Why are atheists so angry?
Rabbi David Wolpe pretends to be mystified that atheists find theism irritating.
How harmless is it to post an article about why people should read the bible on a site devoted to religion? I did on this very page, and it evoked more than 2,000 responses, most of them angry…
It is curious that a religion site draws responses mostly from atheists, and that the atheists are very unhappy…Only the untutored assume that religious people predominate on websites (Huffington Post Religion page, On Faith in the Washington Post, Beliefnet.com) devoted to religion.
He thinks a section of a website is itself a website, or he pretends to think that so that he can claim that the religion section of the Huffington Post is a website and therefore that he was just minding his own business on a religion website and a lot of pesky atheists barged in and started yelling at him. But HuffPo is not a religion website and it is not obvious or self-explanatory that news sites or commentary sites have to include “faith” sections at all. The fact that some such sites treat “faith” with such deference is a major source of the irritation.
Or to put it another way, HuffPo has a mixed audience, so Wolpe can’t expect atheists to stay off his particular articles on the grounds that he’s not talking to us. It doesn’t work that way. There’s no invisible fence around the “faith” section of HuffPo. We don’t look at his stuff and say “well he’s just doing his job” and go away again without saying anything.
In short, no, it’s not curious that pieces like his draw more atheists than theists. It’s not that we’re trespassing on his space, it’s that he’s trespassing on ours – on everyone’s. We simply don’t take it for granted that religion should have a place at every single table.
But why seek out a religious site solely to insult religion? I wondered: Why are atheists so angry?
It’s not a religious site; it’s a section of a secular site, which we think pays far too much attention to religion. We don’t seek it out; it thrusts itself upon our attention. We’re angry because we’re tired of sanctimonious nagging.