Saturday, 4 January 2014

Freedom From Religion? Really?

I was reflecting on the various antics of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and it struck me that if they get their way, which can really be narrowed to, "freedom from Christianity," they will not have accomplished their stated aim, but will have replaced a relatively benign and benelovent religion with one they will find far more oppressive.

The way things are looking, if Christianity is replaced in Western Society, it will not be by atheism, but by Islam.

Just sayin'

Take Care


Warren said...

Happy New Year, John. May the Lord's blessing be upon you and your ministry.

I didn't make a New Year's resolution to agree with you in 2014, so here goes.

First off, I believe you are addressing a uniquely American phenomenon and (presumably) trying to project it on Canadian society. I don't think the comparison stands up. While we were in Colorado Springs and socializing with other Canadians (the military community, including spouses and children, numbers approximately 400), I heard religion discussed in a way that I've never encountered in Canada. Given their perception of the American evangelical culture, most of the Canadians likely would have been hearty supporters of an organization such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In Canada, they wouldn't have given it a second thought.

Secondly, if American evangelical conservatives demonstrated more humility and Christ-like behaviour, the Freedom From Religion Foundation would likely wither away due to lack of interest.

Third, if my mayor used his office to advocate for 2014 as the year of the bible (as happened in Flower Mound, TX), I would be happy to see him get a smack down. It is actions such as this that give the Freedom From Religion Foundation its raison d'ĂȘtre.

If a seeker in one of your Alpha sessions asked for your opinion of the mayor of Flower Mound's actions, how would you respond?

John K said...

Hi Warren, Happy New Year,
My post was not so much, in this case, a complaint about atheists' persecution of Christians, as just an observation of a phenomenon. It is based on observations of England and Europe and what's happening there with "blasphemy laws", either explicit or implicit. If (and I emphasize, "if") the freedom from religion people get their way, what will replace Christianity in the public square will not be nothing; it will not be secularism; I believe it will eventually be Islam. I say this because Christians have been fairly compliant in allowing its symbols, it's celebrations and its public profile to be eliminated in our society. And then it will be too late to say, "Oops!"

I'm not saying we should have the attitude of your quoted mayor - those days are well past - but I think the FFRF's insistence that Christmas symbols for instance, must be eliminated from the front of town halls goes well beyond the establishment clause of the American constitution. (And, yes, I think that mayor's actions are over the top, so to speak. They may have been acceptable years ago, when most of the population was at least nominally Christian, but my fear is that the pendulum is in danger of swinging too far in the opposite direction.)

And as an Alpha leader, if one of my guests asked me my opinion, I would do the Alpha leader thing and ask, "What does anyone else think?" ;-)

Coincidentally, I came across this article that contains a comment by an atheist as follows;

As an atheist, I have to say this persecution of Christians is despicable. Christians and atheists (those who are brave enough to admit to atheism is Islamic countries) are often the target of persecution. Islam is, I believe, generally incompatible with democracy when it achieves majority status. This is one area where Christians and atheists can work together to both pressure western governments, and to force Muslim government to understand penalties for persecuting minorities.
which I think sums up much of my point. While not allies by any stretch, atheists and Christians might be considered, "co-belligerents."
We share a common foe, and squabbling amongst ourselves will allow that foe to come in unnoticed which, at a certain time, it will be too late.

Hopefully, moderate Muslims too will come to the fore and stand up for true tolerance in matters of religion.

Warren said...

I'm not an expert in European history, nor do I follow European current events fastidiously (although as a life-long student of French I regularly access news sites from France), but if Canada had the choice of moving closer to Europe or closer to the US, I'm not sure which way I would lean. I know there is also much diversity in Europe and lumping Greece together with Norway probably makes no more sense than doing the same with Canada and Mexico.

As a child in the church, the great fear was communism. Then it was the drug culture, rock 'n' roll the new-age movement, satanism, materialism, a world government and currency, ecumenicalism, evolution, atheism, and on and on. There was always a new threat to Christians and something threatening to destroy Christianity. Did we get it all wrong and Islam will be the thing that finally does us all in? I'm not so sure - and I'm tired of being afraid and paranoid.

Maybe the rest of Canada should follow Quebec's lead with their Charter of Values?