December 12, 2007
Still in a quandary over the “perfect gift” for that person on your list who “has everything?” How about a “Imagine No Religion” bumper sticker? Or even better, how about the “Imagine No Religion” bumper sticker and matching T-Shirt or Baseball Jersey that includes a Manhattan skyline complete with the pre-9/11 Twin Towers still standing?
All of this and more as apparently the nation’s atheists—at least one specific group of them—are “mad as hell and not going to take it any more!”
According to a report in Sunday’s Boston Phoenix, the president of American Atheists opened the group’s recent national convention in Boston by describing the rage she and fellow atheists experienced after the attacks of 9/11 over the fact that, from the White House to local city halls across the nation, the government’s response was “drenched in religion.”
As reported by Phoenix columnist Dan Kennedy, head-atheist Ellen Johnson claimed that she and other non-believers “… felt marginalized and angered,” and that it was “religion that caused the attack on our country and it’s religion that divides America.”
Kennedy himself made a wonderfully cogent point in saying, “There is something incongruously amusing about listening in on several hundred atheists who have gathered to wallow in the exaggerated sense of grievance and persecution that is the hallmark of identity politics. Atheists, after all, think of themselves as superior beings, as rationalists who have succeeded in rising above the superstition and prejudice that so blight the lives of their fellow citizens. Shouldn’t such virtue be its own reward?”
All of this reminds me of the occasion some years ago when a woman standing in line at the U.S. Post Office in Portland, Maine was offered the choice of Christmas stamps featuring the Madonna and Child and blurted loudly, “My God! Now they’re even putting religion in Christmas!”
And speaking of ever-liberal New England, how about the report in the Hartford Courant that, in observance of the winter solstice, Connecticut Valley Atheists have erected a sign in Rockville’s Central Park featuring an image of the sun shining between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, framed by the words “Imagine No Religion,” obviously claiming that, without religion, 9/11 would never have happened.
According to Rockville, Connecticut Mayor Jason L. McCoy, people have called his office and expressed anger at the suggestion that their religious beliefs caused the tragedy of Sept. 11. “People are not offended the atheists have something up there, and they’re not offended by whatever they celebrate. What they’re troubled by is they feel [their] religion is equated with being involved in terrorism,” said the mayor.
So where are we, as a nation, in the ever-expanding war to completely secularize the American culture?—and what is it costing us?
The Trend Is Up
According to a March, 2007 report by the Pew Research Center, during the 20-year period between 1987 and 2007, pre-boomers—those Americans born before 1946, only 4-5 percent claimed to have no religious belief and showed no change in the latest survey. The boomers—those born between 1946-1964—showed a modest 1-percent increase from 10 percent in 1987 to 11 percent in 2007 claiming no religion.
Meanwhile, Generation X—those born between 1965-1976—remained at a steady 14 percent claiming no religious belief, while Generation Y—those born from 1977 forward—is shown to be the most religion-free generation in the survey, with 19 percent of that group claiming no religious faith.
The Cost Is Also Rising
With such an aggressive and growing assault on the nation’s moral values and the institutions of faith which have historically informed our culture, why are we at all surprised at such terrible events as the shopping mall shootings in April of this year that left three dead in Kansas City, Missouri? Or the recent horrific slaughter at the mall in Omaha, Nebraska? Or at the even more recent shootings at a Youth With A Mission Christian center in Arvada, Colorado and, close on its heels, another shooting at the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs?
As Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told a gathering of pastors in remarks reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette several years ago, “government may have dropped the ball in modern American society [but] religion dropped it first.” Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, said “The reason we have so much government is because we have so much broken humanity … and the reason we have so much broken humanity is because sin reigns in the hearts and lives of human beings, instead of the Savior.”
“Government knows it does not have the answer, but it’s arrogant and acts as though it does,” the former Arkansas governor said, adding that the “Church does have the answer but will cowardly deny that it does and wonder when the world will be changed.”
Right on, governor! We people of faith need accept our responsibilities and put the onus where it really belongs!
Don Kroah is host of “The Don Kroah Show,” heard Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. on 105.1 FM and 780 AM-WAVA and on the Web at www.wava.com. Contact Don at [email protected].