It’s Christmas season — the time of year when militant atheists and their fellow freethinkers coordinate attempts to prevent and disrupt Nativity displays around the country.
Wherever these innocent and generally welcomed nativity scenes are showcased, there’s usually an atheist complaining to local authorities that public displays of nativity scenes — baby Jesus, his family, shepherds and wise men — are “offensive” to their irreligious-refined, cultural sensibilities.
Not all atheists engage in theatrical, anti-Christian protests or are enthusiastically “offended” by Christmas nativity scenes. However, atheists as a whole have been stigmatized by the frequent and spirited actions of a less mature, radical subset of their fellow unbelievers, facilitated by anti-religious groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU — in addition to an ever-willing media.
In their anti-religious pursuits, atheists cite the First Amendment as justification for their complaints — at the expense of the free-exercise provision that exists within the same statute. The obvious and disingenuous agenda of these radical atheists has gained considerable strength — resulting from the social virtue of political correctness, secularization, and intimidation via the number of legal rulings that have forced the removal of religious Christmas displays from the public.
It’s no coincidence that atheists concentrate their anger against the God worshiped by Christians. These radical atheists dare not display the same obnoxious fervor and courage confronting Muslims who celebrate Ramadan. Oh, no. It’s much easier to bully and intimidate those whose religion teaches its adherents to “turn the other cheek” than it is to bully those whose religion teaches them to “kill the infidel.” Phil Zuckerman, atheist and professor of Secular Studies at Pitzer College, recently admitted what many already know, saying,
“I know what keeps me from critiquing Islam on my blog is just fear. I’ve got three kids. So I know I can say anything about Christianity or Mormonism, and I’m not living in fear, which is a testament to Christianity and Mormonism, and that’s wonderful. Thank you.”
Only Christians and particularly during Christmastime, are the primary beneficiaries of this kind “tolerance” by atheists who’re intent on forcing their disbelief onto others. For example, atheists in Florida have applied and been given approval to display a “gay pride Festivus pole,” and a Flying Spaghetti Monster at the state capitol.
According to RawStory,
“The state’s Department of Management Services has approved atheist activist Chaz Stevens’s beer pole — a holiday display from the made-up “Festivus” religion in the sitcom Seinfeld — and the Hanukkah menorah… The Department also recently received a request to display the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a satirical deity worshipped by so-called “Pastafarians.” “This display will communicate and represent the belief systems of atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, and other irreligious citizens of the state of Florida,” the application for the Flying Spaghetti Monster display says. It is “intended to inspire a sense of community and belonging for all those who view it.”
The Christian group who normally displays the nativity scene has divided against doing so this year.
In Nebraska, a coalition of atheists and humanist groups booked exhibition space in the capitol building to intentionally limit the number of days the nativity would be displayed.
From The Guardian:
When Christmas comes to Lincoln, Nebraska this year, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus will find there is no room in the inner halls of the state capitol – and no manger either. Instead, there will be an 8ft “happy humanist” next to a “reason tree” dedicated to science and “human intellectual achievement”… On Friday, a classic Christian nativity scene was erected in the rotunda of Nebraska’s capitol building…. But on 18 December the nativity will have to be moved, to make way for exhibits [organized] by a coalition of atheist and humanist groups who last summer booked up all available exhibition space in the rotunda for the week around Christmas Day. From 19 to 26 December, therefore, the capitol will host an exhibition called Reason this Season, organized by Lincoln Atheists, Omaha Atheists and several other humanist associations.”
In Kentucky, a school decided to remove the biblical reference from an elementary school Christmas play of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” after a single complaint.
Militant, postmodern atheists seem discontent and diligently incapable of living their lives completely unconcerned with a belief system centered on a God that they’re convinced doesn’t exist. Rather than devoting no time to that which for them isn’t real, these anti-Christian atheists have become increasingly belligerent and very spiteful in their aspirations to have all vestiges of Christian religiosity removed from public areas.
Again, if God doesn’t exist, or Jesus isn’t who he claimed to be, why do atheists bother? I don’t believe aliens exist so I prefer not to waste any time thinking about aliens, trying to prove they don’t exist or trying to force my non-belief on people who do.
More specifically, if atheists are interested in convincing rather than coercing people about the strength of their belief system, they should spend their time constructively engaging people on the philosophical merits of their ideology, throughout the year, rather than offending and insulting the devout during the Christmastime. Persuading folks about the practical and inherent benefits of atheism is a much more respectable form of evangelicalism than insults, public intimidation and dishonest claims of being offended.
