When Christians Become Atheists

25 Jun

Erik Charter:

It’s humorous to me how the former Christian who has become an atheist always seems to follow a similar script: They become sexually liberated (at least in theory), they become Democrats, they usually embrace homosexuality and abortion, they become amateur scientists with a special interest in evolution, and they take it upon themselves to argue with Christians whenever possible (not usually Muslims, though). This would not be my chosen path if I abandoned Christianity.

[Will S.: Mine neither. Chesterton, too, was puzzled by it, and like you and I, said if he became an atheist for some reason, the last thing he’d want to do is define himself in terms of opposition to his former beliefs; he’d instead rather go off and spend time doing completely different things.]


Posted by on June 25, 2014 in religion, Theology


8 responses to “When Christians Become Atheists

  1. James and the Giant Peach

    June 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I evangelize with my church and sometimes we talk to former Christians/Catholics who don’t believe in God anymore. They usually fall into two camps

    1) Through personal experience, whether they had a gay best friend or some other cause, they deem the God of the Bible cannot be good. They quote mostly anecdotal experience and occasionally point out that God deemed certain groups like the Amalekhites. In which case I will applaud the individual for noticing something people haven’t for thousands years. Poor poor Amalekhites despite the fact that many of these groups were baby sacrificing, Baal worshipping, people who attacked the Israelites constantly, all while ignoring God.

    2) Hypocrisy of Christians. This is something each Christian needs to work on as well, but we also need to emphasize the imperfectness of everyone and point out the teaching of apostle Paul in Romans that addresses the issue, as well as Jesus’ teaching on the hypocritical Pharisees and how we should still listen to what they say, rather than what they do. The individual acts as if hypocrisy is unique to Christians, despite seeing it in almost every earthly profession and person at some point in their life. My doctor smokes, he is a hypocrite, but his advice to not smoke is still nonetheless very good and accurate. You cannot argue about the truthfulness and goodness of something by whether a person adheres to said principles, but rather if the principles stand on their own.

  2. Will S.

    June 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    @ James: I’ve noticed those two things being predominant amongst reasons given by ex-Christians for their loss of faith, too. They’re both absurd, though I suppose somewhat understandable enough…

    I just wish someone would have the honesty to say, “Yeah, I still believe God exists, but I don’t like His rules, and I’m not going to follow them, regardless of the consequences.” I’d respect that, on some level, even as I’d suck in my breath at the audacity…

  3. Mark Plus

    June 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Funny, I became an atheist literally 40 years ago, and don’t necessarily follow that pattern:

    > They become sexually liberated (at least in theory),

    Well, you got the “theory” part right, but not the practice. And I’ve started to have reservations about the “theory” after reading the Dark Enlightenment bloggers. Women never found me sexually attractive, so in real life I haven’t benefited from the alleged promiscuity atheists enjoy according to christian propaganda about us.

    Neither did Madalyn O’Hair’s son Jon Murray, from what I gathered. Years ago I talked to two members of American Atheists who knew Madalyn and her family, namely, John Sikos and Frank Zindler, and they both independently told me their suspicions of Jon’s adult virginity, despite his efforts to find a girlfriend. (Jon never moved out of Madalyn’s house as an adult, either.) Later, after a disgruntled ex-employee murdered Madalyn, Jon and Madalyn’s granddaughter (Jon’s niece) Robin in 1995, Madalyn’s other son William J. Murray (the one who became a christian) implied in writing likewise that he thought his brother Jon probably died a 40 year old virgin.

    Yet elsewhere William writes that in Madalyn’s version of an “atheistic” society, we would have all this swinging sex. Apparently that sexual utopia didn’t exist under her own roof.

    > they become Democrats,

    No, registered Republican in my case.

    > they usually embrace homosexuality and abortion,

    No, not necessarily. I think we need to roll back women’s sexual freedom because it has started to damage civilization. And I’ve come around to this position empirically. Patriarchy doesn’t need a religious justification because we can’t observe our tribes’ “supernaturals,” as anthropologists call them. But we can observe men’s and women’s behavior in the here and now, and we can make generalizations about it in the same way we can study rocks, plants, stars, subatomic particles and other uncontroversial subjects of scientific empiricism.

    > they become amateur scientists with a special interest in evolution,

    I don’t find the theory of evolution particularly obsessing. It sheds light on otherwise puzzling aspects of human nature, of course. But to me the Intelligent Design theorists have a more interesting idea, only they’ve projected it in the wrong time direction. Life arrived here haphazardly, but humans have the ability to apply engineering rationality to its materials to take us in some interesting directions in the future, as the transhumanists argue in their more lucid moments.

    > and they take it upon themselves to argue with Christians whenever possible (not usually Muslims, though).

    I used to argue with christians. But that got boring after awhile, and we really don’t need to do that any more because atheists have attrition working in their favor in much of the world.

    Or as I like to say, we atheists can certainly believe in the rapture: We can see that christians have already started to disappear!

  4. Eric

    June 25, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    What’s also interesting is that everytime some Christian group protests anything, these same militant atheists are running around squawking about ‘Christian intolerance’. Yet they spend all their free time attacking anything Christian.

    It’s interesting that you brought up the homosexual aspect: I’ve noticed militant fags behave the same way towards heterosexuals.

  5. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:04 am

    @ Eric: Indeed.

    That wasn’t me who brought up the homosexual aspect (it’s a quote from the OP, Erik Charter), but I agree with it, and also with you, that there is an analogy between atheists’ treatment of Christians and homos’ treatment of heteros. That’s because they’re usually both progs, and anti-Christian, and therefore filled with hatred. (I know, not all; we know some friendly atheists who hang around here, and I know some gays who aren’t axe-grinders against Christians. But such tend to be exceptions to the rule…)

  6. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:13 am

    @ Mark Plus: Your comment got caught in the spam filter instead of going into moderation; I just found it, and released it.

    I hadn’t seen it until now, but note in my response to Eric, above, that I mentioned I know friendly atheists who are not anti-Christian. You would be one of the minority of your ilk, from what I can tell. I know well that Not All Atheists Are Like That (like the ones Erik Charter was talking about), but enough are.

  7. Mark

    June 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    @Mark Plus – Why do atheists have this Western-centric delusion that religion is disappearing? Because it is losing influence where they live (due to the Cathedral). Meanwhile, three effects are going on in the world they ignore.

    1) Religion is growing exponentially in Africa and Asia. Just look at the Christian explosion in China.

    2) The areas where religion is receding are areas that make up less and less of the global population each year. Sweden is pretty much irrelevant in terms of population. You atheists just don’t breed enough, in fact your birth rate is terminally negative.

    3) In several areas of the world, religion is gaining tenacity and breaking secularism down, most notably look at the Arab secular regimes falling to Islamist militants, or the rapidly growing influence of Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel. Also notice the influence of the Church in Russia where various religiously motivated pieces of legislation are going into effect.

    Atheism is a phenomenon of modern culture, a vestige of Karl Marx and the nihilists of the 1800s. It is either furnished with lavish decadence and wealth (liberal America) or has to be enforced with totalitarian dictat (North Korea). If the applicable cause is collapsed, people typically return to their natural state, being spiritual creatures.


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