Idea to create a National Atheists Register, just like the Sex Offenders one…

I’m sure the title of this post has already gripped you. A national atheist register? Why on earth would you need one of those? Believe me friends, I’m asking the same question.

But Crackpot Christian Syndrome has raised its ugly head in the manifestations of an American named Mike Stahl, a former police officer, wouldn’t you know! He decided to jack his policing in to become a pastor. He seems very… pastoral to me. Not.

He’s been thinking about it for a while, he claims on his blog. He says he’s been…

Seriously considering forming a (Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named The Christian National Registry of Atheists or something similar.

 I mean, think about it . There are already National Registrys (sic) for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK, skinheads , radical Islamists , etc.

This type of “National Registry” would merely be for informationpurposes . To inform the public of KNOWN  (ie self-admitted) atheists …

Now , many (especially the atheists), may ask “Why do this, what’s the purpose?” Duhhh , Mr Atheist , for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public ! I mean , in the City of Miramar, Florida, where I live , the population is approx 109,000. My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists!

Perhaps we may actually know some. In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism. Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s , in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our Christian friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be “feeding” Satan.

Frankly , I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves (unless of course , they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion , and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.‘ )

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. These sort of ‘Christians’ make me so upset. There is no need, and no desire to put atheists on a register. My goodness, what is the point of it? It would only be a list of names. And more to the point, it puts atheists on a par with sex offenders!

Atheists, we don’t put you on a par with sex offenders or the KKK or anything else like that. We, as you know, would love you to turn to Christ, and any of us who are normal will know and understand that putting you on a register like some convicted criminals will not facilitate this conversion.

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Dean Roberts

Dean is an Ordinand training for ordination in the Anglican Church. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and a cat named Eira. He graduated from Cardiff University with a B.A Hons. in Theology and Religious Studies. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about

  • Richard Wade

    Dean, thank you for your disavowal and repudiation of the unfortunate Mr. Stahl’s bigoted lunacy. I can’t find the post on his oddly-designed website, but perhaps that’s for the best. I would find it difficult to contain my outrage, and of course my anger would only reconfirm his belief that atheists are all dangerous psychopaths.

    He might give consideration to another Christian’s objection, but sadly, he’d probably dismiss that as well. I always deeply appreciate any Christian who directly, face-on challenges the kind of hate mongering that has become the loudest voice in American Christianity. What a very afraid man he is. Fear is the root of his hatred, and fear is what makes him and so many similar people dangerous.

    What I would ask him is why he doesn’t also propose a national registry of “admitted” Jews as well. Then, if his Christian Taliban police state wet dream comes to pass, he can be in charge of rounding up all the “criminals” who don’t agree with his beliefs, including atheists, Jews, those evil, evil Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, gays, and folks who don’t like his favorite baseball team. Then he could methodically turn them into ashes.

    I would suggest to him that his faith and the faith of any of his unfortunate followers must be as fragile as dry leaves if it must be protected from any exposure to someone who disagrees, hence the necessity for a list of people to avoid as if they were radioactive.

    I hope that some day I can be a guest speaker in churches, a “real live atheist” (oooh) to help people see that we’re not monsters, we’re just like them. The only difference is we’re not convinced of something. I would not try in any way to challenge the congregation’s beliefs about God. I would only challenge their beliefs about atheists. I would try to shift their attitude from the unfortunate Mr. Stahl’s end of the spectrum toward yours. This could be beneficial for all of us.

    I would only disagree with one thing in your post, the scare quotes around “Christians” when you say that Christians like these make you so upset. It suggests that you don’t consider them to be “real Christians.” This “No True Scotsman Fallacy” is self-defeating. The unfortunate Mr. Stahl is probably already using it against you and anyone who opposes his nightmare proposal. It’s better to simply accept that he is a Christian if he says he is. His criteria for being one and his criteria for you not being one is based on his image of himself, just as your criteria, if you did this, would be based on your own self image. Don’t go that way. If you want to sway other Christians toward a more loving and accepting attitude, you must first accept and acknowledge that they are indeed Christians, the haters, the lovers, the demagogues, and the diplomats.

    Dean, I wish you well in your endeavors. Thank you for reflecting the best of your Teacher’s teaching.

    • http://deanroberts.net Dean

      Richard, thank you very much for your input on the blog post. It was a joy to read. I do have to clarify that the only reason why I put the quotation marks around the word Christian was to simply challenge his behaviour as a Christian, not whether he is one or not. Sorry if that was a bit misleading.

