Thank God I’m Not an Asshole

The title of this post—”thank God I’m not an asshole”—was the first thing that came to my mind upon seeing this image:

Ken Ham believes that atheists will face eternal torture after they die. When I read his words—”thank God you’re wrong”—what I hear is “thank God you’re destined for eternal torture! Haha, SUCKER!”

Here is how Ken Ham explained the new billboards:

We decided on this billboard campaign that will last a month, with a cordial and engaging message: “To All Our Atheist Friends: Thank God You’re Wrong.” We trust this billboard campaign will give many of you an opportunity to witness to people—to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the gospel. Here is why we chose the wording we did for the billboards:

  1. First of all, we are not angry at the atheists at all—we are burdened for them as people who will be lost for eternity, unless they receive the free gift of salvation. We want them to know that Christians love them as humans made in the image of God—but sinners in need of salvation.
  2. These atheists should thank God that they can receive the free gift of salvation and be saved for eternity. Yes, they need to thank God they have been wrong and turn to the truth.
  3. Those of us who have received the free gift of salvation and are truly born again as the Bible teaches can thank God the atheists are wrong—we thank God for our salvation and look forward to an eternity with our Creator and Savior.

I think of the verse that says, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Here’s the thing: If atheists are right and there is no God, atheists are not destined for eternal torture at all, just natural death. But if atheists are wrong and Ken Ham’s God exists, atheists are destined for eternal torture after death. Ken Ham seems to be suggesting that atheists should be glad they’re wrong because even though they’re destined for eternal torture if they don’t change their views they have the chance to be saved through the gospel and avoid eternal torture. The thing is, if atheists are right there’s no eternal torture to be avoided in the first place.

Imagine that someone told you that the island you live on is alive and is going to sink into the sea at any moment, drowning everyone on it, but that if you decide to worship the island you will personally be spared from that destruction. Naturally, you don’t believe the person who tells you this, and you tell him it’s just regular island and reminding him that there have been no forewarnings or signs of any sort of structural unsoundness or impending collapse. Of course, you don’t mind him worshipping the island if that’s what he wants to do, but it would sure get annoying if he were to go around saying “I’m so glad you’re wrong. Aren’t you glad you’re wrong? Isn’t it great that you’re wrong!” Um, sorry, but no.

Finally, Ken Ham seems to think that these billboards are a way to open dialogue with atheists. They’re not. They’re the equivalent of slamming the door in our faces, and then laughing. You don’t start a dialogue by telling someone they’re wrong. You start a dialogue by being willing to listen! Also, “cordial and engaging”? Ha!

Personally, I prefer the “There’s a God out there who loves you, wouldn’t you like to get to know him?” approach. It may get annoying, but it’s not mean. This is mean.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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