I don't really know about the US but...

The_Deception
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I don't really know about the US but...

It appears to me as if there are kind of two extremes with the US and the UK. In the US, atheists are generally ridiculed and mocked for their opinions and lack of belief. Here in the UK, christians like myself are generally mocked and ridiculed. Now I understand that is because atheists and even agnostics think that my beliefs are stupid and mockable (is that a word?!) but do I really need "Hey Ben, you're a Jesus f*****g, God w*****g, Cross s******g c**t! Hahahaha" In the middle of the common room in my college? This is the sort of thing I get quite regularly and it hurts. I wonder, is it the same in the US for atheists because from the hate mail I have seen you have got it appears though you do. If so, christians in the UK and atheists in the US have something in common.... lol.

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Ben

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LosingStreak06
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Some people are just

Some people are just incapable of polite discourse. I wish I could say that all of the people on this website were counterexamples, but alas, I cannot. To be fair to them, however, I would also be unable to use myself as a counterexample, as I have the tendency to ignore those I feel are not worth conversing with.


wavefreak
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Jesus said you may suffer

Jesus said you may suffer for following him.  Should you be worried?

And then there is the fact that some people are just ass holes. The attribute seems to cross all social, religious and cultural boundaries. 


MrRage
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wavefreak wrote: Jesus said

wavefreak wrote:
Jesus said you may suffer for following him. Should you be worried?

Exactly. Christianity thrives on adversity.

Matthew 5:11, "Blessed are you when men revile you...".

Jesus again talks of persecution in John 15:18-19.

Acts is full of stories of the apostles overcome opposition.

The epistle to the Philippians is all about having joy during persecution.

The epistle of James opens with "Count it all joy...when you meet various trials..."

So quit your whining. Sticking out tongue


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Religion is a belief, and

Religion is a belief, and atheism is not.  An athiest's social etiquette, therefore, is not informed by their atheism in a direct sense.  Atheism is not a belief in belittling other people.

 If these people who bothered you were debating the existence of spirits or gods I might feel some connection to them.  If they were simply mocking you to make you feel bad, then I don't care what their beliefs are.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

I'd swap guilt with you any day though.  I'll feel guilty for all the nontheist jerks in your country who tease nice people like yourself, if you feel guilty for all the christians in this country who have burned crosses to frighten people, coerced people in the workplace or schools, made death threats or killed people in the name of God, and put the name of an invisible spirit on our national currency.

 It sucks to be teased, and I am sorry this happened to you.  You seem pleasant and intelligent.  Being teased does not make you a minority, however, and there is really no comparison between the minority status of an atheist in the US with a theist in the UK.  My guess is that most people in the UK still believe in spirits.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The words in each of the following word pairs are not interchangeable:

"Their" and "there."
"Its" and "it's."
"Your" and "you're."
"Then" and "than."


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I've definitely encountered

I've definitely encountered some ridicule in the U.S. for being an atheist, but it really only comes from insanely immature people.  When I was 13 or so, when I started becoming very open about my atheism, a group of contemptably stupid girls took it upon themselves to harass me, calling me a witch and telling everyone I hated Jesus.  My English teacher even started treating me differently, like I was mentally ill or something.  But once I started high school, I met a lot more like-minded people, and I didn't run into so much nastiness.

 I think that there is an implied distaste for atheists in the U.S., however.  After all, a presidential candidate has virtually no chance of being elected if he doesn't claim to be a Christian, which I find ridiculous. 


Hambydammit
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I think in America it is

I think in America it is not so much ridicule as open hostility.

I have received hate mail.  I have been blackballed from professional organizations.  I had to quit teaching music because nobody would send me any referrals once it came out that I am an atheist.  (That was in another state.  Luckily where I am now is more liberal.)

Christians in America are highly organized, and politically powerful.  They try to ruin atheists through economic and political means, especially on local government levels.

So yes, I suppose there is some commonality there.

 My goal personally is to end religion's political and social power.  I don't apologize for that.  But it's important to note that I don't aim to hurt people or to cause economic harm to them.  I want the beliefs to end.  I do not want the people who have the beliefs to suffer.

So, for what it's worth, I do feel sympathy for you, and I think that what those people are doing is wrong.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I agree with Hambydammit in

I agree with Hambydammit in the sense that some Christians take direct action when an atheist is discovered. It's not uncommon to hear about it in the news.
When an atheist tries to defend the separation of church and state it is attributed to the fact that "atheists are immoral"(?)
Or when they sue someone for discrimination public opinion gives the other person a 'bye', without regard to the specifics.
In my personal life, the worst I have received is a constant attempt at conversion/intellectual ridicule/downright, face-to-face denial that I'm atheist.
I think people feel threatened by the atheist idea system.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


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The_Deception wrote: Now I

The_Deception wrote:

Now I understand that is because atheists and even agnostics think that my beliefs are stupid and mockable (is that a word?!) but do I really need "Hey Ben, you're a Jesus f*****g, God w*****g, Cross s******g c**t! Hahahaha" In the middle of the common room in my college?

Hey Ben (welcome to the forums!).

