I thought this article was interesting:
So for the second time in about as many weeks, I’m hearing from Brad Pitt on religion. First, there was the absurd, “Eighty percent agnostic, twenty percent atheist” comment, and now he jokes that he’s running on the “no religion” platform in the New Orleans mayoral race. The leap from being atheist to being against religion fascinates me.
Why can’t you simply not believe in God? Surely atheism can exist without a hatred of religion. It’s particularly disturbing that the disdain atheistic non-religionistas have for religion is pretty much limited to Christianity – from my experience. I knew an atheist who was offended when someone at work played a CD by Christian rock band “Third Day.”
But I can sympathize to a degree, after all my son believes in this nut that dresses in a red outfit, is friendly with reindeer, and gives kids presents. Crazy, I know, but my kid runs around singing about this obese clown coming to town, or some nonsense — and IT JUST OFFENDS THE **** OUT OF ME!!!
Look, I get it. Religion can be intrusive. Christians of the right-wing variety block entrepreneurs from opening strip clubs and from selling beer on Sunday. They frown on dancing, and on standing-up sex, because somebody might think you’re dancing (I stole that joke from Lewis Grizzard, I know). Dana Carvey’s Church Lady character is funny because it rings true.
But none of this justifies the leap. Brad Pitt may run for mayor. And say the no religion thing isn’t a joke – it is a joke, but say it isn’t – what’s going to happen to charity in New Orleans? Pitt’s all about charity – he’s almost a Republican in that regard – but is he saying as Mayor he won’t work with the local churches? When atheist anti-religionistas complain about religious influence, they never point out the good things religious institutions do for society.
Similarly, many atheists, when pressed, use Doughboy logic to defend atheism. I even heard one, on evil talk radio, ask, “if there was a God, why did he let 9/11 happen?” And I’m not talking about a wacky caller, this was the guest, a spokesman for American Atheists, or some group like that. Why do they have groups? Atheists really conduse me, I gotta say. She went on to offer, “If there was a God, he’s got a lot to answer for!” So because there is evil in the world, there can’t be a God? To this particular atheist/secular humanist, and to about 75% of the ones I’ve talked to, the good in the world exists because of people.
I think my problem with atheists is the same problem they have with religion. Believe or don’t believe what you want to believe of not believe, but don’t impose it on everyone else. The fact that both believers and non-believers alike do this says more about people than it does about God. I suppose not all atheists want to convert the opiated masses; maybe it’s just the ones I talk to. Like the guy who, upon learning of my Christianity, implored me to read Christopher Hitchens’ “God is Not Great.” Turn that around, and I’m a Bible-thumper, y’know? Imposing my views. Nothing amuses me quite like Atheist Evangelism.