The San Jose Atheists already took Ken Ham to task brilliantly for this, but I want a crack at him too.
Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis put up some billboards.
As a facebook commenter wrote: “If you can’t win the debate, just declare victory.”
Forgetting for a moment that Ken Ham has been rebuked, either by intention or not, by about every living scientist. Forget for a moment that the things Ham holds true (someone rising from the dead, someone walking on water, global flood, someone being turned into a pillar of salt, and much, much more) could not conflict with science more. Forget that he doesn’t even begin to understand the science he pretends to know about it. Forget all that. What if it were true?
We’d should curse god for allowing a place of eternal suffering to exist where kind and caring people are sentenced for not believing an absurd story based on hearsay.
We should curse god for immoral pronouncements, such as the long list of reasons to kill your neighbor for non-crimes found in the bible.
We should curse god for making humans take time to learn things and then painfully wiping out entire civilizations, rather than coming down and teaching them how to be better. We should curse genocide, no matter how powerful the perpetrator.
We should curse god for endorsing slavery.
The list goes on and on. Even if Ham’s god existed, gratitude is the last thing we should be feeling. No, Ken Ham, we should be grateful that you are wrong. But that gratitude evaporates like a stain of glass upon a mirror when we realize that even though you are wrong, even though you’d bend a knee to the monster of the bible, that you still affect people – including children. While god can do no harm because he does not exist, you are still a problem.
In a friendly way, we want to reach out to people in secularized parts of the country and share the hope we have in Christ. Atheists live in a world of ultimate meaninglessness and purposelessness. But the good news is that God sent His Son to offer the free gift of salvation. There is purpose and meaning in life. And we thank God for that.
Confusing passive-aggressiveness for friendliness isn’t quite as inane as confusing genocide with goodness, but it’s along the same lines. And no, atheists have plenty of meaning in their lives. Don’t confuse with not accepting the meaning that those who claim to speak for god insist we must adopt for our lives with not having any meaning. There is purpose and meaning in life, and we’re thankful that it’s not the bevy of restrictions and arbitrary rules you assure us it is.
The good news is that we don’t need stories of someone rising from the dead to have meaning. And what’s more, even if the bullshit story of Jesus were true, it’s not a free gift. It’s only free if you do something first. That’s like saying I’ll give you a free hot dog and all you have to do is chop down a tree. As a facebook commenter put it: If salvation is free, then why doesn’t everyone have it regardless of belief or non-belief? Nice way to hook people in and hit them with the costs.
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.
So they want us to know that they see us a unworthy of heaven unless we buy into their religion? Forgive me if this seems more self-serving to them than flattering to us. Love should be contingent upon the worth of the person. I don’t love assholes or thieves, for instance. So for someone to say “We love you, but you deserve hell” doesn’t really resonate that well. The response is “I’m a good person who rejects your religion. That’s why you should love me.”
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.
But you have nothing but shit arguments in your god’s defense. So no, I won’t be admitting it’s truth. I will, in fact, spend each day pointing out how faith corrupts people and explaining why people are wrong to believe the things they do about god. I do this because I care about humanity and if that’s not enough for god, even if he did exist (thank FSM he doesn’t), then he can get fucked.
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.
Yes, and those who believe in Islam can look forward to 72 virgins in heaven. The thing is, they’re just like Christians in that all they’ll ever do is look forward to it. You’ll never get it because it’s not real. But yes, much like kids staying awake with flashlights looking forward to seeing the tooth fairy, you are the proud owners of a delusion that makes you excited about the things it promises (but that it has never delivered on).
Meanwhile, an atheist can get excited about going on a roller coaster and then, HOLY BALLS, we can actually get on the roller coaster. Then we can get excited about a big, juicy cheeseburger for lunch and BOOM: there it is. Forgive me if, from this vantage point, a life of looking forward to something that is promised to me by a guy who can’t even grasp the basics of science, only to be received after I die, doesn’t sound like much of a deal.