The very obvious answer to this question is “yes”! Not only are we similar we are very much permitted to love one another. As a Christian myself, I cannot see why I would treat an atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, or any one with a differing belief any less kindly than I would a fellow Christian. In fact I am instructed not to by what Jesus calls the second most important commandment, “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” And yet are we not all, especially atheists and Christians, as divided as Conservatives and Liberals, and often times separated by as much rancor as exhibited between the two parties during this recent election? Just the addition of the word “Atheist” in my title is guaranteed to attract more views because readers from both sides might anxiously be looking for me to fire an inflammatory salvo over the wall at the other.
I’m not here to do that, rather my goal is to point out the obvious. We are more alike than different and the increasing hostility need not continue. Here are just a few and very obvious similarities over which we can bond.
- We are all human beings.
- We all have bad days and need comfort.
- Most of us like sports.
- All of us have hurt people!
- We love our children!
- We like to dance!
- We like to laugh!
- We like to sing even if we sing badly!
- Many Christians and Atheists concur that Star Trek is better than Star Wars.
- Many Christians and Atheists agree that Roger Moore is better than Sean Connery or that George Lazenby wasn’t the worst Bond.
- Together many are Cowboys fans. Together many are Redskins fans.
- Together many celebrated the Cubs’ World Series win!
- We have both lied.
- We have both helped others in need.
- We have both felt abandoned.
- We have both fed the homeless.
- We have both bullied others and been bullied by others
- We have cursed
- We have stolen
- But both can be moral. As Christian apologist professor John Lennox stated, in terms of morals, many of his atheist friends put him to shame.
So my advice to my Christian friends, especially relevant during this Christmas season, don’t beat judgement, scorn or the fear of eternal damnation into the minds and hearts of your non-believer friends. If you feel they are in the path of a moving vehicle don’t knock them to safety with a sledgehammer. They won’t be receptive to your words. Instead I encourage you to just love them and if you find yourself behaving a bit hypocritically, simply ask for forgiveness! If you know Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher or even Bill Nye the science guy, give them a hug, say, “I love you brother!” and wish them a “Merry Christmas!”
God bless you all!