“Help! You’re Not Persecuting Us Enough!”
I was tipped off to this story by a link on the Facebook page of my university's Skeptics Society, and got such a bee in my bonnet about it that I thought I'd flesh out my strongly worded comments into a blog post.
Auckland University Student Life (who, I believe, are the same organisation as Campus Crusade for Christ), are holding an egg throwing event: They are inviting non-Christians to throw eggs at Christians, with the catch that "The meaning of the Easter story and Christ's resurrection will be explained to those wanting to throw eggs,"
According to one of the organisers:
"For me I haven't always been a Christian. And before I was a Christian, I was thinking about what I would connect with, and if I got a chance to egg a Christian, I would be there.
"So we're hoping to reach students wherever they're at on campus – whether they're atheist, agnostic, Hindu – we're just keen to have some chats with people."
Now, see, this whole thing really gets my goat. I mean, I'm cool on these sorts of events if it is some sort of donate a dollar for each egg you throw (or better, don't waste food, throw water balloons), and the proceeds are put toward group events or donated to charity. However, the whole premise behind this seems to be that they're painting atheists as horrible people, inviting us to do something not-very-nice to them, and then that helps them feed their excessive persecution complex* and perpetuates the myth that atheists and other non-believing folk (not to mention people of other faiths) are immoral.
It is also pretty condescending to think that most students will have gotten to University without ever having heard the Easter story.
A couple of people on the facebook thread I found this on expressed the sentiment– Hey, they're inviting it, why not throw eggs at them? There are times and places to be dicks to people who are being dicks for Jesus, sure. But when they're calling the shots and expecting us to conform to the bigoted stereotype they've created, then the thing to do is shun the box they're putting us in. Many commenters on Friendly Atheist have suggested taking the eggs, and instead of throwing them, donating them to a food bank or homeless shelter.
*Despite reference to Auckland University Atheists, as far as I can tell no such group exists, and I counted fourteen Christian organisations on the Auckland University clubs page. It is true that the vast majority of students will be non-religious, but for most that means apathy, not antitheism. They're not being persecuted, they're being ignored.
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