This is pretty interesting and well reasoned. Via Fred Clark, of course.
What Do Atheists Stand For?
So, what do atheists want? What do atheists want from Christians in this country? Well, I’ll tell you a few things that I would like. First of all, I’d like you to believe whatever you want, but I’d like you to be skeptical in your beliefs. Because, your beliefs are your own business, but people will try to use your beliefs to control you. Charlatans and others know that you are more likely to do what they want you to do if they tell you God, Jesus or the bible tells you you should do it. When you hear those words, beware, someone is trying to control you. Also, please don’t take the Bible literally. It’s an awesome book. I’d recommend everyone here read it: Christian, Jew, atheist [or] otherwise. It’s a wonderful book and an important part of our culture, but it says things like, and I quote, “Put to death men and women, children and infants!” – 1 Samuel 15:3. “As for the women, take these as plunder.” – Deuteronomy 20:14 “And you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you.” – Leviticus 25:44. It also says that the rain we had today is caused when the windows from the dome over the Earth, are opened up. And, that birds, well, that bats are birds (Lev 11:19) even though they are mammals. So, when read it, read it for inspiration. Read it to learn, it has lessons to be had. But, be careful what you read. Don’t take it literally. Use the judgment you’re already using. Christians out there, other people of faith, I know you don’t think slavery is right. I know you reject enslaving women and taking them as plunder. Reject the parts that are ill and accept the parts that are good.
What atheists are not trying to do? Let’s clear up a few things there. We are not attacking the religious people of the world. We question all religions, just as you question other religions. A critique of religion and religious institutions is not a critique of religious people. Just like the critique of a business is not a criticism of its customers.