It may be if you live long enough, you can see things happen that would have been unimaginable years earlier. As a boy and young man, the matter of atheism was a subject that evoked immediate sentiments of revulsion. Atheism was debated in a civil fashion by philosophers, but at the grass roots, atheists were lumped together with godless pornographers and Communists. Many scientists espoused evolution but this was not yet a topic hijacked by non-believers. Catholics and others who espoused intelligent design made the appropriate accommodations. As for the Big Bang, far from disproving creation, it seemed to reaffirm the faith and the appreciation that at the beginning, God said, LET THERE BE LIGHT. Fundamentalists may have insisted upon a biblical chronology, but the Catholic Church maintained a Vatican astronomer and regarded the Bible as our guide as to how to go to heaven, not as to how the heavens go.
Over the last year I have been surprised at the vigor of the attacks against believers from atheists. The Communist party in the United States is seeking to exploit this phenomenon. Most atheists I had known were tolerant of believers and recognized we lived within a culture where faith of some sort was important for people and where tolerance should be exhibited. The so-called Blasphemy Challenge seemed fueled, not by a scientific and/or philosophical atheism, but largely by anger and as a knee-jerk reaction to scandals, hypocrisy and fundamentalism from the various denominations of Christianity. Since the Scriptures spoke about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the unpardonable sin; young people especially were dared to post a video of such blasphemy. In truth, many of these efforts involved a confused appreciation of religion, since the only true unforgivable sin is a genuine hatred of God that results in suicide. Can people hate what they say they do not believe in? Jesus probably referenced those who discounted the workings of the Holy Spirit in his miracles, healings and the forgiveness of sins. They blasphemed the works of God as having a demonic source. The next stage in the assaults was the so-called Eucharist Challenge where religious terrorists stole the consecrated hosts for desecration. They faulted Catholics for getting upset and for attempts to protect the Eucharist. Indeed, emails and comments sent to me would even deny Catholics the right to believe in the Eucharist. We were mocked as stupid and delusional. While we would claim that everyone has a right to their opinion, these new more militant atheists would shut us down and repress religion. But wait a minute, is that really new? China, Korea, Cuba, and a number of other nations are still operated by the Communist party. Russia looks like it might be racing back toward such a totalitarian regime.
Here is a poster from an anti-Catholic campaign of the Communist Party in the United States:
Here at home the American Communists are supportive of the new atheists and deliberately seeking converts.
- They encouraged families to see the film, THE GOLDEN COMPASS which mocks the faith and treats God as the great enemy.
- They attacked Pope Benedict as a NAZI and the Church’s stand against homosexuality as a witch-hunt.
- They ridicule the Church’s stand for the sanctity of human life as simply making women into egg incubators.
- They promote Evolution and Creationism, not as part of a serious discussion, but because they vehemently hate religion.
They would persecute and subjugate the faith if they get the chance. Young atheists should not fall prey to their mindset; rather, they should relate to people of faith with a shared sense of human decency and respect of persons. We can disagree but we should not seek to ignite the emotions behind emotions and rhetoric that fuel violence and give rise to the mob. Communism is not only about atheism but about violence to fulfill an ends. It leads to dictatorships and repression. Basic human rights given by nature are stripped away. Communist atheism makes itself the arbiter of right and wrong, based upon the needs of the many and the state but would sacrifice the individual and the weak.
Communist atheism and similar forms of militant atheism as we have experienced recently here in the West represents a real threat to the salvation of souls and the freedoms we hold dear.