      These sorts of Christians do have serious issues surrounding the doctrines of grace and various other teachings on moral codes and codes to do with public behaviour. I’m just glad that there are other Christian bloggers speaking out against this judgemental approach to atheists, when it is those who aren’t Christians that we as followers of Christ are called to love, cherish and honour.

      Great to have you on here!

      • Richard Wade

        Dean, I realized after I posted my comment that I should have included a qualifier recognizing that you might not have had the “Scotsman” meaning behind those quotation marks. Sorry about that.

        I admire your positivism. Keep loving and keep thinking.
        R

  • http://delesmuses.blogspot.com/ Jenny

    Atheists, we don’t put you on a par with sex offenders or the KKK or anything else like that.

     

    It took me a minute to realize why that sentence bothered me. Isn’t the worst sin denying Christ? Blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Denying that God exists and will judge humanity? Why would rape and racism be worse than unbelief?

    • http://deanroberts.net Dean

      Hey Jenny, thanks for commenting.

      Let’s be careful with terminology; there are no worse sins to God. Sin is sin. So we need to get rid of any talk which consists of worse sins.

      What you mean to say is that denying Christ is the unforgivable sin.

      But at which point is the sin unforgivable? It is unforgivable when that person dies. Up until that time, there is the possibility of acceptance of Jesus and repentance of sins, thus forgiveness of this sin is possible.

      Therefore, I’m not saying that rape etc is worse than unbelief. Sin is sin. And that’s why I don’t put atheists on a par with those sorts of people. We’re told as Christians to love on those who don’t believe, be ready to give a witness and preach the gospel. Let’s leave the judgement to Christ.

      I hope you continue to read the posts and comment on them!

      • http://delesmuses.blogspot.com/ Jenny
        I’m still confused. If atheism isn’t better or worse than any other sin, then why not put it “on a par” with others? By saying that you don’t, aren’t you ranking the sins? (Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not advocating a registry for atheists, because I believe that the issue there is one of crime and safety, not spiritual condition.)
        • http://deanroberts.net Dean

          Thanks for the reply Jenny!

          The reason why I’m not putting atheists on a par with sins like pedophillia and other sex offenses is because I’m talking, like you’ve pointed out, in terms of crime and safety, not spiritual condition. I think it would be a dangerous task to try and put atheists on a par with pedophiles, for example because many pedophiles would call themselves Christians. Just like many of the KKK would. Therefore, it wasn’t the aim to rank sins at all.

          If I was talking in my post about spiritual condition then the post would look entirely different. I was merely commenting on the sociological aim of the idea to put atheists on a register, and it was for the exact same reason as putting sex offenders on a register, and thus, it made atheists out to be criminals purely for the fact of being an atheist, which is wrong in Christ’s eyes.

          I hope this explains a little more! I think we’re a lot closer minded than we seem to be making out! :)

    • Ray Dobson

      Jenny, I am an atheist and I have never raped or molested anyone, and am not particularly racist. I’m curious (and frankly offended) why you consider me a more evil person than sex offenders etc. In my book, what makes an act good or evil is not whether it pisses off some old man with a beard in the sky, but whether it helps or hurts real people down here on earth. There is nothing virtuous about believing one set of fairy tales vs. another. Only actions count!

  • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

    Atheists, we don’t put you on a par with sex offenders or the KKK or anything else like that. We, as you know, would love you to turn to Christ, and any of us who are normal will know and understand that putting you on a register like some convicted criminals will not facilitate this conversion.

    I find this paragraph particularly disturbing. First, after a great rebuttal to Stahhl, you immediately set Atheists up as a group you want to see vanish. Oh, sure, not in a kill-you-all-first way, but in a more subtle way. You want the entire atheist thought to simple be erased off the face of the Earth and become replaced with your thought.

    You admit, right at the end, that if you normal Christians thought that putting atheists on a registry would facilitiate this conversion agenda of yours, you would do it.

    So, I take away from that is that the only thing that separates you from Stahhl is that currently you don’t think anything can be served by such a registry. I thank you for the clarification.

    I once read a climate change article that made a lot sense until the end, where they basically admitted that, oops, the farming conditions in South Africa are returning to the state they were in about 1000 years ago. Your post is very much like that article.

    • http://deanroberts.net Dean

      I think you’ve misunderstood what I was  trying to say. And you’ve put a lot of words in my mouth which, might I say, have concluded in some terrible accusations.

      The job as a Christian is to share the gospel with those who don’t believe. That is NOT saying that I just want to eradicate atheism. Less of that talk please.

