You know, I believe this to be the worst arguement against atheism. “You don’t want there to be a god so that your life can be more fun.” Well, maybe I think Christians want so desperately for there to be a god that they will reject logic in exchange for the supposed ‘comfort’ of a loving god. Who wouldn’t love to have someone there, who is always loving, always forgiving, always listening? I know I would. I was raised in church, I understand that the life of a Christian is supposed to be more fun, because Christians were taught (where I grew up, anyway), that living life for Jesus was even more free than the life of non-believers, because with Jesus you aren’t tied down to material desires and ‘the desires of the flesh, ‘ yeah, I get that logic. The fact remains, the logic is clear, there isn’t a god. But god, I wish there were. Believing in God, no matter what Christians around here try to tell you, is EASIER in our society than being an atheist. People get fired, don’t get hired, aren’t trusted, are discriminated against, for being atheists here. My boyfriend and I have to lie to our families, on applications, and sometimes even to friends, because we know the presuppositions that come with being an atheist. It’s not a decision made because we “want to have fun,” it’s a decision based on logic, and it is most of the time, not fun or advantagous at all.
Last night, my spouse shared with me a quote from a listserve to the effect that Christians are constantly assaulted by anti-Christians. We talked about this for a bit, and realized that there is a very big difference between anti-Christian and anti-atheist action in the U.S.
As you describe, anti-atheist action can take the form of job discrimination, shunning, hate speech, and physical attacks. Perhaps more importantly, these things can happen regardless of the behavior of the atheist.
Anti-Christian action (and I almost want to put that in quotes) is generally in the form of stopping Christians from getting preferential treatment or imposing their religion on others. When asked for examples of anti-Christian assaults, one person I corresponded with replied, “many, many things such as banning religious speech in schools, trying to remove Christmas displays, and saying ‘happy holidays’ instead of ‘merry Christmas’.” To me, these are very different issues — particularly since many Christians would be against giving some of these “rights” to non-Christians (for example, I’m spoken to some Christians who think that children should be allowed to discuss or hand out literature about Christianity at public schools but think that atheists shouldn’t be allowed to do the same).
Now, I know these are generalizations, and I also know that there are some atheists who are genuinely discriminatory against Christians. But, overall, I think the perception by Christians that they are under attack is based on false or unbalanced assumptions.