Atheist Ramblings - 2.1

From approximately October 1998

Why so scared?

...What exactly is is about atheism that scares so many theists, fundamentalist christians in particular?

...Innumerable times I have been idly sitting in the #atheism channel on DALNet only to have a so-called 'loving' xtian barge in and threaten us with hell-fire if we don't accept their version of god.

...That kind of behaviour usually only arises from fear and is particularly evident from the choice of words. Ignorant, deluded, immoral... all of these things I have been called by people who I had never met and who are more offended by my atheism than by any other action I may do.

...What bothers me more is the inhumanity that the rabid theist places upon us, the atheist... their enemy. With no knowledge of us, our actions, our lives, we are branded as sub-human, only deserving of their pity, or worse, their attempts at conversion.

...This whole situation smacks of the propaganda campaigns during war. In World War II, it was the Nazis and the Nips. During the Korean War, it was the Gooks. In Vietnam, it was Charlie. During the Gulf War, it was Rag Head or worse...

...All of these labels were dehumanizing and humiliating and designed to make the enemy a little less human and therefore not quite deserving of basic human respects or decency. The propoganda machine made us think the enemies in war all but ate their own babies, and its this same kind of misinformation I see in theists every week.

...This misinformation has many sources. Bad experiences with other atheists. Deliberate misteachings by parents, peers, or priests. Or even just misreadings of holy or secular writings (for some reason, Mien Kampf is often thought of by theists as some kind of "atheist bible" and Stalin as some kind of atheist role model).

...Whatever the source of the misinformation, its outward manifestation is the view that atheists aren't deserving of common decency. One of the worst examples of this was President Bush's comment that "atheists don't deserve citizenship." Stripped of even the most basic of protections, we are reduced to something less than 'normal people'... reminiscent of the status of Gypsies during the Dark Ages, Jews during Hitler's reign, Mongolians during early Chineese empires...

...Throughout all this, the question remains "Why so scared?" What exactly is it about atheists that scares so many theists? Just because we do not subscribe to their little god does not make us any less human, nor any less deserving of theirespect, friendship, or love.

...Fearing the unknown is understandable, but fearing people who's only 'crime' is unbelief is just silly.