The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. - Richard Dawkins

Why talk so much about something you don't believe in?

People often ask atheists, "Why do you spend so much time talking and thinking about something you don't believe in?" Why is it so important to you?  If you don't believe in God, why don't you just shut up and let others believe what they want? 

  1. According to statistics, at least 85% of America and 33% of the planet are Christian.  Nearly every one of them, if asked, would say that their God has the perfect right to burn me alive for all eternity, for nothing more than being born.  Furthermore, according to their own theology, this God will in fact do exactly that, to the vast majority of human souls who have ever walked upon the face of the earth; souls that he himself created flawed, when he could just as easily have created them perfect.  Yet he denies any responsibility for the flaws in his creations, choosing instead to blame the creations themselves, and demanding that they be perfect anyway.   When they inevitably fail to be perfect (according to his completely arbitrary standards), he declares these finite beings to be infinite criminals, and himself the victim (although nothing they could ever do could harm him or diminish him in the slightest degree). Then, he offers to "pardon" them (for his own mistakes) by offering himself as a scapegoat sacrifice to himself on their behalf.   If they fail to accept this offer, either because they are not lucky enough to hear about it, or because they happened to be born into a different religion, or they cannot believe it, or they have sense enough to recognize it as a the travesty of justice that it is, he sentences them to an eternity of unimaginable torture, with no hope of escape or parole, and for no purpose other than to watch them suffer.  And then, he has the unimaginable nerve to call himself "LOVE", to declare himself "merciful", and "Good".   This is a colossal outrage. If you told me that you had the right to slaughter my entire family in front of me, it could not be more outrageous. And yet, not only is this completely accepted by the majority of Americans, it is considered a sign of very bad character to even question it.  In fact, for hundreds of years, the church mercilessly tortured people to death if they were even suspected of disagreeing with it.  Not only do Christians blindly subject themselves to this heinous mental slavery, but they offer their love and worship to this monstrous conceptual God, and demonize anyone who dares to criticize him.  It is absolutely obscene.    I will not, I cannot sit in silence, while this infamous doctrine is propagated throughout the world.
  2. You may find it hard to believe, but for most of my life, I believed in this doctrine. Not half way, as most Christians seem to believe, but with every fiber of my being.  In pure faith, I took the Bible as the perfect and inspired word of Almighty God. I felt the very Spirit of God breath from every page directly into my soul as I read it.   For 20+ years of my life, I lived in abject fear of this monstrous God and his eternal Hell.  I listened to the believers, and I took them on their word. I despised myself for my very existence. I despaired of ever seeing heaven, as sinful as I was. I groveled before God, in agonizing prayer, seeking forgiveness for the wretched state of my soul, and begging not to be thrown into perdition. I prostrated myself face down on the floor of my room, time and again, and cried out to this deaf God for mercy, and received only silence in return.  Eventually, I began to ask myself; "Why does God not answer me?  Does he delight in my emotional and spiritual suffering?  It would take nothing for him to acknowledge my prayers, to offer me some solace, some sense of peace.  But instead, he remains utterly and immutably silent.   Silent as a rock.  Silent as the grave.  Silent as the endless vacuum of space." All of my agonized prayers, my wretched pleadings, my pitiful cries of despair, rose no farther than the plaster ceiling of my room, and fell, utterly unheard, and unanswered.   I cannot tell you the number of nights I lay prostrate on my floor, crying out to God.  Or the number of times I went to my pastor, and my friends in the church, seeking some assurance that I was not abandoned by God.  Or the nights I lay awake, quivering in fear.  Or the panic attacks I suffered.  Many times I contemplated suicide, but knew that would only hasten me to an eternity in Hell.   It is impossible to describe the mental anguish I went through; for literally years of my life.  How I managed to function, and not end up in a mental institution, is beyond me.  But somewhere along the line, after I had long since given myself up as eternally lost, it occurred to me;  Why would God reject someone who is seeking him with such passion?  Jesus had said, "Ask and you shall receive.  Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened."  I had been pounding on that door for as long as I could remember, and screaming at the top of my lungs.  I had been seeking with all my heart, soul, and strength, until I had utterly nothing left to give.  And yet this God, if he existed at all, had broken his promise, and refused to open the door.   And then the question came,  "Do I really want to waste anymore of my life and my strength pursuing a God who does not want me?"   That was the start of my journey into unbelief, but it took years.   Years during which I was paralyzed with fear that I was dooming myself to Hell.   Thanks to years of systematic brainwashing by Christianity, even now, years later, I still have moments when I fear eternal Hell.   No human being should be subjected to this kind of mental torture.  It is wrong, and it is evil.  It has poisoned the minds and hearts of mankind since its inception.   It has spread hatred and cruelty in the name of love for hundreds of years. Someone has to speak against it. And I will not remain silent.
  3. My mother was the most loving and enlightened human being I've ever known.  She was full of love, laughter, music, and sweetness of spirit.  But she was not a Christian (in the traditional sense).  She believed that Christ was a "Way Shower"; who came to teach us our own divinity.   Shortly after she died, I was visiting my Christian Aunt and Uncle, Bonnie and Bob.  I was a Christian at the time.  It occurred to me that my mom had never "accepted Christ".   Bonnie and Bob (who had loved mom dearly) in typical Christian fashion tried to give the impression that she had had a deathbed conversion, but I knew better.  Gradually, I was forced to confront the idea that if the Bible was right, my mother was burning in Hell at that moment.   And yet, I was expected to love and to worship the God who sent her there.  I could not bear the thought of it.  I was racked with uncontrollable sobbing for hours.   You see, I actually BELIEVED what they told me.  Was I not supposed to?    Was I only supposed to believe certain parts of it?  The bits that I wanted to believe?
  So, if you want to know why I'm so passionate about this subject, that's why.  To me, it's extremely personal.  It's not about some "slight" that was done me by some church member or pastor.  It is about the very core of the Christian belief, and character of God they worship.  I will not worship such a being.  Not even on pain of hell.

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