Should we be rude to hostile atheists?
#21
Short answer: NO!!!

We must show even the rudest atheist or savage barbarian the love of Christ.  Just yesterday praying at an abortion mill, two self proclaimed atheists were there to counter us.  It is a very popular thing to be now, you see. No rules!  But we are to be ambassadors of Christ who told us to turn the other cheek.  We calmly conversed with them. And at the end one told me that he respected us for what we were doing--quietly and peacefully praying in defense of mothers and babies and even though he did not agree with us, he applauded our stance. That is the beginning of a possible conversion.

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#22
I wouldn't be surprised if the guy suffered from same-sex attraction the way he talks about "equality" and slavery. 
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#23
(03-29-2015, 06:34 AM)LaramieHirsch Wrote: Just to be clear, I'm not talking about what to do with atheists.  I am talking about hostile atheists.  I am talking about the sort of New Atheist who actively ridicules theists. 

Furthermore, I am not interested in debating them.  Such people (hostile atheists) mostly use emotional rhetoric.  When I say "be rude with them," what I mean is to return rhetoric with rhetoric.  Basically shouting them down or making them look like a fool in the public space.  In the end, the hostile atheist I am talking about is not the intended audience of such a power play.  The true audience is the spectator who watches the exchange. 

I am not talking about shouting down reasonable and calm atheists like Camille Paglia.

Even if you're dealing with a fool like the guy in that video, the thing to do is to be cool, polite, and smart. Look at the responses that video got. One that stood out to me went something like, "I'm an atheist, but that Christian pwned that guy" -- something like that. I wouldn't bother wasting my time dealing with an atheist like that if no one were around, but if people are witnessing what he's saying (and this'd apply to many places on the internet), then I might well respond. I'd respond, but not "to" him, however; I wouldn't "engage" him; it would be absolutely pointless.. I also wouldn't insult him or act like an ass; let their behavior speak for itself and contrast obviously with yours. Name-calling, hostility, rudeness are OUT. But I would give brief rebuttals to his talking points (and, on the internet, leave links so people can read further if they're interested in the Truth), mentally speaking/writing TO the people who are standing by and listening. And then I'd leave it at that.

Quote:
(03-29-2015, 01:51 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: If you're wanting to evangelize, as we all should, your job, IMO, is to have answers, to offer them when asked, to offer them when the "time is right, when it "feels right," to offer them "in passing" during the course of a conversation, to counter error with a calm and non-judgmental spirit, to be an example of Christian charity and trust, to make them wonder why you're so deeply content (even if under the annoyances and righteous anger), and to pray for them. 

Sound advice.  But again, I am not speaking about evangelizing to hostile atheists.  Do you think that St. Nicholas was evangelizing the cult followers of Artemis when he told them: "Go to Hell's fire, which has been lit for you by the Devil"?  What, do you suppose, was the purpose of him saying that?  Is it possible that St. Nicholas served as a robust example of strength for other followers to take confidence in? 

I wouldn't take a random example from a Saint and use it as "the" way to deal with things (or, worse, use it to justify wrong behavior). It's just common sense that insulting people makes them defensive rather than receptive to what you're saying. And it's common sense that if others are watching an exchange between two people, the one who comes off as less of an ass, who keeps calm, who uses facts and rational arguments, etc., will be given more respect, all things being equal. What sucks today about all this sort of thing is that the "cool factor" has to be considered. That's just the sort of world we live in now; folks are "media-tized." That's one reason why I always cringe when I see a certain type of trad engage in public debates or arguments; as soon as he uses that sort of antiquated language that some trads use (e.g., "maiden," "courting," etc.), or expressing ideas that aren't actually Catholic at all but are, rather, neo-Victorian (e.g., that overblown, bogus view of women as sexless and incapable of logic, etc.) -- all of which comes off as false, like a put-on, and which is a major turn-off -- it's over for most people looking on. It might not be strictly logical in terms of any arguments being presented, but it makes sense in that people want to be around people who are like them, they want to fit in and don't want to come off as a "weirdo," etc.

Quote: In any event, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Vox.  I am not an authority on this.  I am not a trained professional in this.  I do not have years of experience doing this.  However, I will not shirk my duty in confronting this phenomenon if it is put in front of me.  Too many of us have decided that defending the faith is not for them.  As a result?  We have today's mess in the Church and in society.  More of us need to figure out how to deal with these people. 

Off to bed.  G'night!

