This is a response to a post from Pastor Dwayne Norman . Although I am thrilled that a pastor stopped by to comment on my blog, I’m not thrilled that I'm having to hide under my desk while I write this (just in case lightening strikes).
Although, I agree with you that there are some (perhaps
MANY) Christians who unfortunately hate gays, ignore science, deny reason, and
have a moral superiority....I would like to say that there are believers who relish in academia and would be considered great scholars. One that comes to mind is William Lane Craig.
Well, you’re certainly starting off on the right foot. It’s always a good choice to agree with me. Now, I would never want to imply that all Christians hate gays and suffer from moral superiority. And though many of the most atrocious acts in the history of the world were committed in the name of God, religion also has positive influences. There, I said it. Can I come out from under my desk now?
I will admit that there are atheists who think that religion is the root of all evil and incapable of doing good. This view seems to be shared by some current atheist leaders like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. Although I highly respect these individuals, I tend not to agree on this issue. One could even make a case that they are just as intolerant as the religious right. Ok, they’re not as intolerant. However, I do see some issues Atheist should be conscious of. I don't think we should ever deny rights to individuals because we think we know better than they do. That's arrogant and arrogance is unattractive regardless of the reasoning behind it.
In his book, I don’t believe in atheists, Chris Hedges makes several good points. He believes that the reason humans participate in evil acts is simply because there is evil inherently inside of us (I have children, so he's preaching to the choir here). Religion, according to Hedges, is a vehicle used to carry out evil. I guess it’s similiar to saying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Hmmm, maybe the Brady Bill should be extended to cover Christians?
Now onto the issues of science and reason. My two favorite things followed closely by a stiff cocktail and a good rogering (in that order). I have heard people say that when scientific evidence differs from what the bible says we must believe that it is the scientific evidence that is wrong. Doesn’t this seem ludicrous? Truth is truth and if evidence doesn’t support something, how can it be the truth?
Most Christians shrug off the overwhelming evidence in support of evolution. So you can understand why I am skeptical when people advertise Christians as being proponents of science.
I think that when it comes to religion reason gets left at the door. For instance, is it only the non-religious who have trouble with many of the stories in the bible? When told about the talking snake do Christians ever think to themselves, whoa, I feel like I've been taking crazy pills. I mean, do they sit up at night wondering, how in the hell did Noah get all of those dinosaurs on that ark? When they read how Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still, do Christians think Einstein got it wrong with general relativity? I’ve heard many answers to these questions, but all of them require an abandonment of reason.
And it’s not only those stories, but also the attributes ascribed to God. Do they really make sense to Christians? Does it seem plausible that a perfect being could create something imperfect? When they hear the paradox about whether it’s possible for an omnipotent God to create a rock too big for him to lift, do Christians ever ponder this? Or the fact that an omni benevolent God allows all of the pain and suffering we see in the world do the religious ever think, WTF? And when God says that he’ll send all of the unsaved people to hell to suffer for eternity, can Christians honestly say they’ve reasoned this one out?
And if it is true that us non-believers are going straight to hell, who do I talk to about making reservations? Something close to the bar would be great. Not too close to the band. I hate when they put me next to the band. Am I right? I mean, I don't want to have to yell across the table when I'm talking to some of the greatest minds in the history of the world. Because that's just plain rude.
Thanks Pastor Norman for writing in.