional characters."

Translation: "I don't hate God, but you are stupid." We've had this conversation before. Two ethnocentric groups arguing will never make one "right" society.

Sure there are mean, elitist, psychotic, greedy, Christians Calladus. But you have a tendency to foster generalizations about their relationships to politics.

You cite marriage laws/politics twice in this post and essentially blame the Christian right. However, prop 8 may have passed by a Christian voter, but it was not on the right. You mix religion and politics too easily. Leadership in the GetEqual, Meet in the Middle, and several others all admit they jacked up the campaign. It wasn't the middle class white voter that passed prop 8. A prime example of why your arguments regarding politics and the "Christian right" are going to miss the target.

While your anger with discrimination, bigotry, and hypocrisy is often well articulated. It's difficult, as a Christian (and a fairly smart one in the the blue collar sense) to identify with your position. It's a functioning vacuum. I have to abandon my religion to join your politics, group, club etc. Left hand, right hand etc.

Unknown said...

BTW: it's Plotinus, aka EFletch, aka IrwinM--sorry i had to login with an old goodle account.

Calladus said...

Two points in rebuttal

1) "You mix religion and politics too easily."

Seriously, are you even paying attention to the Christian right who is calling this a "Christian Nation"? Do you read ANYTHING by David Barton, and do you pay attention to who is listening to him?

It is not I that am mixing religion with politics. Methinks thou dust protest too much.

2) "I don't hate God, but you are stupid."

I don't think you are stupid. I think you are merely wrong. I also think that if you believe merely through faith that there is nothing left to discuss.

But if you believe through some sort of "evidence" then clue me in. Perhaps I will agree and change my mind. I doubt it - so far every scrap of evidence for the Christian mythology has been seriously lacking.

I've written before about the psychology of believers. A believer belongs to an expensive "in-group" of which the cost of joining (and the cost of leaving) is what creates cohesion.

And your effort in identifying me as an opponent is part of this. Christianity needs enemies and opponents for its continued existence.

Unknown said...

Sorry for delay:

On the first: Not sure which public policy to point to that was authored by the Tea Party. The most prolific/controversial piece of religious policy in the past decade was Prop8. I made an argument as to why it passed by the Christian LEFT, and you did not respond (while authored by the Christian RIGHT). My point is that is was a religious vote, not a political one. I don't agree with it, but nonetheless my argument still stands.

On your second:

A typical rhetorical device, "I don't hate "God" any more than I hate the Easter Bunny. They are fictional characters." It's difficult for me to interpret this in any other way.

But your response to my translation is also typical.

I'm not participating to defend a belief, but to assist you understand those that believe.

Calladus said...

You want to "assist me" in understanding those who believe?

You do realize I was baptized at the age of 14? I've been a deacon, a bible study teacher, and even given a couple sermons. I've witnessed (and lost a good friend because I witnessed him into Christianity 15 years before I turned Atheist) I was active in my church.

Becoming an atheist was extremely hard for me. But comparative religious studies, reading the bible, and learning that there is no evidence that Christianity is true led me out.

I understand your belief. You are merely wrong, as was I. I also understand that your investment in your belief is what is keeping you trapped in it. This isn't stupidity. It may be a form of brain washing - I dunno. But from my study of cults a few years back I learned that cult leaders don't want stupid people - instead they target the smart ones. Smart people are really good at getting other smart people to join.

And the statement stands. Accusing me of "hating God" is an attempt to dehumanize me - to dismiss me, to ignore my objections about Christianity as "irrelevant" - it is exactly the type of maneuver that a cult member would use. Comparing God to the Easter Bunny highlights the ridiculousness of the original statement - nothing more.

To your point about the Christian left, or the Christian moderate. When the fundamentalist Christian crazies dig in over some sort of public policy, or in an attempt to rewrite history, or make an attack at high school science - yes I get angry at them. But I am just as discouraged with the Christian moderate who fails to speak up against this sort of nonsense.

If a Christian moderate or lefty votes for proposition 8, or votes against teaching evolution in high school, or votes for an abstinence only program - I really don't think they are acting moderately, or "left". They are acting in the best interests of the most fundamentalist Christian.

And failing to speak out against that sort of nonsense, or excusing the fundamentalist because he's a Christian also, in my opinion, firmly lands the Christian moderate or lefty in the right-wing crazy camp.