I just read an article about an Atheist/Agnostic group who have purchased billboards, bus ads, and even a (Christmas) display at a State capitol. They’re even having organized meetings to celebrate their hatred for others who don’t share their belief in nothing. The specific article was actually talking about how there is a division among the non-believers about how harshly to push their views on others. Some worry that it weakens their own argument against religion being bullish.
I spend a lot of time mentioning the A/A’s, but only as a side note. I suppose I could devote more time to the subject, but it is actually sort of painful. Why? Because in “my line of work”, the majority of my closest friends are die-hard Atheists or (more commonly, because it has more of a philosophy attached to it, “Agnostics”).
There is an interesting thing about Atheists and Agnostics that nearly all will admit on an individual level, but as a group they will often distract from or deny, and that is this: No Atheist or Agnostic was born or raised that way. Really! A few will try to pretend they had philosopher parents who infused them with Nietzsche from an early age, or that they were given complete freedom and autonomy and happened to choose A/A because they are scientifically minded (or some other “wiser than thou” reason), but the plain and simple truth is that ALL of them were raised in a religion or joined a church and then had something happen that rubbed them the wrong way, causing their weak will to break & seek out the easier path.
THE EASY WAY OUT
Before I go on, I know some will say “easy? what’s easy about being an Atheist in a world of Christian tradition?”, and I really do have to answer that: It is incredibly easy for an A/A to live in a religious world, because they whine and complain and threaten lawsuits until they make everyone else miserable, yet they continue to collect pay and benefit in other ways from religious holidays, traditions and standards.
Not only that, but Agnosticism and Atheism are parasitic philosophies which would shrivel up and die if religion ever really did go away, because without religion they (and their naughty cousin, Satanism) would have no “power” – the very things they fight against are the only reason anyone pays attention to them in the first place. In this way, it is also true that these are contentious belief systems , much in the same way that White Supremacists, Black Panthers, and other hate groups are.
WHAT MAKES AN ANTI-IST?
So what makes a person claim A/A adherence?
All religions offer some sort of moral standards (though many now days have done away with the ‘standards’ and instead modify their beliefs to satisfy the congregation, but that’s a whole different rant), and these moral standards are designed (by God or by man trying to be a god) to help imperfect man grow into something better.
My religion, for example, has the ten commandments (thou shalt not, etc), all the other Christian commandments (love thy neighbor, etc), as well as additional commandments given to ancient peoples which were edited out of the Bible way back, and a few new ones, like “don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes”.
A person who somehow missed the point behind all these things while complain about religion being “too restrictive” or there being “too many rules”, but in all actuality, these rules make life easier and provide more freedom in the long run. For example, “thou shalt not covet”. It means pretty much “don’t want stuff you don’t have”. If people abided by that, there would be no need to complain about Capitalism, because we wouldn’t be able to be enslaved by those who control the supply. No one would fight or kill over the latest game console on sale, anorexic blondes wouldn’t be staring from the pages of $9 magazines, telling your daughters not to eat, and we would probably not be fat.
Those who hate religion, however, see “Thou shalt not covet” as some sort of restriction to “live miserably in drab clothing”. It’s hard to blame them for getting it all wrong, however, because their mindset is to search for the bad in all things. That’s why they hate God and religion instead of professing to love hedonism or something.
No person who was born and raised without religion bothers to join an Atheist or Agnostic organization or claim to be such. Those who are/do were once part of some church somewhere, and they left – and not only left, but turned around to fight and destroy – that church. From my experience, here are some of the reasons why:
CONFUSION OR FEAR. This will always be the most difficult to admit, because to admit leaving a church because you didn’t understand the doctrine is to admit you aren’t the philosophical wunderkind you want people to think you are. A lot of people leave religion or a specific church because they misunderstand something. It’s easy to misunderstand, too … with all the conflicting philosophies out there, and competition between churches, one is constantly tugged this way or that. Some can’t handle seeing so many choices, and take the quickest route out of there. (And later become communists, socialists, or democrats).
GUILT. This is one of the biggest reasons a person leaves a church or religion. Again, part of the reason they left was because they couldn’t be truthful with anyone and admit that there was some friction, so don’t expect them to be honest with you now! Essentially what happens is that the Pastor or some part of the Good Book mentions a specific behavior that isn’t good (or an ideal that is), and our future A/A has some little bit of guilt about that particular item. Usually it has something to do with sexual impurity, but it could be any number of things (in my church it is often “smoking”). The person feels a tinge of guilt, but instead of recognizing (or admitting) that that is what they are feeling, they externalize and blame others for “judging them”. It’s kind of like having a stain on your pants & being at a party. You are convinced everyone can see the stain, and you are miserable the whole time – even if no one but you sees it (or cares if they do). You’d rather accuse people of “staring at you” or “laughing at you” than admit that you’re just being sensitive. When an Agnostic/Atheist tells you they went this route because “everyone was too judgmental”, ask them why they support government oppression of religion and hateful signs on public busses.
CAN’T SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE FLOCK. Sometimes there ARE judgmental people at church. Rarely are they intentionally mean – most who seem judgmental are just socially awkward and say things they shouldn’t. A few might be judgmental, but not out of spite – they’re just ignorant of some of their own beliefs (being kind to others, not judging, etc). The problem, however, is that a person who is already on edge because of guilt isn’t going to realize that the idiot is not representative of the congregation, the institution, or the doctrine. Instead, they will believe that one person represents ALL people. Though that makes as much sense as saying “because one Raiders fan keyed my car, all Raiders fans are crooks”, in the realm of religion (and at the hands of Atheists and Agnostics), such skewed logic makes perfect sense.
