This will be somewhat of a rambling post.
I was reading a blog post by Rebecca Hamilton recently, Why Don’t Christian Bashers Ever Get Tired of Themselves?,
in which she criticizes atheist blogs. I like Rebecca because (well)
she reads and likes a number of my posts, but also because she is a
Democrat who takes progressive stances, yet also is pro-life. Here is a
sample from the post:
"Why don’t Christian bashers ever get tired of themselves? I
don’t read atheist blogs. But I am aware that at least some of them
appear to have no purpose except Christian bashing. Based on the topics
I see posted, it appears that all they do, day after day, post after post, is churn out one attack on Christ, Christianity and Christians after another.
I don’t claim or want to be an expert on atheist blogs, but from what I
see of these, they are negative to the point of implosion...When you
get past the constant attacking and tearing down and destroying
of Christianity and Christian social structures and morality, all you
have is … nothing. You cannot sustain a society or a person on nihilism and negativity. It’s like trying to stay healthy by eating styrofoam."
I've read enough atheist blogs over the years to know how a number of atheists would respond to that. They'd say that they have
to speak against Christianity because it is so prominent in American
culture, and that its influence has been deleterious to human
well-being. They would also say that their lives are not a mess of
nihilism and negativity, for they have found ways to be inspired and to
live a meaningful, moral life: they just don't feel that they have to
believe in God to have those things.
I used to read atheist
blogs more than I do now. When I was more of an evangelical, I read
them for a variety of reasons: because I wanted to know what sorts of
people I'd be witnessing to, because I wanted to prove to myself that I
could believe in God even after reading challenges to my faith, and
because I enjoyed reading people's stories. Later on, when I was more
hostile to organized religion, I read atheist blogs because I could
identify with what they were saying, even though I myself never made the
leap into atheism. Organized religion, in my opinion, has quite a few
people who bully others with their interpretations of the Bible. I
tended to get a sense of satisfaction when I read atheists respond to
that bullying with "Oh yeah? Says who? How do we know that your Bible
is true? How do we know that your God is even real, for that matter?"
still read atheist blogs sometimes, for that reason: I like reading the
stories of people who have had bad experiences with organized religion,
for they resonate with me. But, nowadays, I tend to gravitate towards
the blogs of religious people who have problems with organized religion,
yet are still pursuing some spiritual path. It's not because I agree
with them more than I do with the atheists. Actually, when liberal or
moderate Christians seek to preserve their faith amidst the challenges
to it, their attempts strike me as rather contorted, to be honest. I
can somewhat understand why atheists respond to the challenges to the
Christian faith by simply repudiating Christianity altogether! Maybe
the Bible reflects the negative elements of its historical contexts and
has contradictions within it because it was written and put together by
human beings, rather than being some way that God is trying to speak to
us! I'm not saying that I've taken that step in my own belief-system.
I'm just saying that atheism appears to me to be the most reasonable
response to the problems in the Bible and in Christianity, at least when
I look at how a number of Christians (conservative and liberal) have
addressed those problems.
But I don't go
the atheist route for the reason that I believe that there very well
could be a supernatural. People tell stories about it. I know that
many atheists express problems with anecdotal evidence. Fine. I'm not
really trying to persuade them to believe the same way that I do, to
tell you the truth. But, in my eyes, one way that we learn about real
life is by listening to people's experiences. People tell about their
experiences with the supernatural, so I don't rule the supernatural out.
also add that I, like Rebecca, see value in not being negative on a
continual basis. I need something positive in my life. I can only read
so much bashing of Christianity, or Republicans, or Democrats. There
is a place for criticism. There are injustices in the world that should
be criticized. Atheist bloggers have a point in saying that there are
problems that religion itself has perpetrated that should be
criticized. But criticizing day-in and day-out? I don't want to do
that. But I can't tell others what to do.
I've probably managed to offend more than one person in this post,
while trying not to offend anybody! That often happens!