Fellow Atheists/Agnostic Atheists - Let's Chat: Do you feel it is risky being "out" these days?

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:
Bonnonon wrote:
Redwing wrote:

Some of my best friends I still hang out with from high-school were devout Christians. They didn't catch the dreaded atheism off me, and they never won me over to the holy side despite a few attempts. Atheists and religious people can certainly mix, religion doesn't even need to be conversation topic.

Admittedly they are the cool "Ska Music and Skateboarding" kind of Christians. The best sort!

My one friend once said I was the most honest non-christian person he knows... in the city where I live the divide is quite large and your are part of the community or not. That being said you do have a large majority of the middle ground of religious types. I agree that atheists and religious people can mix, but I have found over time my relationships with the more heavily involved of my Christian friends being eroded by their annoyance at my lack of faith. In some cases it got to the point where I was not invited to certain events because the events were only for his or her Christian friends. As the title says I find it risky being "out" these days due to an non understanding in the community where we live.

Please tell me you're in some hole in the Interior, like Midway or PG, and not the Lower Mainland or the island where I may someday go if I retire.

oops double post.

When you hear "X excludes me from activities and treats me as inferior because I'm Y", if you put just about anything besides religion positions in the X/Y positions ... well, there's an "-ism" word for that.

I'm happy to live and let live, as my post above more than indicates, but the sort of stories I'm hearing above actually disgust me a fair bit. What happened to love thy neighbour?

Redwing wrote:

I'm happy to live and let live, as my post above more than indicates, but the sort of stories I'm hearing above actually disgust me a fair bit. What happened to love thy neighbour?

That's just pillow talk, baby.

Any of you who are still on the Facebooks might be interested in a group/page/thing called Sexy Atheists. It's a hoot.

Unrelated, but I just found this.
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/zebGGtz.png)
It's a bit ironic considering how after HPL's death, his friend and contemporary August Derleth took the mythology Lovecraft created and tried to alter it to fit into Derleth's Christian worldview.

EDIT: found the text from which the quotememe originated:

HPL wrote:

"We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value.... If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction."

ruhk wrote:

Unrelated, but I just found this.
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/zebGGtz.png)
It's a bit ironic considering how after HPL's death, his friend and contemporary August Derleth took the mythology Lovecraft created and tried to alter it to fit into Derleth's Christian worldview.

EDIT: found the text from which the quotememe originated:

HPL wrote:

"We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value.... If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction."

Mind you this is from the same man who, according to Wikipedia, argued for a strong "colour line, and has an undeniably racist perspective". Although as an atheist I certainly agree with this particular sentiment. And given that all of his work is in the public domain, I don't see any problems with enjoying his work now (Though I can't imagine that whatever is left of the Lovecraft family nowadays would still feel that same way he did about race relations, which makes the whole public domain thing something of a moot point).

I'm fully aware of HPL's ol' timey racism. He was also misogynist as all get out, too. Still one of my favorite writers, though.

ruhk wrote:

I'm fully aware of HPL's ol' timey racism. He was also misogynist as all get out, too. Still one of my favorite writers, though.

Fair enough, Just wanted to make sure everyone had some more context on his political beliefs before anyone held him up as a great atheist writer, he was certainly both of those things, but I feel there may be less ol' timey racist authors we could represent are selves with. Not that we should feel the need to represent are selves with one particular writer, but you know what I mean (I hope).

I wouldn't classify him as an atheist writer, just a writer who happened to be atheist. The point of his writings weren't inherently atheistic, but rather about the insignificance of man and fear of the unknown, and were crammed to the gills with supernatural and psuedoscientific overtones. The quote itself isn't even from one of his mythos works, it's from a personal correspondence with one of his friends. I just thought it was neat and wanted to share.

ruhk wrote:

I wouldn't classify him as an atheist writer, just a writer who happened to be atheist. The point of his writings weren't inherently atheistic, but rather about the insignificance of man and fear of the unknown, and were crammed to the gills with supernatural and psuedoscientific overtones. The quote itself isn't even from one of his mythos works, it's from a personal correspondence with one of his friends. I just thought it was neat and wanted to share. :P

It's very neat, I appreciate the share. Mind if I repost the image elsewhere?

It's not mine, I just found it.

