OK. Here are some of the things I wish Christians would understand about me and my beliefs:
1. Please don’t try to convert me. In return, I won’t foist my atheism on you. Your chance of success is about the same as the chance someone will successfully convert you to Hinduism.
2. If you insist on trying, please do not employ a scripture-based argument. I don’t believe in scripture, so your argument simply doesn’t make any sense to me.
3. Don’t ask me to read the Bible. I’ve read it. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t believe in it.
4. I celebrate Christmas and do not feel like a hypocrite. There are no reindeer, elves or Santas in the Bible.
5. I have no problem with prayer in public schools. You can pray any time, anywhere. I do have a problem with organized prayers endorsed by public schools.
6. I think nativity displays are pretty. But they belong on church property, not public property. They are essentially advertisements for religion.
7. The Ten Commandments do not belong in public buildings. I agree that it’s bad to kill and steal, but the other commandments violate Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religion. Post the Bill of Rights in every courthouse instead.
8. I consider myself a moral person. I follow an ethical system based the Golden Rule (which, by the way, is common to Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism). I believe morality is an outgrowth of rational self-interest and natural altruism.
9. I sometimes visit churches. I love the music and traditions and rituals. I believe it is psychologically healthy to confess your sins, to pray, and to celebrate communion with god or the universe or the force or whatever.
10. I am not even slightly worried about going to hell.