Are you a militant atheist or a Christian fundamentalist?
Are you a militant atheist or a Christian fundamentalist? Besides the differences in ideologies, the two have a lot in common.
Let us first define our understanding between these two warring factions.
Definition of militant atheism
[A] The militant atheist is defined as one who militantly opposes theism, theists and religion. Militant atheists have extreme hostility to religious theism which involves a desire to see religion forcibly suppressed.
The most relevant part of this definition is that it refers to atheists repressing religion by force. This does not happen in my world, in America, the country that prides itself on promoting religious freedom. When I am outside I do not see atheists running around in fatigues brandishing weapons and forcing Christians to stop following their religion.
Although it can happen in other parts of the world.
In my recent post Should America Start Banning Religious Groups I spoke of Russia which classified Jehovah’s Witnesses among the “undesirable” religions. It is a criminal offense to be a member of an unwanted religion in Russia. It is therefore no exaggeration to conclude that Russia (a communist / atheist nation) could send soldiers armed with Kalashnikovs to round up believers who practice certain religions.
What is our fullest understanding of what an militant atheist is? He’s a person who really, really opposes Christianity and other religious denominations. They can be spotted everywhere on the forums, engaged in all-out offensives against supporters of religion. These militant atheists may not be wielding weapons, but their words cause great psychological harm.
Which is interesting when you take into account that atheists don’t have an organized set of beliefs to defend. How can you defend an ideology when you don’t follow an ideology?
Christian fundamentalism defined
Fundamentalist Christianity is a form of Protestantism which reacts to modernity and tries to make a militant defense of the “fundamentals” of the Christian faith.
Unlike atheist activists, some Christian fundamentalists wear fatigues and brandish weapons. Like those Christians from the Rod of Iron Ministries.
But at the risk of being branded a Christian apologist, I would say that many Christian fundamentalists are mistakenly equated with white nationalists, other radical evangelical sects and, frankly, wacky sects that promote violence under the banner of religion.
Perhaps our best understanding of what a Christian fundamentalist is. . . is a person who truly, truly believes in the inerrancy of the Bible. That is, every note and title should be followed. In addition, the laws of our country should be governed by Christian moral laws, just as fundamentalist Islamists believe the world should be ruled by Sharia law.
Dem’s fighting words
Either or, dem’s fighting words regarding this atheist.
I may not believe in gods, but neither do I believe that homosexuality is punishable by death.
“If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination; they will certainly be put to death; their blood is on them. Leviticus 20:13
I also don’t believe as the Quran teaches,
“Those who commit adultery, male or female, give each one a hundred lashes” Quran 24: 2.
Obviously, atheists live by a code or set of ethical principles that are worth fighting for and dying for. (And figuratively fighting for in online forums.) Personally, I agree with the ambiguity of not following a prescribed set of religious values to give my life value. I have spent decades living in a fish bowl; following the 10 Commandments and about a zillion other unspoken rules of conduct that every good Christian must follow to stay in the good graces of their church. As an atheist, I am content to simply align myself with a code of standard values that can be found beautifully conveyed on many humanist or secular websites.
Here is a wonderful guideline on how to live a meaningful life without religion.
Prepare yourselves. Religion is not all Wrong
I wanted to get to the heart of this post I alluded to in the title: Are you a militant atheist or a Christian fundamentalist? This is not a printing error. What I wanted to throw out as food for thought is this: Apart from the obvious differences in ideologies, my question would be: do you still have an open mind?
Because the tactics used by atheist and fundamentalist activists are similar. Both parties are convinced of what they believe, and both lack the will to hear the other party. Neither side seems willing to give an inch, let alone give in when the other makes a valid point. While both sides feel free to make their points, what is lost is the intellectual capacity to remain an unwavering free thinker and to understand how valid these opposing points can be.
Religions have been a source of comfort to many for tens of thousands of years. Throughout this period, there have been periods in history when organized religion led the charge in knowledge acquisition and spiritual growth. Those who follow religions therefore have a lot to contribute to help us all better understand the two paths of discovery.
Atheism, on the other hand, is not a new phenomenon in the modern era. There have always been atheists; people who refused to follow the gods or who opposed the horrors and depravities of the religions of their time. What atheism should do is help individuals to be rational and objective thinkers. To free believers from being stupid disciples.
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