*The following is taken from a rant I had today on my Twitter timeline, in response to being called “intolerant” for expressing atheist or anti-theist views in public.
You’re damn right I’m intolerant of stupid, sexist, homophobic and dangerous ideas.
ANTI-THEIST, it says it in my name people.
Faith healing fucking kills people, and not just adults who choose it for themselves but kids who have no choice. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
Religions the world over have oppressed women and children, and taken an undue share of the world’s wealth. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
Religion is the number one justification of homophobia in America, including bullying of teenagers in schools. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
The “let’s not offend it!” status of religion allows for the abuse of children by clergy and in religious teen lockdown facilities. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
Putting your faith in a Higher Power removes your sense of responsibility for your own actions. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
Patriarchy is detrimental to the full potential of men, women and children. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
I think “Holy Wars” are atrocious. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
When someone thinks they have a deity backing their crazy plan, it’s harder to stop them from doing it. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
I think science classrooms should be reserved for science, not flights of religious fancy. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
I think the shape of someone’s nose, color of their skin or type of gonad they have does not limit their potential or worth. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
I think all children deserve a real education, no matter what batshit crazy beliefs their parents hold. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
I’ve known children who couldn’t read or write because their uneducated Christian parents chose to homeschool them. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
A little boy I used to know is no longer here because he died of medical neglect at 2 years old. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.
I would rather shock and offend you, and have you fucking listen than let you pretend your personal faith doesn’t hurt anyone. I’m an anti-theist.
**Standard disclaimer: Yes, people celebrate/observe their faith in different ways. That doesn’t mean it’s true and that doesn’t mean it’s smart, so that’s no excuse.
Right on! *fistbump*
I have another one: religion handicaps, when not directly prevents finding and developing your moral values, which is a key part of growing up and developing as a human being. It does so by convincing people of that they already have them, in their off-the-shelf, primitive and, generally, nonsensical religious standards. That’s how it makes good people behave in completely immoral ways in a fashion probably no other cultural construct does.
You raised a lot of good points, the more I read/learn about religions the more I’m going from atheist to anti-theist. Heard you on the Godless Bitches podcast, you were awesome, and made a good observation that people need to know that non-belief is an option and if one can publicly “come out” the they should, if only to help others
You make some wonderfully valid points, but I just want to point out that not all religions or religious people are nutcases. I am Lutheran. I believe in God. However I am responsible for my own actions, I’m not really a church goer, unless I’m with family, and I’m fine with homosexuals, and if I’m sick I see a doctor. While in theory I don’t like abortion, yes I think its its a life, I think abortion needs to stay legal and the govt shouldn’t be putting laws down on my body. I don’t care what other people believe, if if you are baptist, buddhist, or anti-theist as long as you don’t push your beliefs and rules on me. I also find it sad that the nutcases out there are the ones who get the most “press”. But I felt that needed to be said.
Laura, you make a good point and, at least in my case, I think that what I mean by the expression “anti-theistic” requires some clarification. I personally draw the line at literalism (particularly Biblical or Quranic). Literalists are making a claim that can be objectively disproven. It is simply impossible for it to be true, not just after what we know about the natural world, but also from the point of view of the internal consistency of the books. Sheer nonsense and detachment from reality. Thus those particular interpretations require actively handicapping people’s (namely children’s) ability to reason to a point in which they cannot apprehend basic reality. Plus, both books, taken literally, are brutal and deeply immoral, inviting to harm and impose those beliefs to other people. Simply put, I find that evil, and I oppose anybody holding and acting on those literal beliefs in the same sense I oppose Nazism, racism or any other deeply immoral doctrine. They are harming people, plain and simple.
Thus it is unfair placing the 99% of remaining reasoning and decent deists in the same bag, if you interpret anti-theism in that sense. However, that does not mean that I find “plain” theism to be positive or morally neutral. Letting apart the discussion on whether the extremes would be possible without the middle grounds, as explained above I think that deism represents an obstacle for the development of moral sense. Most “plain” religious believers manage to go around their particular dogma and become moral individuals. That’s how religious morality evolves, with church hierarchies dragging behind the moral evolution of society, and why Catholics do not support the Inquisition, or most other Christians do not discriminate gay people or support slavery nowadays, for example. If morality came from their sacred books or religious belief system, their moral beliefs would not have evolved, as the body of doctrine was already there and is still unchanged. Still, I firmly believe that this is achieved in spite of their religious indoctrination, which is an obstacle for moral development (if you think that you already have the answers, why reflecting or seeking them? As I see it, religion only aids in keeping blind spots and rationalizing existing prejudices.)
