What do athiests think about Christians

On a penpal forum I patronise, the above question was raised and I could not resist responding.

> I’m wondering what athiest think about Christians…
I’m a humanist rather than an athiest, but you could argue that the latter is a sub-set of the former. Thus, I reject the theist premise regardless of other consideration in the first instance.

My regard for Christians (or of people of its sister religions of Islam or Judaism for that matter, i.e. Muslims and Jews) is focused on who they are and what they do rather than their faith, the broad teachings of which are generally highly moral and respectful of people (particularly Islam).

Generally fundamentalist Christians who force their beliefs on others, or who significantly hinder the rights and freedoms of others are people I have a low opinion of. I would also have a problem with Christians who indoctirnate their children in just one religious belief rather than giving their children the information they need to make up their own minds (whilst still applying a moral framework to protect the children and respect the key tenants of the parents’ beliefs whilst the children live in their home).

You will not be surprised to learn that I therefore object to children only being taught creationist principles in schools, this is a Christian behaviour I find unacceptable.

I find the increasingly non-secular nature of American politics troubling.

Posted via web from kyber’s posterous

One thought on “What do athiests think about Christians

  1. Hi [kyber], I hope you're well & thriving! Your question intrigued me. Not least because it suggests that there might be a single view which many tens of millions of Athiests have of many more tens of millions of Christians. Having been both (Athiest for the first 35 years of my life, Christian for the last 24) I've got some insights which may help.
    (1) I know many Athiests and many Christians, and I can assure you that there are many different 'flavours' of each – so no single view, one of the other.
    (2) I agree with your (implied) view that Atheism is essentially as much faith-based as any religion ie the (non-)existence of God can't be proved scientifically or rationally, any more than His existence can. (This is despite many vitriolic denials of this by the recently developed Atheist fundamentalist tendency spearheaded by the likes of Richard Dawkins)
    (3) I'm intrigued by your comments about Christians who 'force their beliefs on others'. Whilst there are no doubt some who try to, are you suggesting that it is only fundamentalist Christians who do this? What about fundamentalist Athiests, Muslims,…etc?
    (4) I agree with you about not wanting to 'indoctrinate' children into a single faith without providing a broad awareness of wider faith considerations. This is why many Christians believe that a personal commitment of one's faith in Christ should be made only on reaching an age of maturity (eg confirmation in the Church of England, adult baptism in other denominations) when an individual can make up his/her own mind
    (5) Creationism is a relatively recent development, building up over the latter part of the 20th Century mainly in the USA. It is a very much minority belief within the broader Christian world. (eg even before the geological & fossil record was understood, in the early centuries AD, much Christian academic & popular view was that the story of creation in Genesis was allegorical – ie God is indeed the Creator, but when & how he created the Universe and the Earth is not literally described in the Bible).

    I'm happy to discuss any of this further!

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