Early last week I began to see the news story come across my computer screen that a group called American Atheists are targeting children with a billboard campaign that has been started this Christmas season. Take a look at the billboard that was placed in Memphis, TN.
Here is a comment by American Atheists President David Silverman, “Even children know churches spew absurdity, which is why they don’t want to attend services. Enjoy the time with your family and friends instead. Today’s adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed. It’s OK to admit that your parents were wrong about God, and it’s definitely OK to tell your children the truth.”
Allow me to share a few thoughts on this subject.
1. There is a war on Christmas.
For some time we have seen a war on Christmas in America. For years evangelism, mission work and worship of Jesus have all spiked during the Christmas season. The enemy of the church has recognized this and has relentlessly tried to remove Christmas from the public square. Franklin Graham recently wrote on this subject and shared a few examples of this war on Christmas, “The city of Pittsburgh now refers to the Christmas holiday as “sparkle day.” A local Minnesota courthouse has banned red poinsettias because someone claimed that the flowers were a “Christian symbol.” He also added that a Veterans Administration hospital in Georgia has banned the singing and playing of Christmas songs in public areas.”
The largest school district in Maryland voted in November to strip religious holidays from its school calendars after Muslims complained that Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday celebrating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, was not on the school calendar as a day off for students. This means that Christian holidays such as “Christmas break” and “Easter” are no longer officially recognized by the Montgomery County School District.
If Christmas is such an important target of our enemy then it should be more important to believers and we should do all possible to highlight and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
2. Our children are targets in the cultural war.
Children have to be at the heart of the cultural war. Consider for a moment that as parents we instill our culture, values and faith into our children. Some do not like this concept. That is why some see my children, your children as belonging to society as a whole. To some, it is up to society to shape our children. Now consider for a moment that homosexuals, who are at the forefront of the cultural war, can’t reproduce. They seek to instill their culture, values and faith into the children of others. Ask yourself why has the girl scouts and boy scouts been such hot button issues for the homosexual community? Why are homosexual characters now being found in our children’s books? Why do gay pride events often target family friendly venues? Just this year the Disney Channel introduced America’s children to a lesbian couple raising a daughter on Good Luck Charlie.
Make no mistake about this, what we have here is a deliberate and calculated war on our children. American Atheist have targeted our children with their adds. As Christians, we must pray over our children. We must teach our children the truths of God’s Word. We must model for them how special a relationship with Christ is. We must introduce them daily to Jesus. We cannot be naive about our children being targeted. However, all that we do must be done in love. I Corinthians 13:1 teaches, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love I am become as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal.” I am opposed to all that wage this culture war on the spiritual state of America. I am doubly opposed to all who target our children in this war. However, I pray I can teach my sons we can reject a person’s beliefs without rejecting that person.
3. Atheists are practicing evangelism.
Atheism seems to be some sort of religion in itself that seeks to convert believers in God to their way of thinking. I am fully aware that atheists do not see atheism as a religion. However, as a pastor of almost a quarter century I can testify that often atheist are more aggressive in attempting to convert Christians to their way of thinking than vice versa. Certainly the ones who hold the truth will make an equal or greater effort than those who share deceit.
4. I support the American Atheists’ right to freedom of speech.
As much as I despise what American Atheists are doing as an American I am grateful they have the freedom to do it. I also support local municipalities’ rights to decide what can and can’t be viewed on their city’s right of ways. As I researched these billboards I was grateful that Jackson, MS my state’s capital refused to allow American Atheist to erect a bill board in Jackson. The Jackson statement of refusal was simple, “Area lessors rejected the design due to content.”
Danielle Muscato, public relations director for American Atheists reply to Jackson’s decision again is a reminder they are taking the cultural war serious, “The fact that billboard companies would turn away business because they are so concerned about the reaction by the community to a simple message that not everyone goes to church and not everyone believes in gods shows just how much education and activism on behalf of atheists is needed in the South.”
They are serious; I pray we are too.