Skip to comments.Rude and Uninformed. A reflection on a recent billboard campaign by Atheist Humanists
Posted on 12/21/2012 2:24:54 PM PST by NYer
I was asked by the Young Adult group in my parish to address some ads on our local buses and subway trains here in Washington. The members of the Young adult group found the ads offensive and troubling, especially since they were aimed at kids. The ads are posted by the American “Humanist” Association (AHA) and are indeed aimed at kids and teenagers. The focus of the message is “Kids without God: You’re not the only one.” I have altered the ad at the upper right of this post to avoid listing its website but as you can see God is represented by a seeming angry and/or accusing finger and a bemused teenager who says “I’m getting a bit old for imaginary friends.”
OK, so lets start with the necessary disclaimer. This is America and an folks are free to post billboards and promote ideas, even unpleasant or obnoxious ones. That said, I wonder if Christians would get away with the kind of demeaning and dismissive tone evident in these bill boards by the AHA.
Consider, first of all the timing of these ads, Christmas. Just about every year, the AHA runs its ads right during the Holy Season of Christmas and Chanukah. I would argue that this amounts to an intentional form of rudeness that the secular media would never accept in return from Christians.
Think, for example if, on “Earth day” (usually happens in April) Christians were to announce that, as far as we were concerned this had become an annoying celebration of the secularists, druids and others. And therefore we sought to ridicule their holiday by burning leaves, throwing trash around in public, or on our property, or turning all our lights on in protest. Perhaps too we might engage in personal ridicule on earth day, scoffing at them, calling them “tree huggers” and erecting posters encouraging people to kick a tree instead. It is unlikely we would be ignored by the media if we acted thus, on their special day, and ridiculed “Earth Day” and those who celebrate it. Rather we would be excoriated by the press and others for this.
And yet, many secularists and atheists rudely ridicule, mock and seek to put an end to our observance of Christmas. I am willing to engage secularists and atheists on matters of my faith, and I have done so on this blog. But acting, as many of them do, at the times of our sacred feasts is just plain rude, it is shameful behavior.
Next, note the ridiculing nature of the poster at the above right. The slogan equates faith in God with being childish and immature, as if faith in God were no different than “believing” in Santa Claus or some other imaginary friend, as little children do, who don’t know any better.
This dismissal of the belief in God as childish is insulting to the billions of people on this planet who DO believe in God. Belief in God is not childish, and God is not an “imaginary friend” for those of us who believe. I did have imaginary friends as a child, and I know the difference between what they where, and who God actually is. I am not stupid, and others who believe are not stupid, or childish, or immature.
I and others who believe, do so by the gift of faith and also because of the manifold evidence of God’s works and presence in our lives. I live in a world, that to my observation has obviously been designed and thus presents strong evidence of having a designer, that obviously has existence and thus has a source of that existence. Further, when I pray I am heard. I talk to the Lord every day, and I hear from him every day. I know and experience his presence in the depths of my soul, in deep contemplative experience, and in my daily life. And the Lord Jesus Christ is changing my life. His word and plan for my make sense to me, and have summoned me to a magnificent and joyful life. His gospel is a prophetic interpretation of reality that has have ordered my life and given meaning and explanations that comport with my lived experience. I have tested God’s promises and teachings in the laboratory of my own life and found them to be true.
Now an atheist or secularist is free to question me on any of this, and I understand that they doubt my experience or would what to explain it away. But the disrespectful nature of this AHA ad is rude and insulting. It presumes that I and others who believe are merely to be regarded as simpletons, clinging to childish notions and fairy tales. I am doing nothing of the sort. I am no fool, I am not a child, and God is not “an imaginary friend” to me. My life of faith is rooted in real experience and the manifold evidence of having tested God’s word, having found it true and wise, and seeing my life changed by God. I also have the lived experience of thousands of other acquaintances who believe, who know and encounter the Lord in their lives and experience his powerful presence.
There is also the lived experiences of billions of others, currently on this planet and those who have gone before who testify to the existence, presence and power of God in their lives.