I'm sorry you have to go through all that.  The only consolation is that you're called names.  Some of the hatefulness here in the U.S. is much more extreme.  Take a look at some of the messages I've gotten in this thread

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The_Deception
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I most certainly do feel

I most certainly do feel guilty for all the Christians who have been, in a word, cruel. The christians of whom you speak are persecutors and I for one find it EXTREMELY hypocritical when christians expect other countries to allow freedom of speech and allow christians to practice freely without the risk of torture, death and persecution, yet in countries like the US, are openly hostile to beliefs which go against theirs. I'm gonna do a bit of plugging now.... come live in the UK! haha. Here, it is much more open which is why I am really surfing your boards (Susan, that thread was quite a laugh but in the same sense pretty sucky that you have been addressed like that by "christians" and I use the term loosly) in order to really find out what you guys have to go through.

To live is for Christ, to die is gain.


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The_Deception wrote: I most

The_Deception wrote:
I most certainly do feel guilty for all the Christians who have been, in a word, cruel. The christians of whom you speak are persecutors and I for one find it EXTREMELY hypocritical when christians expect other countries to allow freedom of speech and allow christians to practice freely without the risk of torture, death and persecution, yet in countries like the US, are openly hostile to beliefs which go against theirs. I'm gonna do a bit of plugging now.... come live in the UK! haha. Here, it is much more open which is why I am really surfing your boards (Susan, that thread was quite a laugh but in the same sense pretty sucky that you have been addressed like that by "christians" and I use the term loosly) in order to really find out what you guys have to go through.


I've always wanted to live in Sweden or London.

Anyway, there are a lot of people who would say that
a) there's a tendency for christians to be less educated in our country (read many emails given to the mods of these boards, read ID arguments, etc.)
b) many of them don't read their own holy book (so "going against their own beliefs" would only hold if they even know what they are claiming to believe)
c) (what I believe) the fundies in our media and government tell the mods what to think about atheists, and too many of them believe it.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


The_Deception
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robakerson

robakerson wrote:
The_Deception wrote:
I most certainly do feel guilty for all the Christians who have been, in a word, cruel. The christians of whom you speak are persecutors and I for one find it EXTREMELY hypocritical when christians expect other countries to allow freedom of speech and allow christians to practice freely without the risk of torture, death and persecution, yet in countries like the US, are openly hostile to beliefs which go against theirs. I'm gonna do a bit of plugging now.... come live in the UK! haha. Here, it is much more open which is why I am really surfing your boards (Susan, that thread was quite a laugh but in the same sense pretty sucky that you have been addressed like that by "christians" and I use the term loosly) in order to really find out what you guys have to go through.


I've always wanted to live in Sweden or London.

Anyway, there are a lot of people who would say that
a) there's a tendency for christians to be less educated in our country (read many emails given to the mods of these boards, read ID arguments, etc.)
b) many of them don't read their own holy book (so "going against their own beliefs" would only hold if they even know what they are claiming to believe)
c) (what I believe) the fundies in our media and government tell the mods what to think about atheists, and too many of them believe it.

Agreed. Too much trash is spread about people, organisations, beliefs, non-beliefs etc. And it is all to the detriment of the human race.

To live is for Christ, to die is gain.


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Susan wrote:  Take a look

Susan wrote:

 Take a look at some of the messages I've gotten in this thread

Huzzah!  A fellow grammarian!  I'm pretty lenient when it comes to christian posts which have no content to start with.  They are usually not worth the time it takes to respond.  If they seem capable of actual discussion I may spend the time to point out grammar or spelling.  It really bothers me much more to see people with a clear head make these kinds of mistakes.  I am therefore more likely to point out usage errors to an atheist than to a religionist.

The words in each of the following word pairs are not interchangeable:

"Their" and "there."
"Its" and "it's."
"Your" and "you're."
"Then" and "than."


Susan
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The_Deception wrote: I'm

The_Deception wrote:
I'm gonna do a bit of plugging now.... come live in the UK! haha. Here, it is much more open which is why I am really surfing your boards.

Although I'm not sure about a move across the ocean, I will admit that Toronto is looking better all the time. That's sort of U.K. isn't it? Eye-wink

 

The_Deception wrote:
(Susan, that thread was quite a laugh but in the same sense pretty sucky that you have been addressed like that by "christians" and I use the term loosly) in order to really find out what you guys have to go through.

Well, I consider the source. It almost seems like there is a correlation to being able to construct a gramatically correct sentence with the level of threat.

I find it fascinating that "good and kind" xians many times use such foul language. Please keep in mind that foul language does not offend me, but I cannot imagine that it's acceptable language for a theist. Would they want their children speaking as such?

WBC not withstanding! ROTF

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I'm lucky enough to live in

I'm lucky enough to live in a part of the US that isn't so hardnosed about religion, though I get my fair share here and there. The fact is, there are socially inept *******s on both ends of the spectrum. Don't feel guilty when another Christian acts like an *******. Just remember that you would never want to be that way (and you apparently aren't like that all). You seem like a down to earth person who doesn't want to hurt other people. That works for me. Smiling

Welcome aboard.

 

[MOD EDIT - edited for language per Kill 'Em With Kindness forum rules] 

 

 

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