THE CATHOLIC HTOWNER:
In my previous post, I started talking about 15 things to say to an atheist at all times. Let's continue:
6. "You just have to have faith!"
Oh man, will you have fun using this. Why? Atheists somehow have it in their heads faith means accepting something without evidence. I don't know of any dictionary that gives faith that definition; in fact, the only work I can find with that definition is that deplorable waste of wood pulp called The God Delusion....but then again, that's not a dictionary and never claimed it was.
The most common definitions I've found are "complete trust or confidence in someone or something" and “holding firmly to and acting on what you have good reason to believe is true."
Anyone with any common sense would agree by those definitions, we all have faith in some capacity. Sure, the atheist may ask why we aren't skeptical, but that's the problem with skepticism: eventually you have to accept something as true no matter what.
7. "Just open your heart to God."
Once again, you'll have fun using this. Because no matter what answer the atheist gives, the Christian can turn this into exposing the atheist's sick thinking. After all, they may say there's nothing wrong with their heart but the Psalms say "a fool in his heart says there is no god."
The truth is the atheist may claim they're open to evidence, but when confronted with evidence they either can't refute or don't feel like listening to, they shut down, change the subject or just walk off like children.
8. You were never religious in the first place.
When using this, be prepared to hear a whole diatribe about how the atheist grew up religious but later in life now think it's garbage.
Know now their story is a lie: when they say they rejected religion, what they're actually talking about is rejecting some form of Protestantism and as mentioned in a previous post, studies have shown Protestantism to be the main cause of today's atheism. Sometimes you'll come across an ex-Catholic, but it all comes down to the same problem:
No one sat them down and told them what Christianity really teaches.
You may still get a "I don't believe that" or a "that can't be true" from atheists when you teach them the actual truth. If they try this, point out how they're not being open-minded.
As an aside, I find it both funny and odd that atheists think it's possible for an atheist to come from a religious household...but not possible to come from an atheist household and be religious as an adult.
9. What happened in your childhood?
Out of all the smack I give atheism (and will continue to do so), I will admit there is no one answer why people give up belief in God. However, in his work Faith of the Fatherless, Professor Paul Vitz (himself a former atheist) concluded atheists tend to have unloving, absent or weak fathers growing up whereas their religious counterparts had strong, loving fathers.
Now, I'm not a psychologist or a mind-reader, but considering for a moment the breakdown of fathers raising their kids is itself atheist in origin (or even if I'm wrong on that, it certainly isn't from Christianity), and factoring in studies that show the father's faith holds the greatest influence on the kid's faith as adults, I'm going to consider this hypothesis plausible.
10. Have you read the Bible?
I can answer that right now...
No, they have NOT actually read the Bible.
They don't know it better than a Christian and they certainly don't know it better than a third grader.
Every single atheist I've come across that quoted the Bible to me either got the verse flat out wrong, took it out of context, or missed some other relevant point.
NONE could even name the correct number of books in the Bible.
Sometimes an atheist will point out to a study that showed atheists knew the Bible better than Christians. Too bad for atheists, I have that study right here and it didn't conclude that. Closer inspection shows the survey consisted of 32 questions, and only 12 of them had anything to do with Christianity. It even says in one section Mormons and Evangelicals scored the highest on Christianity, not atheists. Atheists either scored about the same as Protestants, or had a lower score than Evangelicals.
But they didn't say their knowledge was the same as Christians, did they?