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The Reason Christians are Offended by Atheists

It seems that many religious people are offended every time an atheist makes his or her lack of belief known. This is why organized atheism offends them so much lately. Why are they so offended by our mere existence?

In George Orwell’s book 1984, there is a very interesting and often overlooked conversation. In this conversation, O’Brian informs Winston that he (O’Brian) can float on a bubble. O’Brian then contends that if Winston and he both believe this to be true and no one is around to disagree then it is in fact true and O’Brian really can float on a bubble. But if just one person doubts this reality, then that reality is shattered for everyone. Truth, O’Brian claims is what everyone (without exception) believes Truth to be. With that in mind, O’Brian later tells Winston that he can’t just simply kill Winston for opposing Big Brother, but rather he has to first get Winston to believe in Big Brother and then he can kill him. Everyone must know that Winston believes.

For religion, they have a reality which is not based on scientific investigation. Their reality is based merely on assertion. They assert that God exists and if everyone in society agrees with them, then they have “Truth.” The religious worldview is based on authority and as such, everyone must believe otherwise their reality is shattered for everyone. Atheism is a threat to their entire reality.

Every time an atheist lets his or her lack of belief known they are reminding the religious that their reality is an illusion. An atheist need not even be critical of religion; our mere presence is an attack on their entire reality. Could you imagine if O’Brian said he could float on a bubble and a room full of people agreed, but then one person stood up and said, “No, you’re not.” That reality would be ruined for everyone.

Atheists need to come out of the closet more and let people know that we are out there and that we don’t believe in their reality. We have to continue to make our presence known. Being critical of religious ideas is also important, but the most important thing is to exist and to let them know we exist.

Stephen Hawking said it best when he stated that, “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.”

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