How Do You Reason with the Anti-Religious

2018-05-10 – I have a number of friends (real and Facebook) who are anti-religion. I mean ANTI-RELIGION.

They see religions as the main provocateurs of racial and ethnic strife, not to mention gender. And there’s a certain amount of truth in their opinion. Many religious groups and individuals do look for support for their hatreds in the holy words. And many religious groups, through the centuries, have carried on murderous crusades in “defense” of their gods.

But I’m not writing about that today. Today I’m asking: where did the ANTIs get their hatreds?

Look. We in the United States are semi-privileged. While religious strife seems to be at an all-time high at the moment, it’s definitely nothing like what is going on in Syria or Myanmar. This gives me the luxury of challenging the haters with words.

Evangelicals quote the Bible at me. I quote the Bible right back. Hassidim quote the Talmud at me and I’ll one-up them with a quote from the Torah. Muslims quote the Koran at me and I . . . well, I don’t know the Koran, but I at least know where to look.

But who do the ANTIs quote? And who do I quote back at them?

Ha ha! Say the ANTIs. We don’t base our views on ancient scriptures. We base our views on logic and science. Our truths are testable.

But are they.

I certainly hope they would be. I have nothing but sympathy for the scientific method. I would be an ANTI myself except for one thing.

The evidence.

Yes, there’s plenty of evidence for religious strife. But there’s also plenty of evidence of religious people living lives of charity and peace. I don’t have a poll on the subject, but I would bet that charitable and peaceful people outnumber the murderous and vile by a substantial margin.

So why is it that there’s so much social media chatter from the ANTIs about how “the Evangelicals” are destroying this country. If I challenge this to say that it is a minority of Evangelicals who are doing this, I get rejection and denial? The evidence says otherwise. These broad-based claims are testable and, if anyone would bother to test them, they are found to be false.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you ever hear someone say “all Evangelicals . . .” or “all Jews . . .” or “all Muslims . . .” or “all Catholics . . .” or “all Hispanics . . .” or “all black people . . .” the statement is probably false.

This is so coming from a religious person. This is so coming from an ANTI.

Where does this all come from. There is no holy text that the ANTIs can pervert to extract a message of hate. Could it be that ANTIs could be acting irrationally?

That would put ANTIs and the religious in the same camp.

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