Out From Under the Umbrella

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Atheist Outrage: Checking your Christian Privilege

55 Comments

I see things.  Things I’d rather look away from.  But it’s like a train wreck.  I know I should but I can’t.  A facebook “friend” posted this and it showed up in my news feed.

Atheists Outraged After NASCAR Legend Says This About God and Salvation

I clicked on the article to read about this atheist outrage.  The article never even addresses it.  Nowhere in the article is any atheist quoted, nor even mentioned, as having been outraged.  This is the kind of propaganda unbelievers are up against in the U.S.

Let’s set the scene, why don’t we? It was at the National Prayer Breakfast where NASCAR legend, Darrell Waltrip, was the keynote speaker.  What was that again?  The National Prayer Breakfast.  The United States hosts, at taxpayer expense, a National Prayer Breakfast which is, to my understanding, intended to unite the leaders of the various world religions.

According to Wikipedia The National Prayer Breakfast is hosted by members of the United States Congress and is organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation, a Christ-centered organization.  Every keynote speaker since 1973 except for last year when Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, who practices Hinduism has been a Christian.

Here is the excerpt of Waltrip’s address which was supposedly the source of all the outrage:

Christians everywhere are giving Waltrip atta-boys and pats on the back for having the courage to share his beliefs at an event where sharing beliefs and faith is expected.  I do not take issue with his speech.  That’s what he was invited there to do.  What I take exception to is the gross mischaracterization of atheists.  The outrage, which is the subject of the title of the article, is not even addressed!  What outrage?

What I find so very ironic about the whole thing is the Christian outrage that has poured out over President Barack Obama’s comments:

You don’t have to look very far to see Christians condemning his remarks.  Here’s an article in The Washington Post:

Critics pounce after Obama talks Crusades, slavery at prayer breakfast

and another here from The Week:

The folly of Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast comments

How dare the President speak the truth?  How dare he compare the Crusades and the Inquisition to ISIS’ terrorism?  How dare he point out that horrific acts, like slavery and discrimination, had their roots in religion – specifically Christianity?  Christians are outraged that the President could make such comparisons because Christians have evolved.  They’ve improved and progressed whereas ISIS is going backward.

Have fundamentalist Christians really improved so much?  All one has to do is a Google search for exorcism, Christian child discipline, or Christians rejecting medical attention in favor of prayer, to see that it most assuredly is still possible for Christians to be radicalized.  Granted the rejection of medical attention is not considered terrorism, but what about in cases where a child is the one who is ill and the parents make the decision to pray away critical illness?  What about the brand of child discipline endorsed, no advocated, by Mike and Debi Pearl and practiced by a large portion of society?  What about recent exorcisms which have resulted in the death of the recipient of such treatment?  Not to mention the psychological harm done in the name of Christ!

Christian privilege dictates that nothing negative be said about the Christian faith.  Christian privilege says, “it’s them, not us.”  “We’re nothing like those savages.”  Christian privilege is outraged that the President could point out the failures of their religion.

If we do not learn from history we are most assuredly doomed to repeat it.  Crucify the President.

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55 thoughts on “Atheist Outrage: Checking your Christian Privilege

  1. Excellent post. The headline of that first article about “atheist outrage” is so misleading and incendiary. What purpose did it serve to highlight atheist outrage over something said at a prayer meeting when there was no such outrage mentioned in the article?

    As to what Obama said, it was the truth. The Crusades and the Inquisition did happen centuries ago, but so what? In the history of the universe, that’s not even a blink of the eye. And whether Christians like it or not, it was no different then than what ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, other Islamic terrorists are doing now — killing and committing atrocities in the name of their God and their religion. Why is that so hard for Christians to grasp? But then again, Christians have always had a very different definition of “truth.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, if it’s in there I sure couldn’t find it. Why title the article in such a way? Because it colored what actually was said in the article in such a way to make anyone who doesn’t agree with the sentiments seem angry, outraged, and irrational.

      Ugh! You should have seen the people on facebook defending Christianity with regards to The Crusades and The Inquisition. The original facebook post expressed disgust at the President’s words. A friend of theirs commented that they didn’t understand what the outrage was about(this person is also a Christian). The response she got from yet a third party was:

      it is only Muslims who continue to KILL nonbelievers in today’s world. The Crusades were a defense against Muslims not an offense. Frankly, I have never heard of Jews trying to convert people much less murder them in the name of God. Nor Hindus or Buddhist. None of these people to my knowledge has sought to overtake or destroy me. Were he making an effort to protect us the reaction might be different. But it is NOT Christians or Americans who need to be lectured. It is the ENEMY who must be dealt with. Barrack Obama is the enemy as far as I am concerned and he proves it everyday not by his words but by his actions. If he is not trying to get us killed, which I personally believe he is, then he is extremely niave or stupid. You can’t compare the two issues in todays context. Jesus told us to turn the other cheek. He told us to spread the gospel. He did not say submit to autrocites and sit by and watch Christian be tortured, slaughtered, burned & raped. Children below the age of consent or knowledge are being used in their fight and they are killing innocents in the name of their vicious god.
      People are sick & afraid that it will not be stopped or at least not stopped before we are too weak to stop it and these things are manifested on the streets where we live. You would do well to read up on the truth about the history
      the crusades as well.

