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Things Which Annoy Sami Today Sep. 17th, 2010 @ 09:41 am
1) Hypocritical evangelical atheists.

There's a looong list of people who fall into this category, but it's an opinion piece on The Drum website that's set me off today.

Basically, I'm talking about your PZ Myers/Richard Dawkins types, who are not only atheists, but are hostile to non-atheists and hostile to the very notion of treating religion with respect.

In this column Bob Ellis accuses the Prime Minister of "theological correctness" because she "turned up to honour Mary MacKillop" despite being an atheist.

To which I say: what the hell?

Yes, the Prime Minister is an atheist.

However, she is still the Prime Minister. In much the same way, it would not be inappropriate for her to attend a major event for the beef farming industry if she were a vegetarian. Because she's the head of our bloody government, and her duties thereas are not subject entirely to her personal whim.

Evangelical atheists aggravate me in general, because it's so... I don't know. Tacky. Rude. Irritating.

I have friends who are atheists. I have friends whose religious inclinations I don't really know at all. I have friends whose religions are different from mine - across the spectrum. A Hindu agnostic is not quite the same thing as a Christian agnostic, after all - if someone is taking the non-existence of the Judeo-Christian God as a given, but is ambivalent about the Hindu gods, that's a very different outlook from someone who is uncertain about the existence of the Judeo-Christian God but assumes that the Hindu gods aren't real.

(Religion is more complex than just the three Abrahamic religions, after all, and very few people even consider the ancient pantheons at all. Zeus, for most people, is just assumed to be a false myth.)

All of us manage to get by without sneering at each other over this.

I can go weeks, even months at a time without mentioning specifically that I consider myself to be a Christian at all.

I think both Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers would rupture something if they tried to go even a few days without a diatribe about the non-existence of God.

I consider it a firm point of basic courtesy that, unless someone has attempted to convert you to their religious position, it is entirely inappropriate to try and persuade them of yours.

And I consider it somewhat reprehensible to accuse someone of duplicity merely for showing respect to a position that differs from their own. They keep saying how Gillard "despises" Christianity, and yet: no, patently she doesn't, she just doesn't agree with it.
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