So, at risk of talking about something no one else is going to know about, let me bring up God’s Not Dead.
It made a big splash in the Christian movie industry. The movie is about a college student, among other characters, who refuses to write the words God Is Dead, for a college exercise.
I’m not reviewing the movie here. I just want to talk about how it portrayed atheists.
I’ve seen both Christians and atheists review the film and complain that the atheist was unrealistic. That there aren’t that many people out there who are out to get Christians. They don’t have an agenda against people of faith.
Is that true?
Well, these same sources have heard people say that it really happens, but they refuse to believe it.
Here’s my position on using such atheist stereotypes, if such a thing exists, in movies; It might work for one film, maybe even for God’s Not Dead. But it does not work for every christian film and it does give some films a false sense of importance. Christianity should be more important from a personal standpoint then from the persecution standpoint. Christians get persecuted; so do Jews; so do Muslims I imagine; that’s not what makes a faith important, relevant, or true.
But, nor would I say those stereotypes are never true. There is a reason they exist. Christians have their faults, but they rarely make things like that up. It’s based on things that have happened, and do happen still.
I personally knew a girl who went to a non-christian highschool, and her teacher of biology told the students up front not to talk about any religious opinion that differed from his own, that being evolution.
That’s what he said, and I doubt this girl would have exaggerated that, she didn’t seem the type to me.
For further evidence, I have heard other people tell stories of how their teachers would mock them and try to discredit their faith. It’s never happen to me, naturally because I’ve never had a nonchristian teacher.
Very few atheists I know would get offended if you mentioned your faith to them just in passing. But when it comes to making a point, atheists and christians are equally likely to get riled up.
And Atheists are capable of having an agenda against people of faith. (It was called the 3rd Reich.) There’s a new book out called Faith vs Fact which is described as using the “clear-eyed, rational methodology of a world class scientist [to dismantle] every claim to explaining the physical world that religion proposes” and my favorite part “irrefutably demonstrates the grave harm that mistaking faith for fact can inflict on individuals and on our planet.” (Bargain Books catalog.)
Assuming this accurately depicts how the author of this book feels, it really is almost as cartoony as a movie version of it would be.
I don’t mean to come down on this author. I don’t doubt they probably have some real reasons to be concerned. Faith is a powerful thing, and when it is misdirected, or founded on shaky premises, it is dangerous. Maybe even to the planet.
Bu-u-ut, that doesn’t mean the way they put this wasn’t insulting to any religious person’s intelligence. It also doesn’t mean that religion based explanations for how the world works are all unfounded. Plenty of them have a good scientific basis.
The flood of Noah for example. There’s hundreds of evidences for it in the earth. And if the Flood happened, it gives the Bible a bit more credence.
The bible also lines up with science on issues like the earth being round, light being a moving thing, and life being in blood. All stuff we know now, but at one time people didn’t understand.
So it might be fair to wonder if the Bible, or any other religious texts, could be right again. Maybe whoever wrote it knew what they were talking about.
Why are religious texts immediately discredited as reliable sources of information? I don’t assume that just because someone is an atheist they have no grasp of accurate science, if their bias doesn’t prevent them from being right, why should a religious bias?
In fact if it comes to that, bias really has nothing to do with whether your’re right or wrong, fact will stand for itself. Bias only effects what facts you’ll admit.
I don’t know what religion the person who wrote the above book is concerned about.But probably Christianity. It’s rarely any other religion. (Do you see a lot of books trying to discredit Buddhism?)
If so, then I wonder why they think having a faith based view of the physical world is somehow dangerous to it?
I wonder what people are so afraid of that they won’t let creationism be talked of in classrooms?
Basically I find both the view that Anti-Theists don’t exist, and the view that all atheists are anti-theists to be extreme. One is naive, the other is paranoid.
Many many people hate the bible, many hate God and hate Christians.
Many are indifferent.
But a Christian can never be sure they are safe from that sort of hatred. And we shouldn’t be. It’s always been so.
But I don’t want to seem like I’m making atheists the bad guys here. I will admit Christian can be bullies, they can use their religion like a weapon, and they can be just as adamant about going after people who don’t believe as they do.
It’s a sad fact of human nature that we cannot believe anything strongly without being tempted to hate those who dsiagree.
But, I don’t go so far as to say we should all be less passionate. Passion is a good thing. And I also don’t think Christians should never speak up for their faith. Sometimes, as Wonder Woman would say, it’s not about what other people do or say (deserve) but about what you yourself believe. A person has to stand up for their convictions or they will never know if they are real.
I won’t be glib and say we all just need to try to understand each other better. WE actually can’t. We’re too different.
But we do need to treat each other like human beings. I think both sides should keep that in mind when we’re debunking the opposition. That’s all I’m saying,
until next time–Natasha.