In a story published in the Manchester Evening news, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor instructs everyone…
"Love thy atheist neighbor"
Well thank you father for being so… Christian???
I had a discussion not too long ago with a friend who commented; “look what good work all the Christians are doing, building play grounds for kids, helping the homeless, giving to shelters…” The big issue I have always had with putting a label on kindness is just that, you are putting your label on something that doesn’t require a label.
We all have good intentions, thoughts and desires. We all have some really ugly ones too. The difference is that some humans listen to one side and some to the other. The theist is always quick to point out that this is simply their God or their Satan. I maintain it is even more simple than that. It is simply human nature. There really are good people and bad people. Sometime circumstances drive the nature; sometimes the human overcomes the circumstances. The bottom line is, you are either good at heart or you are not. (I believe most people are, but a bit misguided)
People who build playgrounds and give generously of their time are generally doing it because they are good people. They don’t need a label to show why they are good. I know many atheists who are much more generous than I and they do all the things you would associate with a kind hearted person. The difference is the Christians have good PR people. They gather all their friends together (I suspect a few atheists are in there as well) and then tell everyone to “smile for the picture”. Now to be perfectly fair...it should be pointed out that Atheist are quick to point out how they too are helpful. Atheist Volunteers
So what happens if you take away the label? In the perfect world; when there are no religions, what would all the children be left to play in the dirt? Would the homeless be left to fend for themselves? The obvious answer is “NO”. All of the same kind hearted people would do the same things they are doing now.
In a discussion between and atheist and a theist I heard the atheist ask “if you have irrefutable evidence today that god absolutely did not exist, would you start rapping, pillaging and killing.” The theist answered “Well sure, why not?” So for this person his religion was the only thing making him a “good person”. At the conclusion of the conversation the atheist told the theist, “I hope you stay in church for the rest of your life!” I agree. Not only was the theist psychotic but obviously an idiot.
Be kind to everyone PERIOD! Because you are the guardian of your kind heart and you don’t have to be a god, or worship one, to offer a helping hand.