Ridiculing all of us as simpletons, and implying that the ancient Catholic, Christian and Jewish faith amounts to no more than have “an imaginary friend is not only insulting and rude, it is uninformed. The intellectual, spiritual, liturgical, Scriptural and artistic legacy of the Judeo-Christian faith is both rich, and rooted in careful thought and balance. I would also add to this the many other great religious traditions on this planet. And while I do not agree with many of their fundamental tenants, the great contribution of these faith traditions to civilization and culture cannot be denied and should be respected.
Dismissing this great and rich tradition of faith and more than implying it is childish comes across as boorish, bigoted and unschooled.
Further the “pointed finger” supposedly representing God is also cartoonish, unbalanced and disrespectful to the great religious tradition. It is true that God does confront injustice, wrong-doing and sin in the Holy Scriptures I revere. But it is also true that those same scriptures teach and reveal that God creates everything in Love and provides for his children and creation. He is merciful and forgiving. He respects human freedom and summons us to follow him freely, not under compulsion. In his love he entered our world and joined his sufferings to ours, and repaired the ancient breach, reaching out a saving hand (not just a pointed finger) to all who take hold of it. The God I know and have personally met, loves immensely, and when he does seek to correct me, I experience it as an act of love just as the Scriptures assert (e.g. Hebrews 12). God has a passion to set things right in and for those whom he loves. Here too, the cartoonish simplification of God by the AHA is inaccurate and unschooled.
To summarize, the bill board, ad campaign of the American Humanist Association comes off as rude, boorish and bigoted. It steeps its message in a ridiculing notion and implication that billions of believers throughout this world and many more stretch back into time are nothing more than children who believe in an “imaginary friend.” The utter lack of respect for the rich cultural tapestry, careful intellectual tradition, and lived experience of billions of believers in this ad shows the AHA is little more than uniformed an unschooled in the traditions and faith they try to criticize. The timing, tactics and content of this bill board by the AHA show them to be far from the humanitarian principles they claim to promote.
There is nothing humanist or humanitarian in their ad at all. It is plain and simple, “Rude,” just plain rude.
Msgr. Pope, ping!
The atheist creed: There is no god and I hate him.
Just put up a counter-ad pointing out that the cartoon finger might be Allah, and the problem is solved. Perhaps some RoP folks can show the Humanists the error of their ways.
What does THAT mean?
I do turn on all my lights on Earth Day = it’s not really to mock them. It’s more of a protest of not being told what to do.
You terrorize children with that, and many will grow into terrorized adults, frantically pushing the same load of hogwash on all their family. Imagine the anguish of some poor woman convinced her athiest child or husband will be tortured for all eternity simply for refusing to believe stories that came out of the same area of the world that gave us Islam.
Religion is what you get when you mix schizophrenia, psychological totalitarianism, and Amway. It's crazy, you'd better believe it, and you'd better sell it. Or you're gonna burn. And you call US rude? Pfff...
Atheism is a fool's errand: You cannot prove the non-existence of God. Agnostics are a more honest group, since they say they don't know OR that there is not enough evidence for them to believe in God.
Also, what if we who believe in God are correct? Suppose you are in a penthouse party, and I come upstairs and say that 5 stories below, there is a fire, and if you don't evacuate now, you will burn. Just because you don't smell the smoke doesn't mean that I am "terrorizing" you. I'm trying to help you. You may feel uncomfortable by what I am saying, but it doesn't change the truth.
kosciusko51 is support you!
is = I
“Imagine the anguish of some poor woman convinced her athiest child or husband will be tortured for all eternity simply for refusing to believe stories that came out of the same area of the world that gave us Islam.”
I could equally make a case that your argument is a stronger argument for the existence of God. Instead, I will therefore fix your sentence to reflect your post more accurately.
“Imagine the sorrowful state of some poor atheist woman, who has decided she is omniscient - therefore she is god. What a very small god she worships.”
Funny how the antitheists never target their ads at Muslims. Probably that whole “they’ll chop my head off” thing...
