Why Former Christians Annoy Me
Sometimes, atheists annoy me. I don’t normally read Godless Girl, but her post on getting past anger cuts both ways. It’s about relationships:
The more I grow close and friendly with people of other ideas, the better I tend to act and feel towards others who hold those ideas–even if they are delusions or born from ignorance. . . . My point comes down to this: Love people as individuals. See them as more than just “those believers” or “those superstitious weaklings.” Who are they? Why do they have worth and dignity? It’s hard to be angry at people when you understand why they are who they are. Motivations matter, and they come from somewhere. Is it a need for love? A thirst for activity an community? Conformity and social expectation? Depression and fear?
That said, there is one class of atheist that, no matter how close I would grow to one, how I much I could empathize with their position, how much understanding or insight I get into their psyche–I will always be annoyed by. Always.
That class is the former believer.
Because when they criticize their former faith, they often fall into the exact errors perpetrated by people who wouldn’t know any better. The difference is that they do know better. Especially if they own 3 master-level degrees in philosophy and theology, and repeatedly claim to have studied under the world’s foremost authority on philosophy of religion.
When a person like that makes a fundamental error in theology, it annoys me more than words can say. Because this person knows better. At least, he should.
John W. Loftus, our friend over at Debunking Christianity, posted a (admittedly awesome) video of an octopus killing a shark in self-defense. Loftus muses, “God could not have made all creatures as vegans/vegetarians, could he? Nope. Not a chance. It was impossible for him. Right?”
Yep. Completely impossible:
Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. (Gen 1:29-30)
So impossible that everything being a vegetarian was the original plan. Then, that pesky Fall happened, and the plan was altered. After the Flood, we read this:
The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Gen 9:2-3)
Okay, so it was after the Flood that God made meat eaters. Got it. Looks like Mr. Loftus was wrong. Again.