I'm beginning to think that people of no faith might have the monopoly on 'doing spiteful - or intolerant' as all too often I find them displaying something that denies anything of an open-mind and indicates anything but rational thinking has been taking place.
It's been an interesting few days as I have listened to radio broadcasts explaining how 'delusional' Christians force children into acts of worship. I have heard supposedly sane people explain how there is no difference to be found between the fundamentalists acting across Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and Christians. There have been people almost frothing at the mouth as they peddled something bordering on hate crimes and put on display their sad Christophobic utterances.
I have to be honest here and say that were any of those with whom I 'do church' to speak as many of the self-appointed, draw your own line and approve it by your own thinking and self-approved standards, folk I have been hearing of late then I would be encouraging them to think again.
The problem is that the majority of those I have heard on the radio (or read in print) seem to have many views and very little thinking at all and I'm beginning to think that rather than the old humanist/non-theistic chestnut which claims that being Christian requires us to leave our brains at the door, this now needs to be revised with the words 'humanists' replacing the word Christian:
I am so very sad at the stuff I have heard. "Perphaps," I think to myself, "They are the secular equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church rather than displaying humanistic mainstream thinking (but I fear not!)". The labels so many ascribe and the pure venom and spitefulness they exude: Is it any wonder that as the world adopts a more secular approach it also become a lesser place than it was in terms of justice (for all I hear these days is 'settling scores' and 'revenge') morality (for 'self' is now an acceptable focus to have) and family (let's not go there!).
I am one who believes in tolerance and yet my tolerance is apparently met by people who wish to attack and abuse and destroy as an outworking of their intolerance. If I were to try and convert people to a theist approach to life with the same vigour, venom and irrational dialogue as that demonstrated in the words and writings of some of these 'free-thinking' then 'non-theists' I'd (quite rightly) be labelled a bigot and mindless fanatic and eschewed by the majority. Cloak it in humanism or focus upon those who you consider to be nnnnnnn (choose your own cause: homophobic, racist, mysogny, misandry, etc.) and you'll soon have the morons our with their tumbrels and scythes screaming for blood. Mob rule and unthinking madness seem to be the order of the day!
I have absolutes and values and standards and these, even when I'd wish to change them, stand fir,: They guide my engagement with others around me. Others around me wish to live in a world of pseudo-scientific bunkum (odd that, isn't that what some of those claim Christians do as we supposedly oppose science?) where they worship technology and science that all too often they don't understand. They see man as the key to successful and fulfilled living but take any good idea (and I don't mean anything religious - though such a stance would fit) and watch how man will change it to meet his own ends.
Look at all the wars that the sheep will claim were all caused by 'religion' (man's ultimate rebellion against God) and see how many were caused by non-theistic people and their thinking.
Look at the regimes and oppressions, the greed, the corporations and tell me: Are they theistic or humanist in their attunes, values and ambitions?
I don't attack humanists, I engage with them (often agreeing at much of their thinking - if thinkers they be) and I pray for them and I respect their desire to be as they are (all too often being basically self-serving and closed minded) and refrain from ad hominem, finger-pointing, bitter recriminations and name-calling. What a shame these 'open-minded' folk can't have the grace to do the same.