Monday, May 2, 2016

Trust Me, I'm an Atheist

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If, like me, you are on Facebook or other social media and you have great atheist friends you probably saw the report about a FOX News story entitled Priest On Fox News: It’s Hard To Trust Atheists Because They Don’t Fear Eternal Damnation. I've got to tell you, I try so hard to keep politics and religion off of my Facebook profile because I like to keep it light and fun and personal. And because I have beloved family and friends who are believers and I feel no need to distress them.

That goal can be difficult, though, when some stories hit my ears. I admit that I am a poor reporter of news stories because, embarrassing to admit, I don't follow the news. The advantage of this is that I have peace of mind and I don't share political stuff on my Facebook profile.  *wink*

Anyway, when this story posted on The Intellectualist I had to say something. 

 Father Jonathan Morris
Part of what bothers me is this picture of the priest, Catholic priest and Fox News contributor Father Jonathan Morris, with his boy-next-door grin and Trust-Me blue eyes all while sitting on the comfy couch, projecting a kind face while bashing the integrity and goodness of nonbelievers as a whole. He may very well be a pretty good guy for all I know. But I think that spewing this type of unfair, untrue, divisive, and completely rude rhetoric deserves to be contradicted.

By me.

On Facebook my brief response to this story was:  
WOW. So very inaccurate.  I beg to differ. I am completely trustworthy because I know that THIS LIFE is essential and that THIS LIFE and THESE PEOPLE need me to be trustworthy.I am also trustworthy because...I just am.  SO, this priest can take his cute blue eyes and sweet face and go find someone else to fear...and bash.
All the while, he's just sitting there on the comfy couch, speaking for the church, having the ear of so many believers, speaking as though what he says is incontrovertible truth.

What I neglected to add was that there is absolutely nothing about the religious that make me trust them any more or any less than any other general human in the world, and far less in some cases. And even more important, the nonbelievers of the world are trustworthy for reasons not related to fear of eternal damnation and more because they simply choose to be credible, sensible, and ethical. Most people, believers and nonbelievers alike, live lives where they consistently make choices of love, fairness, and respect - and that has nothing to do with blind faith but choice.

So you are wrong, Father Morris.
And as most of us do when we are wrong, it would be nice to hear an apology, a retraction, some sort of reparation would be nice, and a statement of plans to improve. Maybe an effort to learn beyond the box of religion would be nice too...because you seem to speak for the church, and people listen to you.

Did you see the story?

How did you respond?

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