Pastor Rick Warren Knows Why You Became an Atheist December 3, 2009

Pastor Rick Warren Knows Why You Became an Atheist

People become atheists because of hurt, then seek intellectual arguments to validate their desire to live without God.

That’s what esteemed pastor Rick Warren wrote on his Twitter account last night.

Ah, yes, I remember when I became an atheist. It was the night daddy beat me…

Of course, Warren is full of shit. He doesn’t understand atheists but he knows he can say whatever he wants and his followers will simply smile and nod (and retweet).

We become atheists for a variety of reasons — many of us do so because the intellectual arguments against a god’s existence force us to reexamine our religious beliefs and, ultimately, reject them. You don’t reject God first and ask questions later.

Do some people lose their faith because they were hurt? Sure. Sometimes. But even for them, it would be wrong to assume that that was the end of the thought process. The initial loss of faith just makes them question their religious beliefs even harder. Eventually, the notion that gods don’t exist begins to make sense. It’s a long process, though.

In any case, it’s a mistake to generalize about why people are atheists. And it’s complete ignorance to think people become atheists because they want to “live without god,” the implication being that we want to be immoral and we need to find justification for it.

Reader Walker came up with a few similar tweets about Christians — I think the important thing to note is that these statements are ones you might actually hear in the atheist community, but they’re oversimplifications that don’t apply to most Christians, and we’d be wrong to spread them:

People become Christians because their parents made them go to church, then reject intellectual arguments because of social pressure.

People become Christians because they fear death, then embrace the ideas of afterlife and divine sacrifice to excuse their behavior in life.

People become Christians because Rick Warren scams them with his profit-driven new-age spiritual bullshit, then disparage atheists because it’s easier than being intellectually honest.

Actually, I kind of like that last one… but it’s more than 140 characters… 🙂

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  • Eddie

    Wow. It’s all become so clear all of a sudden.

  • Classic mischaracterization of the opponent(though why atheists are considered opponent…).

    This brings up something that has always annoyed me. The word atheist means without theism. It implies a negative and cannot even be uttered without acknowledging its antithesis. Atheism is humankind’s natural state. Theism is the added layer of garbage. We don’t say that people with all there limbs in tact are nonamputees.
    I realize that this is the word we have but it has been stained by the very ones that coined it. I don’t support the smugness of the ‘Brights’ thing but as homosexuals redefined themselves gay, we need a word or name or something that isn’t a negative.

    Anyway, Rick Warren is a bit of an idiot and peddles non-sense to a facile lot of self-proclaimed sheep. He wouldn’t understand free inquiry and a true need to look at the world as it really is if it bit him on the sanctimonious ass.

  • Kaylya

    Don’t many people become Christians because of hurt? I.e. they’re at rock bottom and call out to God and join a church? And sometimes that does mark the point where their life legitimately changes for the better, although acknowledging to someone (even an imaginary friend) that they need help and joining a supportive community are undoubtedly a huge part of that.

    At least atheists rarely if ever try and spread the word through homeless shelters and addiction programs. (As in, while there are secular shelters and addiction programs, they aren’t out there to try and persuade the clients anything about the existence or non existence of God).

  • Going with what Kaylya said, I can totally channel *my* Rick Warren.

    “People become theists because of hurt, then seek emotional arguments to quell their fear of living in a world without God.”

  • Revyloution

    I’m always offended by these type of comments. They just assume that all atheists are converts from one religion or another.

    Some of us are lucky enough to have had parents who didnt indoctrinate us in any religion at all.

  • TeddyKGB

    This needs a hashtag and a whole bunch of responses. How about #DickWarren ? It’d be even better if we stay above the fray and insult Warren himself instead of other faiths.

    Mine: People become Christians to aspire to be a better person than Rick Warren. #DickWarren

  • So, according to Warren, it’s not ok to use arguments to validate a lack of belief, but it’s ok for him to make arguments to validate his belief. Don’t you just love double standards.

    But really, he’s just saying the old “atheists hate god” line. Which we know is BS. I’m sure a lot of us hate the mysoginist, homophobic, genocidal, slavery promoting, rapist character Yahweh in that story book, the Bible though, but that’s not the same thing, and he knows it. He is deliberately intellectually dishonest.

