Are you an atheist, or an agnostic? Have you ever expressed an atheistic or agnostic view — or for that matter openly questioned some tenet of mainstream Christian faith?
If so, you are an abuser. You are offensive. You are cruelly assaulting decent Christians. You might as well have taken a dump on the Bible.
Just ask Chrissy Satterfield, who writes — possibly as a term of probation, possibly as karmic retribution for molesting children in a past life — at the WorldNetDaily.
Chrissy Satterfield is delighted. She's aglow. Why? Has she seen the naked be clothed? Has she seen the hungry be fed? No. She's thrilled because some pro-atheism signs were vandalized. See, those signs carried hateful, aggressive, anti-Christian propaganda:
Now, you might not see the anti-Christian hate. But you haven't been trained to look. See, this sign blatantly omitted the phrase "Under God" from its excerpts of the Pledge of Allegiance, thus defying God and insulting his devoted servants, President Eisenhower and the 1954 Congress, which recognized that invoking God would further distinguish us from those evil communists. Thus, referring to the pre-1954 language is a slap in the face. It's like burning a cross — in a bad way.
So naturally Chrissy Satterfield is happy that people are defacing these anti-God assaults. She begins "Never would I encourage vandalism," but apparently means "never" in some way that only super-special Christian insiders can interpret. Because she then goes on to encourage and celebrate vandalism. Because open expressions of atheism are an assault on Christianity and Christians, and deserve retribution. Hence:
Atheists have been vandalizing my beliefs for years, so it's about time the shoe was on the other foot.
. . . .
We will only take so much before we stand up against our oppressors.
. . . .
This billboard campaign was a calculated insult to Christians, and the atheists thought it was appropriate. That shows you how spiteful this organization is.
. . . .
Well, let's see them ignore this.
. . . .
At last a silver lining. Someone actually made a difference without broadcasting his name to the world. The vandal stood up for what he believed in and said, "To heck with what anyone thinks." I find it quite refreshing considering all of the negativity our country has accumulated lately. It's nice to reflect on something positive, especially during theFourth of July weekend and the days that follow. The timing was impeccable.
Chrissy Satterfield has also mastered rhetoric and logic. Thus she recognizes that because most people would think it despicable and cowardly anonymously to vandalize free expressions of belief with which you disagree, it must actually be heroic to do so, because you're defying social convention that you're a cowardly loser:
I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the man or woman responsible for this vandalism. I appreciate the action you took. Thank you for reminding me that I'm not alone. It took a lot of guts to do what you did – and the fact that you haven't stepped forward to take credit makes you a hero. It shows everyone that you are more devoted to the message than you are to the spotlight. I encourage you to keep your cover. Don't give the secular world a reason to call your name; instead, let them call for our God.
That's some fancy dancing.
My first instinct is to despise Chrissy Satterfield and the mindless thuggish theocracy she represents. But on reflection, my second instinct is to pity her. I derive an enormous amount of comfort and strength from faith. But what sort of feeble, flabby faith does she cling to? When she goes to church, or prays, what sort of impotent, cowardly, mewling God does she imagine? I can't conceive she believes firmly in a strong God, a powerful God, a loving God. If she did, she wouldn't be so pathologically threatened by people expressing views that differ from hers. If her faith were not meager, she wouldn't be celebrating vandalism of alternate viewpoints. People of genuine faith don't fly into a rage when someone expresses a different belief in their presence. People who fly into an inarticulate rage over differing viewpoints do so out of profound fear and insecurity.
Chrissy Satterfield and her ilk are the people who will say that you are "shoving your lifestyle down their throats" if you simply attempt to exist in their midst without conforming to their every stricture. They're the people who register any dissent, however mild, as an immediate threat. They're people who think that Christians are under siege in a country where they vastly outnumber everyone else, in a country where the populace would elect any previously despised group before they'd elect an open atheist. They are the people who think that being criticized is the same as being censored. They are broken people. But that doesn't make them any less dangerous to the rest of us. Having read Chrissy Satterfield's column, do you doubt for a moment that she could come up with a way to rationalize and excuse violence against people who believe differently than she does?
I'm not an atheist or an agnostic myself. But I am very fond of many of them. I believe that my relationship with God depends upon my treating them with genuine respect. Are a few obnoxious in their evangelical atheism? Sure. A few. But they no more define all atheists or agnostics than Fred Phelps defines Christians. And if the weapons in our armory of rhetoric are insufficient to respond to them, and we have to resort to vandalism in response to the merest, most imagined slight, there's something deeply wrong with us.
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