Earlier this week the new atheist movement/secular movement lost one of its prominent leaders. Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know that Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great, passed away due to complications from his esophageal cancer. Hitchens will forever be remembered as one of the great thinkers of our time, but of course, being a controversial figure with controversial ideas, his death was not without controversy. Hitchens’ name was trending on Twitter in the days following his death. Most of the tweets were positive. Things along the lines of rest in peace Christopher Hitchens or tweets thanking him for what he has done. In addition to Christopher Hitchens trending the title of one of his books, #GodisNotGreat, was also trending. Of course, this created an uproar among theists, including death threats to the person who started the trend.
Ben Tegland says it best when he says “If you are a theist and you ever wondered why atheists feel the need to put up billboards saying, “Don’t believe in god? You are not alone.” . . . If you have ever wondered why we detest the brainless acquiescence expected of religious followers? . . . If you have ever wondered why we fight against a god that we do not believe exists? . . . Let me be viciously clear, it is because of the religious malevolence of the sort you are about to witness.”
His post follows this paragraph with sample tweets from the trend telling atheists to kill themselves or threatening to kill them or beat them up.
I make the assumption that most of these tweeters are Christian. What kind of Christian doctrine are you promoting if you threaten to kill fellow children of God or tell these children of God to kill themselves? I don’t see these death threats as spreading the love of God. Sure, your beliefs were insulted by this trend. Your feelings may have even been hurt, but this does not give you clearance to threaten the lives of people who believe differently than you. This is a promotion of hate and intolerance, when, in this case, non-believers were merely paying homage to one of their leaders.
Some examples can be viewed at the bottom of this story.
I know not all believers hold these attitudes, but those that do are just adding fuel to the atheist fire.