Evangelical Atheists?


by Joe Messina

We are coming into the “holiday” season. Now I say “holiday” simply to include them all; Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus, Kwanzaa, winter solstice, etc.

The season of festivities at this time of year would not exist if it weren’t for some religious belief system. Most religions “evangelize” because they want others to know about what they believe and why. You tell people about great movies, great restaurants, diets that help you, foods and fads that give you more energy. We light up Twitter and Facebook with all these things.

Let’s look at the word evangelize. Webster says: “to try to convert (a group or area) to a different religion (especially Christianity) – often used figuratively.” For example, “They were evangelizing about the importance of saving energy” or the dolphins or any other issue near and dear to their hearts.

This year atheists have launched a concerted campaign, setting up booths at craft fairs and in parks sharing their non-holiday message. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) (who I lovingly refer to as the Freedom from Religion Freaks), in their fight against religion, is selling a variety of greeting cards for “winter solstice.”

It’s ironic that the FFRF, an organization which is so dead-set against the concept of a God, would be promoting a holiday which is linked with so many gods. Throughout history, cultures around the world have worshiped sun gods and goddesses at the time of solstice. How does a nontheistic group reconcile themselves to honoring sun gods with greeting cards that say “Yes, Virginia! There is no God…”? Confused? I think so.

There are now atheist “churches” and meeting houses popping up where they sing songs, hear a “talk,” and have some quiet reflection before going home. Sound familiar?

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