My friend Rebecca saw this sign on a recent road trip, and of course she photographed it and sent it to me:
An ordinary person might just post the photo and let it speak for itself. But this is me, and of course I want to gas on about why it’s both so funny and so nonsensical.
1. The sign seems to be a clumsily humorous attempt to respond to the idea that atheists don’t believe in God, therefore God doesn’t exist. But that’s not what atheists say at all. This isn’t Peter Pan, where every time a little child says, “I don’t believe in fairies,” somewhere a fairy drops down dead. (Tangential note: When I was a child, that enraged me so much — it’s such manipulative emotional extortion, although I obviously didn’t think of it in those terms back then — that I used to go around saying, “I don’t believe in fairies, I don’t believe in fairies, I don’t believe in fairies,” and imagining fairies dropping like flies all over the world.) Atheists don’t think that our disbelief makes God not exist — that’s getting the cause and effect completely backwards. We think there’s no good evidence for God’s existence, and therefore we don’t believe in him.
2. More to the point: Did anyone else notice that the sign actually proves itself wrong?
I find this hilarious. In theory, the all-powerful God could, in fact, make atheists disappear by simply thinking us out of existence. If God were real, atheists’ lack of belief in him wouldn’t have any effect on his existence… but God’s disbelief in atheists could, in fact, make us disappear (or convert) in the blink of an eye.
But atheists do exist. Obviously. There is, in fact, compelling, physical evidence for the existence of atheists.
Therefore, either the Lifeway Southern Baptist Church has it wrong, and God does believe in atheists… or they have it wrong, and God exists but is not all-powerful and does not have the power to make atheists disappear…or they have it wrong, and God does not exist.
I’m just sayin’, is all.