Atheists: Just Calm Down

I have to confess to being somewhat amused by all the anti-Christian evangelical atheists at this time of year. Now admittedly, I’m not one who worries much at all about any supposed “War on Christmas” in our culture. I find people who say “Happy Holidays” to be polite, and the most offensive thing to me about the cups at Starbucks is the fact that they are so tiny in proportion to the bank loan you have to take out to pay for them.

That being said, I can’t help wanting to point and laugh at the overenthusiastic swarm of “nones” (the hip new term for God-deniers) that consider it their solemn duty to sniff out any public acknowledgement of Jesus this time of year and sue its pants off. They aren’t content just not believing. They need to make sure no one else does either. That’s why they should properly be classified as evangelical atheists because proselytizing their dogmatic unbelief is apparently how they find self-worth.

What’s rather ironic is that as many American Christians have become increasingly apathetic towards their faith, donning the sweater vest once a year for the Christmas Eve service as part of their bi-annual trips to check in with God, American “nones” have become aggressively fanatical. There is far more zealotry in an atheist community seeking to legally impose their non-belief in the public square than in churchgoers who want to keep their school’s candlelight singing of "Silent Night" at the Christmas concert an ongoing tradition. 

The atheists’ obsessive devotion to their cause is astounding for people who claim not to believe in the “myth” of Christmas. 

After all, I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but the thought of filing a lawsuit to keep some overweight 6th grader from dressing up in a red costume to squeak out a few “Ho, Ho, Hos” in his pre-pubescent voice at the elementary school play has never crossed my mind. 

I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny but I’ve never dreamed of conducting a campaign of economic terrorism to bully businesses into not offending me with images of the giant egg-pilfering beast in their stores. 

I don’t believe in Zeus, but I’ve never found it worth my time to seek a court order to ban the reading of Homer’s Iliad in 12th grade lit classes lest some dumb teenager convert his life to the worship of Greek mythology.

Yet there are the American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation and all their subsidiaries, be-clowning themselves in front of God and country as they proudly bask in their role as holiday Grinches. Seizing on a pathetic victimhood culture run amuck in this country, they find some like-minded goof to claim they feel coerced into Christianity by being publicly exposed to the singing of “Away in a Manger.” And despite the idiotic premise of their argument (one wonders how many radio stations have been successfully sued by those who felt coerced into the belief in a magical dragon named Puff who lives by the sea), it’s game over in our common sense-deprived courts.

That’s sad. And I don’t say that simply as a Christian. As I alluded to earlier, I am quite confident that the Lordship of Christ is not going to be undone by the removal of candy canes at the local high school. If death couldn’t stunt the spread of His gospel, I’m pretty sure a crazed billboard from the American Atheists won’t either. 

No, it’s sad because of what it reveals about those who so often scream regarding the need for tolerance and mutual respect. If you find any sense of personal satisfaction in waging secular jihad against three plastic wise men in a storefront window, you desperately need a remedial course in open-mindedness.

In Nebraska, the city of Lincoln recently yanked a nativity scene from its capitol grounds to allow an atheist group to put up their anti-Christian display entitled “Reason This Season.” Notice this isn’t about allowing the “nones” to celebrate their own traditions. No, the atheists’ sole purpose in hijacking the spot was to deprive the Christians of their tradition. As intolerant as that is, it also makes a mockery of their own claim to “reason.”

Reasonable people aren’t intimidated by a nativity scene. Reasonable people aren’t threatened by the public expression of faith. So in the spirit of the holidays, I say to this militant breed of atheist: please grow up. Start practicing what you claim to believe, and quit being babies. The kid in the manger doesn’t bite.

Peter Heck is a speaker, author and teacher. Follow him @peterheck, email peter@peterheck.com  or visit www.peterheck.com.

I have to confess to being somewhat amused by all the anti-Christian evangelical atheists at this time of year. Now admittedly, I’m not one who worries much at all about any supposed “War on Christmas” in our culture. I find people who say “Happy Holidays” to be polite, and the most offensive thing to me about the cups at Starbucks is the fact that they are so tiny in proportion to the bank loan you have to take out to pay for them.

That being said, I can’t help wanting to point and laugh at the overenthusiastic swarm of “nones” (the hip new term for God-deniers) that consider it their solemn duty to sniff out any public acknowledgement of Jesus this time of year and sue its pants off. They aren’t content just not believing. They need to make sure no one else does either. That’s why they should properly be classified as evangelical atheists because proselytizing their dogmatic unbelief is apparently how they find self-worth.

What’s rather ironic is that as many American Christians have become increasingly apathetic towards their faith, donning the sweater vest once a year for the Christmas Eve service as part of their bi-annual trips to check in with God, American “nones” have become aggressively fanatical. There is far more zealotry in an atheist community seeking to legally impose their non-belief in the public square than in churchgoers who want to keep their school’s candlelight singing of "Silent Night" at the Christmas concert an ongoing tradition. 

The atheists’ obsessive devotion to their cause is astounding for people who claim not to believe in the “myth” of Christmas. 

After all, I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but the thought of filing a lawsuit to keep some overweight 6th grader from dressing up in a red costume to squeak out a few “Ho, Ho, Hos” in his pre-pubescent voice at the elementary school play has never crossed my mind. 

I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny but I’ve never dreamed of conducting a campaign of economic terrorism to bully businesses into not offending me with images of the giant egg-pilfering beast in their stores. 

I don’t believe in Zeus, but I’ve never found it worth my time to seek a court order to ban the reading of Homer’s Iliad in 12th grade lit classes lest some dumb teenager convert his life to the worship of Greek mythology.

Yet there are the American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation and all their subsidiaries, be-clowning themselves in front of God and country as they proudly bask in their role as holiday Grinches. Seizing on a pathetic victimhood culture run amuck in this country, they find some like-minded goof to claim they feel coerced into Christianity by being publicly exposed to the singing of “Away in a Manger.” And despite the idiotic premise of their argument (one wonders how many radio stations have been successfully sued by those who felt coerced into the belief in a magical dragon named Puff who lives by the sea), it’s game over in our common sense-deprived courts.

That’s sad. And I don’t say that simply as a Christian. As I alluded to earlier, I am quite confident that the Lordship of Christ is not going to be undone by the removal of candy canes at the local high school. If death couldn’t stunt the spread of His gospel, I’m pretty sure a crazed billboard from the American Atheists won’t either. 

No, it’s sad because of what it reveals about those who so often scream regarding the need for tolerance and mutual respect. If you find any sense of personal satisfaction in waging secular jihad against three plastic wise men in a storefront window, you desperately need a remedial course in open-mindedness.

In Nebraska, the city of Lincoln recently yanked a nativity scene from its capitol grounds to allow an atheist group to put up their anti-Christian display entitled “Reason This Season.” Notice this isn’t about allowing the “nones” to celebrate their own traditions. No, the atheists’ sole purpose in hijacking the spot was to deprive the Christians of their tradition. As intolerant as that is, it also makes a mockery of their own claim to “reason.”

Reasonable people aren’t intimidated by a nativity scene. Reasonable people aren’t threatened by the public expression of faith. So in the spirit of the holidays, I say to this militant breed of atheist: please grow up. Start practicing what you claim to believe, and quit being babies. The kid in the manger doesn’t bite.

Peter Heck is a speaker, author and teacher. Follow him @peterheck, email peter@peterheck.com  or visit www.peterheck.com.