Anybody out there remember Popeye, the spinach-devouring, massively forearmed sailor? I always liked his spunk and the way he would stand up to the bullying of his nemesis Bluto with a shout of “I’s had all I can stand; I can’t stand no more!”
I’ve been feeling like Popeye since this weekend when I heard about an atheist group in Florida “unblessing” a local highway.
The group Humanists of Florida took to Highway 98 in Polk County with scrub brushes and a tank of “unholy water” to symbolically scrub away a blessing given to the stretch of road a year earlier by a group of local religious leaders called Polk Under Prayer, or PUP. The atheists were also upset with PUP for burying bricks inscribed with prayers along the county’s roads.
Now let’s be clear: Many atheists can be very fine people, and they are welcome to waste their weekends scrubbing highways as a form of protest if they like. If they want to do something useful, they can even pick up trash while they’re out there. They’re well within their rights to protest anything they care to.
But let’s be completely clear: The specific event in question was at best a cynical publicity stunt that denigrated other community groups.
Viewed more sternly, the “unblessing” stops just short of being a hate crime. It’s one religious group publicly attacking the faith of another group.
The Humanists of Florida aren’t the first atheist group to stage a public dog and pony show for the sole purpose of attacking Christian beliefs. It’s a safe bet they won’t be the last.
In fact, for decades we’ve seen the slow inroads of the atheist religion into our public institutions with the support of the courts, which largely have adopted the fiction that atheism is somehow not a belief but a “non-belief” that is pure and free of ideological leanings.
We already have a word for “non-beliefs” free of ideological taint — they’re called “facts.” And that is precisely the implicit assumption atheist groups have counted on to slowly push Christianity — and to a lesser extent, other religions — out of public life. As Christianity has been forced out the door, atheism has filled the vacuum under the guise of being a neutral system of thought based on logic.
It’s anything but.
Consider the “logic” of the unblessing event in Florida. If atheists believe there is no God, then they must believe that a blessing by a church group has no effect beyond making the members of the church feel good. Logically, therefore, the atheists should be indifferent to what the church does. They might even view the church’s blessing as simply a case of people wishing the rest of the community well.
But the organizers of the unblessing event said that the Christian blessing made them feel “unwelcome” in the county. Note the appeal to feelings, not logic. The blessing made this atheist group feel so unwelcome, in fact, that the members felt compelled — e.g., emotionally driven — to go to the trouble of organizing the unblessing event, getting media coverage, and actually going out to the highway with their scrub brushes to “clean” holy oil off the road with “unholy water.” Note the resort to symbolism.
Logically, the atheists appeal to no supernatural power, therefore there is no possibility of their unblessing having any effect other than possibly making a clean spot on the highway.
So the logical conclusion about all these shenanigans is that the sole purpose of the event was to publically insult those uppity Christians and “put them in their place.”
I recently watched a video of another group putting Christians in their place. It was of a group of Muslims toppling gravestones and smashing a 20-foot stone cross in a cemetery in Australia.
Those actions clearly represented what is called these days a hate crime. The unblessing event in Florida shared the same attitudes and purpose. It only lacked the public smashing of icons.
The irony — or perhaps it’s just stupidity — of the war waged by atheists on Christianity in America is that atheist groups in court cases so often invoke “separation of church and state,” a phrase which appears nowhere in the Constitution, while they themselves represent a religion that is slowly wrapping its fingers around the reigns of power.
Unless something changes, atheism may be the future state religion of America, as it was in the old Soviet Union and as it is in China. It’s already taught implicitly in schools and promoted in the media. The contempt of the current administration for traditional Christianity has been made clear on many occasions.
The social problem posed by atheism is not because of its beliefs, however. Atheism is as deserving of respect as other religions. Individual atheists are often intelligent, charming and honest American citizens. The problem is the ambitions of some of the leading atheists and the groups that are motivated by their hatred of Christianity and a desire for power over society.
Those groups wittingly or unwittingly form another front in the war to slowly turn America into a socialist state.
Tad Cronn is the editor in chief of The Patriots Almanac and the author of the e-book Radical Reboot: How to Fix Capitalism (and Save the World).