“The Bible’s Opinion of Atheists” a recommended article from Jeff Weddle.

A few months ago Peter Fitzsimons, former Rugby star now journalist and author, included a joke in his Sunday newspaper column. From memory it went something like this:
“How do you know when there’s an atheist in the room?
Don’t worry; he’ll soon let you know.”

The atheist Fitzsimons followed the joke with the exclamation “Ouch”, as recognition of his own guilt in that area.

Part of Jeff Weddle’s recent blog post “The Bible’s Opinion of Atheists” addresses this trait of so many atheists, while giving an insightful look at what the bible says about those who deny God’s existence.

Quotes from Jeff’s article:

I’m not too troubled by atheists. They rarely keep quiet about their atheism, which shows that even though they deny God, they can’t stop thinking about Him.

The wicked guy has to continue to tell himself and others there is no God, so he can appease his guilty conscience. He can’t shut up about denying God because his conscience continually reminds him of God and this forces him to deny God’s existence.

Complete article here:

12 thoughts on ““The Bible’s Opinion of Atheists” a recommended article from Jeff Weddle.

  1. I know a couple of atheists who aren’t bad on this basic aspect; they don’t bring it up really. But I have noticed a few times that although a truly fundamental sense of decency (for persons and order in culture) would have them against a few things like prostitution and open marriage (and they themselves aren’t interested in these things), they do an internal reminder (leading to what they then say) that they shouldn’t be against the freedom of others. It’s annoying, because there are things that really if you get down to it are too problematic to imagine as freedom (for instance, prostitution is often an aspect of human trafficking, sexual slavery, or mental illness, and usually of financial difficulty). But there are Christians and other religious people who don’t sort these realities out either. And, in fact, I’ve seen Muslim women argue prostitution is necessary as an outlet for their husbands.

  2. The problem with the idea of a “fundamental sense of decency”, is that mankind’s ideas of what is decent or not tend to be highly flexible and the decency goalposts continually shift. Those who accept that there is an authority above man who has established what is morally acceptable are becoming the minority.

    We only have to look at the issue of homosexual marriage for proof of that – from being something that would NEVER have crossed the mind of most people, within a couple of years it’s become widely accepted throughout the west, and few governments have failed to make it legal. Those saying that homosexual marriage can never be acceptable are increasingly being portrayed as bigoted “homophobes”.

  3. I think that when freedom is a value, it is observable whether certain concepts (like prostitution and like, for instance, the recently exposed infamous cheating website) are consistent with choice actually. I heard a song on the radio, today (part of it as I was driving somewhere, had to change the station it was so despicable); this woman was singing about her man seeing [or having, not sure the wording] other women all over the place, all over the world. She said, I “don’t care” about them (like no problem), “just be good to me.” So I had to wonder what being good to her would mean. And not caring has to go beyond no worries — in reality to something dark.

  4. Here is a book that points out real considerations. Ive rented the older version and bought the new.
    From ( http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/611359.God_Vs_the_Gavel ) the older version:

    For example, despite protestations from children’s and women’s groups, the Utah Civil Rights and Liberties Foundation recently spearheaded a lawsuit in Utah to defend polygamy as a constitutionally protected religious practice, and in the face of widely circulated accounts of underage marriage and statutory rape.21 The American Civil Liberties Union supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which worked against children’s interests… and only withdrew support for that type of religious liberty legislation when its leadership realized it undermined antidiscrimination laws. [I Added the boldface.]

    And one cannot underestimate the lengths to which the Catholic Church went to keep its ugly secrets to itself. One lay Catholic described it as follows: “Their structure and social chemistry is almost identical to the Mafia. There is a deep secrecy and a fierce loyalty to the organization.”17

    [Obviously, we know it’s not only the Catholic Church that has control issues and corruption.]

  5. http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/extract-islam-and-the-future-tolerance

    This book might be interesting to read in full. However, I most wanted to link to the conversation had on this show last night (which I watched in recorded form on my television today) http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word [I wasn’t able to find a link that goes directly to that clip like I found to the “extract” — where you can at least see the visual of the individuals so as to go down the list below the latest story at the general link and find the same people with another subject title]. Look for “Atheist and Muslim talk…”

    Oh, I found a way:

    I will just add, “believing in God” (not being an atheist) doesn’t really cut it.

    I wonder if the verse(s) you referred to would in the original be more specific,
    for example, not saying “God” but specifying HaShem (Yahweh). Likewise,
    it’s not just a god or even a name that matters, but goals and principles.

    The article you linked to did indicate some subtleties, that “believers”
    in some sort of god, even a Christian one, aren’t unable to spit on
    the true character of God, to even teach destruction and hate.

    I liked that the article concluded God is working with an
    atheist, and that we need not… and almost dare not
    tamper with that by insisting our way with them.

