For reasons I don't understand, I constantly feel that I am walking on eggshells around the most religious people in my life. Simply asking a question about what someone believes and why will most often be seen as an attack. When reading other atheist blogs I see this as a constant theme, so I don't think it's ME.
I don't think asking questions should automatically lead the other person to become defensive. If I ask, it is because I want to know.
Also, if you are secure enough in your beliefs that you're not worried about them changing, then what is the harm about discussing them? Or with having those beliefs challenged? Does it make you uncomfortable? Why is that? Of course, I have my own theories, and that is often all I have as those who disagree with me will often just not answer.
I have this blog for several reasons.
1. I like to write and I have a lot to say on my life, and especially, my life as an atheist in an, *ahem*, 'Christian Nation'.
2. I write this for my like-minded contemporaries, as well as for my religious friends and family. I want you to read what I have to write about because I find these topics to be important. I want to be understood - not just agreed with. I write this blog with a lot of understanding of where others are coming from, and I'm just hoping for the same.
3. Atheists are looked down upon in this society. I write this blog to dispel the myth that they're inherently evil or bad. I am not out to convert you (but would be overjoyed if you started questioning your faith because of something I said or linked to). Wouldn't you as Christians, feel the same if I were to return to Christianity? With how many people have come down on me for not taking Patrick to church I can guarantee that the answer to that question is a resounding "Yes!".
By blogging about my life, opinions, and ideas I am not "forcing it down your throat". I am not acting in anyway to take away the rights of Christians. I am simply exposing you to a viewpoint opposite of your own.
Feel free to write your own blog or respond to mine. I will gladly read the responses or go to your blog and read what you have to say. For those that know me well - email me, call me, just talk to me. Feel free to call me out if I'm acting like an ass, as I can guarantee that I will do the same. One thing that I ask, though, is that if you tell me I'm wrong, or if I offended you, etc., that you let me know exactly how and where I went awry and why. Be prepared to back up your talking points and I promise to do the same.
And just a few comments for those that I've talked with in the past few days:
If you make a claim, be prepared to back it up and try and be consistant. If you are claiming that a deity exists, and that you know it's will (ex. It loves me.) Don't get offended when I say "How do you know?" You are making the claim - back it up with something of substance.
I am not angry at your deity. I can't be angry with something that I do not believe exists. I'm not happy with or angry with unicorns. I am angry with the way that religious beliefs automatically pit people against each other. I am angry with the way people seem to want to stick their hands in their ears and scream "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!" when I start speaking.
I don't care what you believe - as long as you're not hurting anyone in the process. However, once you take those beliefs and try and push them on others (ie. voting against gay marriage, church vs. state issues, supporting groups that actively work against non-Christians and gays, supporting anti-women's rights legislation), then yes, you and I are definitely going to butt heads. One can simply stand by their religion and say, "okay, that is not for me," but still use their heads when actively trying to deny others rights. This is why I do not support the Boy Scouts and I do not support the American Legion.
This is a country where Christianity is VERY in your face. People on Facebook copy/paste their pro-G O D statuses, just daring someone to say something against it. We have Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann as the front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination and they are constantly trying to out-Jesus each other, and it makes me physically ill watching them.
In summary, even though I feel like I must walk on eggshells around you, I refuse to. These issues are too important and if you care even the littlest bit about me, you will keep reading. Perhaps you will learn something, and perhaps I will learn something from you. But I won't shut up and I'm not going away.