Aww, I’ve been invited to church.
I am on staff with Ratio Christi (www.RatioChristi.org) which, along with other organizations, is involved in coordinating a group of evangelical Christians to attend the Reason Rally. You cite our website, www.TrueReason.org, in your February 23 blog post in which you express your annoyance that Christians would come to the rally. You said, “I’m beginning to feel like my long-standing personal policy of not intruding on their church services needs to be questioned, because man, is this ever arrogant and obnoxious.”
Many other atheists and secularists have expressed similar concerns. For instance, an e-mail to the TrueReason.org website said, “So is it now OK for groups of us to come visit you in your places of worship and do the same thing? Atheists have studiously avoided this in the past but you seem to want to up the ante.” These statements seem to indicate that atheists do not want Christians showing up at the rally.
I share your value for treating others with respect. I believe there are two key distinctions between the Reason Rally and a church service, however. First, the very banner of the secular gathering is “Reason”, and thus it seems puzzling that you would be annoyed that people who disagree with you are interested in rational dialogue. Second, a public gathering on the National Mall is very different from holding a private worship service indoors.
Nevertheless, I believe it is very important for churches to demonstrate that they welcome the participation of atheists and other secularists in their communities.
Therefore, I wish to take seriously your concern and the concern of many other rally attendees. I would like to invite you to join me for church, at Twelve Mile Creek Church in Matthews, NC. I warmly welcome you there in the hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions relevant to your disagreements with Christianity, so that we could have a reasoned dialogue. This is a standing invitation.
As I know you live in another part of the country which could make attending my church an inconvenience, and because many other atheists have expressed the same sentiment as you have, TrueReason.org is proposing that churches across the country open their doors to atheists in a gesture in favor of opening up reasoned discourse. Specifically, we are calling on churches to coordinate the first annual Atheists at Church Day. As with most churches, atheists are welcome at our church every week. We just want to offer you a special invitation to make sure you know you are welcome. Details on the Atheists at Church Day may be found at: http://www.truereason.org/atheist-day. We hope that many churches and many atheists will participate.
Blake Anderson, Ratio Christi Director of Administration
Talk about clueless: yes, I called them arrogant and obnoxious. I did not question their right to show up and hang about the edges of our rally like a swarm of ticks looking for a blood meal. And no, they are not honest in their claim that they’re looking for “rational dialogue”: they’re showing up to proselytize, as they admitted in their original promise to “share Christ person to person”.
They’ve got a longer plea on their website. It isn’t going to work, because they haven’t managed to answer the central question I have.
Why would I want to attend their church service?
They have nothing to offer other than superstition and lies. It’s meaningless to offer to open their doors to me, when they have absolutely nothing to entice me to enter. It’s amusing how they simply assume that we’d want to listen to them because they’re anxious to speak to us and try to convert us, when they’ve got nothin’ but dumbass dogma and smarmy self-satisfaction.