I don’t often sit home on Sunday mornings watching Sunday news programs on television- most of it is just rehashing news from the previous week which was depressing enough the first time I heard it. But this Sunday morning, my family and I were attending the 10:30 am mass so I had time to kill and happened upon a title that caught my eye. The show was MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes” and the Sunday feature show was entitled “United in Godlessness” – a show about Atheism in America, in politics, in science, in social society and even in church.
The guests were all atheists including the show’s host Chris Hayes (an exCatholic), Susan Jacoby (author), Jamila Bey (Washington Post blogger), Jamie Kilstein (comedian), Richard Dawkins (author), Steven Pinker (scientist), Robert Wright (author) and Nondenominational Christian church Pastor Mike Aus who “came out” Sunday morning on national television as an atheist leading a Christian nondenominational church. [I’d be interested in hearing how his congregation took this ‘coming out’ news.]
My initial response to hearing what these people were saying was to be offended by them, most especially the mockery of belief in the Eucharist being the actual Body of Christ and the Cup being the Blood. So as I start this, I am going with my initial reactions… being offended and my knee jerk reaction (yelling at the TV and calling them ‘hypocrites’ and ‘liars’.) Yet after the show, all I really felt was extreme pity for them. And I am not saying that to be condescending, I truly feel pity for any human being that has no belief in anything other than themselves and/or their science. The hopelessness of being an atheist (in my opinion) is incredibly sad. But back to my initial rant… (for now).
Richard Dawkins…, I am used to hearing his tirades on Christians, so I wasn’t surprised by what he was saying, but rather the laughter, giggling and entertainment the other guests found in Dawkins remarks calling Christian beliefs “ridiculous beliefs” and referring to Christians as “nutcases”. Apparently I was giving them more credit for having a respectful discussion on belief vs. no belief than they deserved. I won’t make that mistake twice.
Then Richard Dawkins made one comment that actually got me thinking. He was talking about religious people in politics and the discussion was about giving your vote to a “nutcase” that believes in Christ’s Second Coming or in the Eucharist. He stated that he thinks people of faith in politics should be put to the test- force them to defend their beliefs publicly. He wants politicians to answer for their faith before people vote them into any political office. He was presumably referring to Rick Santorum or perhaps Newt Gingrich when he hypothetically gave an example saying: “Do you truly believe the wafer turns into the Body of Christ?” –his idea of putting a politician in a place of defending the belief they claim to hold. I wonder if Mr. Dawkins would like progressive (a word they all oozed with love over) liberal Nancy Pelosi to answer that same question? Or perhaps President Obama? How would he answer Dawkins’ question about his personal faith and beliefs? Do "progressive" atheists refer to Nancy Pelosi or President Obama as "nutcases" or is that just reserved for nonliberals? Dawkins then went on to attack the Mormon faith without naming Romney as the politician whose faith he was taking pot shots at.
Susan Jacoby showed herself to be a snobbish hypocrite, in my honest opinion. She clearly stated at the start of the show that her atheism is “central” to whom she is and stated that it “shapes her views” in other areas of her life. She then went on (along with the others) to attack Christians for allowing their faith to “shape their views” and for Christianity being “central” to a Christian. I call that hypocrisy. She further offended me by saying (in so many words) that believers of religious beliefs were uneducated and that because of this “lack of education” 80% of conservatives were part of the “religious right” having little education passed the 8th grade. Personally, I found nothing of worth in anything Susan Jacoby had to contribute to the show so I won’t waste anymore time on her here.
Comedian Jamie Kilstein, a proud atheist, had the biggest ego of the bunch. He was on Jacoby’s bandwagon about how smart atheists/progressives were and how dimwitted people of faith are. Besides declaring “the religious right has over stepped it’s bounds” (what bounds and where/when did said over stepping happen, he never said) he went on to say...
“If you’re having a conversation with a religious person, I would start with something like gay rights or something like women’s rights that they could maybe relate to as opposed to saying ‘Everything you’ve been taught as a child is incorrect because I think you’re dumb’.”
Really Jamie? That’s how you approach people of faith? And liberals dare to call Christians “narrow minded” and “intolerant”!
A whopper of a lie came from Jamila Bey a blogger for the Washington Post when she declared that if she were pregnant and the pregnancy was going to kill her that a Catholic hospital would say “fine, let me [Jamila] die” because (according to Jamila) the Catholic Church has legislated that all Catholic hospitals let pregnant women die rather than providing life saving care. The fact is the Catholic Church forbids DIRECT abortion, not indirect abortion to save a life. That is to say, an abortion for the sole purpose of not having a baby is a sin- its murder. The Church does NOT forbid INDIRECT abortion to save a mother’s life.
Directive #47: "Operations, treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child."
After listening to these atheists and watching Pastor Mike Aus “come out” on television as an atheist leading a Christian nondenominational church a profound sadness hit me. These people were missing so much and they didn’t even know it. Some of them weren’t just missing out; they had rejected what they once had. What a horrid blasphemy to reject God! They were so wrapped up in college degrees, science and their own superior attitudes that they could not see that it was them lacking, not religious people. They are void of faith.
What a terrible thing to have no faith. Believers have a duty to share what they know with unbelievers and to pray for them. We must pray and ask God to have mercy on unbelievers, to gift them with the grace they need to have faith. What a terrible thing for believers not to share their faith with unbelievers! Souls are precious to God, every single one of them. A Christian’s soul is no more important than an Atheist's soul. A lost soul is a horrible crime…made worse if there was something a believer could do and he/she failed to act. If believers don’t share their knowledge and faith with unbelievers are we not guilty of concealing the Truth and keeping them from the joys and fulfillment we’ve found in God? We do not need to beat people over the heads with our bibles, we need to be willing to share our faith when we can and when we can’t, we must pray for unbelievers. Pray that they will have the grace needed for faith to grow.
Catholic Catechism #2125 “Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion. The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. "Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.”
Prior to this show, I honestly hadn’t put much thought into Atheism. It was just there…a silent, sad state of being. After listening to this show my eyes have been opened to just how hopeless these people are. I was horrified to imagine an atheist at the moment of their death coming face to face with the Truth of God’s existence and the horror they must feel in that instant of knowing they were wrong in their willful rejection of God.
I truly don’t want a single human being to die an Atheist, to that end, I will pray more than ever for the conversion of souls. What a joy it would be, to witness unbelievers becoming believers!