Believing in Nothing, Falling For Anything
By Jack Kinsella
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is an American atheist organization dedicated to intolerance under the guise of “free thinking”.
Its purposes, as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the separation of church and state and to forcibly “educate” the public on matters relating to atheism, agnosticism and nontheism.
Whether or not “the public” is interested in the lesson. to them, is irrelevant. To a “free thinker” anybody that doesn’t want to hear their views is “intolerant” and having heard them, anyone that dares to disagree with them is intolerant.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is not just verbally challenged, however. It has a problem with math, too.
According to the FFRF’s website, one in six US citizens is an unbeliever.
“Although the nonreligious — including one in six U.S. citizens — are a significant segment of the world population, many Americans have never knowingly met a nonbeliever. You can help dispel myths, educate and promote reason by adding your voice, face and message to FFRF’s friendly neighborhood freethinker campaign.”
Since we are dispelling myths, let us begin with the myth that one in six American citizens is a non-believer.
The CIA World Factbook data says that 74% of American citizens self-identify as Christian out of a whopping 96% who claim some form of religious belief.
I can help with the “education” effort as well. For example, according to the CIA database, the actual percentage of US citizens who self-identify as unbelievers is a paltry 4%.
But that is the thing about being an atheist. “Free thinking” evidently means one’s thoughts are free of encumbering facts.
To promote reason, the FFRF should begin by recognizing that their position is the least reasonable position possible, since it is the MOST unprovable. A “reasonable” position would be that God could exist, and they just don’t believe it.
But that is not the position of the FFRF. Their position absolute. God does not exist. Anywhere. God does not exist in America. God does not exist in China. God does not exist on the other side of the moon. God does not exist on the other side of Mars. God does not exist anywhere in the Milky Way.
To the FFRF, none of whose members have been everywhere in America, China, the other side of the moon, or Mars, or somewhere else in the Milky Way, that is a “reasonable” position — and the position that God might exist and they just don’t know it — is not possible.
How do they know? They can’t say. They would like to, but they can’t. Because they don’t. So they steer away from reasonable discussion and use their God-given freedoms to force believers to see things their way.
The FFRA demonstrates how by listing its successful legal challenges at its website. They are proud of the fact that they overturned a state Good Friday holiday, demonstrating once again how free thinking works — or doesn’t.
The free thinkers used to get Good Friday off, with pay, as a statutory holiday.
Thanks to their ‘reasonable’ effort to inject some ‘free thinking’ into the mix, now those same free thinkers will have to work on Good Friday, along with everybody else that USED to get Good Friday off.
That’s free thinking? Hating something so much that you’ll hurt yourself and everybody else in order to express that hatred in public?
Some more of the FFRA’s “victories” reveal all anybody might want to know about these voices of reason being raised in support of free thought.
Here’s are a few examples of what free thinkers believe are some of their important legal successes, (apart from having a statutory paid holiday erased from the books):
– They’ve halted prayer at public schools (eliminating choice and forcing everybody to follow their 501(c)(3) taxpayer-supported religious rules, not to mention the destruction of Nativity pageants and Easter services.)
– They are especially proud of having halted a government chaplaincy that ministered to state workers.
– They ended a 122 year tradition of commencement prayers at a “top ten university.”
– They had a state post that was created to assist clergy in saving marriages declared unconstitutional.
The FFRF has a page at their website that trumpets their ongoing lawsuits, such as their effort to have a Ten Commandments display removed from a Virginia high school. “Free thinkers” are afraid that students who read the Ten Commandments might follow them.
Although the FFRF enjoys taxpayer-subsidized 501(c)(3) religious exemptions for their own religious ministers of secular humanism, they are suing to have that exemption removed for ministers of the Gospel.
“FFRF seeks a declaration that the federal statute creating the parish exemption, as administered by the IRS and the Treasury Department, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by providing preferential tax benefits to ministers of the gospel. FFRF requests the court to enjoin the allowance or grant of tax benefits exclusively for ministers of the gospel under the litigated act. The individually named plaintiffs, either currently directors or retired directors of FFRF, currently receive a housing allowance designated by FFRF’s governing body, yet do not qualify for the housing allowance as they are promoting non-belief, rather than religion. In fact, Dan Barker is an ordained minister who previously was able to utilize the housing allowance and exclude such payments from his taxable income.”
They are PROUD of this stuff. Unbelievable!
The latest target of the FFRF’s religious intolerance is a Montana war memorial erected in 1953 by returning veterans who were inspired by monuments they encountered in Europe during the war.
The veterans, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, erected a statue of Jesus on top of Big Mountain at the Whitefish Mountain resort in Montana.
One veteran said removing the display would be “a slap in the face of the men and women who served their country and built this community.” Another local resident simply asked: “Why don’t they just leave us alone?”
Why indeed? What is it that the FFRA hopes to gain by its efforts? I’ve been all over their website and as near as I can tell, the only thing they have to offer is what they can take from somebody else. They offer no explanation of how their organization provides a benefit to anyone.
Free thinkers like labels — especially the ones they apply to themselves; “free thinkers”; “rational thinkers”; “reasoned thinking”; but the word “rational” means, “consistent with, or based on or using reason or logic.”
We’ve already demonstrated the irrationality inherent in categorically claiming to know the unknowable and unprovable by categorically denying the possibility of an alternative explanation.
For example, the laws concerning energy, mass, time, distance, etc. all pre-exist humanity, and the laws of scientific conservation say that they cannot be broken. That is why we call them the “laws” of physics.
But at some time in history, they all had to be broken at least once in order to come into existence. But that is impossible, since it would require a miracle.
But the fact that ANYTHING exists means, by definition, that a miraculous suspension of the prime laws governing the universe had to take place first.
Is your head spinning yet? This is what ‘free thinkers’ call ‘rational’.
Then there is the scientific problem with the creation of life. Science has never been able to create life out of non-life. It takes life to create life, even in a test tube, a Petrie dish or a laboratory cloning experiment.
If it is impossible, then it would require a miracle, that is, a suspension of the laws of the universe, for life to exist. Yet, irrationally, it does.
Even if a scientist were able to somehow create life out of non-life, it would still require the assistance of a living scientist.
There is a joke about an atheist scientist who challenged God to a contest creating a man out of dirt. God refused the challenge as unfair, saying the atheist was skipping over the hard part.
“What’s harder than making a man out of dirt?” asked the atheist.
“Making dirt out of nothing,” God replied.
According to the ‘free-thinking rationalists,’ life was created out of non-life, without any sentient intervention, by a random accident of such complexity that it is impossible to reproduce under even the strictest laboratory conditions.
Man is himself a rational being because of the incredible complexity of the human mind. The human mind is invisible, cannot be measured, felt, tasted, smelled or weighed. It is contained, like a ghost, within an organ called a ‘brain’.
Yet it is the mind that separates man from all the other animals with brains in the universe.
Man is the only flesh-and-blood mammal in the universe with the ability to reason. Where did that ability come from? A superior brain?
Humans don’t actually have the most superior brain on the planet, according to tests conducted by the Kyoto Primate Research Center in Japan.
The center conducted a mental acuity test between Kyoto University students and chimpanzees. The test measured raw brain processing power of the students vs. that of the chimps, and in every test, the chimps won.
It isn’t man’s superior brain power that makes man superior. If it were raw brain power, then the chimps would be conducting the tests on us. Instead, what makes man superior is the eternal, spiritual component that atheism denies exists.
Man is also the only being with hard-wired, inherent emotions like remorse, compassion, pity, love, kindness, gratitude or generosity.
One strand of DNA contains enough encoded information to fill a library of 200 volumes of books at 200 pages each. Our bodies contain 10 trillion of these individual supercomputers.
Logic and reason say that such complexity is impossible without a design, but it exists, nonetheless. Logic and reason would demand a master programmer. Unless one is a free thinker dedicated to logic and reason.
Free thinkers, having applied logic and reason to all that we know and all that we are, arrived at the ‘rational’ conclusion that it is all the product of random chance.
The theory of “random chance” being responsible for the creation of DNA employs the same logic and reason that theorizes that a pile of silicone, left alone in a cave for ten billion years, would evolve into a self-programming dual-core 3.0 GB personal computer, (including keyboard, monitor and mouse) with a 1 terabyte hard drive, high-end video card and pre-loaded with Windows 7, Microsoft Office and Norton antivirus.
As Christmas approaches, we’ll all become reacquainted with the FFRF and their insistence that atheism be taken seriously. It seems that in order to reconcile logic and reason with ‘free thought’ the first step involves discarding all the rules that dictate their use. Here is their position in summary:
“My position is that I know beyond all possible doubt that which is unknowable, based on a total lack of evidence in support of my position.”
Atheism doesn’t describe a person that believes in nothing so much as it describes a person that will fall for anything.
“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.”