  • Dammit… I did it backwards.

    I wonder is it possible to become a Christian again so that I can do it the right way round next time.

  • People become atheists because of Christians like Rick Warren, then seek friends like Hemant to validate the belief that you can be good without god!

  • One often hears about people who have found religion (esp. Xianity) bc they are hurt. I guess Warren finds that heartening, but if some turns to atheism bc she is hurt, it’s pathetic.
    Intelligent theists are very good at validating their belief in god, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to reconcile theism with reality. Atheists don’t need to validate atheism.
    To Viggo: if amputeeism divided the world and hurt us like religion does, then I would need a word like nonamputee and would describe myself as such.

  • Rick Warren is an pudgy jackass.

  • TXatheist

    Hurt? I was only hurt/angry because once I became aware of xianity from the atheist perspective I felt I was lied to but I got over that because xians actually believe that stuff.

  • J

    I am an atheist that was raised a fundamentalist. My family, all the people in the local church and the wider church community were wonderful people. I respect many of them to this day. No one there hurt me, abused me or caused me pain. No hard feelings, but I just don’t believe in god any more.

    So from my perspective Warren’s statement is self-validating bullshit.

  • littlejohn

    I never “became” an atheist.
    I was born an atheist and never changed my position, despite the efforts of assorted authority figures. Even before I was familiar with the expression “that’s a bunch of shit,” I was reacting along those lines.
    Religious stories never seemed remotely plausible to me, even when I believed in Santa. At least Santa left evidence: Goodies under the Christmas tree.
    I wonder how Warren would account for my case. Trauma in the womb?
    I don’t assume Christians became religious because of some painful incident, although “no atheists in foxholes” suggests at least some do.

  • Richard Wade

    Ah yes, Doctor Rick Warren, world famous psychologist, farts and his devoted clinicians praise his deep insight into human behavior.

    Is there any forum where I can tell Rick Warren what a pompous, willfully ignorant blowhard he is, and he’ll actually hear it? Probably nobody can get to him up in that ivory tower of self-righteous certainty.

    The quickest way to make a complete ass of yourself is to offer unsolicited amateur psychoanalysis. I’m a psychotherapist, and I won’t speculate on what and why people think and feel without first getting to know them very well as individuals first, and then only when really pressed, and then only with big qualifiers.

    Judging from the dozens and dozens of letters I’ve received in Ask Richard, the majority of the “hurt” experienced by atheists comes long after they have freed themselves from their faith, and they are being treated like crap by their loving Christian families.

    Hey Rick: You became a big, fat phony preacher with the ethics of a used car salesman because your mommy made you eat Brussels sprouts.

  • Iason Ouabache

    This is a very popular meme among evangelicals. It goes hand-in-hand with the “Atheists are running from God” and “People become atheists so that they can sin more” memes. As always we are portrayed as evil evil people that really know that God exists but are simply being defiant.

    Rule of Engagement #1: Dehumanize the enemy.

  • Unfortunately, there are people who are atheist/agnostic/skeptic purely because of disillusionment with religion or because they’ve never given it much thought. They don’t actually embrace reason; they just reject Christianity or haven’t gotten around to religion yet.

    These are the ones who have the conversions to Christianity and then are trumpeted as “former atheists” who “reasoned their way to one god or another.” And then they enunciate arguments for Bible-Based Christianity that would convince no one.

    Because these are the only atheists a Christian would ordinarily talk to, Christians think they represent the majority of atheists. I think that’s why there are so many misconceptions about atheists.

    Examples include Kirk Cameron, Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis.

  • HamsterWheel

    People become Christians out of fear, ignorance, and peer pressure, then ignore obvious absurdities to perpetuate their beliefs.

  • Littlejohn, you were brainwashed, while a child that subjected to Christianity is being brought up in the Truth.

    In other words, hypocrisy, just like as others pointed out that it is joyous when ones turns to Christianity because of being hurt.

  • Ape Toast

    “People become theists because of hurt, then seek emotional arguments to quell their fear of living in a world without God.” – Andrew S.

