Looking back in anger?

When I was a pre-schooler, my grandmother used to tell me stories – lots of stories. Being born in the land of the Brothers Grimm does have its advantages. Some of the stories I found frightening, but most of them enthralled me and engaged my (hyperactive) imagination. As a kid, the distinction between real world and fantasy was arbitrary and flowing; one world bled into the other, both were equally real to me.

Over time, I learned to differentiate between the two. I learned that Hänsel and Gretel didn’t really exist, and that, sadly, neither do dragons.

Today, believers often ask me, “why do you hate God?” I find this question to be disingenuous at best. It seems that they mistake my argument for rationality as animosity towards their god, that I perhaps feel betrayed by the fact that he doesn’t exist. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When I found out that Gretel was a fictitious character, I didn’t start hating her. I accepted it as fact. Why would I feel betrayed? Moreover, how do you hate something that does not exist?

Between the Frog King, Rapunzel and Cinderella, I of course heard the stories of Noah, Adam and Eve, and Jesus. Which kid in my town hasn’t? Today I know that these tales are fiction. Fairies, Dragons and Gods don’t exist. I’m saddened by the fact that they don’t, because the world would be much more colorful if they did. But hate? Again – how could I hate something that does not exist?

No sane person would hate gods.

… or believe in them.