HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Atheists & Agnostics (Group) » An apology to atheists of...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri May 31, 2013, 03:46 PM

An apology to atheists of good will from a liberal Christian

I started a thread and GD that, rightfully, was locked. In it I stated that atheists and fundamentalists shared the same flaw of insisting the Bible be interpreted literally - the former for the purposes of discrediting Christians and the latter for the purposes of claiming they were the only ones doing it right.

By doing so, I was engaging in the same type of behavior I was decrying - lumping all atheists into a monolithic category. Some of the people I admire most in this world are atheists or agnostics.

Please accept my apology.

arely staircase

21 replies, 1622 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply An apology to atheists of good will from a liberal Christian (Original post)
arely staircase May 2013 OP
trotsky May 2013 #1
arely staircase May 2013 #2
LostOne4Ever May 2013 #3
defacto7 May 2013 #4
Pale Blue Dot May 2013 #5
arely staircase May 2013 #6
skepticscott May 2013 #7
arely staircase May 2013 #8
skepticscott May 2013 #12
arely staircase May 2013 #13
skepticscott Jun 2013 #17
arely staircase Jun 2013 #18
awoke_in_2003 May 2013 #9
arely staircase May 2013 #10
Curmudgeoness May 2013 #11
arely staircase May 2013 #14
Iggo Jun 2013 #15
JNelson6563 Jun 2013 #16
ChairmanAgnostic Jun 2013 #19
arely staircase Jun 2013 #20
Taverner Jun 2013 #21

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 03:56 PM

1. That's very big of you.

Your apology is appreciated. It is important to note, too, that all Chrstians take at least part of the bible literally. Which parts tends to indicate what kind of Christian they are.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Fri May 31, 2013, 04:19 PM

2. Thank you and you make a good point

For me I can't literally take as true such things as the story of the Flood. We know that there are simply too many species of animals on Earth to get two of each on a boat made with today's technology, much less one made in the Bronze Age. I don't take the Creation story literally, my reason and all available evidence leads me to believe in evolution.

But I do take this literally:
Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

There are many atheists who believe that too (minus the Law and Prophets wording). And it is the reason I rethought my earlier thread and apologized.

My Church, the Episcopal Church, derives its theology equally from Scripture, Church tradition and reason. Now, and this is where I will lose you, I do believe Jesus was God come to Earth in the form of a man who redeemed me on a cross. I know, you are slapping your forehead now. And that is cool, too. But know this - it is much more important to me to work with people who share my values of making the world an easier place for the poor and otherwise oppressed. I will take the company of an atheist who volunteers at a battered women's shelter or Habitat for Humanity over that of a fundamentalist who uses Scripture as a weapon to oppress women or condemn gays. BTW - my Church blesses same sex unions.

Again, thanks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 04:53 PM

3. Don't sweat it

Apology accepted!

Though to be honest I dont think i saw that thread

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 05:59 PM

4. I saw the thread and commented.

If you were to take the post "literally" I thought it was pretty accurate. The problem and irony was absolutism.

The radical fundamentalist does see the bible as absolutely literal as fact, just ask them.
The atheist (not agnostic) sees the bible as literal fiction, not fact.

So I think the premise was correct in an absolute sort of way and when not reading anything into the OP, it actually worked. It was ironic.

I don't see an apology as necessary myself. If it needed to be locked, it was only because people read too much into it. Maybe you read subtext into it when you wrote it, but I try never to read into a post, that's a little silly as there is no logic in it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 06:51 PM

5. If I may, I'd like to add

That even if your thesis was correct, atheists have no "holy book" from which to interpret. Christians have the Bible, which they automatically seem to interpret to support the morals they already have.

The only unifying belief that atheists share is the belief that there is no good evidence to support the existence of a god.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pale Blue Dot (Reply #5)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:11 PM

6. fair enough

nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:16 PM

7. Can't help but wonder

what your purpose was in posting that in the first place, and how carefully you considered the truth of what you were posting before you posted it. Was that a conclusion you had come to after long and serious thought? There seemed to be some there who saw it as nothing more than provocative flamebait.

