Them: “How many people have you personally met, who attempt to force Atheism on anyone?“
Notice the immediate restriction: my opinion is somehow only valid if I have personally met an offender. Knowledge of world history, access to verifiable stories, documentary evidence; all are somehow meant to be made irrelevant by this sentence. I originally assumed it was simply poor wording, but no–the other party is deliberately trying to invalidate my points by pretending that empirical evidence does not apply.
Me: “None, they rarely do it in person in the U.S. (yet). But there are any numbers of Congressmen and judges in the United States who devote their careers to it. And certainly dozens of people who have interacted with me online.
And that’s just in this country. If we look at declared atheist nations–the USSR, China, etc., you get tortured until you become an atheist, and murdered if you don’t. Or often, they skip straight to the murder.“
Them: “Congratulations! Your lightning-quick word-salad response has won this week’s highly-esteemed GOBBLEDEGOOK Award. In so few words, you managed to include delusion, unwarranted conclusion, confusion, wordplay, incorrect definitions, improper referral, unproven claims, misdirection, smoke and mirrors, and, I believe, even some strawman arguments.“
I anxiously await your demonstrating each of those categories within my preceding statement.
Them: “Being charitable, I will not assume that you presented it as an intentional lie, but rather, as the parroted repetition of claims which you have innocently, if gullibly, accepted.”
If you were being charitable, you would not have written the previous two obviously false sentences. And no, I did not “gullibly parrot” the claim that dozens of people online have tried to force me to become an atheist. Which is all the more pathetic considering that I make no secret of having previously been an atheist, and intellectually outgrown it.
Them: “First, if the USSR and China are declared atheist nations – It was not by them.”
The Soviet Union not only declared itself explicitly atheist, it’s official policy was the extermination of religion.
Here is a first-hand account of a man tortured repeatedly by the Soviet government for refusing to renounce his religion:
The Communist Party of China, which is synonymous with the State, is explicitly atheist:
The Chinese Constitution “says” that it protects religious freedom, but we can see how that works out here: https://bitterwinter.org/tag/christian-faith-in-china/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwyZmEBhCpARIsALIzmnI9NoluCA_LRi5PA24VRGPWeuho2WNwD9mayYteAD-wUvbwuu0nmmYaAjwNEALw_wcB
Churches destroyed for practicing Christianity instead of spreading atheism; graves desecrated; brainwashing and torture.
Them: “The USSR dissolved and has not existed since 1991 – 30 years. There are still thousands of Russian Orthodox Catholic churches doing fine within the country of Russia today. The majority of the population is quietly Christian.”
All of those statements are true, but they do not lead where you want them to go. Modern Russia–and all of the former Soviet client-states–embrace Orthodox Christianity in spite of the horrible treatment that Christians received under their Soviet torturers–not because the USSR was accepting of any religion.
Them: “The majority of Chinese citizens also claim some religious affiliation, mostly Buddhist or Confucianist. Those who are harshly dealt with are usually members of aggressive sects who attempt to harass the secular government, and force their beliefs on others…. like many American Evangelical Christians.”
Your second statement is not only false, but disturbing. First, the only people in China “forcing their beliefs on others” are the atheists–and maybe some Muslims on the border, but that’s really a separate issue. What you are trying to justify are camps where women are raped multiple times every day, because they belonged to a Church that refused to destroy the crucifix they used in their services.
Them: “While arrest, punishment and death can influence societal actions and attitudes, no-one can be forced to become an Atheist.”
I appreciate your acknowledgement of free will. Unfortunately, not everyone has the fortitude to withstand potentially endless years of systematic brainwashing and torture. And when an individual is subjected to such overwhelming evil until they break and embrace the lies, there is no description other than “being forced to become an atheist.”
Them: “If that were true, then the stories of the Apostles dying as martyrs would be false.”
No, it simply demonstrates how powerful and true their experiences were.
Them: “To first make the claim that some countries force citizens to become atheists is already disingenuous.”
It is a well-documented historical fact.
Them: “To then claim that the same is happening in the United States, approaches an outright lie.”
For those following along, this is what a “straw man argument” (something the author accused me of above) looks like. In fact, what I said was “They don’t do that in the United States (yet).” I then went on to state that there were, however, any number of judges and Congressmen who had devoted their careers to getting us to that point. If you don’t believe me, try to refusing making an item for the explicit purpose of sacrilege against your own religion. Or try offering shelter to homeless people in a Church. Or saying, “Merry Christmas” in a public school.
Them: “What the elected and appointed representatives of the secular Federal Government are doing, is ensuring that the wishes of the Founding Fathers, through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, are carried out.”
Denying people freedom of religious expression and freedom of association is exactly the opposite of the intention of the Founding Fathers–most of whom were Christian ministers–and both the content and intent of the Constitution.
Them: “No-one is being forced to become an Atheist!”
Unless you count all of the people being tortured into it around the world. And in the U. S., the ongoing campaign of lies about theism and atheism which force people into atheism by presenting false images of the two ideas.
Them: “But intolerant Religionists are being forced to accept their existence and their rights, as established by the law of the land.“
And here endeth the lesson, such that anyone who actually understands the word “religion” and what “the law of the land” actually is, can see how nonsensical this entire rant has been.
Update: The only reference I can currently find to legal issues surrounding the use of the term “Merry Christmas” in public schools is an obvious hoax article. Therefore, that comment is withdrawn unless valid corroboration is forthcoming. I leave it in the post because I don’t hide from my mistakes.