The ‘Love An Atheist’ Movement And Why I Predict Its Failure

Recently I got into a mild debate on my twitter page with a user who goes by the moniker ‘Love An Atheist’. The blurb about the user states:

“FOUNDER of The Love an ATHEIST Movement. Apologetic Ambassador for Jesus. Ending Religion-Produced Fallacy. We are a becoming a non-profit organization for you.”

Apologetic Ambassador for Jesus? We are a becoming a non-profit? Curious, I thought, so I clicked over to their web page to further investigate.

Immediately there is an option to take a survey which asks numerous questions relating to why you’re an atheist. The owner of the site, who identifies herself as Marciela Flores, has made it her mission in life to bring the love of Christ to atheists. She explains the dark place her life started and how it was only though the redeeming love of Jesus that she found peace and happiness.

She also states, interestingly, “Everybody has one life, and anybody with curiosity is going to seek answers to the unknown. Some people will make a decision prematurely, but the strongest in wisdom will continue seeking answers until they have a full knowledge for the ultimate reason of life.”

What I find so incredible about this statement is the majority of atheists who were previously religious had left religion specifically because they started asking uncomfortable questions about the reason for life. The Creationism model is intellectually unsatisfying and the “love is Jesus” is just as much as a myth. I told Ms. Flores that telling an atheist Christ loves them is about as effective as a hippie telling you they’re hugging your aura. It’s not that I don’t appreciate her optimism, or how a personal relationship with Christ has helped her carry a pocket full of sunshine.

I guess I don’t understand why she seems to convinced atheists are miserable and unsatisfied. The atheists I know are some of the happiest people alive, because they’re truly enjoying this one life we have and not lying to themselves about there being something “better” waiting in the cosmos after we check out.  Is love a wonderful thing? Yes. But its not necessary to love a 2000 year old magic jew to experience real love and share it with others.

I encourage anyone with the time to fill out the poll and test Ms. Flores’ insistence that any atheist can find comfort in the teaching of Christ.

If she wants a challenge, we can bring it.

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11 responses to “The ‘Love An Atheist’ Movement And Why I Predict Its Failure

  1. Ugh, what an awfully worded poll!

    My answers, for what they’re worth:

    1*
    Why don’t you believe in God?
    I see no evidence pointing to the idea that the concept “god” is anything but a fantasy.
    2*
    Do you believe Jesus existed?
    Not sure. Maybe.
    3*
    Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?
    No
    4*
    Do you believe Jesus is also God?
    No
    5*
    Do you believe Jesus died for your sins?
    No
    6*
    Did you know Jesus has eye-witnesses?
    I am aware of none. Certainly the Gospels don’t appear to be written by any such.
    7*
    Do you believe Jesus’s eyewitnesses?
    See above.
    8*
    Did you know Jesus was predicted centuries before his death?
    I dispute the claim that he was. As do all Jews, it’s worth noting.
    9*
    Do you believe the Big Bang theory is a rational and scientific attempt to explain how the universe was created?
    Yes
    10*
    Do you believe the Big Bang occurred on it’s own, and from nothing created an spontaneous combustion of consciously energetic particles?
    I have no belief concerning the origin of the big bang. The term “spontaneous combustion of consciously energetic particles” appears nonsensical, and certainly doesn’t bear any resemblance to any account of big bang theory which I’ve read.
    11*
    If you believe that nothing created the universe, would you agree that we are on this world by chance, and that we are alive, discussing the possibility of God, by chance and chance alone…that nothing but chance has brought us to this point…?
    No. Evolution by natural selection skews the laws of probability, as does the emergence of human intelligence.
    12*
    What conditions would make our society vulnerable to the discussion of a divine creator? In other words, why are we so inclined, despite our position of belief, to continually seek the presence of God, even subconsciously, through debate or discussion?
    Human beings seem to be hardwired to look for conscious intent. This causes many to see such intent, even where it does not exist.
    13*
    Do you feel that human language is comparable to sounds animals make, or do you feel like human language is much more complex, more unique in a sense, than animal sounds? Do you feel there is a purpose for speech beyond what basic animal grunting cannot provide?
    This is outside of my reading. I have no opinion either way.

    • Your reponses are very well done. Not arrogant, but resolved and very honest. That last question about human language was straight up weird. I’m guessing it would tie in to the “man being made in God’s image” delusion. Thanks so much for posting your responses!

  2. To her credit, though, she is being more of a Christian than many others. She truly believes there is something better out there and she’s moulding her life around sharing what she believes with people.

    A better way to put this (paraphrased from Penn Jillette): she sees a massive truck heading for us (i.e. hell). Most people (Christians) believe there is a truck coming (hell) but don’t do anything to warn us or move us out of the way. She is actively trying to warn us about the truck. Of course, there’s no truck but she thinks there is. So in that regard she’s doing a good thing. And it seems like she’s coming from a place of love, so it’s not all bad.

    But there is a disconnect between what she thinks reality is for atheists and what it actually is. In her mind all atheists need to be saved. From our perspective, she’s the one in shackles trying to tell us to stop running in the grass and to join her in the dungeon.

    I admire her drive, but it’s misdirected and likely to fail. Though what failure really means in this context isn’t wholly clear.

    • I have every reason to believe she’s sincere and really wants to help. Our brief conversations were very cordial, and I sense a strong desire to guide “wayward souls.” Did you check out the poll?

  3. Great point! I have experienced this issue a lot myself, and I believe it’s a religious straw-man argument. Christians are generally insulated from alternative views, and thus they are forced to “assume” what other people who are not like them think and feel, based only off of their own personal experiences. Thus, if you are a Christian and you have found true and unabated love and happiness through God, then logically (to them anyways) atheists are the complete antithesis to that, which would mean they are devoid of love and happiness. It’s incomprehensible to such a person that other beliefs or views could result in equal happiness.

