Remember those dumbass billboards outside St Joseph, MN — the ones that claim “With atheism, there is no hope, only despair” and “Jesus provides the only worldview that offers forgiveness”? It turns out that they have a defender writing op-eds. Cuttlefish has dealt with his nonsense more than adequately, but I just had to mention a few things (hey, it’s in MY backyard, I get to have fun with it).
The first thing that caught my eye was the opening sentence.
Like many of you who have driven by the religious-themed billboard on Stearns Country Road 75 recently, I’ve been encouraged by the Scripture.
That implies (but doesn’t outright say) that the messages are scriptural. They aren’t. They’re in quotes, but no attribution is given — the quote marks are there to give the impression that they come from an authority, and the suggestive implication that they’re somehow further authenticated by association with the Bible is a further attempt to mislead. So right off the mark, he’s being dishonest.
But the thrust of his message is that gosh, atheists shouldn’t be offended, it’s not an insult, but is simply the “logical consequences” of our ideas…and that, of course, a life of devotion to the myths of religion is a good thing.
The logical consequences of atheism elicit emotion because to live consistently as an atheist is untenable. Grasping these truths put me on the narrow path that is brightly lit, not by me, but by the sacrifice, love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Hmmm. How would he feel if the logical consequences of Christianity were that you’d shoot abortion doctors, enslave women to a life of pregnancy and household chores, and cheerfully torture and murder infidels? Does simply asserting that that is what Christianity teaches make it any less insulting, especially since that is not what most Christians believe?
Similarly, atheists are not typically in despair and find living without gods not only tenable, but liberating and uplifting. And you’ll have to try to understand that most rational people in the 21st century do not find blood sacrifice to be particularly redeeming — it’s primitive, barbaric, and revolting.