I was saddened to hear about the latest billboard “war” in the US.
American Atheists erected some billboards in Charlotte, North Carolina, targeting the Democratic Convention to be held there next month. These billboards attacked Christianity by claiming “Christianity: Sadistic God; Useless Savior; 30,000+ versions of “Truth”; Promotes hate, Calls it love”, with the conclusion: “Atheism: simply reasonable.”
Yet over the weekend these billboards were taken down after violent threats were made against employees of the advertising company and volunteers at American atheists. Click here.
I disagree with the assertions and conclusions of the atheist billboard, but interaction with these claims is not the point of this blog post, for I am saddened that the atheist billboards had to be removed due to violent threats from so called, ‘Christian’ people. Even though the atheist billboards are provocative and aggressive, there is no place in the Christian faith to threaten violence.
Jesus said “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:43). Jesus never advocated violent threats to those who disagreed with the Christian message. The fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), the way a Christian believer should live, includes ‘peace, kindness, goodness, and gentleness’, none of which I see in a death threat. And the Apostle Paul, who encountered much opposition to his message, never responded with violence. After outlining all the opposition and setbacks he’d experienced in his life, he concluded that he delighted in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and in difficulties for Christ’s sake, ‘for when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor 12:10).
The threat of violence in response to opposition is the response associated with Christendom and the ’religious’ who are more concerned with power and influence than the Christian faith. So I cannot endorse what those ‘believers’ have threatened to those who oppose the Christian message and this response deeply disappoints me.
I wish the atheist billboards had remained up and we could have a sensible and intelligent discussion about their claims.