Because I usually find these discussions to be pointless, I’m going to say this once. I am a religious person who also happens to be educated, liberal, and skeptical. People like me exist. We’ve always existed. And through the years, we’ve done little things like establish the first colleges that accepted blacks and women; rail against Hitler before most anyone else would; and make such scientific discoveries as: cells (which were named after monk cells), Newtonian physics (where Newton said he was thinking God’s thoughts after him) and the birth control pill (which was supposed to work with a woman’s God-given cycle). You can argue against religion. I’ll even enjoy the conversation. But if you argue against my faith by reducing all of us to a bunch of cherry-picking, xenophobic, anti-intellectuals, you’ll defeat yourself by showing that you have to reduce your opponent to a straw man before you can even engage him. Worse than that, you’ll help to put religious power only in the hands of the ignorant, bigoted asshats that you apparently want us all to be. So: Be an atheist. Knock yourself out. But for the good of the world, please be a smart one.
(Originally posted January 31, 2015)