I've noticed something peculiar in recent years. I'm sure it's been going on for a lot longer but I'm slow on the uptake, I guess. I mean, it's not a newsflash that atheists tend to be angry. Read the combox of just about any Christian blog and you'll find some angry atheist (almost a redundancy alert) insulting Christians as stupid and/or oppressive.
I just read this at CNS News:
For three decades, until his death in 1953, Josef Stalin was the mass-murdering atheist dictator of Soviet Russia.I guess maybe there was a time when this was not common but most atheists I speak to seem angered by Christians as well as any talk of God. Now, I've had conversations with them (or attempted to) and they say they're angry because Christianity is such an oppressive force and they're angered by our dictatorial ways in trying to make people live according to our rules. Y'know, like those crazy rules like don't kill babies and men should pee in the stand up urinals.
He was also a fool.
In his 1994 book, “Can Man Live Without God,” famed Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias recounts a story he heard firsthand from British Journalist Malcomb Muggeridge “that stirred [him] then and still does even yet.”
Muggeridge had collaborated with Svetlana Stalin, Josef Stalin’s daughter, on a BBC documentary about her God-hating father. She recounted his last act of defiant rebellion against the Creator: “[A]s Stalin lay dying, plagued with terrifying hallucinations, he suddenly sat halfway up in bed, clenched his fist toward the heavens once more, fell back upon his pillow, and was dead.”
“[H]is one last gesture,” observed Zacharias, “was a clenched fist toward God, his heart as cold and hard as steel.”
In my experience it is something common among atheists: an inexplicable, incongruent and visceral hatred for the very God they imagine does not exist.
But in the end, many of them aren't just angry at Christians, they're angry with God. They're so angry with Him that they ignore Him. My kids will sometimes do this to each other when they're really mad at each other. They pretend they can't see or hear them and if they try to get their attention they'll say something mature like "Hmmm, I hear the wind."
When I'm faced with anger in the combox or via email, my initial instinct is always to snark back at them and mock it up. I know it's probably not the right thing. (I'm triggered. You can't blame me!!!!) But it's a pretty horrifying thought that God loves them too and desperately wants to reach them. And if I'm an impediment to them believing in God's love then...things may not go so well for me either.
So they can shake their fist at God and I have a choice to shake my fist back at them on God's behalf or show them love in return. Snark is so much more fun though. Y'know, I love it when people say that Christians become Christians because it's easier. Dude, if I'm looking for easy I'm not following the crucified Christ. This is so hard.