Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Atheists to Launch TV Channel

Earlier this month the group, American Atheists, announced their plans to launch an internet TV channel for non-believers. They hope to ultimately syndicate this station through national cable networks. They claim to be "reaching out to atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and folks who are looking for a way out of faith...There’s a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials,” according to spokesman, Dave Muscato. “But there’s no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void.” Muscato further “hopes the channel will encourage people who are doubting their faith to come out as atheist…When somebody leaves their religion, they don’t necessarily know everything about the Big Bang. This will fill in the gaps in knowledge that pastors have left behind.” But, what does this move actually reveal about the nature of atheism?

This blog has contended in multiple posts that atheism is in fact a religion in that it is based primarily upon something that can’t be proven (faith). It is as much faith-based if not more so than theism. It is reasonable to conclude when presented with the lack of explanation of the origin of life and the origins of the fabric of the universe, that it takes more faith to believe atheism than all of the other religions that it opposes. And, while atheism seeks to fool us into thinking exactly the opposite, its militant followers are more fixated on God (albeit negatively), than most Christians are positively fixated on Him. Have you ever wondered why it is?

One of the hallmarks of religion is to seek the conversion of those in other faiths. Most of the time this is a genuine activity intended for good. But still, such activity is a marker that accompanies religion almost exclusively. And, the founders of this TV channel have explicitly admitted this same goal as their intent and “hope.” If they truly knew there was no God, why have a channel dedicated to Him? Why discuss God at all? If He does not exist, doesn’t talking about Him constantly actually lend credibility to Him? Or, are you evangelizing? If you truly believe in your heart of hearts that God does not exist, you would ignore the concept entirely. But, maybe this is not what they truly believe behind the assertive veneer?

For example, since atheists enjoy likening Santa Claus to the notion of God, let’s expose their folly by use of the same analogy. Most if not all people, don’t believe that there is a Santa Claus that travels the globe every year to give presents to the world's children. But, have you ever witnessed a Santa non-believer fixated on Santa's non-existence? Have you ever seen people write books and launch TV channels dedicated to prove Santa does not exist? The answer is no and for primarily two compelling reasons. First, in spite of many believers, there is no evidence supporting such a modern day Santa. Second, there is nothing to fear about Santa personally. However, with regards to God, neither of these two reasons apply.

Atheists are genuinely and subconsciously concerned because they know that evidence actually points to a nature-transcending Cause even though they refuse to publicly admit it. They know that theism grows and flourishes because faith and evidence are compellingly consistent, which is not the case with Santa Claus. In addition, it is our human nature to lash out against that which we fear. And, the notion of God offers atheism plenty to fear. This fear manifests itself in devout, negative fixation or lashing out.

Regarding this fear, there are primarily two types of atheists. The first type are those who simply wish to affirm their self-directed lifestyle in fear of potentially losing such freedom. The second type are those who are mad at God for something bad that happened to them personally, and, therefore, they are seeking to stamp Him out wherever they can. In some ways, this second type is fearful of others being similarly hurt. In both types of followers, you see a common thread of fear. Therefore, they lash out instead of simply ignoring the concept altogether. We understand from scripture that fearing God is the beginning of wisdom. But, this scripture is describing a healthy kind of fear. In contrast, militant atheism, is a manifestation of unhealthy fear of God. Militant atheism is a God-phobia. And, out of fear, they feel compelled to launch a TV channel to proselytize their negative fixation. Why else would anyone go to such great lengths to attack the notion of a God they don't believe exists? Or, would atheism rather admit to philosophical shadow boxing for no seemingly good reason?

In contrast, true Christianity refrains from lashing out at anyone as we are inspired to love everyone. 1 John 4:16-21 puts it perfectly, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

This blog addresses atheism without attacking the person. We address atheism not out of fear, but because atheism openly attacks theism and those who subscribe to it. And, we are called to be prepared to respond in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” This blog seeks to prepare other Christians when faced with such attacks. When an atheist calls into question the claims of the Bible in a conversation with us, we are called to gently and respectfully respond. We are not to respond from a point of fear. We are not called to lash out against atheists. That would be atheist-phobia. And, in God’s family there is no room for any form of phobia towards others.

To my fellow Christians, do not fear atheism because as stated in 1 John 4:4, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Do not see the establishment of this TV channel as a threat, but as an opportunity to declare who Jesus is and the good news of His gospel wherever this TV channel is discussed. True Christianity welcomes the freedom of thought and open reasoning. Therefore, we are not threatened by attempts to launch an opposing TV channel. We are, instead called to respond in truth about what such an attempt represents. May we join in prayer as atheists continue in negative fixation upon God, that God will lovingly join these discussions through our reasoning with those He gave His life for? Maybe then, negative fixation can be transformed by loving faith.

You can follow me on Twitter at @ReasonIfYouWill.