“We’ve made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back.” – Jean Luc Picard
A while back I published an article on the American Atheists, Inc. “No God Blog,” of which I am a contributor. It was in response to the call for tolerance by accommodationalists among the atheist movement. Lately, there has been a resurgence in that call, which clearly surprises me. The level of pushback that the more outspoken and strident among us have been getting from our own camp in response to our activism is bordering on epic. And, true to the Internet, most of it is coming from keyboard commandos with pseudonyms who cannot, for various reasons, “come out of the closet.”
This behooves me, and forces me to ask whether or not our atheist detractors are actually that clueless as to what the two largest world religions include in their doctrines and Scriptures about what is to be done with the infidel. The biggest error that the accommodationalist makes is their lack of understanding the difference between the individual and the doctrine. Christian and Islamic Scriptures are very clear about what is to be done with the infidel, particularly the atheist.
Do all Christians and Muslims agree with these commands? Of course not. But that does not change what their holy books, and in essence, their Deities command. The fact that the Christian or Muslim does not obey their holy books does not change what is in the books, and when you redact the few and far-between messages about peace, love and understanding, you are left books that are basically manuals on how to hate people who don’t agree with you and the various methods of punishment that should be meted out, up to and including death.
There are many of us, some very well-known, who understand the need for intolerance toward beliefs and doctrines that serve only to promote hatred, bigotry and discrimination. I’ve stated before, there are many doctrines that are so dangerous that they need to be eradicated from their respective faiths before any hope of a compromise or diplomacy can commence.
You cannot have diplomatic relations with someone who believes that their god wants you dead. You cannot engage in a free exchange of ideas with these people. Their version of “compromise” does not include making any concessions or changing anything except tightening their stranglehold on humanity. They are dangerous, and should be treated like any other person or group who advocates assault, battery and/or murder to get their point across.
Why any self-respecting unbeliever would lift one, single finger in support of a religion that promotes bigotry, discrimination, hatred, coercion, terrorism, slavery, misogyny and everything else that wrong with Christianity and Islam (and, to a degree, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.) is beyond me. How a supposedly rational person can sit back and look at the role that religion plays in the wars, famines and pestilences around the world and say to themselves, “We need to be more tolerant’” is also beyond sick, me.
While there exist many believers who are just as fed up with organized religion and it poisonous effects on our species, there are also many Christians and Muslims who have absolutely no interest in coexisting with the rest of the planet. They have no desire for peace, nor do they want to engage in diplomatic efforts to iron out our differences and come to an agreement on developing an integrated society. All they want is world domination and for the rest of us to die. This is not my opinion, people. Their interpretation of the Bible and Koran are very clear about this, and reasoning with these people is like trying to teach calculus to a toaster.
To the Christian and Muslim Moderates…
First, yes, it is very true that “all Christians and Muslims” are not sick, twisted individuals that are bent on world domination and the extermination of anyone who does not bow to their god. But Christianity and Islam are sick, twisted death cults that demand world domination and the extermination of anyone who refuses to bow to their gods.
What? You don’t agree? These are not my rules, people.
You can’t call yourself a Christian or a Muslim and then get pissed off and cry “persecution” when it is pointed out to you what is in your own holy books. Well, you can, but you’d only be lying to yourselves. It’s all right there, in black and white. And if you are going through your life really, honestly believing that your religion is a religion of peace, or a religion of charity and love, you really need to get your head out of your ass and take a look around at all the bad in the world and realize just how much your religion is responsible for it. Just because individuals do good things in the name of your religion, doesn’t make your religion good.
To The Accommodationalist Unbeliever…
If you don’t like the way some of us engage in our activism, you are free to get out there and get involved. Go ahead, identify yourselves as atheists to the world. Hold up a sign, protest a church, send letters with your real identity to school boards, local governments and other municipal agencies that violate the First Amendment. Do interviews on the news and in the local papers.
What? You can’t? You’ll lose your job? Your business will suffer? Your family will disown you? Your safety will be in jeopardy? Your reputation will be tarnished?
Well, la-ti-fucking-da to you.
Has it occurred to you that these reasons are precisely why we do what we do? Have you given any thought as to how nice it would be for your unbelief to be of no consequence to your livelihoods, your familial and professional relationships and your personal safety? Has it crossed your minds just how fucked up it is that people lose their jobs, get disowned, suffer the ruination of a business and become the victims of violence because there is no reasoning with these people?
Before you get on your high horse, be careful your hubris is not wrapped around your own necks.
The common adage of “Organizing Atheists Is Like Herding Cats,” is wearing thin. Yeah, we are an eclectic bunch who are not very fond of sheeplike behavior, but seriously, we need to make a concerted effort here. As Patrick Swayze said in the movie, Roadhouse, “Be nice, until it is time not to be nice.”
Until we can all agree that diplomacy should not even be on the table until the religious leaders of the world agree to remove the bigoted, hateful and discriminatory doctrines and beliefs from their official doctrines, even if that means redacting huge chunks of their holy books, there will be no hope of compromise or co-existence.
Christianity is marketed as a religion of love and tolerance and Islam is marketed as a religion of peace. However, on their fundamental levels, these belief systems causes division, promote willful ignorance and retard intellectual growth.
Personally, I find it reprehensible that I have been spending more and more time defending myself against attacks from atheists than from the religious right. And the growing division among us is weakening us.