Do I hate Christians or Christianity?
As you’ve probalby figured out by now, I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in any God(s), nor do I think that the Bible, The Quaran, the Torah, or other religious books are the word of some supreme beeing. I have tried to believe, and I have studied the various ‘holy’ scriptures to see if there is something there that makes me really believe that some God has dictated the book to mankind, but I haven’t found anything.
Some christians believe that atheists are people who hate God. (I say “some christians”, because they’re not all thinking this!) I don’t hate God. I don’t believe in God. Quite the difference if you ask me. I don’t hate Santa Claus, I don’t believe in Santa Claus. I don’t hate unicorns. I don’t believe in unicorns. I don’t hate Harry Potter. I don’t believe in Harry Potter.
You see, to me, all the people and animals I mentioned in the last paragraph are fictional. They don’t exist, and have never existed. I have read stories about all of them though, and some of the stories are quite good, funny, or interesting (or sad, depressing, etc…), but that doesn’t make them true. I have read stories about people I do believe in, who died before I was born: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, King Henry VIII. Historical people who are remembered for what they did, or said, or both. Of course you can say that since I “wasn’t there” at the time, how can I know that they have actually existed? To that I say; There is enough evidence, and enough sources to make it beyond reasonable doubt that these people lived. Thus I believe they did.
There is not enough evidence, nor source material (only one book, poorly written (yes, the Bible), and no other historical sources) to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the christian God exists. The same goes for the other Gods.
Still, I don’t hate God. How can you hate something that doesn’t exist?
But, do I hate the believers? People who believe in God, or Allah, or Jehova, or any of the other Gods people believe in?
Short answer: No!
Longer answer: I don’t hate people, but I do hate some of the things people do. And when people do bad things in the name of their God, I hate them for being brainwashed enough to actually commit the heineous acts. The crusades, Jihad, 9/11, bombings, hijacking of planes, murder, genocide, prosecution, witchburning, etc. It is actually in the Bible, in the chapter of the the Sermon on the Mount, I find the best phrase explaining how I feel:
Mathew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
This is often summed up into the sentence “Hate the sin, not the sinner” (a phrase that is actually not in the Bible!).
If you love your enemies (be it the tribe in the next valley, the country across the border, the homosexuals, the atheists, the christians, the whoever), you don’t kill them, maim them or bully them. You don’t prosecute them, and you don’t hate them. You love them.
Still, it is fun to mock people who are different. We all do that. Maybe to raise our status within our community (like people at school bullying someone to be able to stay with the “in-crowd”), or atheists mocking christians for believing that a burning bush can talk, or creationists mocking people believing in evolution for having an ape as a grandmother. We all do it, even though we really shouldn’t. It’s in our nature to try and place ourselves above the rest.
I can’t say I truly love every christian, muslim, jew, or other theist, but I try not to hate them. (Then again, as I’m not a christian, I guess it’s ok not to follow the Bible, right?) I try to see the good in every person I meet, and I meet a lot of people through work, and through my hobbies. I try not to judge people before I know them, and I hope I don’t have to judge people after I get to know who they are, and what they believe. But sometimes I fail, like we all do. I’m only human.
So, basically: I don’t hate religion, I don’t hate religious people, and I try to keep the mocking of those of faith to a minimum.