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Yeah. It’s not because I want to live immorally. To the contrary, in my absence of belief I aspire to be the most humane person possible, whereas before all I ever cared about was fulfilling duties and avoiding hellish retribution.

    I became an atheist because Christianity stopped making sense to me. Doubt began with my realization that God never actually did any of the stuff for people that I was raised being told that he does (See faith healing, for example), and it went on from there.

  • Luther

    People become Christian because of peer pressure. People become atheists because of thought.

  • CarolAnn :)

    People become Christians because Rick Warren scams them with his profit-driven new-age spiritual bullshit, then disparage atheists because it’s easier than being intellectually honest.

    140 characters:
    Ppl become xtians ’cause R Warren scams them with his $ driven BS, then disparage atheists ’cause it’s easier than intellectual honesty.

  • SteveC

    I didn’t become an atheist because of hurt, but you might say I became a *militant* atheist because of hurt.

    I was already an atheist, and I was made painfully aware that religion was not “mostly harmless,” and that it needed strong, vocal opposition which I (vainly) hope will lead to its eventual extinction.

  • Ape Toast

    I’m a bit embarrassed to present the E-mail I sent to Pastor Rick, but I was so put off (I’m being nice here.) I had to do something.
    I’ll admit I was a bit flummoxed; the E-mail does ramble a bit. Oh Andrew S., I borrowed you well put response. (Sorry, I didn’t give credit – didn’t claim it was mine either. All apologies.)

    The E-Mail:

    Dear Pastor Warren,

    It is my sincere hope that this E-mail reaches you. I have my doubts.

    I find your Twitter propagated assertion, “People become atheists because of
    hurt, then seek intellectual arguments to validate their desire to live without
    God.”, simple minded, deeply offensive and beneath the intellectual platform on
    which your flock believes you stand.

    Simply stating some harebrained hypothesis, that you must no is not always true.
    (I’ll admit that this sequence of events does sometime occur.)

    I would never propose that “People become theists because of hurt, then seek
    emotional arguments to quell their fear of living in a world without God.” Even
    this statement must, to some extent be true at times. But I don’t put anyone’s
    beliefs, and how they manged to come by the beliefs in a “on size fit all”

    You stated you opinion, with no substantiating evidence. (Did you do a survey,
    ask ex-atheists of you flock or get a divine revelation?) So, in like fashion, I
    will not provide any substantiation to my claim that “Almost no atheists are formed as a result of ‘hurt'”

    I would like a response; better yet and apology, if not a stammering explanation
    of how you miss-Twittered or that WE are reading you Twitter post out of context.

    Do yourself a favor. Dispel the belief held by most of us; that theist in general and Christians in particular are only capable of processing their world in the most simple of terms, in only shades of black and white. (No black and white are not metaphorical in this context – I hope you can appreciate why I felt the need to spell this out.)


    Wayne Carl Ficke II (There goes my alias)

    (Swayed by Science, Private school miss-education and my perceived lack of
    fundamental/verifiable evidence, my subsequent re-reading and examining of the
    Bible and the atrocities and contradictions found therein, the History of it’s official compilation, and the works that did not make the cut. . . . (No hurt or personal tragedies here brother)

    I’ll let you know if/when I get any response.

  • It seems to me that what Warren is really saying is that without faith, Atheists are “weak”, and seek to protect themselves, instead of being strong enough to have the requisite Faith.

    Pure Bollocks.

  • Zoo

    So I can’t be an atheist for any other reason than I found out how hurtful people can be (amplified by my brain being fucked up at handling social situations)? How does God figure in that at all?

    I suppose I’m mad at God for letting me have defects. *rolls eyes*

  • Polly

    So what pre-natal trauma did babies experience?
    I’m refering, of course, to the ones that grow up to find the gospel very UNcompelling in the absence of early inculcation(brainwashing).

  • I’ll call Warren’s argument the Argumentum ad Vulnus, the Appeal to Hurt.

    People become Christians because they fear death, then embrace the ideas of afterlife and divine sacrifice to excuse their behavior in life.

    I like this one the best!

  • Fentwin

    I blame the “unexamined life”. From my experience, a lot of people claim to be Christians because that is what their parents taught them as children and they never examined their beliefs beyond that.

