This summer I thought it would be an interesting project to sit down and read the Bible cover to cover. (Perhaps later I can tackle the Qur’an.) At the time of writing I’m on Numbers 20 (page 170 out of 1217) and generally learning a lot. (The Old Testament God is scary.)
But reading the Bible probably isn’t going to help me understand Christians any more than I do already. A few days ago I posted a thread on TheologyOnline asking them which chapters of the Bible they believe would be the best for an atheist (like me) to read.
Then I get this response from “OMEGA”:
You can buy a 2 CD set in the USA for about $15.00
that will have the bible read to you so, you can Listen to it at your convenience.
and a short while later:
I hope that my suggestion helps because I am not sure that you atheists have evolved far enough to be able to READ.
Okay, so I might not have gotten into the New Testament preachings about kindness and love yet. But isn’t this hatred a little, well, un-Christian?
I mean, seriously. If you look through the rest of the thread I linked to you’ll see several posts honestly recommending chapters of the Bible. Then OMEGA pops back in:
That’s because your an Atheist and you are not permitted to understand the Glory of God’s Word.
2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
As I pointed out in the thread, that’s not helping much. (Though it is directed at someone else, it still irritates me.)
I can understand a general disdain for atheists. On SFN we have a general disdain for crackpots who don’t follow the “orthodox” ideas put forth by science. But we try to be patient with them and explain why they’re wrong — we only ban them because they refuse to listen and learn more about what they think is wrong.
Not so here. I got hate lobbed at me and I was actually expressing an interest in learning about their religion. It wasn’t “I’m an atheist. I hate you.” It was “I’m an atheist. Let me learn about your religion” — if we had crackpots on SFN saying that about special relativity, we’d love it.
What is going on inside the minds of OMEGA and others like him? To me, it runs contrary to Biblical principles (love, kindness, all that good stuff) and plain common sense: if you want to save the unbeliever, don’t treat him like scum. You won’t exactly attract him to your religion that way.
(Disclaimer: I realize that most Christians aren’t like this. But take a look around TheologyOnline and you’ll see quite a few that are.)