Why Some Atheists Get Agitated
Posted by Larry Wallberg on 07/25/2010
My last post received a comment from Catch, whom I consider a bright and clever woman. Her comment isn’t unique; it poses the very same kind of question I get asked frequently. She wondered why some of us atheists get “as agitated about religion” as we do. She doesn’t understand why we don’t have more of a laissez faire attitude toward theists.
Personally, I rarely give any of them a second thought. If they are so weak that they need a god for strength to deal with life, so be it. If they want to pray for me, let them waste their time. I’ve better things to do, including creating my own nonsense, than to rally against stupidity of religious zealots.
Here’s my response to her:
Your ideas would be fine … if everyone lived in a vacuum. But we don’t. It’s the theists who are making it harder and harder for women to get abortions, the theists who demonize homosexuals, the theists who seek to prevent America’s public school children from receiving a decent education in both the sciences and the humanities, the theists who nourish racial prejudice and xenophobic discrimination, the theists whose perverse idea of Christianity perpetuates environmental and economic disasters. On top of which, it’s the theists whose zealotry leads to the international sanction of child abuse, to the bombing of buildings, to the worldwide subservience of women, and to repeated calls for “holy” war in just about every country on the globe.
So that’s why — even though you may not give any of them a second thought — you ought to do so. Yes, if they want to pray for you, fine. Who gives a shit? If they want to knock on your door at seven o’clock on a Sunday morning, big deal. You can say something snide and go back to sleep.
But if they want to blow you up, or gun you down, or rape your children, or prevent women from having the same freedom as men, or obstruct medical research, or curtail anyone’s Constitutional rights because his or her liberty doesn’t accord with the “teachings” of their primitive “sacred” text, that’s not so fine. It’s a threat to everyone on the planet.
So that’s why some of us atheists get so agitated. How could any decent person not?