    They never stop to ponder that if they’d been born in India chances are they’d be either practising Hindu’s or Muslims.

    (Perhaps eh)

  • bernerbits

    How about…

    “People can become X for many reasons. Don’t pigeonhole people just to reduce your cognitive dissonance.”

  • bill

    so…. most atheists don’t become atheists for the drugs, orgies, and endless violent pointless crime?

    i may have to reconsider my motives…

  • raisedbybadgers

    I’m not even an atheist … but if I’m edging that way, the initial impetus came much more from people like Rick Warren (and, more to the point in my case, a non-trivial percentage of Catholic bishops) than from Dawkins, Stenger, or anyone else on the atheist side of the fence.

    Also: From personal experience, it seems to me that many people do embrace a faith for reasons that have nothing to do with, ah, reason, then rationalise their decisions after the fact.

  • Oh, brother. Even I, who has a Christian horror story, just left fundamentalism because of the nightmare it created. I was quite happy in a more liberal denomination for awhile before the intellectual arguments won me over.

  • Rick Warren knows why you became an atheist, where you’re sleeping, and knows if you’re awake.

    He also knows if you’ve been bad or good, because he’s judgmental like that.

  • We become atheists for a variety of reasons…

    I’d like Rick Warren to explain how I became an atheist, when I was never religious to begin with.

  • Eric

    My reaction to Rick Warren’s twitter post is simply “Yeah, so what?”

  • TheLoneIguana

    My family was decidedly non-theistic when I was growing up. The issue of religion never came up at all.

    I don’t think I was even particularly aware of other people’s religions until college, I was getting pamphlets shoved at me walking through the quad.

    I have no traumatic religiosity-related incidents in my past, no pedopriests, no beatings, not even a ruler across the knuckles. Maybe got mildly creeped out attending a church funeral or two.

    The more I read on the subject, the stronger the intellectual arguments became, and the sillier religion seemed.

    Exactly what “hurt” am I repressing, there, Ricky?

  • Captain Werewolf

    I don’t agree that people’s natural state is atheism, and theism is a layer of garbage over it. I think it would be difficult or impossible to choose a point in time where a person occupies his “natural state.” People are born without logic, reason, etc. but those things are very much a part of our “natural state” (though not exclusive to us, of course). That doesn’t mean that religion is true, or that it’s desirable in the 21st century. But I don’t think atheists have reverted or retained a natural human state in any meaningful way.

  • Rick is living in a fantasy world (but you already knew that). Perhaps some people reject religion because religion rejected them, but many others were either never religious to start with or dropped their beliefs for reasons other than “being hurt”.

    With such a false model of the world, I wonder how Rick plans on competing with the “cultural war”. Businesses with a bad (or flawed) business plan tend to fail.

  • No, I became an atheist because someone informed me me my peepee was dirty–or so I was told.

    Isn’t it good we have others to enlighten us on such matters?

  • Ben

    It’s interesting when this one gets thrown at you when they have no intimate knowledge of your history (and don’t even know your real name, in the case of blogs and forums). By refusing to reveal your personal history, they will speculate, as if they prayed you had been sexually abused by a priest, just so it validates their proofless assertions.

    Here in Australia it’s probably easier to counteract the accusation of spite and bias because the majority of families here are non-religious. Thus little or no exposure to overtly religious people, let alone certain religious trauma and denial to blame for disbelief. Of course, it is easier for them to label you as ignorant because of that lack of exposure … but surprise them when you have a better knowledge of the Bible than they do.

  • Tizzle

    I left the religion I was raised in because their rules were stupid. From a Xtian perspective, perhaps I wanted to ‘sin’ more, but I for the life of me couldn’t figure out why god cared where a man stuck his penis. Then I looked into witchcraft, because it’s very woman-empowering. But that was too clique-ish like any other group, so I became a lesbian and then went to college, and then became an atheist. My path is not especially interesting, but I was never hurt–only deeply offended by anti-woman bs preached, although not practiced in my family.