And btw, atheists do not believe that every word of the Bible is literally true, and never have, as a moment's consideration would demonstrate..we simply point out the idiocy of people who do believe that, and try to ensure that such people are not taken seriously.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #7)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:31 PM

8. it was my ill thought out response to the

fundamentalism = mental illness thread (also locked). BTW I never said atheists "believe" every word of the Bible was true, I said "interpret." which is very poor wording on my part. What I meant to say was "insist that it be interpreted literally", whether to ridicule it (like some atheists) or to believe in it (like fundamentalists), while many Christians like myself do not interpret much of the Bible literally.

fact is plenty of atheist know that there are liberal Christians and work with us daily on social justice issues. I lumped them all into the same category as people who paint we liberal Christians with the same brush they do fundamentalists. it was wrong of me to do so.

simple as that; I messed up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Reply #8)

Fri May 31, 2013, 09:10 PM

12. No atheist insists that the Bible be interpreted literally

We'd just as soon be free of that particular mindset, but we're inundated by it, and it has to be shown up for the foolishness it is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #12)

Fri May 31, 2013, 10:07 PM

13. but I have been told, here at DU, by people who say they are atheists

that I either believe in everything in the Bible as literally true or I am not really a Christian, which is the same nonsense I am told by fundamentalists. hey, i'd like to be free of that mindset too. I bet you and I would get along and work together for the common good better than I would with many fundamentalists. I work with atheists/agnostics regularly on various charity boards and other progressive causes, which is why, in retrospect I realized the stupidity of what I said. I just had an emotional reaction to certain posters here calling themselves atheists and saying those things. that is all. I made a wrong and arguably bigoted statement about atheists.

peace.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 05:23 PM

17. Well, I'd be surprised if you could point to

an actual example of that being said by any atheists here. Atheists may point out that if you don't take the story of the sin and fall of man literally, that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, and the salvation that supposedly results, and which constitute the core of Christianity, don't really mean much or have much point. Or they may point out that you have no good way to decide which of the dictates of god/jesus are meant to be followed and which can be ignored (the kind of cherry-picking that all Christians do). That's a rather different thing from saying that you have to believe that every single, solitary word in the Bible is literally true in order to be a Christian.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 06:32 PM

18. I see your point, but

why can't I "cherry pick", as you call it? In fact that is exactly the term that many of my fundamentalist co-workers would use. Hey look, I don't want to debate in this thread. I came here to be contrite not debate theology. If you want to post a "cherry-picking" thread in religion, or better yet Christians Liberals & Progressive People of Faith, I would be happy to discuss it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:42 PM

9. I didn't see it...

but if you say you messed up your apology shows you to be a good person

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #9)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:44 PM

10. thank you

nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:58 PM

11. Thank you.

I did not see your post, and I am glad that I didn't, but it is obvious that you meant no harm. I wish that more Christians would see that we are not the enemy, but also have the same values and cares that you have.

As to the truths of the Bible, the morals preached and common sense (which is what you say you do take literally) are not really religion. That is the code that we all use to have a society. Thou shalt not kill......no shit. As I society, we realize that we need to have rules to protect people living in that society. This is not religious, unless you believe that the Bible is the first and only source of these rules.

I do appreciate that you took the time to come here and apologize. It isn't easy to admit that we sometimes screw up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #11)

Fri May 31, 2013, 10:24 PM

14. some of the most morally upright and ethical people i know are irreligious

and a couple outright atheist. one is a wiccan. I want to build bridges, not walls, among progressives.

a bunch of liberals arguing about spiritual matters when humans are suffering here on earth seems, to put it mildly, counterproductive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:56 AM

15. Yeah, whatever..,

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 07:22 AM

16. It is refreshing

to read your posts in this thread. A veritable act of contrition, as it were.

No worries, we all mess up at times. It's all good.

Julie

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 10:52 PM

19. I do not believe you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 11:22 PM

20. no prob.

nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 01:03 PM

21. I'm not anti-theist, but anti-charlatan

 

Fuck it, let's go bowling....


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread