5 things that atheists think about Christians

Originally I planned to write a post titled ‘5 things that I wish Christians understood about atheists’. Seeing as I am only recently out of the atheist camp (and I’m holding on to my copy of ‘The God Delusion’ because I really like Dawkins) I still feel an affinity and protectiveness for this little-understood group. But the post turned into this instead.

Atheists assume that Christians don’t have a sense of humour. Case in point: Unintentionally Sexual Church Signs This was posted on facebook this week in an ‘Oh look how stupid Christians are’ kind of way. Ok, so a few of these are obviously clueless, but some are CLEARLY deliberate. Christians can appreciate a dick joke as well as the next person. Yes, who knew?

Atheists think that Christians are misguided/naïve/a bit simple. I certainly thought this. I knew a few people that professed to have faith who seemed to have brains, but I thought that these were just aberrations. Genetic mutations, if you like. Now my sister tells me that it’s just me who thinks like this, and ‘normal’ people don’t spend as much time as I do putting others into little boxes and labelling them. I do think, though, that there is a general belief that Christians are in a somewhat deluded haze, and don’t really understand how things like science and astrophysics work (because all atheists have a fabulously competent grasp of these fields, clearly).

Christians are going to proselytise at atheists at the drop of a hat. I was always scared that people that I knew were religious were going to go all biblically postal at me. This never, ever happened, but I lived in a state of perpetual tension whenever I was around a Christian. (Once again, this seems to be bringing to light my own personality flaws more than anything else!)

Christians all think pretty much the same when it comes to women’s rights, reproductive rights, lgbt issues, interpretation of the bible etc. Not true, and I’m so glad that I was very wrong about this.

Atheists think that all Christians are biblical literalists. Clearly, the Bible is a fundamental and essential part of Christianity, but you don’t have to turn your back on hundreds of years of scientific, medical and historical discoveries to become a Christian.

So, there you go.  And Christians are supposed to be the judgemental ones…..

9 thoughts on “5 things that atheists think about Christians

  1. I enjoyed this post, and I like your blog. I found it via Jen’s Conversion Diary comments from today’s post. I admit, I only clicked on it because my daughter’s name is also Eva. Well, that and because you brought up F and C . . . I’m an American living in Europe and I’m always confused. Anyway, just wanted to say hello and thanks for sharing. Oh, and I thought the unintentional signs were freaking hilarious.

    • Hi Valerie,
      I’m excited about spending some time reading your blog; I literally laughed out loud at the ‘it’s not as exciting as you think’ bit, given that I had just exclaimed ‘Wow! How fabulous!’
      I love Conversions Diary, and have been reading it for years and although I don’t agree with quite a few of her beliefs, I love her style.
      Thanks for visiting!
      Eva

  2. Once I started reading those signs as innuendo, I have a hard time deciphering what they really meant! Now I need to go ask for forgiveness or take a shower or something!

    Some of us are like a couple of those things sometimes, but thankfully most aren’t most of the time. And even some that would be more conservative on the last two can actually be grace-filled and non-condemning about it. But some can be pretty harsh, true.

    The hard part is to believe something strongly while being able to have loving dialogue w/ someone else who believes completely differently.

  3. great post!!

    I found all of it accurate in that many xtians do fit this stereotype, and yet many (like me) do not. The womens rights one especially got my attention since this is a subject near and dear to my equality-driven mind and heart (and the subject of my first book). It is unfortunately all too accurate that women are relegated as the second sex in their churches, but what’s worse is that They Are Just Fine With It.

    Ugh.

    Having said that, a friend of mine just abandoned Christianity after a long wrestling match. She started hanging out at atheist sites and blogs. She was surprised and dismayed to find rampant sexism in these corners as well. “Must be a man thing,” she decided. I suppose you could say that she had a stereotype in her head that all atheists are regard women as equals.

    • Hi Pam,
      I started going to my particular church because of their strong social justice focus, and the fact that women have been ordained as ministers since it was formed in the 70’s. The national convenor is a woman also. I’ll have to read your book; is it already published, or is it the one you are working on at the moment?
      Eva

  4. I’ve found that a lot of Christians think this way, too! That is, I’ve been judged for not evangelizing at every opportunity, for having “liberal” views, and for not trying to literally follow the Bible (which I don’t think is possible). So I can see where some of these stereotypes came from–but they’re definitely not true for all of us!

  5. Hmm.

    1. Just because I’m Chrsitian AND aesexual doesn’t mean I have a perverted sense of humor. That said, they milked the “came/come” joke too much. Looking down that list, I imagined Beevis and Butthead chortling in derpy voices. Now, if a church had run out of “Os” and had a spare “U” and decided to spell it “cum” it would be hilarious. The normal way over and over again with clean in context words – not so much. I make fun of church signs seen off the highway – I’ve seen weirder.

    2. More people should meet my brother in law. He’s long been known in my family as having no common sense. Once, when I mentioned beliefs, he made fun of me for believing in a God. Totally throws a wrench in the “atheists are all ubersmart people and fonts of constant wisdom” – at least it did for me.

    3. I experience the other way around. If a new friend I’ve made mentions their atheism, I sieze up inside, worried to death that if I tell them what I am, they’ll loose all respect for me, think I’m stupid, start condesending to me or try to convince me to lose my faith *right this instant.* Seriously, it is the first reaction some have to finding out someone believes in a spiritual dimension to life, especially toward Christians. (People who are friends that I keep – whatever their persusion- treat me as an intellectual equal).

    4 and 5. Yeah. Some people seem to treat Christianity like it is or should be some kind of homogenous political movement, but it’s a broad thing with many nuances in reality. We can’t even seem to agree on “who we are” all the time.

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