The American Atheists organization sponsors billboards every Christmas season. One of their favorite billboards depicts a Nativity scene, with the silhouettes of Mary and Joseph kneeling in prayer next to the manger which holds the baby Jesus. A bright star shines overhead. And off to the side, three distinguished men riding camels are headed toward the Holy Family to pay homage. It’s a scene right out of a traditional Christmas card.
But the upper half of the billboard contains these words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth.”
It’s obvious the primary intent of the billboard is to promote atheist distain for traditional religious beliefs, while also tweaking the sensibilities of Christians in the process.
Another goal of the American Atheists, I suspect, is to provoke someone to vandalize the billboard. This would achieve two victories for the group: first, they would receive tons of free publicity because the act of vandalism would be much bigger news than the billboard itself; and second, the group would be able to declare that irrational religious people are prone to violence.
Some Christians might be tempted to deface these types of billboards, but I pray that’s not the case. Trying to stifle free speech, even unpopular and offensive free speech, is reprehensible. (Take note university administrators, with your politically correct and unconstitutional “speech codes.”)
The best way to combat offensive free speech is with a little free speech of your own. How about telling the other side of the story? First, let’s take a look at what atheists believe. Atheism is the belief that the natural world is all there is. Things that are supernatural—such as gods, devils, angels, spirits, life-after-death, Heaven, or Hell—simply do not exist. Why? Because modern science has proven beyond a doubt these things are not real. That’s exactly what I thought when I was an atheist in my teens and 20s. I was convinced modern science had proven that all religious beliefs are nothing more than silly superstitions and myths.
However, what exactly is modern science? It is the systematic investigation of natural phenomenon. Science, by definition, is not capable of offering an opinion on anything supernatural. If there is a supernatural dimension to reality, modern science is not qualified to tell us anything about it.
Imagine that I took off one of my sneakers and held it up to my ear. And after listening intently for a few moments, I declared, “I do not hear any radio broadcasts on my size 12 Adidas, therefore, this proves beyond a doubt there are no radio signals in the air. Case closed.”
Well, that would be foolish, because my sneaker is not capable of determining whether radio signals are present. It’s the wrong device for that task. (And it’s also not very hygienic to hold against the side of your head.)
Atheists hold up modern science to their ears, listen intently for a few moments, and declare, “Science detects no evidence of the supernatural, therefore, this proves, beyond a doubt, there is no spiritual dimension to life. Case closed.”
Speaking of foolish, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God” (Psalm 53:1).
The fact is, atheism is a belief system, and like any other religion, it requires faith. Personally, the notion that all the complexities in the universe—especially life itself—just came into existence by accident, strikes me as an irrational blind leap of faith. Regarding the existence of life on earth, atheists really expect us to believe that this equation is true: “Chaos + Chance + Time = Intricate Precision.” Yeah, sure.
The idea that life just happened by accident? You KNOW it’s a myth. Hmm, someone should put that on a billboard.