I'm sure many know here that there is a reasonably sizeable percentage of the population (Xians) who get very bent out of shape, proven by statements/sentiments such as:
I don't want my beliefs assaulted (or ridiculed).
Why do you tear down my beliefs every time we talk?
Why are you shoving your secular beliefs down my throat?
Why must you step on my beliefs?
So, here's the plan.
What if a group of atheists congregated (no pun) around a church on sunday and outwardly, talking amongst themselves either:
1) matter-of-factly talked about Osiris, Mithras, Sumerian, Santa Claus (technically a deity) or any other earlier religion discussing the parallels between Jesus and those deities, etc. with the INTENT of confusing their kids (or even the adults).
2) made outward fun of people who believed in god or Jesus, etc., laughing about it, making fair (but ridiculous in their minds) analogies.
Assume for now that we're not loitering or doing anything against any ordinances (technically, or in spirit).
Now, we know the Xians are going to get bent out of shape. The question is, what will they do about it? Complain to the paper? Try to pass ordinances in towns (where the atheists congregate) to prevent this form of freedom of speech (which it is).
If they had to go to church EVERY sunday for the foreseeable future KNOWING they are going to be "subjected" to anti-religious talk/sentiments, they're going to crack eventually (especially since their kids are involved and can hear).
Further down the line, if things were to get so out of hand that eventually state lawmakers were lobbied to pass restrictions on religious speech in the public square, we'd all know a theocracy has been born and it's time to move.
I'm not saying I'd do this, but it would be an interesting experiment. My larger point being, FEW religious people could withstand an "assault" (intellectual, logic, reason) on their beliefs on a continual basis without become a recluse or seriously thinking about their position.
Sounds a bit too much like those religious nuts who harass abortion clinics for my taste. Do we really want to get fanatical about this? Aren’t we supposed to be the rational, reasonable ones?
That’s why I offered 2 options: 1 matter-of-fact discussion about religion, the other a much more in-your-face M.O.
My larger point is: how would parents of children who they want to teach to believe the same things they do, react to having information they don’t want their kids exposed to.
I’m even more dubious about your first approach. Too much like the approach of those who knock on my door to try to give me copies of the Watchtower. I’m afraid the general response, even from me, would probably be something like: “Huh?”
Frankly I’m delighted that you’re thinking hard and coming up with ideas, and it’s not that I’ve come up with anything better. You have to keep in mind that this debate’s gone on for well over 100 years and both “sides” are pretty immune by now to whatever arguments the other side comes up with. So I’m not sure it’s going to do much good to get all activist about, uh, converting people on either side.
Considering our current political situation, it’s terribly important to come up with a new approach that can actually have an effect.
Historically, this current resurgance of religious zeal from the Christians should wane soon, by the year 2020 when no one has been raptured yet, they should start settling down.
Every millenium has seen a revival and resurgance of Christianity.
Even now, there are quite a few Christians that think this the Millenium of Christs reign, and he has already come back, and the rapture already happened when the temple was destroyed.
By the year 2999, maybe they forget about it = )