Thus I am anti-theistic in the sense of that I find religious indoctrination to be still harmful even if it does not reach the extremes described above, and religion to be detrimental for the development of moral values in society. I believe in people’s right to their religious beliefs, as far as they are peaceful and not forcefully imposed to the rest of society (just as with political doctrines.) I do not believe religious people are dumb or in any way inferior to non-believers. But I will also denounce that religious indoctrination is negative and harmful per se. Also just as I do with political doctrines with which I disagree not for being totalitarian or violent (as in the ones mentioned in the first paragraph), but simply for considering them wrong. I do not oppose Nazism and the Dynamic Stochastic Equilibrium theory in the same sense and ways, but I am still opposed to both of them. Makes sense?
I was in my first orphanage for 2 years. It was a Pentecostal group and it took me years of confusion to overcome their BS. We had church twice a day and our elementary education was downplayed as optional. I was always it seemed questioning those in charge only to be physically threatened, abused, and finally beaten by the leaders of the church for being impudent, and at the time I didn’t know what that word meant, I was only 8 yrs old. When my sister and I finally left to go to a Methodist orphanage where we had beem on a waiting list, hence the stay over at the Pentecostal place, it was like night turned into day, though run by a church, there was no bible thumping and no saving souls for Jesus, none of the same kind of indoctrination though we did go to church every Sunday. I was happy there were people from the church who really lived their religion and wanted the best for us and we got through high school, and at 18 I left, but still with the early nonsense in my head gotten from the Pentecostals, I had to do some real learning, and I ended up throwing out the religious books of the monotheistic types of religions, you know the Messiah, or personal saviour type ones, and after finding out in the Koran women don’t have souls and all the misogyny in the bible, as well as homophobia that came from it, I preserved only some of the ideas in Buddhism. That of the Noble EightFold Path and the Twelve Principles, the Four Noble Truths, but most of it all in Buddhism is based on common sense, you don’t need any of it really due to the idea being it is all up to you anyway, how you live your life.
Thanks Angie, your are right. And I like you am an Anti-Theist.
“Putting your faith in a Higher Power removes your sense of responsibility for your own actions. That’s why I’m an anti-theist.”
What about free-will in religion? 😀 A lot of religions don’t ackowlege predestination. The higher power doesn’t force anybody in them.
Thank you for lumping all beliefs into a “Christian” attitude. I have yet to see an anti-theists who does not fit this flaw.
Mocks anti-theist for generalizing ..
Generalizes anti-theists ..
Very good stuff here. I’m tempted to re-post it on a forum where I do battle with a lot of half-witted (and some even less-witted) Christians on pretty much a daily basis. It’s a good summation of sensible reasons to be what is so unaffectionately termed a “militant atheist” like myself.
It actually seems like you’re anti-religion, as opposed to anti-theist. Your issue seems to less with the existence of God, and more with the wacky things people do in accordance their understanding of God.
I don’t think gods exist, so of course I’m more upset by what people do based on belief in magic than I am about the magic. The magic part isn’t real; the people acting like jackasses part is.
Someone said ” God exists. he gave us 10 fingers. it’s perfect. why not eleven ? It’s because he is all knowing. ” Clearly this guy hasn’t to met my friend who has 11 fingers. btw, Since when did god like the number 10 ? I thought they were just 3 and 7. We Atheists deserve to criticize religion. Otherwise, where is the fun ?
The bible’s number games should clue people in to what a bunch of tripe it is, if nothing else. I’m reasonably sure that most if not all of it stems from astrology, too.
I totally agree. Although I know lot’s of nice, civilized people who believe in gods (few christians, a jew, a muslim), I think the part of them that seriously believes in fairytales told by backward goatherders 3000 years ago and finally written down after a political selection of them (coincidence that was just before the dark ages, is plain bat shit crazy. Religion should be treated as a mental disorder, not protected from insult, ridicule or critisism