Bonnonon wrote:

I will give you some hints and if you know BC at all you will know where I live... It is considered the bible belt and we were also the murder capital of Canada for some time. To be honest you can live in my area, live your lifestyle and not experience what I have experienced to a degree, but at some point or another you will encounter the fanatical push my religion on you. You may also have friends/acquaintances that throw away all non Christian CD's, and stop dancing due to religion, which is fine by me until the sermon starts. I think it is hard to live in my community and not have some connection to one of the main religious groups. I paint a gloomy picture, but keep in mind that it is only my point of view and others in the area may have not experience what I have depending on what part of the city they grew up in. Also keep in mind that the times are changing in my city and the days of the bible belt are diminishing, due to the decrease in chruch attendance around the city.

Holy crap, you live in Bomont?

As a Christian I have to say that I actually loved that lovecraft quote. I think truth doesn't need much of a defense if it it indeed true. It reminds me of a bible verse in judges.

"When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down… And after they had made search and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.” But Joash said to all who were arrayed against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you defend his cause? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been pulled down.” (6:28-31)

Basically this verse says to me if God can't do something as basic as smite someone who defiles their alter, then there probably not a reall God. This can also be said that if a god you grew up in church with cant answer harder philosophical questions openly then he must not be a God

...that sounds like Biblical encouragement to burn down churches to me.

Seth wrote:

...that sounds like Biblical encouragement to burn down churches to me.

That's Old Testament. That stuff doesn't count anymore.

Basically this verse says to me if God can't do something as basic as smite someone who defiles their alter, then there probably not a reall God.

Jehovah was unable to prevent multiple destruction of his Temple...

I think you're missing the point, he is saying that people shouldn't have to avenge there god but if god sees a point in protecting something then he will.

Well, it becomes problematic for a person of an atheistic, agnostic, view. The Christian Church grew up around a god and saints who could be prayed to, and could exact miracles on the mortal realm. Pray for rain, and there shall be rain. Not sure what all of those that became dinner for lions did wrong. Perhaps instead of Nikto, they said Neck Tie. And this comes down to a flaw in worldview. If the God of modern Christianity is still the god that Constantine used to march over the barbarian hordes; I am not sure how Richard Dawkins is still alive.

If yours is a god that operates like your State Farm Agent, I am not sure how much of a leg you have to stand on, or ever really did. Penn and Tenner can show you in one night, without any technology, just how to do Christian miracles.

Or last night, with the Superbowl, God helps the Ravens win. This analogy falls apart now because they were up against the 49ers from godless, gay sex filled San Francisco. But then again, God seemed to help the Giants win a World Series a couple years ago.

FiveIron wrote:

I think you're missing the point, he is saying that people shouldn't have to avenge there god but if god sees a point in protecting something then he will.

Right....which cuts both ways, as Robear pointed out. By Joash's own decree, Jehovah is just as impotent as Baal.

Edit: it's also in stark contrast to the entire tenet of faith. Apparently Baal has to get out of bed and incinerate a poorly behaved vandal to garner worship, while Jehovah gets a pass.

Seth wrote:
FiveIron wrote:

I think you're missing the point, he is saying that people shouldn't have to avenge there god but if god sees a point in protecting something then he will.

Right....which cuts both ways, as Robear pointed out. By Joash's own decree, Jehovah is just as impotent as Baal.

Edit: it's also in stark contrast to the entire tenet of faith. Apparently Baal has to get out of bed and incinerate a poorly behaved vandal to garner worship, while Jehovah gets a pass.

It's a pity, Baal drops mad loot.

KingGorilla wrote:

Well, it becomes problematic for a person of an atheistic, agnostic, view. The Christian Church grew up around a god and saints who could be prayed to, and could exact miracles on the mortal realm. Pray for rain, and there shall be rain. Not sure what all of those that became dinner for lions did wrong. Perhaps instead of Nikto, they said Neck Tie. And this comes down to a flaw in worldview. If the God of modern Christianity is still the god that Constantine used to march over the barbarian hordes; I am not sure how Richard Dawkins is still alive.

If yours is a god that operates like your State Farm Agent, I am not sure how much of a leg you have to stand on, or ever really did. Penn and Tenner can show you in one night, without any technology, just how to do Christian miracles.

Or last night, with the Superbowl, God helps the Ravens win. This analogy falls apart now because they were up against the 49ers from godless, gay sex filled San Francisco. But then again, God seemed to help the Giants win a World Series a couple years ago.

No, it holds up. Brian Wilson stole God's beard.

Well until we have the Apaloosa Agnostics squaring off against the Corpus Christi Santos, I figure we can assume everyone things god is helping them.

