I watched the new episode of 30 days featuring an atheist living with a Christian family and though it wasn’t utterly horrible, I question the legitimacy of such behaviour on part of atheists. I do not think it is our responsibility to teach Christians jack squat about ourselves. We are not their “mammies” and shouldn’t behave in such a manner as it does little more than reinforce the religious privelage they are so used to.
If anyone should be finding out how the “other half” lives – that is Christians as they tend to know next to nothing about any other group besides their own. When it comes to atheists, it is Christians with the extremely distorted view – not vice versa.
Most atheists in America are formerly religous and many would list their former religion as Christianity. Many deconversion stories contain the idea that it was studying religion that destroyed their belief. Atheists are, for the most part – there are exceptions, extremely informed when it comes to religion not only from personal perusal, but also because of loud demands by Christians that we study their belief systems lest we be labeled ‘close-minded’ or something likewise.
On the other hand, Christians tend to know very little about atheism. Most don’t even know what atheism means, choosing instead to define it as “anti-God” even if there’s an atheists there to refute such claims. Chrisitans of theocratic leanings try to define it as a religion.
They rarely study anything by atheists and most of the time that’s only because they’re true intent is to convert not converse. They may demand access to our children – but demand the opposite – that atheists be allowed to go up in Sunday School and tell all the kiddies that Dad’s a liar because there are no gods and Hell is a figment of Mommy’s imagination. It’s inconceivable to most.
In short, they’re ignorant about atheism and have extremely biased views of atheists that are demeaning, vicious and cruel. Thus, shouldn’t it be Christians who have to move in with atheists and be exposed to something they have a de facto privilege of not being exposed to on a daily basis? Why should atheists be the ones reaching out to them?
From my POV, reaching out to them keeps them in their privileged spot and really doesn’t change a thing. After the conversation is over, they go back to their little worlds secure they made a good impression no matter how horribly they actually behaved and perhaps “planted a seed” that’ll score them some points with their god somewhere down the road.
Honestly, I think there should be a show where no actual atheists are involved. Just a group of Christians, related or not, that sign a contract that requires them to be overtly atheistic for a set period of time and moved into an area where no one knows they’re just pretending to not believe. That I think would be a real eye opener for them and perhaps they’d actually learn a thing or two.
And we atheists could take bets on how long it’ll take before they crack without having to put ourselves in risky situations.