    I really do believe that people become Christians out of hurt and fear. But maybe that generalization isn’t any more helpful than Dick Warren’s. (Love his new nickname, btw)

  • Betsy

    Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life was one I read when I first began to question my faith. I read it chapter by chapter alongside Robert Price’s The Reason Driven Life. I found Warren’s book full of mischaracterizations of the biblical god, scripture taken out of context and meaningless platitudes. Price’s book was full of information, intellect and common sense.
    Maybe I’m an atheist because of Rick Warren.

  • Carlie

    Interesting (and by interesting I mean entirely wrong). Becoming an atheist was what hurt – it separated me from my family, from most of my friends, made me into something that they would pity and be upset by. It made me lose my security that something wonderful was waiting for me, my warm feeling that the creator of the universe loved me, the knowledge that I had an important purpose in the world. Methinks Rick doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about, no surprise.

  • I do not believe in a being called god because as a person who firmly believes in science and reason, over mystic and whimsical theories, I can’t find any justification to spend my entire life worrying about some vengeful being who probably doesn’t exist. I’d rather spend my life happy, enjoying all that life offers.

    These days, I see christian religions as more of a way for people to justify being douchebags.

  • muggle

    LOL! I could only see the title when reading the post on Christian dating ads on my little netbook and thought here it goes again — the you’re angry at “God” accusation. I half hoped I was wrong and it wouldn’t be as boring as that but, of course, it was. Though how you’re supposed to be angry at someone who doesn’t exist is mystifying.

    In the name of totally honesty, though, as I’ve shared previously, the escape from my childhood indoctrination took 10 years during which I went from Christian to Jewish to Agnostic to Atheist. The final leap that got me to be able to say out loud there is no “God” was in anger. When I found out my daughter’s lovely Christian father (yes, I point that out because I do get rather pissed off by the constant proclaimations that Christians make better parents, just ask my daughter) molested her when she was three. I looked at my beautiful, smart, funny, personable little girl who loved everyone and asked if there was a “God” how could he let a thing like this happen to an innocent little child and then said out loud for the first time (and I admit rather angrily), “There is no God!”

    But, hell, that was really just the end I was already coming to. I was getting awful tired of brushing the question off when people asked if I believed in “God” with a flippant, “Don’t know, don’t care.” Then explaining when they were aghast and actually had the courage to ask how I could not care with the reply that if “God” did exist and couldn’t forgive me my doubt and throw me in hell for it even though I was a good person then that was a “God” I wanted nothing to do with anyway. This argument was starting to sound stupid even to me. It really was saying there is no “God” but I didn’t have the courage to say it out loud until that dreadful day.

    I do think it’d have come in time, probably a matter of months (can’t really know how long since that’s not the way it went down) even if the ex had turned out to be what he pretended to be to catch me and what I saw in him that he did not see in himself. If he had really been what I believed him to be instead of the monster he actually was.

    So, no, I’m not angry at “God” and I don’t disbelieve because I was hurt by a whacky abusive fundy of a mother and a sick fuck that I was stupid/naive enough to marry and have a baby with. It took 10 years of long, hard thought and reading the Buybull and finding it incredible to get me to disbelief.

  • Michael E

    Does anyone know where he comes up with the statistic that 148,000 Christians died last year because of their belief. Sounds like God does not provide very good protection for his people. I can find no reference to such a # anywhere.

  • ThilinaB

    People become atheists because of hurt, then seek intellectual arguments to validate their desire to live without God.

    Obvious proof rick warren can’t see outside his own frame of reference. He assumes atheists are atheists for the same reason he’s a christian.

    that should have read:
    Rick Warren become a theist because of… , then seeks (seemingly) intellectual arguments to validate his desire to believe in God.

  • You don’t reject God first and ask questions later.

    I’m going to respectfully disagree with this. Because I did exactly that. Rejected Jesus, God, Satan, the Angels, all of it. And only after that rejection did I start to question why I had rejected them in the first place.

    Not all paths to atheism are the same- they don’t all follow some model.

  • Martin

    I’m guessing this reason will apply to why people stop believing in all kinds of beings that have no evidence of existance. This means everyone stops believing in Santa Claus because they didn’t get that present they wanted on the holidays, and Leprechauns because they tripped on their way to the end of the rainbow, and the Loch Ness Monster because they got water up their nose?

