Reading Melissa's post made me think of something I wrote the other day, that may become part of a memoir I am writing about leaving Christianity behind.
I’m not entirely sure why born-again Christians read atheist blogs. I never would have. Perhaps its a morbid sense of curiosity. Perhaps they think they can save us. Maybe they think we are misrepresenting their Savior and they want to set the record straight. (As if God couldn’t take care of his own reputation.) In any case, they claim to want to spread the love of Jesus, but often end up in bitter, heated arguments with unbelievers. From the tone and vocabulary, you can’t actually tell who is the Christian and who is the atheist.
I felt a lot like Melissa does for a long time, and I still do in a way. I refuse to be silenced by Christians -- or people of any faith -- who think "you have to believe in something" is the best response to my atheism. I've been pissed off since somewhere around 9/11. But now I am tired of being mad at Christians. It's really exhausting. While I've been working on my memoir, I've been looking at old photos of friends from church and year books with pictures from the Bible school I attended, and I found myself smiling more than anything else, remembering good times, and good people. I wonder, "What happened to Christianity in the last 20 years to change me from seeing Christians as good people to seeing them as big-mouth bigoted bullies?" I think it's the action of the Christians, always pushing themselves to the forefront, trying to force everyone to follow their rules through legislation, blatantly disregarding the Constitution of the United States. When I was a Christian in the 1970s and early 80s in New York, it was considered uncouth, unspiritual, for born-again Christians to be involved in politics. We were in the world, but not of it. Our mission was spiritual, not political. Looking back, I see that when churches started getting involved in politics, that's when I got a bad taste in my mouth and started to feel like something was amiss.
So, I'm not really sure what to think about all of this. Frankly I'm tired of thinking about it. I wish Christians would just mind their own business and leave the rest of us alone. If they won't do that, then they have to suck it up and take it when we push back. We're not the ones being the bullies.
And Christians visiting atheist blogs and hassling people in the comments are just one example of that bullying. Personally, I think Jesus would be pissed.