      Then that same person posted this in response via Dinesh D’Souza(should say it all, really).


      Why the Crusades: the Muslims conquered the Christian Near East, parts of Italy, and all of Spain—unchecked, they’d have taken Europe.
      Published along with this “map”:

      https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/68909_1059025257457462_3009408831689591590_n.jpg?oh=2059f2d957a24a4fc90c613c46eae3e9&oe=554C5D4D

      Ain’t it great the way people rewrite history?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been told by some Christians that I’ve walled myself off and that I’m blind to “the truth.” That’s sort of like, as the old saying goes, the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it?

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        • Of course you have, Doobster. And they haven’t. Just like we were outraged by Darrell Waltrip’s speech and they’re not outraged by President Obama’s. Wait…we aren’t outraged. Hmm…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant! It’s amazing that Waltrip could stand there saying people will go to hell. This is really, really weird.

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    • This is America and he has the freedom to do that. I won’t even begrudge him the right. While I find it a loathsome doctrine I realize that the majority of Americans do believe that as a reality. “I do not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” -Voltaire

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post!
    The paranoia and Christian persecution complex crap really annoys me nowadays. I say that in part to my own shame because I remember having some of those feelings while a fundamentalist (“oh, the world is trying to destroy us!!”), but now that I’m on the outside, it’s truly frustrating and rather disgusting. Such blatant misleading headlines are really distasteful and I’d like to think it brings shame to those who do it but it rarely seems to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I, for one, am outraged at the lack of outrage on the part of atheists! 😉

      Seriously, the persecution complex is just one more example of Christian privilege. I remember having those same thoughts as a believer, too. I’m terribly embarrassed by that.

      Such blatant misleading headlines are really distasteful and I’d like to think it brings shame to those who do it but it rarely seems to.

      Thou shall not bear false witness. Whose book did that come from, again? So much for all that Christian honesty…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Re Obama.

    I see, so it’s good to talk about ISIS, but bad to talk Crusades or the genocidal campaigns against Native Americans?

    Too far back in history?
    Maybe Obama should have mentioned South Africa if the ”American People” don’t like to hear about jim Crow and slavery.
    Apartheid was fully justified by the NGK church over here and Desmond Tutu and Trevor Huddlestone were considered a threat to the state!

    God wills it! Frak em!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sorry, Ruth . Forgot to say this was a good post. Couldn’t listen to more than 60 seconds of Waltrip. I gagged.

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  6. when the atheists were outraged, did they come out with their forks and spoons or was it with their pens? And how were they organized? I want an atheist outrage organised in an area around me. I have things I need to be outraged about.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Listening to Obama, I know why christians would be outraged. He reminded them of their beautiful history. Who wants to be reminded of the good things they did in their infancy?
    Great post Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ruth, this is an awesome post. I’m going to link to this because it says some really important things.

    I can’t describe enough the frustration I feel when I have Christians telling me that I’m a liar because of my lack of faith. Then, stuff like this happens, and it either gets forgotten or ignored.

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  9. Pingback: Taking the Cult’s Word For It | Amusing Nonsense

  10. Well stated, Ruth. I saw this posted on The Foyer, a closed atheist group (started by Neil Carter). Nothing surprises me anymore but I get sorely disappointed, and yes, outraged at people who would rather accuse solely based on hearsay and sensationalism, and claim persecution. Baaaaaaaaaaa They need a good sheering.

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    • I haven’t been introduced to The Foyer. I follow Neil’s blog, but since he switched over to Patheos I haven’t read as regularly. I hate Disqus for comments and all the adverts make the thing load so dang slow!

      It is rather disappointing. A quick Google of this reveals not one atheist who has written of their outrage over Waltrip’s address and hundreds of outlets reporting the Christian outrage at Obama’s. Smh…

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      • new reader here (although I recognize many of the commenters) and I want to join in the chorus of “Great essay” comments!