    • Right on! It reminds me of 19th century rich church women who raised money to send Bibles to starving African children. About as useless as a screen door on a submarine.

  4. Oh my, I had a lot of fun with that survey. I saved the questions and my answers in a text file (I spent too much time on it not to). I was thinking of posting them here, but I don’t want to influence other people’s answers if they take the survey. I might post it on my own blog, later, or something.

    Although, the disclaimer “All surveys considered insulting in any way will not be read/deleted.” has left me wondering if they’ll just refuse to deal with the surveys they find challenging by saying they’re ‘insulting’? I can totally imagine people like that claiming that my lack of capitalizing ‘god’ is ‘insulting’ (it totally is not) or finding something else to nitpick about, even though I went out of my way to be as respectful as possible in my answers while still answering the questions fully and honestly.

    • I hope you do post them some day. I would dearly love to see your responses, both because of your wit and straightforward articulation. The site just amused me so much, I couldn’t resist sharing.

  5. Well, someone else already posted their answers, so I guess I don’t really have to worry about influencing other people’s answers too much. Here’s mine.

    1* Why don’t you believe in God?
    I don’t believe in any gods because I have not found any good reason to think that any gods exist, much like I have never found any good reason to believe the Loch Ness monster exists. Although, I have looked into the matter much more thoroughly in the case of gods than in the case of Nessie.
    2* Do you believe Jesus existed?
    It seems quite plausible that a man we refer to as Jesus lived a couple of thousand years ago, but I haven’t really looked into the historical evidence.
    3* Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?
    No. I don’t believe in any gods.
    4* Do you believe Jesus is also God?
    No, I don’t believe in any gods.
    5* Do you believe Jesus died for your sins?
    No.
    6* Did you know Jesus has eye-witnesses?
    Yes, but the gospels were written decades after the events they describe, and eye-witness testimony is notoriously unreliable (especially when so much time passed between when the events were recorded and when they were witnessed).
    7* Do you believe Jesus’s eyewitnesses?
    As previously stated, eye-witnesses testimony is notoriously unreliable, and decades (at a minimum) passed between the events the gospels describe and when they were written. Some of what they describe probably happened, and some of it probably didn’t. I wouldn’t know which is which without other historical sources to back up or contradict the various events described.
    8* Did you know Jesus was predicted centuries before his death?
    If you believe that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of a messiah in the Old Testament, then yes. But I am not convinced he did fulfill these prophecies, and in any case, prophecies are usually quite vague and up to interpretation, making them rather useless.
    9*Do you believe the Big Bang theory is a rational and scientific attempt to explain how the universe was created?
    I don’t know the details of the Big Bang theory, but it does seem to be the currently accepted theory among scientists, which means that it is our best current explanation for how the universe started (and, like any scientific theory, it might be falsified, confirmed, or improved in future).
    10* Do you believe the Big Bang occurred on it’s own, and from nothing created an spontaneous combustion of consciously energetic particles?
    I have no idea. As previously stated, I don’t know all of the details of the Big Bang theory, although I don’t think the idea of something coming from nothing is necessary. For instance, perhaps the universe regularly expands and contracts, each cycle of expansion starting with a big bang event. In this case, the Big Bang theory would not explain how the universe began so much as explaining how it reached its current state. In any case, even if we have no idea where the universe came from, that’s no reason to just say “god did it” (just like not knowing where lightning comes from is no reason to say “Thor did it”).
    11* If you believe that nothing created the universe, would you agree that we are on this world by chance, and that we are alive, discussing the possibility of God, by chance and chance alone…that nothing but chance has brought us to this point…?
    I think that chance is a more likely explanation than some sort of creator god, but this question is misleading because it makes inaccurate assumptions about my beliefs.
    12* What conditions would make our society vulnerable to the discussion of a divine creator? In other words, why are we so inclined, despite our position of belief, to continually seek the presence of God, even subconsciously, through debate or discussion?
    Well, humans are very good at seeing patterns (even when there are none) and also at seeing agency (again, even when there is none). This at least partially explains why humans readily believe all sorts of things that aren’t true, from the Loch Ness monster to homeopathy to various different god beliefs. Even if my hypothesis of why this happens is incorrect, it is evident that humans do, in fact, believe all sorts of things that aren’t true, and many of these beliefs are about supernatural creatures/forces (ghosts, auras, etc.).
    13* Do you feel that human language is comparable to sounds animals make, or do you feel like human language is much more complex, more unique in a sense, than animal sounds? Do you feel there is a purpose for speech beyond what basic animal grunting cannot provide?
    I don’t know that much about animal language, but it seems that human language has greater complexity and vocabulary and can be used to communicate more complicated ideas. I’m not sure what this has to do with all the other questions?

  6. Thank you kindly for this article. I really enjoy listening/reading the views of others, taking the best of what was said and tailoring this movement to better fit your needs. I am happy to see people participating and expressing themselves in the survey, and @Daz, I’m not sure how the survey was worded awfully, but if there is a mis-communication you may certainly e-mail theloveanatheistmovement@gmail.com and let me know how we can improve the survey for you. Your answers are highly welcomed..Thank you for keeping it cordial. 🙂

  7. I have yet to hit the survey but I plan to. I haven’t read the replies posted below yet because i want to go in cold. But this post really struck a chord with me. I remember being quite convinced as a child that the “godless” were all quite miserable and weighed down with their sin. A favorite story of my mothers told if this child who died and spent a little time in heaven. When she looked down on earth she noticed that some people looked all bright and shiny while others were grey and bent with fatigue. In the story the bright shiny people were the ones who had found Jesus while the grey people were nonbelievers. Imagine my surprise when I found out she had it backwards.

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