Some people joke about “angry atheists” and act as though they are little children who are throwing temper tantrums. While I don’t agree with anyone who calls people names or bashes them for their beliefs, and I believe everyone has the right to believe what they want, I can see why many atheists are angry. I am an “angry atheist” myself- and here are some of the reasons why.
(Note that when I refer to Christians, I am referring primarily to fundamentalist Christians who seem to be the most vocal and harmful in their beliefs and actions. There are certainly exceptions.)
I am angry because the gay and lesbian community have endured unimaginable hurt because of the teaching that homosexuality is an abomination. Gay and lesbian teens and young adults have the highest suicide and depression rates because they are told that they are disgusting, are headed to hell, no one likes them, that they must always be alone and never act on their feelings, etc.
I am angry because Christians are pushing their personal beliefs on other people through the legal system. They don’t want to serve gays in their businesses, they want prayer enforced in schools, God on our money, cherry picked sins regulated, etc.
I am angry because modern Christianity does not really follow scripture and no one can agree on anything, and yet they want to rule the country based on their flawed interpretation of the Bible.
I am angry because all sin is supposed to be the same, and yet they only wish to outlaw certain ones- while they do sinful things themselves. It’s so hypocritical it’s borderline ridiculous.
I am angry because Christians cite “religious persecution” when people ask for equal rights or ask that Christians stop pushing their beliefs on others. It is not religious persecution when you get special privileges and then deny basic rights to others.
I am angry because churches have a tax free status but use the pulpit for promoting politics and personal gain.
I am angry because Christianity speaks of helping the poor, and yet millions are spent on opposing gay marriage or building mega churches instead of aiding starving people overseas.
I am angry because Christians get so many special privileges and then complain when they cannot have more, or when they cannot regulate the lives of others.
I am angry because Christians blame the problems of the world on non-believers and sinners instead of looking for the real problems and helping to address them. Instead of blaming hurricanes on the gays, why not send aid for the victims?
I am angry because supporters of creationism and opponents of abortion often use false or twisted information to support their views, often deliberately misrepresenting the other side or using shock tactics to get their point across.
I am angry because I am supposed to accept the atrocities described in the Bible as justified and even moral simply because God did them or commanded them. Calling genocide and mistreatment of women moral is despicable to me, and yet I must push that aside and accept that “god knows best”.
I am angry because Christianity has been and still is used to hurt others, and yet I am asked to respect it and not challenge it.
I am angry because I am told that I must not question the teachings of Christianity. If I do, I am suffering an “attack of Satan”, I am weak, I am a failure. It’s only acceptable to doubt if it strengthens my original belief.
I am angry because I was taught to fear reason, logic, and science, and to throw out any information that did not line up with my preconceived ideas.
I am angry because when I change my beliefs I am viewed with suspicion, anger, and judgement. I am considered a failure, rebellious, my original devotion to Christianity is doubted, and I am suddenly considered a moral degenerate. I’m told “it’s a phase”, and I’m not taken seriously. Friends mistreat and abandon me, and I am accused of having led a double life. I’m not good enough as I am; I must always stay a believer in order to be really accepted, respected, and be given the benefit of the doubt. Other non-believers are accepted because they are “prospects” for Christianity.
I am angry because I was encouraged to be myself and always stand for what I believed in- until I didn’t agree with them any more. Then I was called a horrible example, people were horrified at my views, and I lost friends.
I am angry because Christians say that atheists have no morals, even though that is not true. Atheist countries prove that a country without religion will not crumble into chaos or have high crime rates; in fact the opposite is true.
I am angry because I was told that I am nothing without God, that I am worthless and helpless and incapable of making my decisions without his help. This has caused me and countless others to have low self esteem and self worth, to have difficulties in making decisions, etc. Being proud of and even acknowledging my own accomplishments was wrong.
I am angry because I grew up caring way too much about what other people thought of me. I was taught that my outward appearance would cause men to sin, that I must always be a good example to others, that my actions must lead others to Christ, etc; so I was constantly thinking about how others saw me.
I am angry because I grew up thinking that sex was dirty, and that my body was sinful. I believed that my sexual desires were disgusting, that I was some kind of sexual deviant for having fantasies and having normal sexual feelings. I was ashamed and afraid of my body, my mind, and my desires.
I am angry because no matter how moral I tried to be, I could never be good enough. All the teachings of grace do not change the fact that we are supposedly morally degenerate because we cannot meet this impossible moral standard.
I am angry because young children are being taught to not think for themselves, but rather are scared with hell and told to believe like the people around them.
I am angry because when I dared to question something as a believer, I was told that “there are some things you just don’t question.”
I am angry because I see injustice and hurt being promoted by religion regularly, whether intentionally or unintentionally by the people involved. It’s not a rare and unheard of thing, it’s a part of daily life for many people.
Anger is not always a bad thing. When it’s a response to injustice and hurt, anger can be useful for driving positive change. And it’s an important part of overcoming grief and hurt. The important thing is to not let it become bitterness, self consuming, or to allow it to be directed at individuals. When injustice is done, people must stand for freedom and kindness. But eventually anger must fade and be resolved in order for us to move on and find peace; it must be exchanged for balanced action when needed and a more peaceful mindset that does not revolve around the past.
I found some cool resources on this topic that are really good: