Friday, 3 April 2009

Strident atheism

Recently I have noticed an increasing number of extremely strident and vituperative attacks on faith, specifically, on any form of Christian belief. One, on a forum I follow dedicated to Scifi, contained what I can only describe as a virulent attack on God, describing Him as a "baby killing ..." and the rest was equally ill-informed and offensive. The following day there was a news item trumpeting the availability of a "parchment" certificate of "de-baptism" accompanied by the statement that "a hundred thousand people in the UK are actively seeking to have their baptism annulled." Sadly, what this tells me more than anything else, is that they do not even begin to understand what baptism represents or that it is not some sort of permanent marking - failure to live up to the vows made at baptism or simple failure to even attempt to grasp the essential elements of the faith you were baptised into is sufficient to annul it. One of these rather sad people - aged he says 54 - is planning to sue the Church of England to have his name 2erased from the baptism registers" of the church in which he was baptised.

All I can say is that tells me that he is afraid of something - perhaps even afraid that his avowed "rationalist atheism" might turn out to be wrong and that nasty indelible baptism may turn out to mean that he winds up in an afterlife he doesn't believe in. What a shame, and what a great shame that those who are so quick to attack faith, don't take the trouble to find out what it is they reject.

I find it fascinating that these attacks are almost exclusively directed at Christian beliefs by a group who seem to be afraid that they are losing the battle to spread their message of unbelief. It is equally interesting to see that they seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on Christian Forums and in Christian Chat rooms trying to denigrate the faith of those in these electronic discussions. Visit the BBC Faith Forum and what you find is a small number of truly angry and offensive individuals attacking everyone who dares to challenge their vitriolic attacks on our faith.

It is pointless trying to reason with these people, it simply drives them into an even more offensive frenzy. Considering that most of them will loudly and constantly proclaim that they are being rational and anyone of faith is not, you have to wonder why they get so angry when you try to discuss your point of view. Richard Dawkins is a case in point, he almost froths at the mouth as soon as he is confronted by someone who does believe in the Almighty and His Grace and, if you have the time to waste and read his book, you very rapidly discover that his understanding of Christianity or any other faith is so superficial it is nonexistent.

That much was obvious from the post on the Scifi Forum, the poster (and I note that his comment seems to have been removed by the Moderators) was trying to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his statement that we cannot expect God to rescue us from the folly of destroying our planet's ecosystem, was saying that there is no God. Having actually heard the Archbishop, rather than having read the selective report on it, I can say that is most certainly NOT what he said and nor would he ever imply such a thing. Only someone with a completely closed mind and a lack of any understanding of the manner of God's working in the world could possibly make the conclusion he did.

As I said, I do wonder what it is that drives the atheist adherents to feel that they have to attack the faith of anyone who doesn't share their rather sad view that our existence here is all there is? I can only think it must be the fear that they may be excluded by their own actions and want to make sure everyone else is too. Fortunately for us all - including them - God is far more merciful and just than we can even begin to imagine and they may yet be pleasantly surprised by Him.

1 comment:

  1. The answer to why atheist adherents attack believers in a God is the same reason Muslims attack other religions, faith. The faith that they are right and everyone else is wrong. It takes just as much faith not to believe in God as it does to believe in him.