      Another thing that you have frightfully wrong is that I don’t think these sort of registers have any use whatsoever. I wouldn’t suggest that an atheist register be used for the benefit of Christians. My goodness, do you really think that low of me?

      Nonetheless, thank you for commenting.

      • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

        I think you’ve misunderstood what I was trying to say. And you’ve put a lot of words in my mouth which, might I say, have concluded in some terrible accusations.

        Not at all. As I said, I was interpreting a paragraph you wrote. Christians, when insulated from people with different beliefs(or no beliefs), often tend not to realize how their words can be taken. They think they’re being kind and understanding, but in, truth, their words can often be quite the opposite.

        The job as a Christian is to share the gospel with those who don’t believe. That is NOT saying that I just want to eradicate atheism. Less of that talk please.

        Tell me, though. Why wouldn’t you want to eradicate atheism? After all, isn’t that what your sharing the gospel is all about?

        Most Christians are passive-aggressive in this respect; that’s why they get upset at people like Mike Stahl. He isn’t passive, he’s all aggressive. He says what most Christians are afraid to allow themselves the luxury of saying. Or even thinking.

        Christianity has a great history of persecuting all those of different beliefs and no beliefs, and trying to wipe them out. In my experience, the form its evolved into today is not that different from its ancient roots, which actually you admitted on Friendly Atheist in, I believe, this very discussion. What has changed is that Christianity has lost most of its ability to affect the secular world, and said world has been the better for it.

        Today, for example, Christian missionaries head to Africa to teach the Dark Continent the true faith. Not that different than in the past. In the process, they tap into existing psychological fracture points(and given the state of the continent in general, that’s not very hard) and local superstitions, and then augment them with fanciful Christian fairy tales of demons and witches and the like. Then they stand back in shock as mobs of enraged villagers hunt down and kill children accused of being witches. Shocking development! News at 11!

        Another thing that you have frightfully wrong is that I don’t think these sort of registers have any use whatsoever. I wouldn’t suggest that an atheist register be used for the benefit of Christians. My goodness, do you really think that low of me?

        No, I don’t think that low of you. I think you are very young and you don’t yet appreciate that words, given shape in sentences, actually mean things.

        For example, your first sentence, above. “Another thing that you have…” You think that is a very positive thing to say. I think it is very negative. I explained it in my last post, but you misunderstood again. You don’t think these sorts of registers have any use whatsoever. Fine. But what you don’t say is that you find them wrong and reprehensible, or words to that effect. To me, that means that, should you ever change your mind and suddenly believe that there is a use for them, you would be OK with using them.

        Next you go on to say that you wouldn’t suggest such a register be used for the benefit of Christians. Fine again. But again, you don’t say that you would never suggest such a thing. That says to me that if you thought there was a benefit, you would suggest it.

        In your original post, at the top, you said there is no need and no desire to put Atheists on a register. Can you appreciate what that actually says? You say one thing, but it means another. I don’t know whether to believe your words or their meaning.

        You may think me needlessly pedantic. I assure you, I don’t do this because of some foolish desire to poke you in the ribs with a stick just to see you jump. On these sorts of topics, when they are that sensitive, it is important to be clear.

        • http://rgoatcabin.blogspot.com Rhomboid

          The “Quote” function doesn’t work for me, so I’ll do it the old-fashioned way:

           

          The Other Weirdo: “Christians, when insulated from people with different beliefs(or no beliefs), often tend not to realize how their words can be taken. They think they’re being kind and understanding, but in, truth, their words can often be quite the opposite.”

           

          I’ve experienced many situations in which a Christian tells me things in a very friendly way that are very offensive. I know they don’t intend them that way. And I don’t seek to silence them, but they should understand when their words don’t come across the way they think they do. It’s important to be aware of these things, and to understand why a person might react with anger to something you thought was innocuous. If we can’t communicate with each other, we’ll can’t make any progress in understanding each other.

           

          That’s is a bit off topic, but I think it’s extremely important.

           

          And Dean, I appreciate that you don’t want to put atheists on an Offender List. But I agree with The Other Wierdo – your argument sounds quite shaky. You never say that the very idea is offensive, sickening or appalling, and that you would never condone such a thing. You just don’t see the need for it.

           

          But it IS an revolting idea! It’s wrong and despicable! We would love to hear you say that with confidence, rather than just saying you don’t see the need to treat atheists like criminals. If I were to say that I don’t see the need to tie you down and beat you, would that make you feel confident that I care about you? I wouldn’t think so. I feel like you’re trying to sound compassionate and appeal to atheists, but it comes across as pretty insincere.