God is love ... period. He is the source of life. While some fundamentalists may take God's message to ridiculous extremes, consider the alternative - a world without God. Many have tried to accomplish this goal; let's take a closer look at their legacies.
Here is a tentative list of modern mass murderers and the estimated number of people killed by their orders (excluding enemy armies). In many cases (notably Stalin's and Mao's cases) one has to decide how to consider the millions who died indirectly because of their political decisions. The Chinese cultural revolution caused the death of 30 million people (according to the current Chinese government), but many died of hunger. Stalin is held responsible for the death of millions by Ukrainians, but "only" half a million people were killed by his order. Khomeini sent children to die in the war against Iraq, but it was a war.
|Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50)||49-78,000,000|
|Adolf Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945)||12,000,000 (concentration camps and civilians deliberately killed in WWII plus 3 million Russian POWs left to die)|
|Leopold II of Belgium (Congo, 1886-1908)||8,000,000|
|Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39)||6,000,000 (the gulags plus the purges plus Ukraine's famine)|
|Hideki Tojo (Japan, 1941-44)||5,000,000 (civilians in WWII)|
|Ismail Enver (Turkey, 1915-20)||1,200,000 Armenians (1915) + 350,000 Greek Pontians and 480,000 Anatolian Greeks (1916-22) + 500,000 Assyrians (1915-20)|
|Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79)||1,700,000|
|Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94)||1.6 million (purges and concentration camps)|
|Menghistu (Ethiopia, 1975-78)||1,500,000|
|Yakubu Gowon (Biafra, 1967-1970)||1,000,000|
|Leonid Brezhnev (Afghanistan, 1979-1982)||900,000|
|Jean Kambanda (Rwanda, 1994)||800,000|
|Saddam Hussein (Iran 1980-1990 and Kurdistan 1987-88)||600,000|
|Tito (Yugoslavia, 1945-1987)||570,000|
|Suharto (Communists 1965-66)||500,000|
|Fumimaro Konoe (Japan, 1937-39)||500,000? (Chinese civilians)|
|Jonas Savimbi (Angola, 1975-2002)||400,000|
|Mullah Omar - Taliban (Afghanistan, 1986-2001)||400,000|
|Idi Amin (Uganda, 1969-1979)||300,000|
|Yahya Khan (Pakistan, 1970-71)||300,000 (Bangladesh)|
|Ante Pavelic (Croatia, 1941-45)||359,000 (30,000 Jews, 29,000 Gipsies, 300,000 Serbs)|
|Benito Mussolini (Ethiopia, 1936; Libya, 1934-45; Yugoslavia, WWII)||300,000|
|Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire, 1965-97)||?|
|Charles Taylor (Liberia, 1989-1996)||220,000|
|Foday Sankoh (Sierra Leone, 1991-2000)||200,000|
|Suharto (Aceh, East Timor, New Guinea, 1975-98)||200,000|
|Ho Chi Min (Vietnam, 1953-56)||200,000|
|Michel Micombero (Burundi, 1972)||150,000|
|Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia, 1992-99)||100,000|
|Hassan Turabi (Sudan, 1989-1999)||100,000|
|Jean-Bedel Bokassa (Centrafrica, 1966-79)||?|
|Richard Nixon (Vietnam, 1969-1974)||70,000 (Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians)|
|Efrain Rios Montt (Guatemala, 1982-83)||70,000|
|Papa Doc Duvalier (Haiti, 1957-71)||60,000|
|Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic, 1930-61)||50,000|
|Hissene Habre (Chad, 1982-1990)||40,000|
|Chiang Kai-shek (Taiwan, 1947)||30,000 (popular uprising)|
|Vladimir Ilich Lenin (USSR, 1917-20)||30,000 (dissidents executed)|
|Francisco Franco (Spain)||30,000 (dissidents executed after the civil war)|
|Fidel Castro (Cuba, 1959-1999)||30,000|
|Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam, 1963-1968)||30,000|
|Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez (El Salvador, 1932)||30,000|
|Hafez Al-Assad (Syria, 1980-2000)||25,000|
|Khomeini (Iran, 1979-89)||20,000|
|Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe, 1982-87, Ndebele minority)||20,000|
|Bashir Assad (Syria, 2012)||14,000|
|Rafael Videla (Argentina, 1976-83)||13,000|
|Guy Mollet (France, 1956-1957)||10,000 (war in Algeria)|
|Harold McMillans (Britain, 1952-56, Kenya's Mau-Mau rebellion)||10,000|
|Paul Koroma (Sierra Leone, 1997)||6,000|
|Osama Bin Laden (worldwide, 1993-2001)||3,500|
|Augusto Pinochet (Chile, 1973)||3,000|
|Al Zarqawi (Iraq, 2004-06)||2,000|
