‘Religious People are Stupid!’ … Apparently

Actor Brian Cox in 2016
Credit: Greg2600, Wikipedia, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed

Are you religious? I am.

So, are you stupid? I won’t say “I am.” to that question, and I believe you won’t either.

We should all know that many people believe, sincerely, that religious people are stupid. Most people who believe that identify as Atheists. You might be surprised to learn that this belief is common, and I think it’s growing, in our modern societies.

If you believe in some religion, have you had your moment? Did someone tell you that you are stupid to believe those ideas?

Wait for it.

An actor and atheist from Scotland, named Brian Cox, recently spoke about the stupidity in religion, and he was quoted by news sources.

One quote is, “Religion has sold humans a false story about reality and contributed to their own ‘stupidity.’”

I am writing as a Christian, and by this definition I am stupid, or I am contributing to stupid thinking and stupid behavior, in this world.

That is disturbing. Now I want to argue.

It is easy to answer back. You know what those atheists are like, right? They [ … ] and they teach us that [ … ]. You can fill in the blanks. We could argue back and say they are trying to make themselves tall by standing on other people.

When we say that the person who is different from me is stupid (or use any other insult), we are saying that we are not stupid, and in translation, we are intelligent.

The classical straw-man argument is to make my opponent a loser, and so, in contrast, make myself a winner. And when I explain, the way I just did, I win my straw-man argument.

Now they look like a bunch of dummies, and I am some kind of hero. The conversation could become like an angry encounter among children in a schoolyard. We can sink very low into immature behavior.

Some Atheists know this:

As Christians, we have a big problem with angry arguments with the enemy. We can’t go there. We are told to show God’s love: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6: 27 and 28)

There might be room for a logical answer, but we have marching orders, and we cannot return insults for insults. We don’t get to win the argument.


There is something else we should know. The atheists might be right. Some of them are intelligent, and they might see some truth that people like me should also see. We should know that religion can be very wrong, and the Atheist word “stupid” might apply.

Really. I can show you this truth in the Bible.

The Bible word that is translated as “miserable” or “most to be pitied” in English, might be a variation on “stupid” or “loser.”

We are told, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15: 17 to 19)

The centerpiece of the Christian religion is the death of the founder, Jesus, on the cross. And the second part of that story is that he returned from the dead three days later. That is our great expression of the power of God.

God came down to us and died, and then returned from the dead. That is not a logical argument.

If we identify ourselves as Christians, followers of Jesus, but we only have ideas and arguments, we are the losers “most to be pitied.” If the supernatural power of God is erased from us, we are the most pitiful losers in the world.

That teaching comes from the Bible. The atheist critics are just noticing this truth lately. We knew this two thousand years ago, or we should have.

We are not called to active combat in the arena with the critics. Our battlefield is very different, and there is some space to be kind to them.

So, religious person, are you stupid? Does your God have any power? Or are the critics right?

We might be surprised to learn who understands this truth:

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