Religious People Should Respect Atheists

Ariel Reyes, Entertainment Reporter


There’s no doubt that when a simple conversation leads to an uncomfortable situation, a few disrespectful words can fly around, especially when the topic of religion comes up.

Atheists are people who lack belief in the existence of God and if the subject ever came up, they shouldn’t have to defend themselves or prove their point as to why they choose to be atheist. The same is true for agnostics, who are people who believe that nothing is known or can be known of the existence of God.

When an atheist is bombarded with questions or criticized for not believing in God, there’s no doubt that they will end up being uneasy, so to help clear out possible awkward conversations in the future, here are a few questions to avoid.

“So, you’re a Satanist?” First of all, atheists don’t worship or believe in Satan. This is a big misconception that many people have of atheists, and to set the record straight, they don’t believe in Satan because they don’t believe in God either. The idea of worshipping Satan is contradicting, because in order for them to idolize Satan, an atheist would at least need to acknowledge the existence of God as well.

“Aren’t you worried you won’t get into Heaven?” To put it bluntly, atheists aren’t worried about getting into Heaven.  I want to point out again, that the idea of Heaven and Hell goes along with the same idea of Satan and God: it doesn’t exist for them. What do atheists think of the afterlife then? It depends on the person, but what they choose to think doesn’t concern anybody else except themselves.

If you know someone is an atheist, avoid saying “I’ll pray for you.” I know this is meant to be considerate for religious people, but for atheists, it can make them feel uneasy. The message can hold significant meaning, but if you’re saying this because a person is atheist than it makes it seem as if you are mocking them. If you do want to be sympathetic, a kind gesture can also work or offer your support if they ever need it.

“How do you know right from wrong?” It’s called having a conscious. An atheist doesn’t need a book or the idea of a superior watching over their every move to make sure they’re being kind. A person should be genuinely good-natured, because they want to be, not because they have to be.

“Do you hate religious people?” Of course not. Atheists don’t despise people and their religious beliefs, nor do they detest everything that is inspired by religion. Architectural buildings and monuments based on the Christian faith, such as the cathedrals in Italy, are breathtaking and atheists can still appreciate them even if they aren’t religious.

Moreover, it’s not about whether religious people or atheists are wrong. Nor is it about judging one another for our personal preferences. Religious people can choose to follow their beliefs without hurting anyone else or forcing their opinions and atheists can live their lives freely without criticizing those who are faithful.

 In truth, whether you choose to be atheist or religious, you should respect other people’s choices.