Atheist – A Holy Word

A story Dr. Marquardt+ used to tell about Richard Wurmbrand :

When in the concentration camps, he met a man who told him, “Don’t try to convert me, I’m an atheist”.  To which Pr. Wurmband responded, “Ah, yes, Atheist.  That’s a holy word to us.  The first Christians were called atheists.”

This was brought to mind by the news that the atheists are malvangelizing in Chicago.  Read about it here, here and here.  (If Eu-angelion is telling the good news of Salvation for Christ’s sake through faith, then mal-angelion must be the bad news that there is no god, no purpose to life, and nothing beyond this vale of tears.)

What are they hoping to accomplish with this?  Perhaps they are hoping that people will realize that atheists are inherently selfish people, giving less money to charity than any other group.  (“…a 10 percent raise because you can stop tithing”).  They admit that they keep the money themselves, rather than helping others.  How many millions of dollars did the tiny LCMS give to Haiti?  Katrina?

Or perhaps they are hoping that their quote from Richard Dawkins will inspire people.  You see, even atheists must have their high priests.  He talks about God being an unpleasant character.  He should talk.  Even those who agree with him have admitted that he is simply unpleasant to be around.   Is that the best they can do?  Mark Twain, Buttefly McQueen (I had to look her up on imdb.com) and Katherine Hepburn are also on the list.

So, I’m supposed to take life advice from a twice divorced biology professor?  Perhaps the woman who had a long-time public affair with a married man?  Missing from their list of notable atheists of the last hundred years are some of the most successful and well-known : Men like Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Castro.  Where are quotes from these luminaries?

Ultimately, this doesn’t make me angry.  It makes me sad.  They really believe they are better off thinking that this world is all there is to life, and that after this world you simply cease to be.  I can see why they encourage people to stay in bed.  Who would want to be awake if that were true?  What a depressing existence they must have.  I am reminded of the words of CS Lewis (spoken by Puddleglum in The Silver Chair)  :

Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself.  Suppose we have.  Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones.  Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world.  Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one.  And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it.  We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right.  But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow.  That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world.  I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it.  I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

I can not imagine all this advertising actually leading to converts.  It is rather obviously just intended to annoy, as pointed out by a secular Rabbi(?)  In other words, they are not only against religion, they are militantly and annoyingly so.  Now, I am as much a misanthrope as the next guy, but these sound like thoroughly unpleasant people.  Also, I’d like to point out that if they converted from Atheism to Agnosticism, they could stop paying for these bus ads, which would be like getting a pay raise.

But apparently, they are very committed.  One might say religiously so.   Ironically, at the convention this October, the Board of Directors is meeting Sunday morning at 9:00 am.   So, technically, they don’t get to sleep on on Sunday.  I’m just saying.

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