  • j rep

    Atheism is humankind’s natural state.

    Every society, race, and culture recorded in history has worshipped some sort of deity. It could be argued, therefore, that man’s natural state is more theistic.
    Regardless of the natural state, however, where did this seeminly innate thought pattern come from? Of course theists believe that the Creator put it there so that people would seek him. Atheists argue that it is a helpful evolutionary delusion. If this is the case, why end the delusion? And how do you know that is a delusion and what is not when historic ideas are randomly classified as such? That is the cardinal difficulty of delusion – it blurrs reality from imagination.

    ps. Thanks for being friendly!

  • Chas

    Anecdotally, I became atheist on insight gathered from Feast of Pentecost sermon where God decides to package and franchise his religion out to the gentiles.

    Why would God need a business plan?

  • Twin-Skies

    I became a deist exactly BECAUSE of the thinking processes that the Jesuit priests in my old college imparted on us.

    They taught me about the ability to be moral outside Catholicism when they explained the concept of universal virtues both in and out of religion.

    More importantly though, they taught me to question everything in the pursuit of academics. They explicitly told us that they welcomed critical questioning – provided it was done respectfully, and our arguments were sound.

    They never saw a curious student as a threat to their authority – instead, they saw it as an opportunity to help gain much-needed knowledge.

    “The greatest weapon against heresy is proper education.” as they’d tell us.

    So if even priests will call out Warren on his bullshit about why people leave the faith, where does that leave him?

    Nowhere, apparently.

  • suZen

    I struggled to leave my fundamentalist faith – I didn’t want to leave behind what I now see as very powerful coping mechanisms of an afterlife, a belief that praying matters and changes things, the comfort of a “benevolent” deity watching over me (and my finances, decisions, circumstances). Giving all that up was the last thing I wanted. But the evidence and the reasoning kept piling up and suddenly I was actually studying the book I’d been “studying” for decades. How did I not care about the proscribed suffering and killing of slaves, the killing of non-virgins, genocides and killing of homosexuals? How did I not notice that people continue to use that book in modern times to validate these things (civil war, gay bashing). How did I ignore all that for so long?

    I’m hurt over my own prolonged ignorance. I’m hurt and regretful about the pain my beliefs caused others. Not the fact that my ex-husband (outwardly devout and respected in the church) raped me while we were preparing to be married. It was beginning to occur to me that this book was FUBAR when I was the one that got to wear the scarlet letter when we divorced. I forgave him, but what the book concluded about me was unforgivable. Jesus couldn’t even be recorded consistently in how he deemed people who divorced should be labeled – there are multiple versions, but in all of them I am condemned for leaving my un-marriage. But it really hit home when I thought of all the women who are (and were, observable by Jesus) beaten within an inch of their lives that aren’t afforded a divorce without also being labeled as adulteresses upon remarriage, along with the people who marry them. And adulterers go to hell.

    Then an old Christian man plowed through a farmer’s market in Santa Monica, killing and wounding hundreds. In his confusion he mistook the gas pedal for the brake for several minutes, witnessing his own destruction with horror. The omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, just and loving god didn’t perform a miracle to spare the man who had served him his entire life. If he could part the red sea certainly he could slip this man’s foot a few inches to the left, give him a moment of clarity in thought, keep him home that day through a series of consequences (cut his gas line?), warn the people with a still small voice, switch the brake and gas pedal functionality or warned them with a booming voice from heaven. But he didn’t. And that’s why I began paying attention to all the inconsistencies, incongruities and started listening to rational people’s arguments. And that’s how I became an atheist. No hurt here. It was more out of logic and compassion for others – and an ability to notice and observe and think.

  • I became Atheist because I started thinking and wondering about how the world could be so bad if there was a loving God. I googled Atheism and never looked back. No more guilt, no more not making sense of the world. Science is freeing. I wish everyone could be Atheist, then we’d be much closer to world peace, until they found something else to use to fight over. I found out that the quickest way to become Atheist is read the bible. I have read many parts and yes, it strengthens my Atheism on every read, thanks Bible! I also recommend that new book: God Hates you. Hate him back. I read the 1st chapter online and wowsa. The guy who wrote it thinks exactly like I do, that no one reads the Bible. So, he takes you through the Bible, quoting all it’s insane passages from beginning to end.

