Atheists: Listen up!

Christopher Hitchens

Have you ever heard the joke about the marathon runner, the vegan, and the atheist that walk into a bar and everyone knows about it because they’ve all told everyone in the bar?  This is one of the most accurate jokes that is circulating lately, because these three different entities are all too quick to spew their beliefs all over people, with the worst of these being the atheists.  Atheists never hesitate to tell you their feelings about religion, God, Jesus, and everything in between, but the reciprocation of different beliefs is unacceptable.  Instead of listening to beliefs different from their own, they often choose derision and sarcasm to tell us how stupid we are.

Never is this more evident than on Easter Sunday, a very important holiday in the Christian faith.  While many want to profess their beliefs and celebrate that Christ has risen on this day, we are met with insulting commentary about how stupid we are.  Personal experience dictates that atheists can be incredibly cruel when confronted with the heartfelt feelings of a true Christian.  As a Christian, part of our religion is to profess our belief in Christ and celebrate that he gave up his life for the forgiveness of our sins.

Easter Sunday for atheists is a super fun time for most Christians, as many people choose to call it the incredibly derivative “Zombie Jesus Day”, complete with insulting and hateful memes, photos, and status updates.  While, once again, one of the most important days of the year to Christians, those who don’t believe as we do are able to inundate us with their jokingly nonexistent conviction.  Well, as a Christian woman, I am here to say knock it off!  I would use more colorful language, but I’m trying to keep my composure as a professional.

Stop insulting me for being a Christian.  I don’t tell you how stupid you are for lacking a belief system of any kind, for believing that nothing happens to us when we die, and that there is no possible reason to be a good person in life, because none of it matters.  I’m a bad Christian, I’ll admit it, I don’t witness to people, I don’t typically even offer my opinion in religious debates other than to confirm that I am, in fact, a Christian, and I certainly don’t insult others for their lack of principles.  However, this does not mean I’m open to your vitriol.

A true, ethical Christian would never repeatedly make fun of an atheist.  In a world where we are crying like children for the separation of church and state, I can’t even pray at my dinner table without running the risk of offending someone.  However, everyone without a belief system can cough their particular brand of hatred all over me.  Well, I’ve had enough, and I hope my fellow Christians will be here to back me up.  I’m done.  I’m done being turned into the idiot because I believe in God, and that Christ was offered unto us for the forgiveness of our sins.

I’m also quite sick of being informed that Christ’s birth probably occurred during the winter solstice, that he was most likely of Middle Eastern descent, and that it’s impossible for a human to come back to life after being crucified.  I’m sick of the jokes comparing depictions of the crucifixion of Christ to him performing the YCMA or as a measurement tool for fishing jokes.  To a Christian, Christ’s crucifixion is our display of his dedication to his cause; that he believed so much in his purpose that he was willing to suffer a horrible death at the hands of men to fulfill it.  The jokes aren’t funny to us, but because you’re an atheist, we have to look at it, because there’s no rules against your “religion”.

There’s enough hatred and bigotry in this world.  Is it absolutely necessary that we create more?  Is it not okay for me to believe what I believe, and allow you to believe what you believe?  I don’t judge people based on what they believe, I don’t offer to help you be saved, and I certainly don’t sit across from you in conversation and tell you what an idiot I think you are.  I don’t tell you that I think it’s a shame that you won’t be reunited with your family in heaven.  No, I don’t do these things.  I pray for you, privately, not to your face, not on social media, and certainly not in direct fashion to embarrass you.  I embrace and tolerate our differences, and from Christians everywhere, all we want is the same treatment.

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