  6. I started to write this (below) for a different blog; didn’t finish writing it there, decided not to post then. I only got a little over a third way through the rented book before my time was up. What I read gave me a good feel for comparison (have seen a bit of contrast between the two, but that’s not my subject now.]

    I’m reading a book offering examples of why religious people can’t be left completely exempt from secular law (today). I won’t cite the book because [besides the fact I think the author could use a better editor] I think it’s not important to the particular point I’ll be making, a point or meaning not original to the person who wrote the line I appreciated finding in the book and not unique to a particular scenario.

    She said churches (etc.) can’t be fully unsupervised because religious people don’t live in grace at all times. I read back when I saw this, to be sure she meant what I’d take that to mean (what I think of, while many don’t, as integral to grace). They don’t behave in love and the best (or even far less than the best) interests of themselves/those within the confines. Paul would agree with the concept that there are times to let the lives of believers be reviewed and possibly adjudicated by the outside government (or government jurisdiction within which the sub-organization exists). We have at least one example in the Apostolic Writings (what I sometimes call [relatively] Newer Testimonies). But the larger point is that living “in grace” involves higher levels of understanding and goodness due to caring and deciding to think (to think well and not to obfuscate, scheme, and rationalize poor perspectives). This is reflected in Paul’s wording that people outside his communities [which I don’t call churches or Christian anachronistically] “don’t even” behave in the low way he was seeing (shocking as he wanted his learners to do the opposite of this lowering denominator and indeed wanted them to judge members more stringently than to approve of disrespect of fellow humans and flaunting of the power to do whatever one will).

  7. Secular society tends to look at “religious” people as if they are merely just another interest group who have a hobby. They can’t seem to grasp the idea of allegiance to a very REAL God who has ultimate authority over creation. including over THEM, whether they believe in Him or not.

    But then again, so many religious people also can’t seem to grasp the idea of submitting to God’s ways instead of expecting God to somehow fit into THEIR chosen ways.

  8. The rented book I mentioned in the above post referred back to a different book I had posted a link to and quoted that you didn’t let through as a post. There are people who are convinced they are doing what God says or allows, and they are horrible. It’s not so easy as just do what God says.

    And I’ve thought we’ve agreed in the past that we don’t want theocracies.

  9. A theocracy is the only type of Government that will ever work equitably and with justice – but it won’t (can’t!) work until Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom on earth. Until then we have a variety of Government styles around the world that are inevitably susceptible to abuse and corruption.

  10. [Thanks for posting the post that I guess got lost in some shuffle for a while.] I agree there is only one theocracy that will ever work. And we can’t make it happen, we have to wait for it. Until then, we have to deal with the imperfections of both religion and government… and the imperfections of everything else. And that takes work to keep things going well, or as well as we can hope for, and improved, adjusted, and fixed as need be.

    In my country, there is such a large and enthusiastic (to a perverse degree) following of people who think government is terrible (not wising up that government is needed for order) and who think religion is pretty darn great that I don’t think we experience it as mostly true that secular society doesn’t see the gravity (if by this we mean the lawful government that doesn’t establish religion and doesn’t outlaw the free exercise of it [within reason]). Individuals on the street or at a bar or a ballgame or acquaintance’ home (or indeed from church) might seem the way you are describing though. A bit of correction: I referred to you quoting a verse, but it was the writer at the link you gave. I would point out that in that example, God and government were sort of the same thing. It was a king in a nation established by HaShem who was complaining about wicked people. There pretty much was no secular society. And yet, this too is a government that didn’t (couldn’t) “work.”

    I think I know what you mean about people treating religious people as if they simply have a hobby. Still, even if it is a hobby, it’s a right in western cultures as long (ideally) as it’s not hurting or dominating others (while some religious people think their religion lets or requires them to dominate [and anywhere from maybe to definitely hurt] others). A lot of what “religious” people do can sure seem like a hobby to those who don’t share their ways. Probably most of said religious do things like drink juice from decorative cups or insist on plain cups and decide from Triscuits and regular crackers and pita [this was a real thing discussed at a home Bible study] or do things like keep a pilot light either constantly running or completely off one day a week. I’ve been to Christian venues for kids (school, camp) that didn’t allow pants for girls (as opposed to skirts) or card playing or dancing for anyone, and to Christian schools that did allow these. These are just examples.

