When I wrote this post yesterday,I of course was focusing on those Christians that engage atheists online and are abusive. I called it “Nasty”. Yes. there are some that are immediately abusive, not there for any discussion just want to hurl epithets at their target of the day. But atheists can also be abusive, or “nasty” online as I was reminded in a comment I received.
My good friend vjack made this comment on that post:
I haven’t encountered many nasty Christians; far more nasty atheists. I think the reason for that is that I rarely engage Christians when they troll me. They usually go away when ignored.
I had to stop for a few minutes after reading that. I enjoy finding new (to me) atheists online and especially on Twitter, I am willing to follow them instantly. I would think, anecdotally, that 90% of those come across as good people. But yes, there are a considerable number that are “nasty”; not just to Christians, but other atheists as well.
I can’t begin to guess why, and if I tried to, this post might be 5,000 or more words. But suffice to say their antipathy is deep and only they can tell any of us why. A few times, I’ve tried to engage in an attempt to learn from a particular atheist as to why they are so angry at what appears to be everyone. I’ve never received any sort of reasonable response and after a few exchanges, I just unfollowed them on Twitter.
Atheists don’t always agree on a lot of things. I find it refreshing because it sparks discussion and those discussions may enlighten us all. But just being angry and nasty at everyone doesn’t do anything. As atheists, we can become angry over some issue; for me it’s when priests and pastors are arrested for abusing children. It happens more than we’d all like to admit.There’s even a subreddit, /r/PastorArrested.
I don’t live my life being constantly angry, but some people do. I cannot imagine living my life that way. We, as atheists, don’t have to be accommodating, but could show less overall anger, and yes, nastiness at others online.