LAZINESS. Church puts requirements on your time. Some religions have you sitting in a chapel for two hours one Sunday a month. Others have three hour blocks once a week, plus a couple evening meetings, and (imagine this!) expect you to live your religion in between. Many churches also ask for donations. And then there are all those Easter services, Thanksgiving food drives, Christmas caroling, and maybe Secret-Santa gifts for the local orphanage. It certainly can seem easier to just duck out of church and skip all the hard work so you have more time to go drinking with your friends or stay up all night playing XBox. If there is no God, then laziness is ok, right?
SELFISHNESS. Laziness is a form of selfishness, but selfishness can go even deeper than the seeming inconvenience of religious obligation. Selfishness also makes us angry at the church leaders for not doing things our way. It makes us expect the minister to run down the aisle to shake our hand and be our own special friend to the exclusion of others. It’s what drives us to disregard certain passages of scripture that don’t fit into our schedule or lifestyle. Certainly selfishness is the root of our refusal to give offerings to the church, perform acts of service or accept callings. Atheists and active Agnostics are socially selfish. They want the community to hide its symbols of God and worship so the A/A’s can have their way. I’ve mentioned before … that people who belong to a religion don’t fight and complain about other religions’ public displays … only those who hate religion care enough to file lawsuits and piss on the party.
REBELLION. Very, very few originate ONLY from rebellion. Rebellion is usually a symptom for those who really got rubbed the wrong way – it’s often mixed with revenge. There are a few, however, who go the route they do because of nothing other than rebellion, and those are the kids of devout parents – especially the children of preachers. Most teenagers in western society go through a rebellious phase, and during that time, they seek the most offensive things to parade in front of their parents. Some boys wear earrings, girls dress immodestly, and preacher’s kids go right to the anti-religion: claims of atheism, agnosticism, or the dramatics of Hollywood Satanism being the three top picks. Many grow out of this phase, but those who got the biggest reaction and have little more in their lives to be proud of will hang onto the angle and entrench themselves in these voidist philosophies.
They are always cautious to claim they are “not organized” (“what organization?”), but the truth is, they are VERY organized. Several anti-religion organizations exist under non-profit status, most have membership rosters, some have dues, some publish books, all have specific philosophies (of intellectual superiority, of defined hatred of the practices of religion, etc), some even go as far as to issue a certificate showing you’re affiliation. All actively proselytize (billboards, television ads, etc). So why aren’t they considered religions?
I can’t answer that! I don’t know. I don’t know how a group which has a defined set of beliefs (“there is no God”, “religion is all superstition and myth”), which organizes, which indoctrinates, which gets tax breaks, which prints material to spread their word, which hates others who have differing beliefs isn’t considered some sort of religion. Is it because religions have to believe in a creator, or because their clergy doesn’t have a specific uniform?
Perhaps one of the most harmful aspects of their cautiously avoided religious status is their affiliation with the government. By being a ghost organization no central religious identity, they have succeeded in effectively becoming our one state-sponsored religion.
Some of these tax-exempt promoters of religious intolerance are as follows:
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (in the same category as churches!) , who claim to be a “free thought” group (how is being manipulated by the adversary “free”?) that “is working on separating church and state” (if I had my “church and state” post completed, you could be sure there would be a huge link right here! I get so sick of seeing this misinterpretation of the concept abused by these jerks!). The FFRF are probably the most militant of the A/A groups, posting billboards and other advertising mocking God, making rude ‘in-your’-face’ statements against the belief in God, etc).
American Atheists sends speakers to colleges and universities around the country, taking advantage of young adults as they seek to prove their intellectual superiority. They also control Godless Americans PAC, their lobbying arm (lobbying activities are generally illegal for 501(c)(3) organizations, but they can get around the lobbying restriction by forming separate organizations. Despite being nothing but an anti-religion hate organization, American Atheists claim their 503(c)(3) status as an “educational institution” (a little odd, considering their vicious fight against actual educational organizations which seek to offer alternatives to the monopolized godless theories that groups like AA support in public schools).
Enlighten The Vote calls itself a non-partisan PAC that seeks to get atheists elected to public office. Can you imagine the outrage were there to be a group that did that for Catholics, Muslims, Jehovas Witnesses or any other group?
MY PERSONAL VIEW
One thing that makes me ill inside is to contemplate the sorry penalties which await those who carry and fight for the adversary’s platform against God and religion. Those who die in ignorance of their sin are not held accountable before God, but those who do know what they are doing – those who once had the witness of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) yet are now professing against it – will be held accountable for their actions, and that accountability will extend for all those who were led astray by their actions.
Those of us who have found religion do so knowing that true “free thought” includes, rather than excludes, the possibility of a loving God who has provided us with some simple rules by which to live so that we might be happy and successful in our mortality. It is offensive to be called superstitious, blind, or ignorant … but more so it is a tragedy that we must witness those who are truly blind and ignorant as they march in line, shackled to each other, to the urgings of the father of all lies.
“wickedness never was happiness” says the scripture, and promoting godlessness promotes an environment fertile and ready to raise up all sorts of iniquity. Man is not more wise than the creator of man. Lack of scientific proof has never meant impossibility – in the past it has meant a failing of man’s science, and driven men to search harder.
I am sorry for the experiences that have caused our weaker brothers and sisters to give up and walk the line of denial, and I pray that at least some may be spared, and that their work will never overcome ours.