        An…alternative…view of this “controversy” is found at Duncan Mitchell’s amusing site. He points out how non-based-in-fact OBAMA’S own comments were and how fundamentally reaction even the Great Assistant Principal’s views remain:

        http://thisislikesogay.blogspot.com/2015/02/we-can-kill-them-for-you-wholesale.html

        (Which shows how ridiculous Christian outrage is):

        Obama’s remarks were what Roy Edroso called “ordinary, meretricious bullshit,” though of course Edroso was talking about the bleats of Obama’s critics, not about Obama’s preaching. Take for example: “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Obama is quite sure, it appears, that slavery and Jim Crow are incompatible with true Christianity, though mainstream Christians for over 1500 would have disagreed with him. Christ himself healed a dying slave and returned him to his bondage, while the apostle Paul converted a runaway and returned him to his Christian master. In the New Testament, slavery is the model for the relationship between the believer and Christ. If either of them ever said a word against slavery, it hasn’t been recorded. You can claim that despite all biblical and historical precedent, slavery wasn’t what Yahweh meant at all, but that’s just because believers can invent just about any position they like and ascribe it to their god, as Be Scofield wrote in the post I quoted yesterday, and as Obama said elsewhere in his sermon, cautioning his congregation against “being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others.” But this backfires on Obama, who is sure that God doesn’t speak to the religious apologist for slavery, Jim Crow, or “unspeakable acts of barbarism — terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.” Really? On more than one occasion, Obama’s god commanded the children of Israel to invade Canaan and burn its cities to the ground, massacring all the inhabitants and their livestock in some cases, or to leave virgin girls alive in others so that they could be raped by the invaders. This was justified, in Scripture and by later apologists who claimed the mantle of religious authority for such actions, because the Canaanites were worshiping the wrong gods. The New Atheists who support the new American-British Crusade against Islam basically agree: they worship the wrong god, they belong to a “death cult” (in Obama’s words), so kill them all and let no-God sort them out.

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        • Thank you for reading and commenting.

          Those Conservative Christian critics of Obama’s speech are quick to point out that it was Christians, themselves, who put an end to slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and even gender discrimination. Though that may be true, it is only those who call themselves Christian who have developed a conscience greater than the object of their faith that this can be said. Scripture has been and continues to be used to oppress people. And I don’t believe it must be twisted to do so. I think that those who have twisted the scriptures are, in fact, those who are on a gentler side of things.

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  11. My only problem is the “taxpayer paid” bit. The world, and especially the US should grow up and withdraw the tax exempt status from all religions. The amount laundered probably equals organised crime, mostly spent on the lavish lifestyle of jet owning “evangelists”…

    Like

  12. Spot-on on all points.

    As for the vid’, the second that he ministers, “Good guys go to hell”, is the second that sane, thinking people can see that Christianity spits directly into the face of “justice”.

    Like

    • Well, I’d like to think of myself as both sane and thinking and I fell for that for a very long time. But it started when I was a kid. It was instilled in me from the start(not necessarily by my parents) that nobody was really a “good guy”.

      But I agree with you that those without that exposure are far less likely to be impacted by it. It’s up to rational adults to discern what they think is true about that.

      Like

  13. I had to sit through a 90-minute lunch with my mother yesterday and pretend to agree with everything she said (she’s part of the Christian outrage against Obama). Ugh. I just wanted to shake her and hand her a history book.

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  14. The levels of complexity in the responses & opinions to Waltrip, the National Prayer Breakfast’s purpose, taxpayer dollars, and Xian outrage to Obama’s comments, are……well, too often built upon many pre-conceived notions and fallacies presented as concrete “truth”, or rabbit-trail a priori in the plural. LOL

    So…I’ll just say this: Some people are way too lazy to think for themselves, even when it may go completely against what their parents taught them and role-modeled. Consider yourself real *effin* lucky if you are born into a home of ecclectic well-educated, well-spoken Freethinkers — who then responsibly raise their children to think on their own, rather than what to think and believe thru parental, peer, and group pressure. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure where you’re from, Professor, and I may be speaking out of turn here, but until recently the deep south hasn’t been known as much of a place for freethinking. Most of us have grown up indoctrinated into certain beliefs about a variety of things – not just religion. I do think the tide is slowly changing though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I realize now that my comment could be interpreted more than one way. Thank you Ruth! I was hinting (vaguely as it turns out) to myself being born into an Agnostic home. I am an eight-generation Texan with long LONG family-lines going back to “heretical groups” in Europe. With regard to the South, I am all too familiar — went to a college in Jackson, Mississippi on a full soccer scholarship headed to a pro and semi-pro career — but every bit of my former Fundy indoctrination happened there, surrounded by it constantly — it often seemed I had a TARGET painted on my forehead & soul!!! — and both ex’s from Mississippi and Louisiana. LOL

        I am eternally grateful for my Dad, for the composure & stability he instilled.

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  15. I share your outrage about the breakfast. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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