Defending the Faith is for every Catholic. There are just ways to do it -- and ways not to do it, ways that actually don't defend the Faith at all and even make matters worse. I think we'd make better use of our time by responding to false accusations in the way I described above, doing book reviews and movie reviews and such (being smart about language, and having a sense of one's audience, as St. Paul advises), writing blogs and websites, using the comboxes at other folks' blogs and websites, making art, using Youtube to spread the Word in an artistic way that the Millenials would respond to, generally speaking, etc. I'd avoid atheist forums, generally speaking, but would maybe use their comboxes to make rebuttals to falsehoods -- again, with the idea of writing for people reading over our shoulders, and NOT engaging in debate or pissing contests. If they want to act like jerks in their own forums, it's no skin off our collective nose, and throwing yourself into that sort of arena, where you're outnumbered and incessantly mocked, serves no purpose [i]whatsoever[/i]. It ain't nothing but a ridiculous time-suck.

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#24
(03-29-2015, 05:41 PM)GRA Wrote: I wouldn't be surprised if the guy suffered from same-sex attraction the way he talks about "equality" and slavery.

He strongly intimated he is gay. He mentioned "breeders," anyway, and referred to the Jewish-dominated, decadent Weimar Republic as "gay heaven" (and it was, as far as active homosexuals go. The Weimar was decadence personified. See this article: from Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2000/11/22/weimar/  See also this book, "Jewish Dominance of Weimar Germany":

[Image: jdwg.JPG]

The stuff in that article and that book is why Hitler came to power; the desire of the Germans to eliminate the leftist Jewish influence over the German culture and economy is behind it, not the Book of John, not Christian theology, as the ADL types like to say (and as the guy in that video said).

As an aside, re. around the 1:07 mark, I love his silly, "Atheism is apolitical. Stalin was an atheist, but you know who else was an atheist? Ayn Rand! So atheism's got nothing to do with politics!" WTF? Rand wrote all about politcs LOL

I also "dig" how he goes on with his hatred toward Christianity and Islam, saying "you two religions are the WORST" -- leaving out Judaism, likely because he's Jewish, and neverminding the role of Jews in the slave trade, the racism of the Talmud, the "homophobia" (by his definition) of the same and of the Torah -- i.e., everything he hates Christianity for but which Christianity never brought about or condoned in the first place.

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#25
Yet once more in our dialogue, I get to further distill and qualify what I meant.  It's all for the best that I clear up what I'm trying to convey.

(03-29-2015, 06:22 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote:
(03-29-2015, 06:34 AM)LaramieHirsch Wrote: When I say "be rude with them," what I mean is to return rhetoric with rhetoric.  Basically shouting them down or making them look like a fool in the public space.  In the end, the hostile atheist I am talking about is not the intended audience of such a power play.  The true audience is the spectator who watches the exchange. 

I am not talking about shouting down reasonable and calm atheists like Camille Paglia.

Even if you're dealing with a fool like the guy in that video, the thing to do is to be cool, polite, and smart. ...

...Name-calling, hostility, rudeness are OUT. But I would give brief rebuttals to his talking points (and, on the internet, leave links so people can read further if they're interested in the Truth), mentally speaking/writing TO the people who are standing by and listening. And then I'd leave it at that.

Okay.  I should not have said "shout down."  That makes me come off as the bible thumper I used to be, and I don't really shout down anyone in real life (like that guy in the video), nor do I "shout" on the internet about it, though good friends have told me to take a second look at my tone (which is why we're having this conversation).

Shout down?  No.  That is not what I meant to convey.  Perhaps--to shun.  Another way of expressing what I meant: To scorn such a person with contempt.  To deride them.  Hostile atheists clearly have their stiletto blades out.  What ought we do?  Smile and nod as they slash us across the face?  No, I'm not so sure about that.  Not in that particular situation.  Not in an arena of ideas. 

You say that name-calling, rudeness, and hostility are out. 

I am not so sure about that.  Name calling, rudeness, and hostility are exercised by saints as well as by figures in the New Testament.  I think it is the spirit and intention of how you do it. 

Let me give you an example of something.  There are 5 types of cussing:

Abusive Swearing
Emphatic Swearing
Dysphemism
Idiomatic Swearing
Cathartic Swearing


Cathartic swearing - when you cuss after hurting yourself
Idiomatic swearing - when "we're all cool," and the cussing let's folks know it's just casual
emphatic swearing - when the taboo of swear words is too impractical, and you must use the swear word in order to convey something
Dysphemism - you are driving home the point with a nasty expression; Example, "I haven't showered in two days, and I feel uncomfortable.  I've got a bad case of swamp ass."
Abusive swearing - bad words used on purpose, intended to hurt. 

Hostile atheists use abusive swearing all of the time.  However, I would argue that using dysphemisms against them to convey just how vile they are might make your point clearer.  Even then, I'm unsure if abusive swearing is completely off the table.  Do we not hurt children if we spank them?  They learn (hopefully) from such a reprisal. 

Well, whatever the case, I need to end this post here.  I'm too sleepy to continue.  I've got to leave it there. 

