My first thoughts are: But what do Atheists love? We express ourselves so often in God-Hate that Christians see us as a bunch of haters, cynical and depressive, with nothing better to do than keep Christians from getting their way in schools, science, politics, and media.
There's an implicit assumption here that Christians have an automatic right to get their way in schools, science, politics, and media, so atheists are meany poopy-heads if we disagree. I reject that assumption branch and root. If Christians want to start yelling "Help! Help! We're bein' repressed! Do you see those atheists repressin' us?!" whenever their hegemony is challenged, so what? I reserve the right to either call them out for being privileged assholes, or just point and laugh.
They hate us, but a large portion of them see us as faulty creatures, still able to be mended by God's love.
The latter isn't condescending and/or hateful at all, nosiree. And Jews just need to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost so they can be "completed" Jews. Pardon my French, but fuck that shit
Your justification of why we hate God or the idea of God or the people who impose laws on us based on God's laws is well put. But is there another, more effective way to combat Theism? Justifying our hatred is a fine rallying cry for a gathering of Atheists, but unless we're willing to rush out and start bashing Monotheistic heads, then what is accomplished?
Hmmm, let's see: Abolition of mandatory prayer in public schools--thank you, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, you hateful, Christian-oppressing bitch.
Abolition of "blue laws" in most states. A growing tide of acceptance of homosexuals as, you know, actual human beings deserving of the same rights and citizenship privileges as everyone else. A fusillade of best-selling atheist books that put atheism front and center in the national conversation. Frankly, I think if Christians are clutching pearls and reaching for the smelling salts while howling to each other about the dire threat we represent to their Christian Republic, that means we are Doing It Right.
I'm thinking of those hearings where Christians get on a rampage to get prayer in schools, or get rid of gay marriage, or excommunicate a gay priest, or whatever bandwagon of orthodoxy they're on. What is the method for dealing with this?
Depending on the specifics of the situation, one or both of the following:
1) Outrage backed by facts.
2) Derision and ridicule.
Would expressions of boundless love shock and confuse them?
No. They think they, their beliefs, and the political impositions they wish to foist on everyone are entitled
to boundless love.
If I were still a Christian, the most convincing evidence against religion would be to see the Christian ethic and morality manifest in secular society, and also have those same secularists express that they were Atheists.
To each her/his own, I guess. When I was a Christian, I viewed such efforts at appeasement (such as atheists giving high praise to the "ethical teachings" of Jesus, and so on) as proof that Christianity was true. "See? Deep down, they know we're right. They know that there is no morality apart from the Christian ethic that Made This Nation Great.tm
They're just stubbornly refusing to fully acknowledge
the truth of Christianity because it gets in the way of whatever pet sin is making them want to be atheists in the first place. If it weren't so, they wouldn't be trying so hard to maintain a form of faith while denying its power. As Paul tells us in the Book of Romans, God has written his law on the heart of everyone, so that they are without excuse."
I used to enjoy reading atheist/Humanist writings and taking validation from the way they so often tried to cozy up to Christianity in various ways, or fall straight into various memetic traps.
Though I now view her philosophy as deeply flawed, it was Ayn Rand who shook me loose from the Christian mind-trap by taking the exact opposite approach: a passionate, forthright, no-compromise/appeasement frontal assault in Christianity's claim to the patent and trademark on morality, and advocacy of consistent, unhindered use of rational methodology to test all claims, including Christianity itself.
If not for her, and George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God
delivering the coup de grace, I suppose I'd have had to wait for someone like the Four Horsemen, Paula Kirby, PZ Myers, or Greta Christina to come along.
But: dissensus is good. There may be some who are repelled by the Gnu Atheist approach, but would give arguments against theism more consideration if they think they'll still get to keep their Christian Valuestm
after leaving the supernatural and anti-rational aspects of faith behind. For them, the "accommodationist" approach may be best. The existence and prominence of both
approaches (and perhaps others not invented yet) would arguably make it harder for theists to pigeonhole atheists, and force them to realize that we have diverse views instead of being a Borg-like horde in favor of GodlessNaziCommunistFundamentalistIslam.
The word "Atheist" has been manipulated into being synonymous with devil-worship, which is ironic, but the majority of Americans would claim they were Agnostic or "Spiritual." They are turned off by both sides.
Citation? Last I heard, most Americans (in the seventies percentage wise) claimed to be Christian. If agnostics or "Nones" want to be "turned off by both sides" and just go about their lives, that's fine with me, assuming that they'll be at least a little more turned off by the Religious Wrong trying to have government tell them what to teach their children and what to do with their genitals than by atheists protesting and speaking out in opposition.
I think that the mission of atheist activists
(i.e., the people for whom a discussion of strategy and tactics such as we're having here) should have, as a major goal, to raise the sanity waterline to the point that implicit Christian domination is no longer accepted as "the way things are and ought to be," and atheists are composed of 100% pure, condensed Evilly Evil. "Nice" atheists do this by being living proof that atheists don't eat kittens on Friday and sacrifice babies to Satan on Sunday. Strident "New"-type atheists do this by driving a wrecking ball into the structure of hitherto unquestioned Christian presuppositions and privileges. The same individual atheist can perform both roles, in different contexts.