Damn you atheists, why won’t you tolerate believers?
I’ve had a look at Chris Stedman’s blog, NonProphet Status. It becomes clearer why he’s so hostile to atheists: he’s not an atheist himself, and he’s the religious kind of humanist as opposed to the non-religious kind. He seems to be tragically homesick for religion, and comforting himself by engaging in a simulacrum. That’s fine; it’s just unfortunate that his chief goal and hobby seems to be throwing atheists under any bus he can find as a way of sucking up to believers.
There’s a guest post there from a few days ago, by another pious Humanist type, which is another extended exercise in saying Why Atheists Suck and Why Believers Are Better Than Everyone Else. Like all such exercises, it is cloying and dishonest at the same time.
Atheist activism is at a crossroads, says Andrew Lovley. Whither next? What best to do with our newfound visibility?
Some suggest that we should focus our efforts toward making society less religious by actively trying to persuade people away from religion, while others believe we should work toward toleration and coexistence with our religious neighbors. Until atheist activists achieve some sort of consensus on this issue, we will continue to contradict each other in words and in actions and threaten our relevance as a movement.
As always, that’s a simple-minded dichotomy which leaves out almost everything of importance. It’s not necessarily a matter of trying to persuade people away from religion; it’s often a matter of trying to show people that religious beliefs don’t stand on anything. More important, though, it’s false and highly prejudicial to imply that the more argumentative atheists are opposed to tolerance and coexistence with religious people. We already do tolerate and coexist with religious people! We’re not planning to round them up at gunpoint, or burn down their churches and mosques, or kidnap their children. We’re tired of these sly accusations. We’re tired of “humanists” trying to build up their own reputations by urinating on ours.
Stedman called this hatchet-job “among the best explications I’ve read on this topic.” He would.