They were the acts of shut-in Christians. That's my take on it, anyway.<quoted text>
He was a pastor, but not the pastor. The first time I would have guessed that the people who invited me had nothing to do with his reaction - though they quite clearly knew he had such reactions, as they, and his wife, came to the table and pulled him away.
I never met the pastor, but if I guessed, I'd guess their policy was one of inclusion and not exclusion.
The second time they invited me, to Thanksgiving, I declined b/c of the above incident. These young people insisted it wouldn't happen again. The thing is, it was one of them who pulled me away. Now it could have been because he was curious about atheism and wanted to try his hand at conversion. That would be my guess. I have troubles believing the few of them got together and plotted "let's get the atheist, it will be fun to try to convert her."
The thing is, he quite clearly thought it was ok to do what he did. No one came over and said "you know, she was eating at our table, now you're bothering her." So there was a tacit, general agreement that what he was doing was not wrong. That exists because the Church is clearly a biased space - theism is "real" and "normal and natural" so it's ok to think less of other worldviews. I have no issues with this; after all, it's a church. It exists for worship.
Were these acts of hatred? They were certainly the acts of the hegemonic constructing the other as "not as good, less than us" etc. No one spit in my food, no one physically assaulted me, they continued to invite me to events - declined all offers.
Do you remember my story about walking out in the middle of the sermon when the pastor said "if you don't tithe God gets mad at you"?
I was the only one that walked out, the only one that made a stink about it later on. I met my parents later for breakfast and my dad, who has a masters degree in theology, could not find the verse to confirm with the pastor said.
It made me sick, it really did. It kind of confirmed my thoughts based on the church I went to previously, where the pastor was taking donations to "improve the church", but instead of improving the church, he and his wife got matching Mercedes.
I walked out of that church, too.