January 22, 2007

Christian Compares Atheists to Jihadists

We atheists are used to being despised, especially in America. Whatever the predominant threat to America is perceived as being, you can bet we will be equated with it. For decades, we were all assumed to be Communists. As the Communist threat subsided, we are now being referred to as "jihadists." It would almost be funny if it didn't reflect the sort of intolerance about which Christians have repeatedly demonstrated their seriousness.

Writing in The Christian Post, guest columnist Chuck Colson whines that American Christians are being persecuted. His evidence is that Christians are called "theocrats" or "fascists" and are described as wanting to take over America. Of course, atheists are to blame. Evidently, Mr. Colson has never heard of Christian Nationalism, Reconstructionism, or Christianism.

By complaining about "anti-Christian literature," by which he means recent bestsellers by Dawkins, Harris, and others, Colson attempts to rally his Christian soldiers. However, it is his attempt to analyze our motivation which warrants discussion. According to Colson, our "witch hunt" (yep, a Christian is accusing atheists of hunting witches) is motivated by our desire to:
  • "drive Christians out of public debates"
  • "destroy belief in God"
According to Colson, our attack on faith is based on a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of actual religious faith. Not surprisingly, he offers no support for this claim other than the standard argument that some Christians have done some good things. Unfortunately for Colson, he falls into the trap of giving religion credit for "ending the slave trade" without acknowledging that his bible condones slavery or that Christianity was used to justify slavery throughout much of history. Similarly, he wants to give his religion credit for being "the source of all the great reforms and advances of Western civilization" while conveniently ignoring the many atrocities spawned by his religion.

I would have to say that Colson is partially right about one thing, however. He's at least partially right about our goal (at least my goal) of turning religion into "a cause for personal embarrassment." My goal isn't exactly to turn religion into this sort of thing because I am convinced that it already is such a thing. My goal is to assist others in discovering the irrationality and dysfunctional nature of religion so that it can increasingly be recognized as a source of embarrassment and eventually discarded.

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