Away with the Atheists

polycarp
Polycarp: 2nd Century Atheist, Bishop, Martyr

Contrary to the opinion of some, this post’s title was not the rallying cry of the alleged Bush theocracy that infringed on the rights of people who steadfastly believe in spontaneous generation.

Rather, the post’s title was a derisive chant shouted by 2nd Century pagans in reference to Christians. That “atheist” now refers to a subset of modern-day pagans is an irony lost on many.

Usage of the phrase, ‘away with the atheists!’, is documented in the account of Polycarp’s martyrdom (you can read it here).

“Away with the atheists!” was an appeal to the Roman government to murder people whose only “crime” was total and utter trust in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.

The Roman proconsul plead with Polycarp to condemn his fold by yelling “Away with the atheists!”. The proconsul uttered these words to the 86-year-old bishop,

Have respect to your age! Swear by the fortune of Caesar; change your mind; say, ‘Away with the atheists!’

After this he plead with Polycarp to curse our Lord, to which the aged bishop replied:

Eighty-six years I have served him, and he never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?

The proconsul then came back with threats. First it was wild beasts, which would have brought delight to the bloodthirsty ‘theists’ in the crowd.

Next came the threat of being burned alive. Then Polycarp, 2nd Century atheist, replied,

The fire you threaten burns but an hour and is quenched after a little; for you do not know the fire of the coming judgment and everlasting punishment that is laid up for the impious. But why do you delay? Come, do what you will.

I guess the faithful bishop didn’t buy annihilationism

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British Teenager killed in India? Blame it on God of course!

An Indian co-worker of mine informed the rest of us of a tragic event which transpired in her native land. A 15-year-old British girl was raped and murdered in the city of Goa.

The puzzling circumstances surrounding the tragedy are further explored in the following article,
“Why was Scarlett left by herself in the first place, police want to question her mother over negligence”.

My co-worker’s revelation was met with the sadness and bile that gorge up upon hearing of tragedies like these. One of our number astutely pointed out that there are “sick people everywhere” and not so astutely proclaimed that this is further proof that God does not exist.

Yes, he knows that God does not exist because if there was a God he would have stopped this injustice.

What I do know is that the irrationality that such inanities betray is as much an indicator of fallen humanity’s depravity as the things that were done to this girl.

Indeed, God is not deceived by externals.

Prelutsky column reminds of the “Cultural Christianity” of Dr. Dawkins

Last month, Burt Prelutsky wrote a column titled,
“I’m Happy to Live in a Christian Nation”

in which he made it explicitly clear that “religion plays no part” in his life, save for his subscription to those nebulous “Judeo-Christian values”.

That being the case he also asserts,

although I do not accept that we are all fallen creatures or that Jesus Christ died for my sins, I am thankful that I live in a Christian nation.

He then goes on to explain why. His words could stand to be more charitable however.

Mr. Prelutsky’s column reminded me of Professor Richard Dawkins recent (relatively speaking) admission that he considers himself a cultural Christian, click here for that story.

By the way Dr. Albert Mohler commented on Prof. Dawkins’ words here.

Dr. Dawkins’ said this about the U.K.,

“I’m not one of those who wants to stop Christian traditions.

“This is historically a Christian country. I’m a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims.

“So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I’m not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.

“If there’s any threat these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists.”

That may be the case in the U.K but it seems that here in the States, this kind of thing is spearheaded by so-called atheists.

Ignorance is Bliss to Philip Pullman

Caught this quote from Brent Bozell’s most recent column, “The Christmas-Crushing Movie”,

But buyer beware: Narnia it’s not. It’s the anti-Narnia. Instead of a Christian allegory, it’s an anti-Christian allegory. The author of “The Golden Compass,” Philip Pullman, is an atheist who despises C. S. Lewis and his much-beloved Narnia series. “I thought they were loathsome,” he said of those books, “full of bullying and sneering, propaganda, basically, on behalf of a religion whose main creed seemed to be to despise and hate people unlike yourself.”

As someone who immensely enjoys reading Lewis’ works (to my detriment I’ve had little exposure to the Narnia series), I might be just get a bit biased when my literary hero gets lambasted like that.

What is odd about Pullman’s words is his erroneous description of Christianity. I want to believe that his false impression is a result of ignorance (not having examined the claims of Christ) instead of a willful misrepresentation or interpretation of Christ’s teachings.

Mike Adams, former Atheist, on Understanding Atheism

Professor Mike Adams wrote a column titled, “Understanding Atheism” in which he makes good points.

Adams, himself a former atheist, this from the column,

I declared myself an agnostic in 1983 and stayed that way until I declared myself an atheist in 1992. The road from Christianity to atheism and back to Christianity was – with my apologies to Beatles fans – long and winding. It took many years to travel.

He talks about cognitive dissonance in relation to Christianity,

Because Christianity is sometimes a demanding religion, it, too, may create a good deal of cognitive dissonance. For example, the declaration “I am a Christian” can sometimes clash with the awareness that “Christians are supposed to tithe” or “Christians are supposed to love their enemies.”

I have seen people who began tithing to the church and loving their enemies upon converting to Christianity. But that is not how it always ends for the converted Christian. Like me, many other Christians have resolved the tension by, at least temporarily, deciding to abandon the Way. Sometimes it is simply easier to say “I am not a Christian.”

Dr. Adams soberly concludes,

I often wonder why we speak of the atheists as if they are our enemies. And I wonder whether that should matter if we call ourselves Christians. I hope this column will inspire some cognitive dissonance, for the writer and the reader alike. And I hope the tension will be resolved with love, which the best cure for dissonance, or, for that matter, anything else.

He’s right, we tend to demonize deluded people and make them out to the be the source of evil when in fact, the Apostle Paul warned us,

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

May God forgive us for thinking otherwise.

Real Atheist Heroes

In his latest column, “The Atheist Indoctrination Project”, Dinesh D’Souza quotes several of the more prominent atheist voices, who have some interesting suggestions as far as religion is concerned.

These men of valor (though it is unsure where this comes from) not to mention fervor (though of course they’re not religious) crusade against the relentless onslaught of religious thought, and its effects on the minds of young children.

The Justice League (below) have nothing on Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens. justice-league.jpg

I wonder how the guys pictured above would fare against the flying spaghetti monster?