A new Christian tactic?


This is new.

I’ve been writing about secular history and atheism for about 15 years. When the Heathen’s books first hit the best seller list there wasn’t even an internet. It’s sold well all over the world, has been released in several languages with new translations coming out soon, and overall I do damned well with it.

Unless you’re talking to a Christian.

For the last couple weeks I’ve been getting e-mails and comments-on-site from a bunch of different Christians that are essentially saying the same thing: “You’re not doing well, no one is listening to you, and you may as well pack it in and go home.”

I’m used to the semi-weekly “You’re going to Hell” e-mail, as well as the regular belligerent “You have no idea what you’re talking about” comments. But this latest round seems to be trying to be more discouraging than contrary. I am seriously wondering if this is a new, contrived approach being advocated in Christian circles: ‘If you can’t prove your points well enough, try to dishearten the atheist until he shuts up and goes away.’

It’s definitely strange.



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12 Responses to “A new Christian tactic?”
  1. John Draper says:

    Keep up the good work – may you sell millions of copies and get on the NY Times best seller list.

  2. Bill says:

    I think this behavior is linked to the modern anti-knowledge and anti-science frame of reference currently in vogue in the culture, and wildly in evidence in the US Republican presidential primary race.

    My father, born in 1913, grew into adulthood with an 8th grade education, and he knew he was ignorant of everything but refrigeration mechanics. He was quite opinionated when it came to industrial refrigeration, and his employers listened to him and he was successful as a worker. However, when it came to things medical, scientific, literary, or even religious, he kept his mouth shut except in the presence of children who didn’t know what he knew to well: he was an ignorant man.

    In stark contrast, recent times bring us people who have decided that ignorance is a prideful state as long as you believe you should be proud of it. So Will, your experience of religious folks being dismissive rather than combative is borne out of their sense that what you have to say doesn’t really matter, as for them argument based in any reality other than their belief system is completely irrelevant. You are an object of pity, a victim of your questioning mind.

    As I look around, I find the only hope for our species in those who appear to be outgrowing the whole concept of “faith” in any form. They aren’t terribly vocal (save brilliant exceptions such as yourself), but they are numerous in every culture around the world. We’re seeing examples in Arab countries as well as Asian & European, so we may yet be saved from the consequences of the devoted ignorant, but it’s going to be a squeaker.

  3. admin says:

    First, I definitely appreciate all the comments on this one. Thanks. Bill: The amazing thing to me is that many I speak to THINK they are educated. They’ll scream you down on evolution, but have no idea what the double-helix (genome) is or how it works. Still, they always feign superior knowledge based on what they believe rather than what they have learned from observation and study. Frustrating… which I htink is why so few people vocally oppose religions. It’s just too aggrevating to bother getting into it.

    John: My car broke down in Belleville on my way to see you. I will try again soon.

  4. Bill says:

    Yeah, opposing dogmatic religion is like opposing adolescence. Frustrating, except teenagers ultimately grow out it.

  5. Steve says:

    If they’re complaining, you’re doing something right. (Or if it’s just the Pentacostals whining, you’re having too much fun).

    Either way, loved the book. Even bought one for my adult son.

    Let me share a story with you: My son went to a private religious school, as did I.(Nothing makes a better atheist than religious training.) Anyway, he told me the story of his pastor giving a sermon/lecture/speech whatever. In his story, he said that he used to read literature by the opposing side. (You know; books on satanism, atheism and presumably books on logic, science and common sense). He said that after reading one particular atheist book, he placed the book on the table along with his bible and that he immediately heard the sound of sizzling, popping, cracking and the sounds of evil whispering in the air (I”m not making this up). He said that he immediately threw the book in the trash outside because it was filled with the devil. This little speech was given to all the children of the school, Kindergarten through High School!!

    They are, for the most part, not just opposed to an alternate viewpoint, they are repulsed and terrified by it. If you are getting a response, it’s striking a nerve.

    Keep the “faith” Bill.

  6. admin says:

    I can only hope that the book he put on the bible was one of mine.

  7. Paul says:

    It’s interesting to see these Xians with their ‘superior morals’ making up facts in these emails. Sounds like pre-meditated lying to me. I was taught that is a sin.

    Keep up the good work, Will. I am listening.

  8. Nikkii says:

    Here you are Mr Hopper! I’ve been lonesomely following your old WordPress blog and assumed you’d been raptured back in April 2010 – as if!

    I see I have a lot to catch up on….

  9. admin says:

    Yeah they kept telling me I had to have my own site and blog/chat room. Been a pain trying to get folks to find me, though the .com looks better I think. I eventually caved on the chat room idea though… too much work keeping the spam off site.

  10. Nikkii says:

    Are you on Twitter? Are you cross posting to Facebook? Integrate man! Tis the social media way 😉

  11. nikki says:

    First and foremost, I loved your book Heathens Guide to world religion, nicely summed up the history and major bullshit that made up each religion, nicely done, wishing I would of read that book before reading about all the unnecessary crap in my world religion corse ( I could of had the cliff notes right there man!), on another note I wish you could publicly desolate some of that hate mail you received, fanatics always make for good entertainment.. keep up the good work!

  12. admin says:

    Thanks. I tried to get it into my alma mater in the religion course, but the department deemed that it has “no academic validity” Bastards.

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