Not a Godwin, but Hitler and Mussolini received some special church blessings from Catholic priests, and Protestant Ministers.

KingGorilla wrote:

Not a Godwin, but Hitler and Mussolini received some special church blessings from Catholic priests, and Protestant Ministers.

I'm pretty sure that like using "no-homo" to claim that you're not being homophobic, claiming that you're not Godwinning while Godwinning doesn't work.

The Jews were polytheistic until as late as the 2nd century BC. Heck, *King Solomon* was said to have raised temples to multiple gods (Chemosh and Moloch) in addition to the more famous one, and they lasted for about 400 years as part of Hebrew religious life. It was not until after the Babylonian Exile that monotheism became a strong element in Jewish religion, and it took about 300 years to really take hold. By the time of the Maccabeean Revolt, it would have been dominant. But it's pretty easy to find evidence of polytheism in Judaism in the Bible, and even more easy in Jewish writings and actual archaeological evidence of the time (stele, inscriptions, tablets, etc.).

I'm curious to know what the GWJ atheist/agnostic community thinks of the pastor refusing to tip at Applebee's story. So last week a pastor brings in her congregation for an after-service community lunch at Applebee's. Since they were a group larger than 8, an 18% gratuity was added to the bill. The pastor then wrote, "I give 10% to God, why would I give you 18%?!?" and left no tip. When the waitress who got stiffed posted the picture on Reddit and caused an internet firestorm, the pastor made sure to call Applebee's corporate and get her fired.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business...

As a Christian (albeit not necessarily a good one), I personally find this deplorable. But her actions IMHO don't really represent the majority of Christians, and certainly not the majority of pastors. In fact, I think this woman desperately needs to find a new calling in life. But that being said, on another board I frequent I've heard from people in the service industry that Evangelical Christians tend to be the most pushy and demanding at restaurants and also the most stingy.

Anyhow, curious to hear what everyone thinks without starting a separate thread for this.

Hahaha. That is not workin out so well for Applebee's or the pastor who did it.

jdzappa wrote:

I'm curious to know what the GWJ atheist/agnostic community thinks of the pastor refusing to tip at Applebee's story. So last week a pastor brings in her congregation for an after-service community lunch at Applebee's. Since they were a group larger than 8, an 18% gratuity was added to the bill. The pastor then wrote, "I give 10% to God, why would I give you 18%?!?" and left no tip. When the waitress who got stiffed posted the picture on Reddit and caused an internet firestorm, the pastor made sure to call Applebee's corporate and get her fired.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business...

As a Christian (albeit not necessarily a good one), I personally find this deplorable. But her actions IMHO don't really represent the majority of Christians, and certainly not the majority of pastors. In fact, I think this woman desperately needs to find a new calling in life. But that being said, on another board I frequent I've heard from people in the service industry that Evangelical Christians tend to be the most pushy and demanding at restaurants and also the most stingy.

Anyhow, curious to hear what everyone thinks without starting a separate thread for this.

Sounds like she's an ass. The tipping thing was bad enough, but the doubling down & getting the waitress fired? That's awful. Seems like it's representative of being a selfish person; not particularly relevant to her religion, except insofar as she used it as an excuse, and has to face her flock as a public laughingstock now.

Some people are just cheap asshats. This one was just using religion to validate their asshattery because, being a pastor, they probably think of themselves as an amazingly charitable and awesome individual and can't square that with their cheapness.

An asshole who happens to be a pastor is still an asshole. Nothing about Christianity in this at all, lots of people just suck regardless of claimed affiliation.

Also, if it relates to your job, don't post it online. I mean, seriously, how hard of a lesson is this to learn?

It sparked this thought in my head. Well you give 10 percent to God, a genocidal, absentee father, rapist. He only turns up later on when his son gets a bit famous (Kinda like Michael Lohan). Maybe your waitress needed that 18 percent so she could be a mother to her own children, or her parents.

The Applebee's waitress should have cropped out the signature.

I like how the worst thing that happened to the Pastor is that she gets embarrassed. But the waitress gets fired. Not an eye for an eye. Dollars to doughnuts, she was crying for the waitress to get fired for that horrid embarrassment.

In the abbreviated words of Bill Maher, I wish this pastor was a follower of Christ, and not just a Christian.

I said to a friend. I already don't eat at Appblbee's because of the bad food, and I am already an atheist because of bad people. What more can I do to not support either?