04.01.08

National Atheist’s Day?

Posted in Society at 15:55 by RjZ

Sometimes church signs puzzle me. “Death is the door to Heaven, Come inside to get the key.” It’s not that I don’t understand the point of the sign, I just think it’s terrible marketing. Those who pass by the sign on the their way to church smile to themselves, comfortable in the knowledge that they’re securing their personal key to a pleasant afterlife by passing through those doors. Everyone else just wonders if the church is full of murderers who’ll offer you, not so surreptitiously, some poisonous Kool-Aid upon your first visit. The message is lost on those for whom it was really intended.

A friend told me about seeing “April 1st, National Atheist’s Day” on a license plate frame. You can buy one for yourself. It’s a joke, I told her. April Fools Day; atheists are fools…get it? Actually, it turns out, the joke is a bit more sophisticated. As the bumper sticker website tells us, Psalm 14:1 says “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Well, actually, that’s not all of what Psalm 14:1 has to say. The complete quote is “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good” These atheists are worse than fools, they’re corrupt and have done no good. (Don’t tell these folks.)

That’s fair enough for God to pass such a judgment, but what about Christians? The Bible also tells us in Matthew 5:22

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,[contempt]‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

Apparently, those snickering bumper sticker owners are going to burn in the fires of hell. Not sure how they may have missed that part.

Matthew may be on to something though. We might not want to be so quick to start name calling. Aren’t we all fools after all? Richard Dawkins explains that we’re all atheists of one religion or another. We all deny the God/s of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Pastafarianism, or Christianity. Every religious person favors his views over the views of some equally committed person and is thus a fool denying there is a God.

Still, that’s not what seems to scare the religious so much about atheists. All religious people may be atheists in the religion of others, but at least they all share faith. Atheists, meanwhile, have the impudence to live outside faith itself. Perhaps indignation is what drives Christians to risk their eternal soul by confidently mocking those who, worse than daring not to believe the same as they, don’t believe at all.

Possibly, it was an atheist, who was driving that car around in the first place, telling everyone that April 1st is the day that he and all atheists pull the biggest prank of all. I couldn’t find any bumper stickers like that, though, which seems like a good; I’m with Matthew on this one, it all sounds a bit hateful to me.

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