Thursday, August 30, 2012


Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the battle between two national atheist organizations:

A war has broken out between the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and American Atheists. It’s over money. Both are appealing to the same small pool of angry nonbelievers, and there is only so much dough to go around. FFRF pulled the trigger.

American Atheists sought to put its vile message on billboards in Tampa and Charlotte, home of the two political conventions. It got shut out of Tampa, and recently said it was pulling its billboards in Charlotte, allegedly because of threats. Enter FFRF: it succeeded in getting its billboards posted in both cities.

So what’s the problem? FFRF is furious that many are mistakenly attributing its billboards to American Atheists. FFRF says, “Please do not confuse FFRF’s billboard message with that of another atheist group, which tried unsuccessfully to place a very different message in Tampa, and which has voluntarily removed its billboards in Charlotte.” In other words, FFRF wants the credit, and the cash that goes with it.

FFRF is right about one thing: the messages are not identical. American Atheists sought to dump on Mormons and Christians, saving its most vicious comments for the latter (notice it didn’t rip on Jews or Muslims). The Christian God, it said, was “Sadistic,” the product of a “Useless Savior” who “Promotes Hate.” Well, they would certainly know something about hate. By contrast FFRF’s message is not hate-filled: it simply says, “God Fixation Won’t Fix This Nation.” This may be moronic, but it is not negative; it is vintage fare from the hapless ones.

How effective are these ads? The Republicans are largely composed of the faithful, and the Democrats are largely populated by secularists; the former won’t convert and the latter already have. So why bother? To insult the Republicans and loot Dems. Believe it.

1 comment:

  1. I don't have enough evidence to say that Jesus is a "useless Savior."

    Regarding the claim that God "promotes hate," I tried to find the American Atheist argument supporting the claim. I took a quick look, but didn't find anything.

    However, I do know that some christians have killed other christians for being heretics. For example, when St. Thomas More was Lord Chancellor of England, several christian heretics were killed -- they were burned at the stake. That sounds hateful to me.

    Now for the remaining claim: that God is sadistic. This is a perfectly reasonable conclusion based on empirical evidence. There is no question that this is a viciously cruel world. If an intelligent being, whom we call God, created this world, then we can rightly say that God is sadistic.

    We can even use the Bible to back up this claim. Romans 1:20 says: "Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." But there is something even more obvious in "the things that have been made" than "his invisible nature, "his eternal power," and "his deity." It is that the creator is either a sadist or an incompetent. If we rule out incompetence, we have sadism. This is self evident.

    Now about Bill Donohue's claim that this is a fight between FFRF and American Atheists. I have not been able, yet, to verify his claim.

    I went to both websites to find out what is going on. American Atheists say that they reluctantly removed the billboards because both they and the billboard company, Adams Outdoor Advertising, had been threatened.

    The only thing I found at the FFRF website was the caveat mentioned by Donohue in one of FFRF's news releases. It says in parentheses: "Please do not confuse FFRF's billboard message with that of another atheist group, which tried unsuccessfully to place a very different message in Tampa, and which has voluntarily removed its billboards in Charlotte."

    Donohue is trying to get us to believe that there is some sort of war going on between FFRF and American Atheists because atheists tend to be, by nature, greedy and selfish. If Bill has actual evidence for this claim, then he should show us what he's got. Otherwise, he is lying and defaming. These are sins. I'll remind Bill what the Catechism has to say about that:

    "By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to others. The deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and charity. the culpability is greater when the intention of deceiving entails the risk of deadly consequences for those who are led astray." [CCC 2485]

    "By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation." [CCC 2497]

    N.B. I am not a member of either FFRF or American Atheists, and I have never donated time or money to either group or to any atheist organization. Also, I don't like billboards; I consider them to be visual pollution.