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Christianity versus the New Atheist, part 1

DRIVEN TO BE ATHEISTS

CIMG0713

VINCENT

I do not wonder that atheism became popular given that people became fed up with Catholics and Protestants killing each other. People killing in the name of God— that is one of the reasons behind many do not believe in God anymore. These churches teach that to kill is a sin but they are killing each other. They practice the very opposite of what they teach. The hypocrisy both the Catholics and the Protestants is what built atheism.

FATHER JOE

The true face of Christianity is seen in the blood of martyrs who loved those who hated them and forgave those who persecuted them. The Church is the voice of the oppressed and the poor around the world. I even heard an atheist commentator lament the fact that believers shame them (secular humanists) in terms of charity and self-sacrifice for others. We live in a broken world and people are people… good and bad. Religion is not magic to make every sinner into a perfect saint… such takes time, cooperation and grace. Soviet and Chinese Communism was atheistic. Millions were murdered, imprisoned and enslaved under Stalin and Mao. That is not such a great track record, either.

MISS ATHEIST

To let you know, many atheists aren’t atheists because of people murdering each other over who has the best imaginary friend. I am an atheist because there is no evidence for any gods at all. There is nothing to support the claims of Christians or anyone else, that their god has done anything or that any of their essential events ever happened.

Which atheist commentator “lamented” that theists “shame” atheists in terms of charity and self-sacrifice? Where is the evidence to support this claim? As you say, there are people, good and bad, and religion has no lock on being good.

In case you might forget, Stalin and Mao were megalomaniacs who wanted to be worshipped as a god. I do ask you to show how the lack of belief in God caused the murder of millions and how it wasn’t this megalomania that caused the death. Hitler believed in the Christian god. Do you want to blame his actions on which: his Christianity or his megalomania?

FATHER JOE

Most Christians and Jews, and I would hope the Moslems as well, would not want to kill each other over religion either. It must be said that Christian communities and churches that stretch back 1,700 years or more are being devastated by militant Islam. Christianity had its extremists (like all movements and religions) but proved that it could tolerate and live in a non-Christian world. But the world has become less tolerant of Christians. A secular humanism would strip the Church of a voice in the public forum. A radical Islam would insist upon conversion or death. That is why a million Christians are exiled and on the run. That is why thousands have had their heads chopped off. All they had to do was to renounce their faith. But like the martyrs of old, they preferred to witness by their blood than to save their lives by betraying their faith and God. You mock their sacrifices. If atheists were really as good as you claim, they would defend the rights of all men and women to either practice the religion of their choice or no religion at all. They would be urging intervention to prevent a Christian “holocaust,” a term recently alluded by the Israeli prime minister. But again, atheists of your stripe are not much about either charity or justice. You make yourselves into very small men (or women) with little or no respect for others. When atheists gathered on the national mall, the scenes were filled with vulgar images and their spokesmen all flippantly attacked believers with strawman arguments, cursing God’s name and dropping the “F” bomb. This is a far cry from the agnosticism of Carl Sagan who could offer a decent intellectual debate and then work hand-in-hand with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to make a difference in this world as well as to give expert advice for the future of the Vatican Observatory and telescope. In the history of the world, some figures have misused religion for their agenda and this has cost lives. But the true face of Catholicism is with the work of the saints and the millions saved through her charity efforts and for being a voice for the voiceless against oppression.

You seem to be hedging your bets on the fact that God is our “imaginary friend.” But given that he is REAL we have nothing to lose. Rejecting him out of hand you have nothing to gain. But you are entitled to your perspective, even if it signifies a false or illusionary view of creation without a Creator.

No evidence for God? No, this is not true. The issue is that you throw out certain types of evidence, wrongly interpret the rest and are overly restrictive as to what is admissible. Microscopes can only magnify so far and telescopes can only see so far. The atheist throws out the aesthetic and the sense of awe that touches the hearts of rational creatures when they witness the glories of creation. Philosophers reason from truths like causality, motion, existence and even from the mind itself. We exist and yet we know that we are not the ultimate source of our existence. The complexity of creation and life speaks to an order that cannot be the result of accident or mere chaos. The believer is often amazed that anyone can know and love and have being while still doubting that there is a God.

There are extra-biblical sources and good archeology for the events of salvation history.

https://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/180-americans-donate-billions-to-charity-but-giving-to-churches-has-declined#.VZbUrsLbLL8

“In 2004, nearly four out of every five adults – 83% – donated money to one or more non-profit organizations. That is similar to the percentage that has donated funds throughout the past decade. Barna’s national study found that the people least likely to donate any money at all were those under the age of 25, people who never attended college, residents of the Northeast, atheists and agnostics, Asians and Hispanics. A quarter or more of the people from each of those segments failed to give away any money in 2004.”

http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com/2008/09/10-things-christiand-do-better-than.html

“For all of the faults in theology, Christians have a lock on charity work. When someone thinks of Christian kindness, I doubt that they imagine brainwashing children to fear a nonexistent Hell and a deity who watches every move and knows your thoughts. Instead, images of soup kitchens, food shelves, homeless shelters, Habitat for Humanity, even sandbagging ahead of a flood are all things churches are known for. Why aren’t the same things associated with atheist kindness?”

Religious or atheist, megalomaniacs are the same. They exploit and corrupt religion. They find comfort in the feigned vacuum of atheism. You cannot criticize believers or Christians as murderers without also pointing to atheists. Stalin studied for the Orthodox priesthood, but rejected religion for the atheistic Marxian dialectic. Mao also embraced atheism and restricted the rights of believers. China still oppresses people of faith and recently bull-dozed a brand new Catholic church. Along with the rejection of religion, the Communists dismissed the values of the Gospel. This led to the deaths of millions. Hitler was baptized but also wanted to institute a secular religion and destroy the Christian faith of Rome. Just being baptized did not mean that Hitler was motivated by a Christian faith, any more than was Stalin. Totalitarian regimes can allow for no deity that might condemn or restrict their actions. That is why the modern era finds these movements moving simultaneously with a rise in atheism. Indeed, here at home in the U.S., secular humanism, rampant commercialism and materialism fuel a selfish society that has no room for God. People are literally shouting to the heavens that “No one will tell them what to do!” Man becomes his own idol. God gets in the way. When challenged about giving, atheists will often point to one significant billionaire giver and his huge foundation, Bill Gates. When asked why he did not go to Mass with his wife and family, he responded that he “could think of more productive things to do with his time.” Many of the rich feel that charity makes up for an aggressive business life where “little people” suffer for the needs of the affluent. The media giants may be generous too, but they also exploit the seven deadly sins to get people using their products. By contrast, Christian charity is both about giving and loving.

See part # 2 that continues this topic.