Atheism / Christian Nation / Culture · January 2, 2007

Good Christians

I don’t know why I can still be surprised by this sort of thing. The AP has an article about how Atheists are threatened for merely expressing their views. I read the AP article in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Kentucky.com.

From the article:

The note on Blair Scott’s windshield wasn’t a nice one.

The anonymous writer had to have seen Scott’s atheist-themed bumper
sticker, an uncommon sight in the small south Alabama town where he
lived at the time.

“It just amazed me that people would take time out of their day to
return to their car, grab a pen and paper and write a ‘You’re going to
hell and you’re going to burn in a lake of fire,’ and stick it under my
windshield,” said Scott, a 36-year-old veteran who installs computer
systems in prisons.


Many who consider themselves atheists said they’re afraid to mention
their views on religion or that they don’t believe in deities. It’s an
especially unpopular opinion in the South, they said.

“Do I think that any of these people are really afraid if someone
knows they’re an atheist that they’re going to get shot down on the
street tomorrow? No. But the thought is always there in the back of
your mind,” said Joe Mays, Louisville computer technician who helped
organize an atheist group that meets monthly.


Scott said when he was living in Mobile, Ala., people were tipped
off to his atheist views after he wrote an editorial to the local
newspaper protesting a proposed bible class at a public school. He said
he never mentioned that he was an atheist in the letter.

Scott said after that, his car was bashed up by a baseball bat and a cross was planted in his yard.

He has since moved to Huntsville and now heads a local atheist
chapter in that town, which he said is much more tolerant because of
the number of NASA scientists who live there.

“I think there’s almost an unwillingness to come out of the closet
for most atheists, especially in the Bible belt, because of the type of
repercussions from people of faith,” he said. “Some nasty stuff has
happened to people, some really nasty stuff. And people are afraid of
that.”

And I thought I had it bad when someone attacked my Darwin Fish. At least they didn’t use a baseball bat on my truck! Mr. Scott probably knows what most Atheists have discovered – don’t put anything about Atheism on your brand new Lexus.

As Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have pointed out, even moderate Christians must share some of the blame for the actions of radical Christian fundamentalists. Moderate Christians may not actively discriminate against the non-religious, but through their refusal to call out radical Christians they are enabling fundamentalists.

As I told a commenter in my blog, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Are you a Christian? Do you condone the abuse toward non-Christians by those who call themselves Christian? If you do not condone such abuse then ask yourself what have you done to counter it?

I don’t mean just stopping the guy with the baseball bat. That sort of abusive action comes from personal values, it comes from having the attitude that such actions are acceptable. Personal values come from and are supported by family and friends.

Are you a moderate Christian? Did you laugh at that last Atheist joke? Did you nod you head sagely when your minister said that Atheists are immoral? Do you agree when someone says that Atheists are confused, empty or angry because they hate God? If so, I’ve got news for you – you’re not moderate, and you enable the fanatics.