What do Christians do Better Than Atheists? December 18, 2007

What do Christians do Better Than Atheists?

I made my own list to answer that question earlier this year.

Dale McGowan, author of Parenting Beyond Belief, has his own thoughts on the issue.

Only a few of our ideas overlap, so go check out his list.

Did we leave anything off the lists altogether?

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • Mriana

    You did leave out one: They know the words to Christmas Carols as well as the right words to the right carol. 😆

    See the Dawkins book thread, if you are confused and if you are confused, GOOD! means my son and me are not alone. 😆

  • One thing Christians do better is “be fruitful and multiply”. We all need to get out there and make more babies!!! 😉 But yes, I know… overpopulation and depletion of the worlds resources is a real problem…

  • PrimateIR

    Christians are better at posing as victims. No matter how large their group becomes, they still use word choices that suggest that they are a down trodden minority.

  • I’m not sure I’m fully convinced by the “religious people provide more support to community members in need” point. The poster relies on anecdotal evidence, which may be accurate, but we have no way of knowing. Furthermore, he mentions the actions of only one freethought group, and only vaguely refers to how Christian groups act. I wouldn’t be surprised if what he said were true, but I think it requires more in the way of confirmation.

  • I hadn’t seen that earlier post of yours, Hemant! Splendid stuff, this betrayal of one’s own. I’m interested to watch the comments to see if we offer exceptions in protest like Christians do on my blog. Mostly not, so far.

    (Regarding the comment about anecdotal evidence for supportive community: I used one anecdote but have seen the same thing in a dozen secular orgs.)

  • valhar2000

    What do Christians do Better Than Atheists?

    Ensure that the children they molest won’t tell on them?

    But then, that’s just ministers and youth group leaders. Christian blue collar workers probably have just as hard a time as anybody else shutting those damn kids up.

  • Viggo the Carpathian

    I think that the reason atheists don’t excel in many of the areas listed is that atheists are not group think types. Trying to get a group of atheists to go in one direction is like herding cats.

    That’s the problem with free thinking individuals, they don’t make good subjects.

  • Mriana

    Oh Viggo, I herd cats all the time. 😀 You just have to have food and you can get them to follow you anywhere. 😆 Of course, they are my girls and I’m like mama to them. So, I guess that doesn’t count.

  • I don’t think anyone is saying if anyone is an atheist, they need to be part of an organization. Just look at the huge number of Christians who don’t go to church. They just don’t find value in it. The same thing happens with atheist groups. Of course, some atheists may have a general distrust of any organization. Also, there are atheists who aren’t social.

    For the people who would like an organization, I think there is enough common ground for causes to champion despite individual philosophies. Plus, there are more groups starting all the time, so you should be able to find whichever one fits your philosophy best. If you really really like to bitch about religion with other cantankerous coots, there is a place for you. If you want a church replacement, that’s where some groups are lacking. Atheist groups shouldn’t be about telling other atheists what to do, but should fill a need, or provide a service or sense of community that is lacking.

  • TXatheist

    Thanks Hemant and Dale. I remember that study by Campbell and Yonish but couldn’t locate or remember enough details to find it. I don’t think we atheists organize as well or unite in causes as well and some atheists can’t remember names of guys that provide valuable studies.

  • What do Christians do Better Than Atheists?

    Ummm . . .pray?

  • Julie

    Christians are better at getting elected to public offices.

  • Contemporary classical music.


    Disclaimer: I’m not even remotely an expert in the field, and this is all strictly IMO. But the secular contemporary classical music I’ve heard has largely been uninspiring and soulless, intellectual exercises with little or no emotional impact. The good stuff is the religious choral music: Part, Messiaen, etc. Gorgeous, stirring, haunting. Totally kick-ass.

  • Laramie

    Hmmm… The positive ones may all be covered… Gotta head to the other end of the spectrum. (Cynical, yet sincere…) Inquisite, crusade, exorcise, slow/delay progress of civil rights, violate the First Amendment (especially separation of church and state), interpreting sacred texts, killing in the name of, creating names (have you ever looked up name etymologies?), combining open mouths with closed minds… I think Julie’s answer takes the cake for “most painfully true.”

    Hey now, how come your spell checker doesn’t recognize inquisite? You’re not employing The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, are you? =) Geeeez – it’s not even on Onelook. Whatever; it’s right here in my unabridged dictionary…

  • They also make great movies…..

    Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Apocalypto); Denzel Washington; Ralph Winter (X-Men movies, Lost); Howard Kazanjian (Raiders of the Lot Ark, Return of the Jedi); Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Hellraiser: Inferno)…

    Of course, Christians can also make really, really , really bad movies… Left Behind, Omega Code….. oh my.

  • Form communities. I’ve seen various secular groups over the years but churches are a bit different animal: baptizing kids, coming of age ceremonies, funerals, being with a group of folks over one’s life through thick and thin.

    There used to be secular equivalents. The socialist movement in the early 20th century was good at this: from summer camps to having their own lending agency to their own choirs and socialist sunday schools. But I can’t think of anything like that today.

    I actually am encouraged when I saw the piece on atheist sunday school (there may be lessons to learned with folks who do UU programs) and summer camps because those things more than a knock down argument from Hitchens (no pun intended) is key.

  • I’m encouraged by the thoughtful comments here. I’ve noticed a tendency in many freethinkers to be self-congratulatory and pretty thin-skinned when it comes to critiques of our own movement. Someone’s busily tearing me a new one in my post’s comment thread as we speak.

    Maybe it’s a sign of movement maturity if we can get out of our defensive cultural crouch long enough to take a few swings at each other.

  • HappyNat

    Thank you

  • Lie to themselves. Denial

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