Atheists are once again trying to bring attention to themselves by attempting to denigrate, insult or demean religions and, in particular, Christianity and therefore Christians.
This time it is a billboard advertising stunt in New Jersey; the billboard was placed there by some atheist activist group that calls itself American Atheists. Once again an attempt to put down Christianity will be doomed to irrelevance.
Polls show atheists to be 3 percent or less of the total population of the United States, a number that has remained about the same over past years. However, in a desperate attempt to make the number appear higher, the president of this organization now claims that there are many more "closet atheists." He goes so far as to say that there are many who attend religious services during the holidays but don't believe in them. Kind of pathetic if you ask me.
Fortunately, the country is headed back on the right track to sanity. A few years ago only 20 percent of the nation's top companies dared to make any mention of Christmas in their stores. A great many were simply intimidated by the American Civil Liberties Union or similar organizations. The number mentioning Christmas has reversed itself and is now up to 80 percent and continuing to rise. It's also nice to see the Salvation Army bell ringers back in places where they were previously banned.
Why are atheists so afraid of Christianity that they feel they have to go out and aggressively attack it every year around this time? Why don't you instead proudly proclaim your "atheistic religion" and explain all the reasons and research that led you to your stance. Maybe you can't? Maybe your choice was made out of laziness and you didn't even give religion a chance? Are you going to give your children the right to choose?
Tell you what; why don't you pick a day, any day, call it Atheist Day, and spend the day celebrating your atheism. Get yourself an atheist tree, exchange atheist gifts and have a great atheist meal. Call all the other atheists you know (won't take long) or send them a card and exchange happy atheist wishes.
Since you believe that there is no being more supreme than yourself (a rather egocentric viewpoint), you can celebrate you by staring at yourself (or small groups staring at each other) in the mirror all day. Isn't this a better idea than going around and putting other religions down? At least you are doing something more positive for yourself if you follow my strategy for you.
We Christians are on the Right Side of this issue. Atheists have no real beliefs; they just want to tear down one more longstanding tradition and belief. How can they claim that a baby in a manger, a cross, a Christmas tree or some innocent Christmas songs cause them untold suffering and still keep a straight face? And then they tell the rest of us to be more sensitive to their feelings. Wrong, atheists; you are the ones who need the sensitivity training sessions. Your claims of hurt and pain are bordering on the side of ridiculousness.
As has been shown over the past few years, Christians can make their feelings known by voting with their feet and their wallets. As much as the atheists hate to admit it, their impact is becoming smaller each year. Remember the movie, "The Passion of The Christ"? It is now No. 15 of the top 1,000 grossing films of all time in the United States. On the other hand, Bill Maher and his classic film, "Religulous," is number … well, I can't find it on the list. As a matter of fact, I wonder if it even covered its costs. I think it was popular for about three weekends. Examples like this abound.
The same thing holds true for retailers. Whose business do they want? Do they want 3 percent of the population frequenting their stores or a much larger percentage? I think the answer is obvious when you look at all the establishments that realized they made a huge mistake a few years back and have since rethought their positions.
Even though I do push back hard against you atheists, I still hope you will rethink your position and change before it's too late. You are making the biggest mistake of your lives by not at least giving religion a serious try. In the meantime I wish you a Merry Christmas and I will be praying for you.
Tom Sears is a local professor of accounting in Oneonta. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears every other week. His columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/tomsears.