It’s a funny thing, about the internet. I couldn’t tell you how I stumbled onto the vast majority of what I find. In trying to figure out how and when exactly I started following Defeating the Dragons, it’s a bit hazy. I’m pretty sure I followed a link from LoveJoyFeminism at some point. And I found my way there via Pharyngula. No idea what first drew me to PZ’s blog, though.
In addition to following her blog, I follow Samantha on Twitter and she has complained of, on at least a couple occasions I’m aware of, internet atheists being total assholes (roughly paraphrased…)
It’s the latest of these that prompts a resurrecting, as it were, of this blog.
I have commented on Defeating The Dragons to this effect: I walked away from Christianity because I was taught that every other religion or type of Christianity, even, was wrong. So when the fundamentalist, evangelical interpretation ceased to make sense I was already primed to dismiss everything else. When your religion makes clear that it’s your way or the highway, don’t be surprised when people choose the highway.
But here’s the thing. Samantha grew up in a similar church, maybe even more conservative and fundamentalist. And she has chosen to find her own way, moving to a more progressive belief, for lack of a better term.
So to those atheists who have always been atheists: shut the hell up, you don’t know what it was like to have believed in a religion. And to those atheists who, like me, walked away from some religion or another: shut the hell up, you know what it was like and believed in a religion once upon a time.
Condescending questions suck no matter which side you’re on and it usually boils down to: have you REALLY thought about it? Since I’m on this side of the debate over religion, it annoys me to no end when Christians say stuff like “you’ll find out you’re wrong when you die” or “it can’t hurt to believe” or “if you consider all the evidence with an open heart” or….it goes on and on.
But here’s the thing: it’s a two-way street. I don’t say stupid stuff like “if you consider the science” or “when you take a proper look at history” or whatever because those kinds of things are equally condescending.
I find myself falling more into Libby Anne’s camp, anyway. It seems like she’s more concerned with what people are doing than what label they choose to wear. To that end, I don’t find it necessary to ‘convert’ Samantha. She’s already fighting the good fight exposing the toxins in the fundamentalist mindset and there’s no reason she has to give up Christianity to do that effectively.