This post was originally my response to a question in Christianity Through Its Scriptures.
“How are those who belong defined or viewed by the ways in which they view or define those who don’t belong?“
Within the Church of England church there seems to be a general acceptance of the ‘other’, whether that be different religions/denominations or no religion, humanists and/or atheist (if there is a difference).
The atheists, by contrast, whilst generally benign, have a significant number of members who accept no view but their own, some being quite aggressive about it.
A quick look at humanism.co.uk definition , while not explicitly anti Christian or religious, is implicitly so in the wording of their opening statement. They say in the first section of their definition, “and is therefore an atheist or agnostic”. But, since both atheism and religion is a matter of belief, with no absolute proof either way, is this fair?
It goes on to say “makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals”. Isn’t this what Christians do too, albeit that they express it differently?
Another preconception within the non-religious community of the UK seems to be how little the church gives to charity, and is in itself also a charity. Taking the second point first, it might be otherwise stated that it is supported by it’s members, just like the humanist society is, but is conveniently forgotten.
What the CofE gives to other charities, it runs into millions of pounds, but because it is often relatively small amounts here and there to different causes, it does not make news media like major charity initiatives such as Children In Need.
It seems that both the religious and non religious often perceive each other in an equally bad light. Christianity is a religion. At times, the non religious, in particular the humanist/atheist behave like their belief, for that’s what it is, a belief that there is no God, is a religion too.