I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, probably too many to link, but I don’t hate anyone. I don’t even hate ideas. In fact, it bothers me to even have to write that word here because it is something I just don’t do. I certainly don’t respect some people or ideas, but that’s a lot different that using the “H” word to describe what I think or feel about anyone or anything. I’ve always found it confounding that there are those that actually believe that disrepsect equals a form of hate. I think they may need a dictionary.
It’s true though that some believers think we atheists hate them or their belief. There may be some atheists that do, but I’ve never met one. They even go as far as writing incomprehensible screeds about atheists. Their mind-reading techniques are beyond anything I’ve ever encountered – and I’ve been around a lot of people in my time that believe they know what I think or believe without ever having to ask.
There are atheists I don’t respect; The ones that, if I happen to disagree with them will automatically label me and try to turn me into a horrible person. Am I not allowed to have my own opinions or am I expected to conform to some groupthink and even if I disagree, just go along with the pack? That’s an authoritarian view of atheism that I will not condone. No one speaks for me, and I refuse to allow other atheists to try to intimidate me into just going along. I was my own person before I was an atheist, and I’ll continue to have my own thoughts and opinions now.
But those I believe are a distinct minority of atheists unlike believers who have come to the conclusion, most of them without ever having met an atheist, that we are somehow Satanic, or, as in the link above, jihadists, out to tear down everything they find sacred.
Believers actually think, in my opinion, that they have some special rights, not enumerated in the Constitution, that if anyone stands up, objects, and causes them any inconvenience, those people must be filled with hate, or are just tools of/believers in Satan. Little do they realize that when we stand up for the Consitution, it’s not just for us, but for everyone. I wonder, in the link above, if there would even be anything written if the monument represented Islam instead of Christianity. Not being a mind-reader, I have no idea, but I suspect the response would be different, if there was any response at all.
Even when we disagree, we should take the time to attempt to understand the others point of view. That doesn’t mean that we have to change our mind, but to try and see through someone elses eyes. Referencing again, the link above, I do understand the dilemma and distress of believers of having a specifically Christian monument possibly ruled as unconstitutional. That doesn’t change my mind that it is in fact in violation of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment,
Atheists should look at one another in the same way. Because we may happen to have different views, we should at least make the attempt to understnad each other. We’re supposed to be people of reason, of rationality. We can use what we see from believers of how we’re viewed to stop and consider how we treat each other. I’m not saying we have to accept views with disagree with, but we don’t have to disparage others for theirs.
When we become a group that thinks alike, without any disagreement, what do we become?