I know that atheists are somewhat diverse and certainly it is hard to generalize about anyone, but one thing I don’t understand and probably never will understand is the militant brand of atheism. Atheism as I have mentioned before is not an intellectually defensible position because no one can know that God doesn’t exist with certainty, but that doesn’t stop some atheists from trying to convert others to their point of view. Some simply can’t tolerate others beliefs in God in any form. Take for the latest example the fight to prevent having any prayers at the inauguration of our next president. I believe that the atheist fight to eradicate religion from the United States is irrational in the highest degree. Simply put, why should they care what any religious person does. Are they phyically or psychologically harmed by someone saying a prayer? If they are firmly convinced that they people who are praying or practicing religion or even referring to it are wrong, then what does it hurt to allow them to do so?
A while back I did a research project on early Baptist history and was interested to learn the part that early Baptists in America played in getting the idea of a separation of church and state instilled in our country. You may wonder why they did it. The basic argument of early Baptists was that people were accountable to God for their beliefs about Him and that furthermore that the nature of Christian experience and belief is something that is personal and cannot be compelled by force anyway. In other words, if you are wrong about God, that’s your problem. I tell you the truth and you are then accountable to God. In very Ezekiel 33 fashion, we are watchmen on the watchtowers who are asked to be faithful to sound the alarm and are not held responsible for the response to the warning.
So, back to the original point. The actions of atheists who are so easily offended by the idea of a prayer at a government event is somewhat incomprehensible. If they truly believe that there is no God then there can be no harm in allowing a person to say a prayer. There reaction should be no different than my reaction to letters written to Santa Claus. I know that Santa doesn’t live at the North Pole and the letters are not written to anyone who can read them, so frankly I don’t care how much time people spend obsessing about or talking about or trying to talk to Santa. Frankly, atheists who can’t let it go when someone else elects to talk to God (that would be prayer) have an ego problem or are simply irrational beyond explanation. What’s the big deal if someone wants to pray? I don’t get bent out of shape when a Wiccan tries to commune with “Nature” or a Muslim prays to Allah because I know that they are talking to the air (Allah is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of the Bible). I know God through His Son Jesus Christ and pray that He would reveal Himself to the Muslim and the Wiccan and the Atheist as well.
If I can be that rational and accomodating, why can’t an atheist?