Today, I want to talk about those people who do not belong to the traditional religious systems. Chief among these are atheists, agnostics, and non-religious. (For purposes of clarity: an atheist believes that God does not exist; and agnostic believes that it cannot be known if God exists or not; and a non-religious person doesn’t care either way.)
The Left has always been a bastion for atheists, agnostics, and non-religious people. Indeed, they usually become anti-religious. As a friend once coined them, they become “Evangelical atheists”, with as much zeal (and intolerance of other systems) as the proverbial Evangelical, and seeking with as much zeal to convert everyone to atheism. The intolerance and stupidity of which they accuse religious people, is quite amusing as they might as well be looking into a mirror.
I knew of one liberal atheist who was adamant in her rejection of God. But she was so sweet and kind with us religious people. She admitted she doesn’t agree with us, but she never made it an issue. She never tried to preach to us. In turn, we recognized her beliefs and didn’t try to convert her. This was a refreshing break from many other atheists and agnostics I had come across.
In the dexteroblogosphere, I came across many atheists, agnostics, and non-religious people. Some examples are Jeff Goldstein, Ace, WickedPinto, Steamboat McGoo, Laura W., and S. Weasel. I also got to know of a number of people who belonged to non-traditional religious systems, such as adolfo velazquez (neo-pagan witchcraft or Wicca) and Uncle B. (pantheism?).
I used to be a part of untraditional religious systems, and I engaged in the vociferous Christianity-bashing that commonly took place. For a group of folks who claimed to be tolerant, we sure were selective in our tolerance. I was thoroughly ashamed later on, especially when I became a Christian.
But the dexteroblogosphere taught me that there are many people out there who belong to what I considered to be anti-religious or anti-Christian groups that are neither anti-religious or anti-Christian.
When religious issues come up, for example, as they are wont to do, Laura W. disappears. She lets us religious types hash out our differences. This noninvolvement is a sign of great character and wisdom. It is all too common for other types of atheists to jump into religious debates and categorically offend, mock, talk down to, and attempt to bring down all religious types.
A very common mentality amongst anti-religious atheists, agnostics, and the like, is that they’re smarter than us religious types. (My father is such an anti-religious type, so I know them quite well.) They view us as dumb, stupid, and incapable of independent or critical thinking. Remarks regarding smart people who are religious often follow the line, “How could such a smart person be so dumb?”
But many atheists, agnostics, and non-religious people who are Rightists are very pleasant and, if they have such patronizing beliefs, keep it to themselves. I do very much appreciate such people.
And one element that the anti-religious atheists and agnostics and whatnot constantly harp about is that the religious types are pushing religion down their throat. What constitutes “pushing religion down their throat” really amounts to not hiding one’s religion or religiosity. In retaliation, religious people accuse anti-religious people of cramming atheism and anti-religious ideologies down religious people’s throats.
I think we religious people are a little too tightly strung when it comes to atheists. I physically cringe when someone says he’s an atheist, in anticipation of the stream of insults and mockery that must be coming my way. But many atheists and agnostics and whatnot have no public beef with us. They will let us live our way, we let them live their way. We can reason and debate rationally and calmly, and agree to disagree where applicable. We should not shudder or cringe before them. And I hope we can be more loving and kind towards them, and not insult their intelligence, integrity, or morality.
We must recognize that the tendencies we commonly (or that some of us commonly) associate with atheists, agnostics, and non-religious people are properly tendencies of the Left. Even the Christian Leftists are as patronizing and evangelical towards us as the anti-religious Leftist atheist. Our beef is not with atheists and agnostics and non-religious people but rather with those stuffed up in their pride, the Leftists.