Little Dianna Atheist, dancing through the forest, picking up Christians and
bashing them on the head...
Confessions of a Christian Basher
Iíve had another epiphany. Fireworks are lighting up in my brain. These jolts
of understanding hit me a lot more often since I realized atheism than they did
before that time. I wouldnít say it necessarily has anything to do with atheism;
instead, it has to do with the regular practice of thinking, something I can
honestly admit I avoided in the past and the very thing that led to finding
myself among the heathen.
I suppose I ought to qualify myselfĖ-my epiphanies might better be described
as "duh" moments because it always turns out my brilliant insight was staring me
in the face asking to be noticed, or worse, remembered all along. This time it
arrived after a brittle confrontation with a Christian. I was accused,
indirectly, of Christian bashingĖof ripping people to shreds for their beliefs.
I was properly aghast at the charge. Sure, I can be a solid foe once you poke
me, but I donít attack people outright with no provocation. And while I try to
be honest about my thoughts and feelings regarding religion, especially
Christianity as I know more about that one, Iíve never ripped a person to shreds
physically or emotionally.
Long ago in that horrid institution known as high school, I learned my
lesson. Before this particular incident I remember a few others in which I said
or did something on purpose that hurt another person. This time, I was older and
wiser and frankly should have known better. Iíd like to say it was the fault of
the culture, but nah, it was just me being jealous and acting out. I told
another girl that my mother disapproved of her as a friend and that I could no
longer be hers. My mother had said no such thing. Iíd joined a bandwagon of
girls unloading on this one, took my turn and for that, cried all the way home.
I called her as soon as I arrived there and apologized. I donít know why I
said it and the look on her face when I did told me Iíd hurt her. I canít recall
ever doing such a thing again. I donít like hurting people. I donít like
confronting people. I donít like having people angry at me. I donít even like it
when people donít like me. Iím basically a relationship wimp. Part of the reason
realizing atheism was hard for me was the subsequent realization that a lot
people donít like atheists very much, to say the least.
So, why would someone think of me as an antagonistic, hurtful person now? A
Christian basher? Why would someone imagine me thinking to myself, "Why donít I
insult my Christian friend today?" The idea is silly. One would think a person
would need a reason to automatically assign injurious motives to another
personís behavior. As far as I can tell, Iím not generally known as a basher in
the company I keep; so why did this person assume I meant to hurt her?
Iíve heard of this plague of Christian bashing before. Iíve been told that we
live in an anti-Christian society. Thatís a rather bizarre claim, as there are
churches everywhere with their billboards advertising their moral and
intellectual superiority with cutesy sayings. Theyíve got their God in our
Pledge and on our money and in our oaths. Could an atheist get elected president
in this anti-Christian climate? Are you out of your mind? According to one poll
I read recently, a convicted felon is a better choice for voters than an
Why do some Christians think theyíre being bashed all the time? Well, I
figured it out. The truth is they arenít being bashed. Duh. Bashing would be
harsh, threatening, or belittling criticism, especially involving personal
insult. Bashing Christians would be calling them "stupid" or "idiotic." It might
involve large groups of people agreeing in public that Christianity is
ridiculous and ought to be wiped out. Certainly telling Christians they should
leave the country if they donít like the way we do things here would qualify.
But thatís not whatís been going on.
The truth is that those who claim that Christian bashing is a common
occurrence are either so sure theyíre right about everything or so scared
theyíre wrong, that questioning or disagreeing with their beliefs is tantamount
to a vicious attack. Any sort of humor aimed at their religion is blasphemous
vitriol. Their beliefs, and therefore they themselves, are venerable and beyond
They can attack you, mind you, and they do so with gusto and quite a bit of
self-righteous snobbery. But do not dare stand up for yourself, or worse, demand
respect by going against what theyíve stated as fact. Thatís Christian bashing!
And if youíre an atheist you donít have to say or do anything to bash a
ChristianĖ-apparently just being you will do the trick.
Granted, Iíve gone so far as to not only declare my atheism (Effrontery!),
but write a book about it (Slamming!), run a website about it (Knocking!), and
regularly write letters to editors concerning separation of state and church
(Bullying!). This is all, apparently, purposeful Christian bashing. When
Christians do these things itís out of love and concern for our nation and their
fellow man. When I do it, itís ripping people to shreds for their beliefs.
Knowing what I am and what I do, a Christian can take virtually anything I
say, especially as regards religion, as bashing.
Me: Whatís up with the Pope, eh?
Christian: How dare you impose your non-values on me!
Me: The Christian Right has taken over the Republican party.
Christian: Stop ripping me to shreds because of my beliefs!
I donít like upsetting people. I wish I could stop all this bashing. But, I
fear the only other option is to agree with everything Christians say. Iíve
never been a good candidate for Stepford so I guess Iíll have to learn to
embrace this new label. Iím doing well so far, I think, as this entire essay has
been one long example of Christian bashing. Hey, when you find something youíre
good at, you ought to stick with it.