Monday, December 15, 2008

The nation's atheists seem to be holding massive PR campaigns this year. I heard about the decorated sign (with a snarky message) posted near the nativity scene in Springfield, IL, and the American Humanist Association has underwritten bus ads in the Washington DC area. So one pro-active Catholic in northern Virginia started her own campaign. Find out more!


Winifred S. Flanagan said...

To Jo Ellen, I admire your stand up and be counted attitude. I have filled in a form and made a pledge, charging it to my Visa account. I have no way of knowing if the transaction went through.
Winifred S.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the campaign is a roundabout way (that comes out as sour grapes) in seeking commiseration in the feelings of loneliness at Christmas because of not being able to fully participate in the meaningfulness of it all.

Many religions are represented in this grand country of ours, and it might seem that family members in blended marriages with different cultural traditions are offended by devout Christians that castigate, make fun, or are judgmental of those non-Christians that enjoy the commercial trappings of over-the-top Christmas celebrations per se, e.g. pink metallic tannenbaums, outrageously expensive gifts, etc. without attending Mass or church services. So, the 'humanist' group may serve a few purposes: to say to lonely people that they don't have to be lonely (and possibly suffer mental stress) if they can't enjoy the holidays because they cannot believe in Christ's birth, to advertise their organization, and possibly see where the public hue and cry leads, for we all know that names of groups polarizes and segregates people. Like, how many Catholics do you know that don't fundamentally believe in humanity and its struggles? Didn't Christ come to us as a human?

I don't think this message is necessarily antiChrist--mainly, because they call themselves atheists AND agnostics.

I'd be careful about joining groups that oppose other 'groups' with boycotts and other civil actions, since they're obviously giving into their right of free speech. Instead, perhaps, there is a way that those that 'believe' could enjoy quality time with non-believers (NOT at Mass, but in some other venue) because there certainly situations of being alone promoted by society e.g. holiday closings of gyms, schools, public places, etc., although it certainly does NOT behoove society as a whole to figure out how to make people not be lonely!!

And, they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, and they'll know we are Christian by our love.

xaipe said...

As I read the messages (snarky and otherwise) from the non-believing persons, I noticed that they seem to reflect the conviction that people believe in God as a motivation to be good or do good. That the core of believing is holding that God will reward the good behavior, but be mean and wrathful to those who don't measure up. The presumption seems to be that without this carrot and stick approach, believers would have no reason to be civil.
These perspectives on faith are not rare, and if they tell us anything it is that we who claim to be believers are doing a very poor job of demonstrating the heart of the biblical message: that God is love, and that the fulfillment of God's law is love, love, love. That love is expressed in the sincere and complete gift of self. That God so loved the world, he came into it himself to live with us.
Do we look and act redeemed by love? That would be our most effective form of saying "I believe, too." It doesn't so much belong on the sides of buses, as it does in our lives.