The New Inklings may disagree on a lot of things, but ignorance and obnoxiousness, regardless of faith, will not be tolerated. If you’re new, refer ye to the Pub Rules before proceeding.
I have to admit, I had some trouble with this one. I went back and forth on how I could provide some sort of Agnostic parallel. However, I want to mention first that for a very long time I bought into notion that with so many fanatics and hypocrites I held little respect for the Christian faith and its believers. I am grateful that I now know better. I have been fortunate to befriend some amazing people that do incredible good in this world because of their Christian faith. These are the people who deserve the media coverage not the lunatics that claim to be Christians. They continue to respect my personal beliefs and neither of us have a hidden agenda to change the others mind. If these beautiful people do these beautiful things because of their Christian faith, I have no choice but admire and respect them for that. In my opinion, True Samaritans are such a rarity in this world and they should be celebrated regardless of their creed.
But try as I might, from my perspective I cannot find a “fanatic or hypocrite” amongst Atheists and Agnostics. Like Aaron, many will say “whoa, what about Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris?!” While it’s not a stretch to interpret these famous Atheist/Agnostics as “evangelical” and quite passionate about their individual beliefs; fanatics they are not. I was floored by the subsequent question raised within me. Does our lack of fanatics and hypocrites negate our morality and trivialize our spirituality in the subconscious mind of most Christians? Taking it one step further, I wondered if our lack of million (or billion) dollar mega churches also negates the validity of our beliefs?
Using Aaron’s examples as a reference; unlike Terry Jones, there are few, if any, instances of a high profile Agnostic or Atheist threatening to burn a bible. You don’t hear about Agnostics or Atheists blowing up churches or The Salvation Army in the name of their religion. (I will not deny that church arson suspects have been known from time to time to have Atheist materials, but its difficult to find reports that church arsonists claimed they did so because of their beliefs. ) Nor do Atheists have what can be considered equivalents of groups such as the KKK. No war has been started in the name of Atheism. Sure you can throw out names like Hilter,who was actually Roman Catholic 1, Stalin and Pol Pot, but these men killed for political gain not because of their Atheist beliefs.
While the Unitarian Church has been a home of sorts for some Agnostics to gather, but the Agnostic mega church just doesn’t exist. You would be hard press to find a Unitarian church of this magnitude.
We have no one great book at which our spirituality and doctrine are drawn. No churches or crucifix type images. We have no fanatics threatening to burn bibles on Christmas or Easter, or high profile scandals (ie: “Fallen from Grace: Homosexual Agnostic Leader confesses to Heterosexual Affair” type headlines) No early morning TV sermons (although I would love to see some sort of Richard Dawkins farting Atheist clip on YouTube), no television networks. Is this the reason Atheist and Agnostics receive so little respect and benefit of the doubt? Is it because we have no definitive “symbols” or banners under which our philosophies are represented. This brings to mind a great joke about the power of the flag by one of my favorite comedians, Eddie Izzard.
So is it really all because we have no “flag”?
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