    In my life, I’ve overall encountered people in government (and not in government but with legal domains like administering appropriate vaccinations) who are respectful of religion — very much so, to a degree that isn’t only about formal institutions. I, for one, didn’t ever have anyone teach me modern medicine is evil (and I don’t think it is), but when, for “ethical”reasons, I didn’t want to have my pre-verbal new babies vaccinated with pertussis, medical people accepted this as religious (application of doing what is good for those I’m responsible to). [I’m not saying every parent should do this.] The people who have given me the most trouble were an obstetrician (of a level that was a bit stupid and conventional in a cheaper of health insurance choices almost thirty years ago) [so the rest of my births were at home, and I hired midwives]… and my own parents (about home education), additionally my mother specifically (who apparently thought religion’s supposed values or morals, the even more serious ones, the usuals, were a hobby for a control freak parent, not truth, until said parent turns on it all without warning you). She and the father of my children (who likewise knew how to pose as if), whom she picked. So there you have conflict already. Obey your parents. Wives submit. Something frustrating to me, though, was that I tried to do these things (as hard, really impossible, as it is under people who aren’t thinking right or being thoughtful). But no one (you know, of the other people looking on that you seem to be talking about) really thinks like you are doing them. You certainly are doing everything you want to like everyone else, right?

    I will give you one example of the last matter I was getting at; I think it’s important for people to think these concepts through when they are forwarded in, for instance, churches or religious books. I once had a baby shower for a woman in a congregation we were attending. It seemed there were some things she needed after much had worn out, after like seven previous children. I bought what was needed (to give from all the women at the shower), not worrying about whether the other ladies could chip in or pay me back. I wasn’t hurting for money (not really, though my husband was stingy in our lives and our home wasn’t furnished the way it should have been — but that was just how it was and I couldn’t have company). I conveyed to my husband what was needed for this woman and what I would be doing, and there didn’t seem to be a problem he wanted to make of it. I also shared the plan with the women (asking decently for whatever they wanted to give), but didn’t push or expect any particular outcome or reimbursement. This was all fine with me. But then, after I had the things and was enjoying planning the party (to be held at someone else’s home), my husband started bugging me about getting the ladies to pay “their” part. So, what do you do, submissive woman? Another example: We (my nuclear family, couple and kids) were invited to all go visit a preacher’s family while my husband would try to work on their malfunctioning garage door [not that he was diligent to fix ours or other things where we lived, but going was something to look forward to]. The time came, and my husband told me to stay home. I did, and I couldn’t complain (don’t grumble or complain is in the Bible). But these things add up to look like your own personality, like you don’t want to visit or be generous — or, from other times, stay at a birthday party, or be happy socializing with people rather than harassed (but you can’t act harassed) on the phone. You “get” to be what he makes you out to be. [Note: None of these examples are meant to address the deeper moral subjects that didn’t pan out as core values for him or my mother.]

    I’m giving some specifics because that’s how things really go. I think things do change with time or the like, such as cultural learning. I don’t think it was right for my husband to be controlling and so on. I dare say I was wrong to listen to any if it. Now, I don’t mean women should get bossy and all that. Different people are different. I remember a woman who was generally a good person, but she made a big deal out of the women submitting thing, insisting on it. She didn’t seem to realize that in her life with her husband and kids, pretty much everything was about her. So, her definition of submitting was if she ever did what her husband was wanting or indicating or pretty much demanding (an easy going person, he had to really step up to make it clear he was overriding her). When the words about women submitting were written, we can be reasonably sure, women weren’t in control. So the definition based on NT Bible isn’t something so easy as what she was doing.

  11. [A] (Gateway Biography)


    …explains the role of the Supreme Court in the judicial system and throws in some interesting details about the obstacles Ginsburg has faced throughout her life and career (a textbook on property law used in the 1960s stated that “land, like woman, was meant to be possessed”). The story of the determined Ginsburg is the stuff of legends. …. (Nonfiction. 7-9)

    The 1960s.

    But I don’t see that as so out of step with “rules” that can be gleaned from the Bible. However, I have learned to look at the Bible athropologically and, thus, don’t see it (the above) as consistent with what God had been aiming at. The thinking might seem old (and so unacceptable that we think the Bible is blatantly opposed to it), but consider how the Russian Foreign Minister (Sergei Lavrov) responded to a female reporter who asked him a normal question at an international press conference. Instead of answering, he decided it was better for him to say something about a woman on her knees in front of a man; he said this for all the world to hear.

  12. From the first review at Amazon of a brand new book (on the “Notorious” RBG):

    “This is an incredible glimpse into the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her mother told her that ‘getting angry was a waste of your own time’ and she carried that wisdom with her to the Supreme Court. Everything in her life has been done to the best of her ability and that includes her workout ethics (which are still ongoing). Just imagine giving up waterskiing in your late 70’s!

    “A fascinating read which includes her educational background as well as her early work with the ACLU. Some of her Women’s Rights Projects are detailed and one that caught my attention was the AF Nurse case in 1970. CAPT Strich was pregnant and refused to quit or get an abortion. Pregnant women were also given a general discharge instead of an honorable one. The book also delves into her time on the Supreme Court….”

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