Cambodia's Pol Pot began a radical experiment to create an agrarian utopia inspired in part by Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution which he had witnessed first-hand during a visit to Communist China. He began by declaring, "This is Year Zero," and that society was about to be "purified." Capitalism, Western culture, city life, religion, and all foreign influences were to be extinguished in favor of an extreme form of peasant Communism. All foreigners were thus expelled, embassies closed, and any foreign economic or medical assistance was refused. The use of foreign languages was banned. Newspapers and television stations were shut down, radios and bicycles confiscated, and mail and telephone usage curtailed. Money was forbidden. All businesses were shuttered, religion banned, education halted, health care eliminated, and parental authority revoked. Thus Cambodia was sealed off from the outside world.
Throughout Cambodia, deadly purges were conducted to eliminate remnants of the "old society" - the educated, the wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and former government officials. Ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children. Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot, including eventually many Khmer Rouge leaders, was shot or bludgeoned with an ax. "What is rotten must be removed," a Khmer Rouge slogan proclaimed.
Yes ... as evidenced by the above table, banishing God from society resolves all problems. (/sarc)
“Atheists: No ethics, no morals, no happiness, no hope. Is it any wonder they are so bitter?”
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
Don’t worry, we’ll pray for you!
“The atheist creed: There is no god and I hate him.”
Sums up their illogical religious position perfectly.
Atheism is a very harmful religion. You are rude to come into Jim Robinson’s livingroom, and insult his religion and his guests who share that religion, while trying to promote your religion on Jim Robinson’s dime. That is really a trashy way to behave.
“Religion is what you get when you mix schizophrenia, psychological totalitarianism, and Amway.”
Your qualifications for this diagnosis would be?
The significance of Christianity coming out of the middle east as does Islam would be?
It isn’t a matter of whether we think it is rude. The issue is whether it is rude.
If I were a former business partner of your father, is it rude for me to enter your house and tell awful but “what I say is truthful” tales of your father, tales that you had never before heard?
And is it a crime for you to have let the community know that you think your father was a great guy?
It usually means you are dealing with someone who has regularly scheduled, detailed discussions about Keats with his end table and ottoman. You know, a sociopath.
Thank you for posting Msgr. Pope’s excellent commentary.
The blessing of our Savior to you and your own.
“If you dont like my views, stop following me around like a puppy.
And in particular, don’t start a conversation with me about atheism and then run tattling to Jim Rob like a school girl in hopes of getting me banned, when you are the one who brought up the topic.”
Riiight.... and don’t start a conversation about religion and then go running away when you’re proven to be in error.
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
Militant atheists are tools- either knowing or unknowing, but tools.
“I do turn on all my lights on Earth Day = its not really to mock them. Its more of a protest of not being told what to do.”
I do too, although I do it to mock them.
Putting a poster in a bus or subway station isn’t “Entering your house.” If they put it in a church, THAT would be rude.
Atheism isn’t communism. Period.
I stay off those threads that are marked about religion, for the religious. But this is a thread about atheists, or more specifically, whining about the "rudeness" of atheists for daring to support kids who doubt this nonsense in public places.
OK it’s about 1/2 and 1/2 for me! LOL
If they came onto your website, which you own, and posted those things about your father, would that be rude?
Not if you posted an attack on them first, no.
Can an atheist prove that there is no God? Nope! They can't.
It is axiomatic: Every sentient being on this earth has a religious worldview. That worldview is either godless or God-centered. Neither of these religious belief systems can be proven. Both are based on faith.
