A few days ago, my husband posted an article to our blog on the topic of religious versus secular ethics and why secular ethics is superior. I tweeted a link for anyone who might be interested and received one particularly ridiculous comment from a believer. The twitter user, Terry Stevens wrote “If Atheism is true then why can’t scientists explain the origin of matter?”. This comment made it clear that he had not read Rich’s article but instead what to play the part of the religious troll. He quickly showed that he was incapable of a coherent discussion and at one point flat out stated that he wasn’t interested in learning about opposing viewpoints. On top of that when I said that I enjoy learning what others believe and why they believe it he made a spectacle of himself going of the grid with by making a “reading list” of all of the propaganda he felt fit into his attempt to compare Atheism to hate groups. There was some terrible titles and yet somehow he left out all of the Christian hate… interesting, don’t you think? He even added me to a list called “Atheist Commies” which showed that he had no idea who I am or what I stand for. I asked him how he could possibly justify his own set of beliefs if he doesn’t know what he is against. Again, he said he doesn’t wish to educate himself and tried to deflect from the original discussion.
At one point another gentleman started to engage him in conversation. He was supporting my viewpoint and Terry responded with the sexist words “She’s not gonna shag you mate”. Implying that the only reason a man would agree with a woman is for sexual gain. Thankfully he simply dismissed the comment and moved on but still, it was a reminder that even in 2018 religious groups see women as inferior beings. If you check out the link to the twitter thread you’ll notice in the screen shots that Terry didn’t attack the other gentlemen until it was about me. There is nothing wrong with stating that you can’t make an argument and you want to bow out. In this case Terry not only felt the need to get the last word but called me “darling”. If you cannot engage in a respectful discussion just move on. Patronizing remarks are unnecessary unless you want to remind everyone that you aren’t just close minded but sexist as well.
Unfortunately this isn’t a new experience for me. I’ve seen it many times during religious debate, a woman is not worthy of the same respect as a man. We must explain our views tenfold. It happens a lot on the Facebook page that Rich and I share for all things related to Couple of Atheists. Since we share the account people don’t always know who they are speaking with right off the bat. There have been many times that halfway through a conversation they will realize which one of us it is and suddenly the tone completely changes. I am spoken down to. Suddenly Rich’s arguments have more merit… it’s bizarre to see. Personally, it doesn’t upset me, I know that I am just as capable as Rich is when it comes to defending the secular point of view. What does bother me is to think that there are women out there who have to deal with this every day. Women that stay in relationships, join organizations, work for companies that look down on them only because they hold faith in a God that say that is the way it is supposed to be.
If you are reading this and you are in an abusive relationship with God, please know that you are just as important as any man. That despite what you have been told you deserve the same respect as anyone else. If you are reading this and are the one that is abusing in the name of God, please know that by dismissing so many people you are cutting yourself off from full life. If you don’t treat the people that care for you with respect, eventually there won’t be anyone left that supports you. If you are the type of person that closes their mind to all other viewpoints you are missing out on a world of knowledge. You are making it impossible for you to truly understand the views you hold because you don’t even know what else is out there. Blind faith will lead you right off the cliff into a life of ignorance. And though it might be nice to not have to think for yourself, this bliss can only last so long. Eventually you won’t be able to hide behind God and you won’t know what to do. Educate yourself, that knowledge may be the only thing that truly saves you.
- image from deviant art, daily atheist