Thursday, April 27, 2006

Here's a clue

Today Newsweek columnist Rabbi Marc Gellman tries to understand Angry Atheists, asking "Why Are Nonbelievers so threatened by the idea of God?" 
He starts out saying "I think I need to understand atheists better. I bear them no ill will. I don't think they need to be religious to be good, kind and charitable people, and I have no desire to debate or convert them. I do think they are wrong about the biggest question, "Are we alone?" ...
Then goes on to say "So we disagree about God. I'm sometimes at odds with Yankee fans, people who like rap music and people who don't like animals, but I try to be civil. I don't know many religious folk who wake up thinking of new ways to aggravate atheists, but many people who do not believe in God seem to find the religion of their neighbors terribly offensive or oppressive, particularly if the folks next door are evangelical Christians. I just don't get it. "
No, Rabbi - you apparently don't get Evangelical Christians. Because unlike you, they NO bear atheists ill will (remember McCarthyism and the Red Scare?) They DO think people need to be religious in order to be good, and kind, and charitable.  They DO have a desire to convert us, because they, unlike you... believe that THEIR personal salvation is dependent upon trying to do so. 
It's not the idea of God that we feel threatened by.  It's the very real intentions and agenda of your fellow believers in God that we are threatened by.  And we've got 2000 years of bloody, brutal history on our side to demonstrate that it's not God that's the problem. It's the folks who claim to do His will that are. 

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