By the way,...Haven't I seen your name on the evolution threads defending the force-feeding of evolution to the children held captive in our religiously NON-neutral government owned and run, godless, and socialist-entitlement schools?
It is an anecdotal observation of mine that atheists are the biggest defenders of our nation's system of socialist-entitlement, and single payer government schools. Gee! How lucky for them! Atheists get the government to force the taxpayer to support their atheistic faith and get the government to indoctrinate 85% of the nation's children in their worldview. First Amendment? Establshment clause? What's that when compared to the importance of rearing up the next generation of voters in their anointed atheistic religious worldview stamped with the godless government school imprimatur.
My conclusion: Atheists and evolutionists are bullies and they use government force to compel the rest of us to support their religious faith.
You really can't figure it out? Why do you suppose "Thou Shalt Not Rape" isn't one of the 10 commandments? Hm? Look at that culture; it hasn't really changed, has it? Only in the land of Arabs would such a fantastical, convoluted tale of nonsense emerge, and that any American bows toward either Mecca or Jerusalem is an embarrassment.
How is it even conservative? In socialism, another man pays for your social services. In Christianity, another man pays for your sins. No wonder all the black churches and half the catholics have gone to the left: there's nothing conservative about the mindset of not having to pay for anything. Vote for Obama and you'll get welfare. Vote for Jesus and you'll get heaven. One dovetails into the other without a hitch. And you can't figure it out.
Be an American. Don't bow to anything from the land of tribes and sacrifices.
Militant atheists are tools- either knowing or unknowing, but tools.
As in, “What a tool he is!”
AKA: Useful Idiots
Can you prove there are no mermaids? No. You can’t prove a negative and we don’t have to prove squat.
I don’t believe Jim went to your website and posted anything about you, your father or your religion. You are on his site, not yours. He has every right to maintain a Christian website, whether you like it or not. You are rude to go on his website to insult his religion.
Why don’t you go tattle?
I can not defend your strawman creation.
The existence or non- existence of God is IMPOSSIBLE to prove. If I state that it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove God's existence or non-existence then I am NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT asking **you** to do the IMPOSSIBLE!
Is a “DUH” needed here? Gee! I thought atheists prided themselves on their logical thinking skills.
Are you using my post merely as an opportunity to throw out a canned talking point from one of the atheist websites?
Maybe the world was created 4,000 years ago or 4 trillion years ago. The point is that the first atom, the first neutron, the electron came from somewhere or something.
One give that creator any name one desires, yet I find it irrational to deny its existence.
Therefore: It is best that government be a limited as possible and as locally controlled as possible because everything government touches has consequences that are NOT politically, culturally, or religiously neutral.
It has been my observation that atheists, are wonderful defenders of government sponsored and paid-for evolution and godless temples of K-12 indoctrination ( oops! “schools”).
My conclusion: Atheists and evolutions are bullies. They just love that government establishes their faith and forces the rest of us to pay for it.
Prove mermaids do not exist, or go back to trolling threads about public schools and pretend you never sent your kid to one.
Because I was wasting my time trying to educate someone who is incapable of learning. I gave you too much credit. I thought that if I explained it in simple terms, you would comprehend. I didn’t realize your limitations.
Well, now you do, sweetheart.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to prove the existence or non-existence of God. THEREFORE I am NOT NOT NOT asking you to do so.
( or mermaids, either!)
Regardless of the religious worldview ( godless or God-centered) one’s worldview is **faith** based. Neither is religiously neutral in content or consequences. It is for this reason that government should be as limited as possible and as locally controlled as possible.
My conclusion: Atheists and evolutionist LOVE government force precisely because they get the taxpayers to support their anointed godless religious worldview. The biggest offender, and most expensive, are our government owned and run godless temples of indoctrintion ( misnamed: schools).
By the way, attempting to discredit the argument by discrediting the poster is a liberal Alynsky debating technique. Only a liberal would seriously think smart Freepers would fall for this. Using this Alynsky technique merely makes the users of this tactic look foolish and immature.