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I can generally tolerate people, but the ones that get under my skin are the militant types. Most especially rabidly religious ones and rabidly atheist ones. I have no problem with anyone’s general beliefs, as long as they don’t go shoving it in my face or anyone else’s. I don’t do it either, because I frankly don’t see the point. My personal, spiritual beliefs are none of anyone’s business but mine, unless someone asks me about them. I don’t grandstand like a Pharisee about what I believe in, because I find the idea of bragging about one’s beliefs morally offensive.

So let’s take on the first lot, the rabidly religious types. Why do they annoy me so much? Because they won’t shut up, take no for an answer, or back off with their rhetoric. They are literally hellbent on making you one of them through whatever means at their disposal, including threats of violence. I dealt with some of these bible crazies in college, when they terrorized me and some college friends for weeks on end, simply because we were pagan. They followed us across campus, cornered us in the library to proselytize and witness to us, sent us religious tracts in the mail (I have NO idea how they got my mailing address), followed me to class and tried to waylay me with more scripture. I was either going to follow their God or I was going to get hurt, basically. I really don’t think that’s how the Good Book was meant to be shared, honestly. Don’t recall Jesus ever making death threats to people in order to make them convert. Most people I know are Christian, and I have no problem with it for the most part. It’s when they start making ugly comments about other faiths, putting those down while extolling their own that disgust me. It’s when not being a member of some form of Christianity is seen as bad that I get upset. Forced conversion is religious slavery, bottom line. If some Christians don’t like how they’re being portrayed, maybe they ought to look at how they go about sharing their faith. If they go spreading it through fear, hatred, and violence, it’s no wonder people are resentful of them. Being overly smarmy and sanctimonious doesn’t really work either, because most people can’t stand that attitude. I know for certain I hate it. Some of them also have this deliberate ‘martyr’ mentality, in order to help spread their word. They go into a place where they know there is going to be resistance to their extremism, and make themselves out to be ‘victims’ or religious persecution, when they alone are the insitgators. The Westboro Bible Cult is a prime example of this kind of activity. They travel to cities, terrorize a segment of the population, and when they get cited, they turn around and sue the heck out of the city for discrimination. (Half the family are lawyers, so they like to throw their weight around). Most city governments knuckle under, just so they won’t have to waste any more time with the nutters.

Now for the atheists. I have no issue with people who have no faith, because it’s not that much of a big deal to me, really. I know many people who are atheist, and they are perfectly normal folks in my view. Nothing monstrous or amoral about them whatsoever. What does annoy me about the militant atheists is that they seem bent on picking fights with everyone, just because they can. They go out of their way to trash and smear religion in the most vulgar and offensive means possible. Okay, I get it. You don’t like religion. Wonderful, so happy for you. But really, can you get out of my face first? I really dislike it when I see them call religious/spiritual people stupid, ignorant, superstitious, and hicks. That’s over the line. To say that ANYONE with faith is an uneducated moron is pathetic, not to mention tremendously rude. Having faith does NOT make one a brainless tool, or some wild-eyed zealot. What makes me laugh is that when the militant atheists get all angry over the rebuff, maybe they ought to look at how they’re behaving first? Everyone is entitled to their own point of view, even if it’s absurd. Calling people ugly names and expecting others to happily accept those insults is ridiculous. Being called a ‘retarded loser’ for being spiritual, as one atheist said to my face, is not going to win them any points for a charming attitude. I’d turn around and call them an arrogant prick, in which they fully deserve to be called so. And believe me, I’ve done so too.

It’s funny. Both sides here are more alike than they’d ever admit to one another. One side is determined to force everyone into their microscopically narrow-minded ideology, where the other wants everyone to disavow every single notion of belief. Both of you, you’re not going to win anyone over, so you might as well suck it up. Most of us are really not impressed by your screaming and raving. You don’t do either side any favors with your antics, so please, give it a rest.