Christians Silencing Atheists by Accusing Us of Being Too Angry

Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

I mentioned that I would be doing some more writing for a general audience. As it turns out, there's at least one lesson I should have learned from my early days of atheist blogging. What's the lesson? When an atheist writes for a general audience, accusations of being too angry will follow. I'm not sure how I managed to forget this, but a recent experience brought it roaring back.

Consider something like the following sentence for a moment:

I don't like it when religious believers dehumanize me for being an atheist.

If I included that in a piece aimed at atheists, I wouldn't expect negative reactions. I wouldn't expect much of a reaction at all. Atheist readers might yawn because they've had similar thoughts countless times.

When I include it in a piece aimed at a broader audience, I should expect negative reactions. I should expect to hear that this makes me sound "too angry." "But I'd like to be treated like a human!" Nope, still too angry.

Communicating that I do not like it when religious people dehumanize me is "too angry." I had forgotten that religious believers have such different thresholds for evaluating anger. Or are the thresholds they use just different for atheists?

I am now feeling stupid that I hadn't anticipated this. I see Christians become indignant whenever someone highlights their hypocrisy. I hear Christians whine about persecution when reminded about church-state separation. Christians often complain when someone points out their bigotry toward LGBTQ persons.

Asserting oneself is too angry for these Christians. Expecting equality is too angry for these Christians. Trying to prevent them from taking away our rights is too angry for these Christians. Standing up for the allies they mistreat is too angry for these Christians.

If pointing out that atheists deserve better than dehumanization makes me "too angry," so be it. If defending reproductive rights for women makes me "too angry," I can live with that. If opposing religiously motivated bigotry in all its forms means that I am "too angry," I'll take it. I'll wear it as a badge of honor!

Christians have accused every group seeking equality of being "too angry." It is a silencing and discrediting tactic. It aims to restore the taboo around not criticizing religion. I'll have none of it.

Treating people poorly will make them angry. It should make them angry. Their anger is valid, and whining about it will not make it go away. Religious believers can do the right thing and treat others with dignity and respect. If they refuse, they can accept the fact that many now view them as members of a hate group, and more will soon follow.

Consider some of what you've heard from Christians. You are a sinner facing eternal torture unless you agree with them. You cannot be moral without their preferred god(s). You do not deserve the same rights as they enjoy. You must hold your tongue when they criticize you, but you may not criticize them. Anger seems like an appropriate response.