And I think there’s a psychological undercurrent to the aggressive agenda of radical atheists. There’s a sentient fear among radical atheists. Radical atheists recognize, either consciously or subconsciously, that their belief system is inadequate when it comes to the explanation of, and consolation within, a moral cosmos. Religion offers that explanation, especially Christianity, but it’s totally absent in atheism.
When Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and wounded 21 others in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA, Christians and others prayed and sent condolences in support of the victims, the survivors, and the family members affected. Many offered sincere prayers to God asking him to comfort the affected and punish those responsible — be it by our legal system or in the hereafter.
Atheists, on the other hand, responded bitterly and without self-awareness. Not only did they politicize the mass shooting, demanding more gun control, they also shamed and mocked those who combined condolences with prayers to God. They pretentiously asserted that prayer was pointless and empty, having declared, ‘God ain’t fixing this’ — a direct challenge to the God recognized and worshipped by Christians (as opposed to a headline mocking Allah or ‘G-d’/Ha Shem).
Last summer when Dylann Storm Roof calmly entered a weekly bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and killed nine people and injured a tenth, Christians and others across America sent prayers to South Carolina — to the victims, their families and to Charleston residents in general. On Facebook and Twitter, many people offered Bible verses, sermons and theological explanations in sincere and sympathetic attempts to provide comfort and understanding to those directly and indirectly affected by what happened. Christians and other members of the religious community made it a point to discuss the tragedy, specifically how suffering and evil is an unfair part of life.
More importantly, Emanuel A.M.E.’s congregation — including those whose loved ones had been killed — moved the country, if not the world, by their response to the massacre, which was predicated on their deeply held Christian beliefs. They didn’t express justified anger and condemnation toward Dylann Roof for killing their family members and fellow churchgoers. Rather, the congregation and the families of the victims responded in a way reflective of Jesus — with love, forgiveness and prayer.
Anthony Thompson, whose wife Myra was among the victims, told Roof, “I forgive you, and my family forgives you. But we would like you take this opportunity to repent. Change your ways.”
Another person who lost a family member said, “I am very angry… we are the family that love built. We have no room for hate, so I have to forgive.”
Chris and Camryn Singleton, whose mother Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was shot and killed said, “’We already forgive him for what he’s done, and there’s nothing but love from our side of the family,” with Camryn adding, “I just feel a lot of love. I’m a little bitter, but I’m overwhelmed with love.”
Likewise, after the horrifying slaughter occurred, the media interviewed numerous religious leaders asking questions regarding theodicy — the character of God, suffering, evil and justice — and how to make sense of it all. The local community, religious and otherwise, still in shock and struggling to understand what had happened, gathered together for prayer vigils in support of Emanuel AME Church and the city of Charleston, South Carolina.
What did atheism have to offer as a provision of emotional comfort and solace? Of all the clergymen and women interviewed, and of all the vigils planned, there was no mention of any clerical skeptics or freethinking clergymen represented or invited to help calm the community. The outpouring of support from across the country — but specifically from the surrounding community in Charleston — was distinctly religious.
Atheism doesn’t offer atheists comfort, hope, emotional solace or spiritual sustenance when the world goes bad or when a loved one dies. It has no understanding of — or response to — sin and or evil. Atheism doesn’t provide a notion of divine justice — reward for goodness and punishment for acts of overwhelming evil; Christianity does. Atheism simply is a belief system — a religion — predicated on unbelief that lacks the valuable spiritual intangibles found among most religions.
Recognizing the obvious, it’s disappointing that more Christians and churches don’t responsibly and productively defend their faith in the public. It appears that the country is retreating from traditional values to legitimizing self-destructive and culturally destructive behaviors under the false gods of tolerance and social justice and as a result, Christians may feel like exiles in their own land. Granted there is some truth to this reality, but the difficulties of cultural exile don’t absolve us from our responsibility to “fight the good fight of the faith,” maintaining a cultural presence that transmits a culturally historical value system, while loving and praying for those who persecute us.
I’m not suggesting that there aren’t atheists who sympathize with the grief felt by those directly affected by the mass shootings in Charleston and terrorism in San Bernardino, or even those affected by the evil witnessed in Paris; of course there are.
Similarly, there are atheists who don’t believe in God but who still identify with and celebrate Christmas. I know many and they are good, decent and moral people, and we get along fine.
But generally speaking, those who readily embrace the hostile, dogmatic atheism characterized by social/cultural agitation, intimidation, offensive behavior, and moral superiority embrace a shallowness that’s repeatedly exposed as such, especially as atheists continue pursuing the suppression of Christian religiosity.
As we enjoy the Christmas season, Christians should pray that God continues to bless those in need of His compassion, wisdom and solace, including radical atheists.