‘Friendly Atheist’ informs megachurch: We’ve heard all of it before

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, July 8, 2013 21:53 EDT
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Hemant Mehta at megachurch (Screenshot)
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Hemant Mehta of the “Friendly Atheist” blog at Patheos sat down in front of thousands of Christians on Sunday to discuss his non-belief.

Mehta talked about atheism with minister Randy Frazee at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. During the discussion, Mehta explained that many atheists were afraid to “come out” because others would assume it meant they were immoral. Mehta himself scrubbed his book from his resume, fearing a future employer would be wary about hiring an atheist.

Mehta also explained many Christians had negative stereotypes about atheists that prevented fruitful conversation.

He said it was frustrating that Christians assumed atheists lacked belief in God simply because they were ignorant of the good news of the Bible. Most atheists, he noted, were former Christians.

“Every time that someone tries to convince me that God exists or that Christianity is the right path forward, it seems that they fall into that same stereotypical pattern where they think if they throw a magical Bible verse at me that is going to do the trick, or that clearly I haven’t read the Bible — which I have — or if I hadn’t studied it, or if they hand me a Lee Strobel book that’s going to do the trick. We’ve heard all of it before.”

“That’s the thing,” he added. “It is just assuming that I’ve never heard it before, and it’s frustrating when you hear the same arguments over and over. It’s like, if this is the best you’ve got and this is what I hear year in and year out, I feel that there is nothing new you have for me. So, I guess I’ve gotten more confident in being an atheist.”

Watch video, courtesy of the Oak Hills Church, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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