There is a Christian bias in most writing done by Christians about non-Christian religions. This applies even when seemingly secular scholars analyse religions like Hinduism, presumably because the Christian bias is still somehow a part of their mental make-up.
Christianity is treated as a sort of default value against which all other traditions must be judged. Thus, unwittingly Christianity becomes a domestic entity while the other cultures becomes exoticised.
The other culture becomes all magic and mysticism. It’s history becomes imaginary. All this, of course, in the backdrop of Christianity, which has certain inescapable truth claims at its foundation — the divinity of Jesus Christ, the crucification and the resurrection, the prophesied second coming. These are things that even vastly different Christian denominations take seriously to different degrees.
The problem with these truth claims is more than just the fact that there is little or no evidence to validate them. The problem is that in order to be take seriously, these truth claims must necessarily negate known historical facts as well as the claims other religions make about reality.
- Jesus cannot be the “one true way” if any other religion is to be even considered as valid.
- Biblical chronology cannot be accurate if we are to take modern scientific understanding of the age of the Earth and the universe seriously.
- Christianity’s claims about god’s existence and nature cannot be true if our understanding of natural phenomena is true.
It is for these reasons that there remain strains in modern Christianity which are scarcely distinguishable from the most primitive tribal belief systems. And these schools of thought get routinely pummeled from rational and reasonable quarters in the secular world as well as certain parts of the Christian world. The upsurge of atheism in the Western world in recent times can be attributed in large part to the ridiculousness of Christian truth claims. And this upsurge has been met with a counter-movement as well, wherein Christian dogma has sought to survive by infiltrating science classrooms (Creationism and the so-called “Intelligent Design” movement).
Atheists in America have built their arguments to work against Christianity. This doesn’t always work when they face off against religions as different from Christianity as Hinduism. There are many ways that the dogmatic side of Hinduism can be addressed / debunked. However, the methods that are usually used to debunk Christian stupidity don’t quite cut it with Hinduism.
Atheists therefore, fall upon using arguments fueled by a Christian bias against Hinduism. Hence, the emphasis on “mythology” and the relative strangeness of Hinduism compared to what they understand religion to be.