But then another bunch of religious garbage plugs my reader feed and I remember that those folks are the religious outliers and not the religious norm. The following is an example of why Atheists need to speak out - even if it at times creates some tension.
Recently a young man named Ronnie Smith was murdered in Libya. He was there as a teacher with an international school. He leaves behind a wife and son.
He was also a Christian. I don't know to what extent he was using his position as a wedge to proselytize in the culture. To be honest, I don't care to know. It does not change the tragedy.
However, conservative evangelical pastor John Piper seems to think his reason for being there was to bring people to the Christian faith. As such, Piper views Smith's death as a small price to pay when weighed against the souls Smith saved from "something worse than death". Piper goes on:
"I call thousands of you to take Ronnie’s place. They will not kill us fast enough. Let the replacements flood the world."Piper is not calling on people to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, or teach the uneducated. To Piper, and much of Christendom, the call to harm's way is about the after-life. This life is nothing but a preparation for the next. Choose wrongly, and you will be assigned to a never-ending horror show - by a god who loves you. Piper wants to get you on the right team before you die.
Religious people like Piper set culture against culture. They create soldiers to fight an imagined and contrived war. They encourage people to waste time and resources in battles that do nothing for humanity. Worse, in cases like this, they celebrate tragedy; confident it is another score for their team.
Beyond that, they go on to encourage others to sacrifice their precious lives for these mythical errands.
The power of these horrible, life-draining myths are becoming weaker with each passing day. Let us speed their end.