Occasional contributor Bryant Cody Rudisill throws down the gauntlet:
Let’s make this clear. I didn’t initiate this war, I didn’t set the terms, yet even though I feel like I’m boxing the air, I’ve decided to go to battle.
That your lord and savior advises you to love your enemies (Matt. 5:44) falls utterly flat when balanced with the Pauline promise that the Devil (and all his unbelieving minions, according to Martin Luther) will be crushed beneath your feet (Rom. 16:20).
You see, aside from the insinuation that I–and countless other non-believers–are in league with Satan, is the notion of your lackluster concept of love. Love your enemies? Tell me, Christian, what is your love towards me when it longs for the sort of divine justice that involves my eternal conscious torment? You think this is love? Bollocks.
In your conception of enemy-love, we non-believers are finite objects of Christian witness. But when the eternal arrives we can be sure to receive our due–forever. Now that makes for a great story of deterred cosmic vengeance, but for a sadly toxic love story. In fact, you’ve set yourself and your crucified leader in direct opposition to me. I think many who lack your Christian sentiment let this slide since they think the existence of god is laughably naive and, therefore, find belief in such a deity (with its concomitant eschatological consequences) to be innocuous. This is unfortunate.
Sure, we hardly take much offense in someone making wildly extraterrestrial claims about how failing to wear a tin foil hat is giving nefarious aliens information that will lead to our eventual demise, for example. However, your theological beliefs are distinct in one major way: its extent.
The ideological commitments espoused by evangelicals are geographically widespread and, moreover, politically influential in a Moral Majority-esque way. The fact that there are so many of you believing in our ultimate immorality and infinite punishment makes you a serious moral and intellectual threat. And so, you are my enemy.
Your motivation to love me in this vapidly short life is merely a divine command and the hope that one day I’ll be forced into seeing the truth of the beliefs I have so vehemently set myself against. And by ‘see the truth,’ I mean suffering in a way that even the most unconscionable villain would find reprehensible. This isn’t love, Christian. This is sadism. And until your beliefs are commonly seen as being as pathetically pitiable as someone’s delusional claim that aliens are invading their mind—or can be shown to be as mentally ill—then I’ll pick up the weapons I have within my arsenal of reason to combat you.