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‘Christian Bashing’ and Charity

Recently a Christian commented on a forum that he was tired of all the “Christian basing” and that Christians do so much good in the world. He pointed out that Christians are often first on the scene of disasters and give more to charity than atheists do. So I wrote him a response and thought I would share it here:

First, criticizing a particular idea or belief isn’t “bashing,” it is criticism. If you don’t want your ideas and beliefs criticized, don’t put them out into the market place of ideas. In the market place of ideas, all ideas and beliefs should be open for criticism.

Second, Christians are first on the scene to exploit people’s misfortune. This is because the Christian belief system advocates converting others at all costs. So when people are suffering, Christians are often the first to shove their Bibles in the faces of those in need. Also, atheist organizations are relatively new but individual atheists are often there on the ground and helping others alongside those of every other religion. We’re just not dicks about it.

If Christians really just want to help others, that would be great but they should leave their Bibles at home. Don’t go into third world nations and try to buy converts with bribes of food, water, and medicine. That isn’t right. Also, don’t go to Africa (where there is an AIDS epidemic) and tell people that condoms cause AIDS (like the Pope does).

The Gates Foundation for the record has done more to combat Malaria in Africa than any Christian group and Bill Gates is an atheist. But he doesn’t go down there to preach Humanism; he just helps people in need.

I am criticizing the idea that Christianity preaches that spreading “The Word” is the most important thing a Christian can do. I am criticizing the idea that it is more important to save the soul than to save human lives. That’s honest criticism, not “Christian bashing.”

Supporting the Spread of Reason

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  • silkworm

    Staks, that is one of the best essays I’ve read in a long time. You’ve summed up the arguments beautifully.

  • http://statusviatoris.wordpress.com/ Status Viatoris

    Fantastic argument – a much more eloquent version of the one I have tried to use in the past to absolutely no avail when “discussing” the topic with Christians (usually in retaliation for some inane statement declaring that without religion people wouldn’t ever help their fellow man http://statusviatoris.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/just-call-me-the-anti-christ/). I’ve just discovered your blog and am loving it. It even relieves me of the need to write the occasional atheist post on my own blog, because you do it so much better!