I don’t think I will ever understand certain Christian’s apparent need to harass non-Christians.
Our atheist group recently had a picnic in the park. It was a great time except for a case of harassment of one of our members. She held a sign out so our members could see were we were located and, apparently, that was enough to give random passerbys the need to prove themselves philosophers and theologians.
There are venues for religious discussion. Blogs work well, they are voluntary. No one “accidentally” finds a blog. You have to search for it. Debates work. Pretty much any newspaper will print your letter to the editor. If you have friends of different faiths, civil discussions with them can be quite enlightening. One thing that doesn’t work well is yelling out on street corners.I’ve never yelled out at any believers in public. I know a large number of atheists, and I’ve never heard any stories of any of them yelling out on street corners to members of the Christian or any other faith. We could. We could call them superstitious, primative, or whatever …
Here’s what’s funny, though. One of the “clever” comments yelled was, “So, where does the universe come from, huh?” Boy, what a great burn. Don’t know how she’ll ever live that one down. But, what were they expecting? Did they want her to read to them? Is that what they were asking? They didn’t know anything about astrophysics, couldn’t possibly read up on it themselves, so they’re going to find out the answer by yelling at people on the street corner?
Well, one thing they surely did not want was any attempt at an answer. It was, of course, not intended as an invitation to debate. It was intended as an ambush. And I don’t believe the offending Christian could have been daft enough to not realize this, so it was intended to be cruel as well. The great moral Christian.
In their gullibility, I suppose, they must have believed themselves to have had an iron clad argument that no person could reject it. I would hate to see that person with a gun, they would believe themselves justified in robbing very grocery store they walk into.
The origin of the universe is not an answer that anyone has written on a business card. I could ask them to please explain in detail exactly what God’s Great Plan(TM) is for us and they may have problems answering that.
What causes this behavior? What creates this feeling of justification to degrade others? Perhaps they’ve recently read a letter to an editor or listened to a debate and they’re heated and want combat of some sort. That’s fine, but you can’t just lash out at people on the street. Self control is vital to a society to function properly. It is one of the claims that Christian philosophers say their religion gives people. Unfortunately, that claim doesn’t seem to hold true.