Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't Believe In God?

Don’t believe in God? You are not alone. This is the message splashed across ten billboards in metro Denver, Colorado, just in time for Christmas. The promoters of this message probably would say “the holidays” rather than “Christmas.” The billboards, we are told, are meant to comfort nonbelievers, and to give them a voice in a world besieged with religion. Here’s my beef with atheism. In my view, it’s just another religion. It tells us something about a subject that we can’t possibly know anything about, namely God. There are five religions in the tradition of Abrahamic monotheism— Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, and atheism, and the only area of agreement between these beliefs is that at sometime in the distant past there was a guy named Abraham who was willing to kill his own son because he heard a voice coming from someone he couldn’t see. Abraham was not unique. Before we closed down all the mental institutions, they were filled with modern day Abrahams, and you still find them occasionally popping up on the evening news. Sometimes the sons of these Abrahams survive, and sometimes they don’t.

The monotheistic religions believe that the first Abraham heard a real voice coming from a real but invisible entity called God. The atheists believe that Abraham was just hearing a voice. Who the hell knows? And for my part, who the hell cares? What I want to know is this— on this particular billboard which I photographed, what does the graffiti say? I have a friend who claims to be able to decipher such “hood hieroglyphics,” and he tells me that the message scrawled in black spray paint reads Focus On The Family. I have a hunch that my friend is just pulling my chain.

No comments: