This post by Rika Christensen originally appeared at Addicting Info.
Pat Robertson offered his views on why there are women who are atheists. According to The Raw Story, in his mind, women who are atheists and openly hostile to any mention of God have something seriously wrong in their pasts. Answering a viewer’s question on why someone she witnessed to was that hostile, Pat Robertson said there was probably abuse or rape in her past.
Perhaps this rapist hurt her, and then acted like he was behaving in a Biblical manner. Or, perhaps he told her that God said it was a man’s duty to rape his daughter. Or something to that effect. Regardless, Pat Robertson believes the hostility is because this woman has bad past experiences she associates with God.
Why are some atheists hostile towards mentions of God?
So, it couldn’t possibly be because atheists are sick of being told they’re possessed by demons or under demonic influence. They couldn’t possibly be tired of hearing that they’re sinners, and God will judge them and condemn them to hell. It’s obviously not because atheists are sick and tired of feeling like Christians are forcing their religion on everyone around them.
Some atheists might be hostile because they’re angry at God. But not all.
An article on CNN in 2011 discussed a study of college students that found atheists and agnostics seemed to report more anger towards God in their pasts than believers did. The study appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and, according to CNN, also reported that younger people tended to be angrier at God than older people were. The researchers believe that might be due to the shifting cultural norms surrounding religion.
The CNN article does warn that these findings are not definitive. They’re part of an emerging social science field called inquiry, which means they could later be bolstered by other studies, or debunked.
However, assuming for a moment that this study does accurately represent atheists’ views, anger at God could come from anything; it doesn’t have to be rape or abuse. There’s a lot of injustice in the world, and atheists might look at that and wonder how a loving God could just let it continue unchecked. They could feel like Christians are lying when they say God is loving, simply because the harsh nature of the real world doesn’t show evidence of that love to an atheist.
People are atheists for lots of reasons. For Pat Robertson to say that it happens because of abuse, or rape, or a traumatic event is to make a blanket judgment about an entire group of people that he doesn’t know. To be fair, he’s occasionally lucid, like when he told Ken Ham to stop making an idiot of himself over creationism. However, when it comes to atheism, Pat Robertson has an awful lot to learn.
Here’s the video:
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