  • Randy

    I’m reminded of a comment i read on an atheist website last autumn. After the “financial meltdown” of 2008, The New York Times did an article on how many middle class and wealthy folks were supposedly flocking to many local churches, due to fellings of fear brought on by their financial insecurity. An atheist commenter told of attending a “intro to Christianity” class with his Christian convert wife. When asked if he had ever experienced hardship in his life, he admitted that no, his was the rare life where everything had gone right, and he just saw no evidence for god’s existence, therefore, he was an atheist. The woman leading the class said, “You have had it so easy, that you have never had to depend on god, and if god would humble and break you, you might believe in him.” This is the opposite of what most people like Warren argue. How convenient.

  • Baconsbud

    j rep I think that religion comes about because of the lack of knowledge. Most people want to know answers to many questions. As man’s knowledge has increased so have the number of people who have thrown off the shackle of religion.

  • Twin-Skies

    @Michael E

    They’re not “true Christians” then.

    …is what an a-hole like Warren would probably say

  • spink

    here’s his latest idiotic post:

    “RATIONALIZE= to tell yourself Rational Lies.Trying to convince ur mind it is RIGHT when you know in ur heart it is WRONG.”

    does he think that this is poetic? seriously?

    somebody once gave me his drivel-driven book as a high school graduation gift…

  • sondjata

    How does:”People become Christians because their parents made them go to church, then reject intellectual arguments because of social pressure.” mischaracterize most Christians. It is absolutely the case for most Christians. In fact you could replace Christian with Islam/Muslim and have a generally accurate view of the Muslim world, where in some cases apostasy will lead to a death sentence.

  • Parse

    Spink, that certainly explains why Rick Warren spends so much time rationalizing his faith.

  • Twin-Skies


    Purpose-Driven Life?

    Have a copy too, and it’s a good book.

    …for propping up my PC’s wobbly desk.

  • Siamang

    Warren complains like all those who build an empire by charging money for empty promises.

    He fears we might steal away his customers and show them that they don’t need to pay money for spiritual peace.

    Some day I’m going to visit his palacial grounds down in Orange County, and throw an egg. He’s got some nerve telling other people how to live.

  • Wendy

    Rick Warren must be even more mentally challenged than I thought. Any dumbass, half-wit, inbred, hick redneck could tell you that anybody could use “hurt” to explain anybody’s reasoning for anything; after all, who here hasn’t been hurt in their lifetime?
    (No offense to mentally challenged, dumbass, half-wit, inbred, hick, and/or redneck people out there. I’m sure you’re a fine people and that Rick Warren does not speak on your behalf.)

  • jolly

    I stubbed my toe, so I stopped believing in the tooth fairy. I hit my thumb with the hammer, so I stopped believing in Santa Claus. Someone yelled at me, so I stopped believing in god. How does anyone stop believing lots of crap we are told while growing up? We learn, experience life and compare the results. They tried to scare me into believing in a god but their actions were just like they described the devil, so they could never convince me.

  • I just have to shake my head at this kind of ignorance. Rick Warren imagines that all atheists are former theists. Not only that, he imagines that we’re all former Christians to boot.

    He probably doesn’t care about the truth, but I never “became” an atheist. I always was one. I have no emotional connection to religion. It’s just not part of my background. I was never exposed to any religion enough to be “hurt” by it. My childhood reaction to religion was one of bafflement or bemusement, not anger or hurt. On the contrary, almost all the theists I came into contact with were perfectly nice people. I just didn’t understand how they could believe the things that they believed. In fact, I still don’t, LOL.

  • Marc Sorensen

    I am a Christian who agrees that saying someone is an Atheist because of hurt may be oversimplifying. And many Christians do come into a relationship with God because of hurt because God provides healing. However, I disagree with the statement about Atheists that say “many of us do so because the intellectual arguments against a god’s existence force us to reexamine our religious beliefs and, ultimately, reject them.” You are not forced to reject them, it is a choice. Just a thought, not meant to start an argument, but it seems that Atheism is a choice.

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