If the message of Christianity is salvation from Earthly sin through Christ, and if hundreds of millions of people around the world adhere to that message, is the best, most “reason”able and articulate defense, atheists can come with to counter that message “religion is man-made, therefore it a joke”? There must be a better, more provocative response, if atheists intend to sway to masses and multitudes of Christians around the world. Would you be persuaded to be a Christian if one of them came to you and said atheism is man-made, therefore it is a joke?
Or does Richard Dawkins make the most persuasive case for atheism, and for how to deal with Christians?
How about when atheists, like Mike Malloy, rant and make fools of themselves, over and over again…
And over and over again…
If religion is man-made, and man-inspired, there was a compelling reason for why it happened so many thousands of year ago, and why it endures to this day – and why hundreds of millions of people around the world accept religion as valid, whether it is a concoction or not. And even if it is a concoction, there is still an order, an organization, a unity to it, which brings and binds together Christians in a solidarity that atheism lacks and cannot equal.
Atheists are going to need a better defense than to scrounge through the past and point to historical incidents that have darkened religion and set a black cloud over it. Atheists will need a better defense for atheism than attacking Christianity by ridiculing and mocking it, as Dawkins suggests.
Atheists enjoy referring back to the “Dark Ages”, using that era as a time when Christian theocracy swept through Europe. For people uneducated in history, that may seem enough to drive a wedge between them and religion, if they allow their own bias to get the better of them without investigating the true nature of the “Dark Ages”. If they did, they would see that the “Dark Ages” refers not to a time when religion had a firm grip and theocracy over the world, but to a period of time when there was little to no historical record written down. In other words, from after the fall of the Roman Empire, around 495A.D., and for the next several hundred years, the narrative of that era is very scant; historians of today do not have a detailed history of events, or as detailed as they would like, to be able to make more precise interpretations, more informed assumptions, more rational conclusions, more concrete calculations, etc. Too much of that era is shrouded in darkness because it was not recorded – not because Christianity dominated the landscape.
By the time Christianity became a theocracy, and held the vast majority of Europe within its control, around 1200A.D., it was the Middle Ages. And that theocracy only lasted several hundred years, broken up, ironically, by an English King (Henry VIII) who was as arrogant, as beastly, as corrupt, and as much a tyrant as was the Church at that time. Had it not been for his wanting a divorce, or if the Church had simply granted it to him, Catholicism would have remained the religion of England, and Protestantism would not have taken hold. That one singular event set in motion a chain reaction which, over the centuries, lessened the theocratic grip the Catholic Church had on Europe. And, if but for that event, America may never have had a founding, let alone a Constitution that included a freedom of religion clause. And atheists would neither enjoy the freedoms they enjoy today in America, nor would they be alive to enjoy them, as atheism was a heresy and punishable by death. Is the Catholic Church of today advocating for the death of atheists, or any of its detractors? If not, why? If the reason is because it no longer has that authority, then what are atheists complaining about, why do they still insist it is a theocracy, and why are they still all that worried about a power that no longer exists?
Atheism does not do itself justice by invoking past cruelties committed by the Church, nor does it advance its cause by ridiculing its present membership. Atheists will need a better defense for atheism than Mike Malloy’s and Richard Dawkin’s disturbed anti-Christian rants. Liberals and atheists alike ridicule and mock Pat Robertson and other influential Christians for their erratic behavior, but they never seem to scold their own when atheists do it. Christians see through the double standard and the hypocrisy.
Neither does atheism do itself justice by invoking current scandals, and they will also need to do better than to keep rehashing the pedophile priest/Catholic Church cover-up. Catholics are just as outraged as anyone else, and Catholics demand justice as well. And while some Catholics have been moved to abandon their faith because of it, the numbers are insignificant. Catholics, not atheists, will see that their Church is cleaned up and restored. But Catholics will not demolish their Church, nor will they abandon their faith in the kinds of droves atheists would hope they would. If Catholics, on the other hand, wanted to embrace liberal ideology over the scandal, they could very easily excuse the priest’s behavior and even justify it. After-all, it could be that these priests were themselves abused as children. If that is the case, we can’t really blame the priests for their actions, can we? Shouldn’t we try to understand them? That is the liberal creed, anyway.
But atheists have two separate standards when it comes to crime and punishment. When it is a poor or “disadvantaged” person committing the crime, we must understand them, pity them, embrace them and let them go unpunished – for they are merely a product of their surroundings, and we cannot fault them for their crimes – that would be inhumane. But when a Catholic priest commits a crime, when anyone commits a crime either in the name of religion or within the safety and protection of their religion, then there is no room for understanding them, no room for pitying them, no room for embracing them and letting them go unpunished in the same way other criminals must be dealt with. There is no humanity for Catholic priests who abuse children. They must be punished severely – more severely than these same liberals and atheists want to punish terrorists and those terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay. If Catholic priests, to atheists, are worse than any anti-American terrorist, how do we rationally deal with that perspective? And how do we rally behind the atheist cause if there is no foundation built upon it, or if the mortar used to build the walls are made with ridicule, mockery and vitriol? How are we supposed to find the value in atheism, and to be enlightened and lifted up and inspired with words not of wisdom but of hate and condescension?
Atheists will need better, more articulate leaders, more persuasive and constructively argumentative, than Richard Dawkins. Otherwise, atheists will find themselves living in their own “Dark Ages”.
Whether it actually happened or not, hundreds of millions of followers accept Christ, and accept Christ had a reason, a cause for his crucifixion. What is the atheist cause for theirs? They had better find one, a legitimate and tangible one, and soon. Otherwise they are just bleeding themselves to death for nothing.