Nothing whips up a flame fest like the Atheist vs Christian debates on News24.
I never notice Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or any other religion wade in when the Atheist cudgels begin to fly, probably because they all shake their heads and call their friends over for a laugh. "Hey Mo, come over and read these comments, it's funny as hell, the infidels are at it again!"
Foaming at the mouth, Zealous Atheists brandish their "Fairy tale" speeches, gaily trolling the most sensitive of religious folk who do not disappoint with their response.
Offended deeply by the accusation, well meaning representatives of a religion preaching love and acceptance are transformed into witless troll bait.
Then open the floodgates.
Cutting and pasting of of everything from Charles Darwin to Kent Hoven to chicken recipes ensues, no one answering the others' question, all sticking to the rails of their most comfortable argument.
One day, reading a particularly entertaining comments thread, it dawned upon me that Atheism was in itself a religion.
If you understand that religion is simply a belief system requiring faith and commitment, the Atheist certainly qualifies.
The cornerstone of the belief system is that there are no Gods or anything else supernatural or spiritual and that no non-Atheist understands Atheism.
If it smells like an apple, tastes like an apple and makes the same crunchy noises when you bite it, it must be an apple. (or a synthetic version).
At the drop of a hat, the fanatical Atheist will wade into the simplest of discussions and preach the non-existence of God as passionately as any religious Zealot.
Every now and then you see 'Thank God those people are Ok" in the comments section and a few seconds later, the evangelists of non-belief are there, spewing their version of fire and brimstone like they are saving the world from certain doom.
I sometimes wonder if less fanatical Atheists are as embarrassed by this display of intolerance as many Christians are at the weird characters who cut and paste prayers and other weirdness in the next comments box down.
For this reason, there is a clear distinction between the fanatics and the normal Atheists who are generally peace loving folk who have the 'live and let live' philosophy.
Ask an Atheist fanatic why they so militantly attack the theists?
"Because religion causes war, priests to rape little boys and starving nations to not use condoms."
And here I thought that evil things were simply done by evil people.
Still, lets stop the evil theists from ruining the world even more by attacking them ruthlessly and making fun of them and their belief systems.
Maybe we should herd all the believers into cattle trucks and gas them so that world can be a better, safer place.
You see what I am getting at here?
When it comes to someone's belief system, you don't get them to change their mind by poking them with sharp sticks, you change their minds by having a powerful alternative.
Do you realize that the target markets of religion are broken, hurting people who have no hope? Once they find something that gives them hope, your sharp sticks and scientific facts will mean nothing.
It's like trying to convince a once starving child that they can no longer eat bread and porridge.
The first thing they will ask you is "ok, then what must I eat".
"I don't know, not bread and porridge though." is not an answer.
Anyhoo, just thought I'd troll the Atheists a bit on a Sunday afternoon to see if I could get that 50 comments achievement thingie in under 2 minutes.
What I find interesting is that 'Afans' (My new word for Atheist fanatics) seem to steer clear of religions that make them nervous.