Take care,

-LH
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#26
The only answer I have is: dont sign a 12 month lease with college roommates,  when one of them is a militant anti-Catholic athiest!  Man that was a hellish year.  :crazy:  :crazy:

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#27
(03-29-2015, 11:34 PM)christulsa123 Wrote: The only answer I have is: dont sign a 12 month lease with college roommates,  when one of them is a militant anti-Catholic athiest!  Man that was a hellish year.  :crazy:  :crazy:

Wow.  Tell me more about that. 

At OSU, my first roommate was a stoned out guy who listened to rap music.  He dropped out in the first semester.
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#28
(03-29-2015, 11:40 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:
(03-29-2015, 11:34 PM)christulsa123 Wrote: The only answer I have is: dont sign a 12 month lease with college roommates,  when one of them is a militant anti-Catholic athiest!  Man that was a hellish year.  :crazy:  :crazy:

Wow.  Tell me more about that. 

At OSU, my first roommate was a stoned out guy who listened to rap music.  He dropped out in the first semester.

Its a blur of suppressed memories.  At OU, Junior year, two roommates plus two guys who practically lived there.  Each one stoned or drunk regularly, each one either atheist or agnostic.  I was a practicing, conservative Catholic discerning a call to the priesthood while also applying to med school.  Moved in because one was a childhood friend and I needed out of the dorms which turned out to be an oratory in comparison.

2 semesters of mostly imprudent discussions about God, religion, science, evolution, moral absolutes, etc on almost a DAILY basis simply because I was exactly what they were rebelling
against.  At the time I thought I was stuck in a lease. 

Imagine sitting on a couch every morning for two semesters eating your bowl of cereal looking at semi nude posters on the wall, playboys flung on the coffee table covered with beer bottles, with the militant atheist questioning you why you insist on making the sign of the cross in his presence.

Probably shouldve told him to shut his pie hole and take down the life size Bob Marley, or find someone else to help with rent.  He may have taken my defense of God a little more seriously.

So yeah there are special circumstances, situations when we have to aggressively and militantly shut these anti-Christs down, like when Christ cleansed the temple.
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#29
I've been guilty of responding in kind with hostility instead of turning the other cheek.  I like to look to the ancient Church before Christendom, much as I like to look to St. Ambrose as a guide for dealing with the heterodox.  We have to witness the Gospel ourselves and avoid hypocrisy but all the same we're not bound to force it on the unwilling or tilt at windmills for pagans and atheists who aren't interested in what we have to say and unwilling to be convinced. 
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#30
(03-29-2015, 07:05 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote:
(03-29-2015, 05:41 PM)GRA Wrote: I wouldn't be surprised if the guy suffered from same-sex attraction the way he talks about "equality" and slavery.

He strongly intimated he is gay. He mentioned "breeders," anyway, and referred to the Jewish-dominated, decadent Weimar Republic as "gay heaven" (and it was, as far as active homosexuals go. The Weimar was decadence personified. See this article: from Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2000/11/22/weimar/  See also this book, "Jewish Dominance of Weimar Germany":

[Image: jdwg.JPG]

The stuff in that article and that book is why Hitler came to power; the desire of the Germans to eliminate the leftist Jewish influence over the German culture and economy is behind it, not the Book of John, not Christian theology, as the ADL types like to say (and as the guy in that video said).

As an aside, re. around the 1:07 mark, I love his silly, "Atheism is apolitical. Stalin was an atheist, but you know who else was an atheist? Ayn Rand! So atheism's got nothing to do with politics!" WTF? Rand wrote all about politcs LOL

I also "dig" how he goes on with his hatred toward Christianity and Islam, saying "you two religions are the WORST" -- leaving out Judaism, likely because he's Jewish, and neverminding the role of Jews in the slave trade, the racism of the Talmud, the "homophobia" (by his definition) of the same and of the Torah -- i.e., everything he hates Christianity for but which Christianity never brought about or condoned in the first place.

Yes, good points.

I'm always suspicious when someone - regardless of sexuality - refers to opposite-sex relations as "breeders." That's a very insidious if not bizarre & bitter way of referring to the those who decide to have kids the natural way. All of a sudden a man & a women steps closer to that of livestock to the social "progressives."

You can always tell whether or not one is a heretical Christian or a bitter modernist (now post-modernist?) when they delve into the "history" of a subject matter that they obviously spent hours reading upon -- mostly the the LGBT culture and how they think it should be accepted, normalized and celebrated. It like how people go on and on about the Crusades or how Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, or how the Bible supported multiple wives and sex partners etc.

I'm generally new to taking my faith more seriously but even I can smell such people a mile away. They'll deny the smell, of course. If there's one thing I've learned in the past couple of years is this: The Church is, for the most part, clear on what she wants from us. The standards aren't muddled or hard to interpret. When someone comes along and says "It's filled with greyness" or that their interpretation falls right in line with modernism, I can't help but think that they're either misguided or trying to persuade the more "prudish" to say go along, and latter, accept their interpretation. The goal is to modernize the Church and to change the teachings.
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