The atheistic rallying cry appears most strongly at a time of religious celebrations like Easter and Christmas. That’s when they come out of the woodwork. This is a season when you can see them hawking their wares on TV, on YouTube and read what they have to say on editorial page columns, on blogs and among the punditry.
I’ll come clean — the atheist mindset twists my shorts. It isn’t their belief itself, but the unspoken superiority of that belief, which contains strong currents of ridicule towards those who believe in God and believe that there is more to our earthly surroundings than our earthly surroundings. It’s usually called faith.
Atheism wants to destroy that faith, which is living aspect of our cultural tradition. Fully entitled to their belief, atheists hope to worm their particular point of view into the national psyche. It’s a tough task, pissing into the wind as it were, but they keep trying and are certainly making some inroads. Many of their objections have been localized across the nation, but last year a digital neon sign that reads ‘Take the Christ Out Of Christmas’ with a cross-out line through Christ decorates Times Square. The media, always on the lookout for raw story meat, gave the sign national attention. We’re left to understand that while the religiously inclined are celebrating Christmas, atheists are celebrating “Mas.” Okay, go with God.
To steal from a Seinfeld episode — Atheism! What is it good for?
Atheists mock the stupidity and frailty of those who place their faith in what is a scientific unknown. They suggest that believers delude themselves by paying homage to an unknown Creator. How pathetic, they smugly imply (or say). How unrealistic to have faith in what can never be proven through science of some kind.
Well, what about the atheist’s belief? Just as Deists can’t prove that there is a God, atheists can’t prove that there ISN’T, which makes their belief a matter of faith. Without proof, their belief, their “truth” is as much a religion as, well, religion. They are operating on faith, but they won’t acknowledge it. Maybe they don’t even realize it, in which case they’re pretty dumb. Maybe they do realize it and lock it in the attic of their minds like the crazy aunt, in which case they’re deceivers. And yet Deists are the dumb ones, the weak ones, the fooled ones, the ones with no realistic or scientific anchor to support their belief.
Bottom line: Deists don’t know and Atheists don’t know. Ultimately, it comes down to a cosmic “he said, she said.”
So … at this Christmastime, if I had a choice between the religion of atheism and the religions of Deism, I’d pick the latter. By its nature, atheism is a belief in the negative, a belief that something DOESN’T exist! It is a futile belief, a faith in nothingness, ultimately a celebration of death. Deism is a belief in something positive, in a better future, in a faith that is affirming and hopeful, a faith that celebrates life, here and hereafter.
Deism has given us a legacy of great architecture, great music, great literature and inspired art. Atheism has given us a few surly magazine articles by (the brilliant and sorely missed) Christopher Hitchens and the minor, unimportant British comedian, Ricky Gervais. There may be others, but …. who cares? Atheism destroys, Deism creates. (How ironic that Hitchen’s first name is Christ-opher.
In New York alone, then, this Christmas time, Deists can point to the glory of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Atheists can proudly point to ….. point to … uh, point to -