I'm not an atheist, so maybe I'm unwelcome in this discussion. But I use to be an atheist until fairly recently. When I was an atheist, nobody messed with me. I never had anyone "shoving their beliefs down my throat." I had people tell me about their religion. I told them about mine (or lack there of.)
They thought I was wrong. I thought they were wrong. I told them they were wrong. They told me I was wrong. One of us was
wrong. Because that's how reality works. My disbelief can't kill God, just as their belief can't create God. Disagreements happen. What constitutes "shoving religion/atheism down someone's throat" versus "I'm not afraid to say what I think because you asked"?
Tolerance. That's the word everyone likes to use nowadays. "Tolerance" of others beliefs. Tolerance doesn't mean agreement or approval. I believe tolerance means agree to disagree.
It seems like every time someone states their religious beliefs someone has to get offended. When I was an atheist, I told people straight up I didn't believe in God. I'm a Christian now, and I tell people straight up that I do believe in God and Jesus and the whole Bible shebang. Using the same words and the same tone and the same almost everything. And guess what? People got a lot more pissed off when I spoke about Christianity. It's like they want
to get offended. Or don't know what it means to be properly offended. Or what "shove in the face" actually means!
To have a belief shoved in your face means that you're constantly annoyed and the subject is brought up when the conversation isn't even about religion. If you can't escape it by shutting the door, changing the subject, or walking away, that's
shoving. Shoving is bullying, basically.
I've been properly shoved only once. Ironically, by an atheist shortly after I converted. She messaged me on facebook, texted me daily, and brought it up everyone she saw me. She insulted my intelligence, because Christians are obviously "close minded idiots." *eyeroll* Unless you're dealing with this sort of crap... You aren't having religion shoved in your faces. Your Christian friend who invites you to church and openly says she believes in God isn't shoving anything. Being given a pamphlet in a public place isn't shoving. You can throw that crap away and not even read it. I've been given so many pamphlets I never read I could create a forest. Someone preaching in a public place. Practice with me: put your hands over your eyes and go "la la la la la!" Because we're all adults here, and we have brain filters to shift through the crap we hear.
Remember: Promote what you love. Don't bash what you hate.
Ignore my disjointed ranty thingy.
I re-read it, and it sounds a little yell-y. The internet poorly translates tone. I'm not mad or yelling.