37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:31;37
Respect: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way
Judge: to form an opinion about (something or someone) after careful thought
There are many good examples that we can use to illustrate the rampant hypocrisy involved in being a Christian believer, but none is as blatant as this one. I often come across theists who demand that I respect their beliefs. They try to remind me how they have a right to their beliefs and how I should acknowledge that and if I don't feel the same way that I should just not say anything at all about the matter.
Although I am not a Christian and don't accept the Bible as the word of any god at all nor even the existence of gods I have chosen to cite verses 31 and 37 from the book of Luke chapter 6. I have done so because these two verses speak of something that is very important and that in my opinion most Christians choose to ignore in everyday life and practice. Verse 31 speaks of respect and 37 speaks of judging others. Let me make myself clear from the outset that I respect everyone's right to believe whatever they please, but that does not mean that I have to respect the beliefs themselves.
The first verse I have cited sums it all up pretty nicely. Basically, if you want respect you must give respect! Respect like trust is a two way street, if you expect either of them from others towards yourself you should also give the same back. Don't expect people to respect you if all you give them in return is blatant disregard and disdain for not believing as you do. Christians like all other religious believers of the world claim to have "the truth" and it is by this so called truth that they judge others. They don't judge people by their merits since according to the scriptures:
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." Romans 3:12
It's ironic how Christianity on the one hand talks about loving your neighbor and your enemies while at the same time it teaches you how to be prejudice against those that don't accept your beliefs. Christians whether they acknowledge it or not speak with an air of arrogance and condescension when it comes to discussing their faith with non-believers.
Prejudice: an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.
Nonbelievers are judged by theists not as individuals or based on our own merits, but rather based on what believers think their god has to say about those who refuse to believe. Christians judge others on the very same things that they themselves are guilty of but consider themselves redeemed because they have chosen to believe in the myths outlined in the scriptures.
1The fool says in his heart,“There is no God.”They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;there is no one who does good. Psalm 14:1
The Bible teaches you to dislike people based not on what they do or how they behave towards one another but rather on what they believe! Orthodox and Fundamentalist Christians have done some horrible things towards one another in the name of their god throughout history. Even in the scriptures we read of some of the horrendous acts in the O.T. by the ancient Hebrews towards other nations and peoples who had other beliefs other than their own. Normally we would condemn such acts like the ones described in the O.T. such as killing men, women, and children in the name of God or even committing the sacrilege of destroying another peoples idols or temples of worship. But instead what do theists do even today? They minimize these horrible acts and judge them as righteous by blaming the victims for being sinners or not believing in their religion of choice!
I have yet to meet a theist who condemns the acts of believers as they have been outlined and described in the Bible. The scriptures teach you self loathing and seek to remind you that from the moment you are born you come into the world with a debt of sin owed to its deity. You are taught to hate the "flesh" and seek the things of the spirit. Even God reminds us in the scriptures before the flood how horrible we are.
5The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. Genesis 6:5
I personally don't care what any particular person chooses to believe as long as those beliefs are not forced upon me or affect my life in any way. But I don't believe that anyone's personal beliefs gives them the right to judge others and dislike others and their lifestyles based on those beliefs. People should be judged as individuals and on their own merits. I have met some good Christians, Muslims, and Jews who despite their beliefs have come across as good people who are friendly, understanding, and make good friends. In the end its not what you believe but how you treat others that will determine how you are treated and judged in return.
Finally, if you want to believe that you can't be good without God, then you have every right to do so. But that does not give you the right to think that everyone else in the world is subject to your rules of judgement. Theists, if you treated all people with respect instead of being condescending towards them based only on your beliefs you might actually get that same respect back. Our labor laws here in the U.S. should apply to everyday life and how we treat each other. Just as these laws prohibit discrimination against hiring someone based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin we should treat each other as individuals regardless of the above mentioned factors. None of those factors determine who you are as a person or as an individual. I'll respect your right to believe whatever you please when you respect my right to reject your beliefs and stop judging me based on those beliefs.
Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures (NIV)
All word definitions are taken from the online Merriam Webster Dictionary.