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HomeArchivesI don’t need Jesus to know peace, and neither should you

I don’t need Jesus to know peace, and neither should you

Whitney Beyer
The Broadside

I am an atheist.
Please, I ask of you, do not stone me should you encounter me in the parking lot.
I don’t believe in God, Christ, Heaven, Hell, or the afterlife – the logic just isn’t there for me. I believe in the here and now, and I believe in the golden rule most popularized by modern Christianity: do unto others as you would have done unto you.
While I’ve always tried to respect the beliefs of the 78 percent of Americans that identify themselves as Christian – ok, ok, minus the occasional sarcastic remark I make in my head – I’ve had a difficult time understanding why benevolence appears to be such a flashy and unnecessary production in the Christian world.
Call me crazy for asking, but when did people start thinking they need a reason to do good?
Perhaps this is just a matter of opinion, but good people don’t do good things out of fear of a divine power, good people do good things because it’s the right thing to do.
For Christians, however, it seems like more of a rite of passage – do good because the Bible says so and that’s your ticket to the land of milk and honey.
In some cases, volunteer work seems like a pissing match between Christian sects. Hey guys, let’s go build houses in Mexico for a couple of weeks so we can wear shirts that let everyone know we’re better Christians than them.
News flash: you all believe in the same thing.
Despite my lash of tongue toward the Christian faith, I do truly respect the beliefs of others because I know how much I appreciate others respecting my atheistic views (golden rule, anyone?)
What I don’t respect is the bumper sticker I saw on the car next to me in one of the campus parking lots last week. The sticker read: “No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, Know Peace.” Huh?
I don’t know Jesus, but I certainly know peace. In fact, I’d be willing to submit that I am a more active advocate of peace and human rights than many Christians I know personally.
I’ve got some thick skin, but I found this sticker downright offensive.
I don’t care if you’re an atheist, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a Jew – everyone should have a problem with this bumper sticker and its claim that there is no peace without the supposed son of God whose existence, by the way, has never been proven.
When it comes to peace, I’m going to stick with Jimi Hendrix: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
Maybe I’ll make a sticker that reads: “No Jimi, No Peace. Know Jimi, Know Peace.”
Now that’s a sticker I can get behind.
You may contact Whitney Beyer at wbeyer@cocc.edu

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5 COMMENTS

  1. The question for a lot of people then becomes where morality actually comes from. If there isn’t a divine being making the rules, then who really defines what is good and what is bad? You really want to respect my beliefs? Well, what if my belief is that it’s okay to murder someone? Or steal their car? What gives you the right to say that this is bad? It’s my belief, right?

    What is this article about? In the end you talk about peace…but if you really wanted peace, then why the “tongue-lashing” against Christianity? Why even bring up the point that you don’t believe in God? After reading this, I can sense bitterness and frustration in your tone, which is understandable, but don’t say you have peace, want peace, then turn around and start blasting people and their faith and how messed up we are, because that’s not offering peace. It’s spreading flames. And most of all, it makes you a hypocrite.

  2. Whitney,

    I am a Christian. I have been in extremely difficult situations and have endured hardships that are no greater than the next persons. I’m sorry if the experiences that you have had with people who call themselves Christians has not been pleasant. I can’t change the way you see things. What can offer is maybe a some food for thought regarding the sticker you saw.

    Perhaps this individual had experienced some great trauma in their life – rape, loss of a loved one, divorce, molestation, abuse (verbal, physical, or sexual), etc. Maybe they spent a large portion of their life trapped in depression or in a circumstance where essentially, there is no peace.

    Now imagine with me if you will, the day someone invited this person to church, reached out and became a friend, or maybe the individual just picked up a Bible and started reading. Through some course of action, whether assisted by someone or on their own doing, they decided to have faith in Jesus Christ.

    It could be that when they came across this bumper sticker, the phrase “No Jesus. No Peace. Know Jesus. Know Peace.” leaped out at them in the form of self realization. Before they had faith in Jesus, they had no peace within their life, and now – now they have come to peace with the past.

    Maybe I’m getting too deep into things, but my point is this: Before we pass judgement in haste, it may be good to take a step back and look at the big picture.

    Someone who shows a “Gay Pride” bumper sticker, or a “Obama ’08,” or even a “No Jesus. No Peace. Know Jesus. Know peace.” is exercising their right to speech. Whether we agree with it or not is absolutely our right as well, however, there is a difference between disagreeing and casting judgement.

  3. Hello, sweetie seems like you go a long way to define there is no Jesus. That’s fine, but you do seem a little sarcastic well that’s how you feel that’s fine, Jesus, Father love you just the way you are. So you don’t have to accept or like Him that’s just fine. Because as for myself I belief He will us and you don’t have to accept this and He gave us free will to chose any direction we choose. That’s the beauty He give us who belief. So good night and God bless.
    ps. He does say thank you Father for hiding this from the wise and the ones who are knowledgeable and reveal this to the humble. So If you ever need Him he is waiting and don’t let pride guide you.

  4. Excellent article! Sadly, most Christians will never truly understand the nonbelievers and their reasons for leaving the fold.

    And for those wondering what defines “good” and “bad,” check this article out: http://decidingtobebetter.com/morality.htm

    I’m an atheist at heart and respect the beliefs of others. I saw no hypocrisy or hate in this essay. Sure, you are angered, but that’s natural. However, anger and hate are NOT the same thing. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

    The people who do good just because their Christianity promises them rewards proves that they are all selfish.

    The reason why I do good unto others is not because of religion but because I like to put myself in the shoes of the people I want to help. Imagine if I was that poor orphan down the street with no one to hold on to and feel loved by. Imagine the incredible delight of seeing an adult walking my way and offering to adopt me so they could provide me food and shelter… and love. Love is beautiful. This is why I like to help other people. I don’t attribute anything to Christ because there is no proof that he exists. If there isn’t proof that he exists, then he’s just an imaginary character.

    Plus, the Bible is chock full of cruelties and absurdities. Did you know we’re supposed to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath? Yeah, I know, those are “old” laws and shouldn’t be followed… then why the hell do so many Christians have a stick up their butt when concerning homosexuals? In Leviticus we are told that homosexuals are to be put to death. How loving is that? Thank Nature I’m no longer a Christian!

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