Dec 11, 2015

The New Atheists Have No Need to Worry

Whenever I see pictures of billboards from atheistic organizations or other advertisements from them, I tend to snicker a little to myself.  It is not at the beliefs of atheists because some atheists are sincere in their objections towards God and the Christian faith (besides other religions), which actually helps me to be rational about what it is that I actually believe and hold to be the Truth.  Now, although I have admired, in some instances, the 'work ethic' of some atheist activists (if I may refer to them in that manner), I still feel as though they put too much energy (in my humble opinion, of course) in encouraging naturalistic ideals in every aspect of society.  I am sure that many of them feel that it is of the utmost importance to destroy any hint of religious ideology in the public square, especially when it comes to education and policy-making on Capitol Hill.  Though I can understand the call to activism when one feels that their beliefs are just (as I believe that I have been called to live out and share the Gospel message of Jesus the Christ), I feel that when the odds are stacked in your favor by the push of pop culture philosophies, why work so hard to push your agenda.

If we look at secular entertainment to see how much the Christian impacts it, then the atheist should notice that Christians do not impact it much, if at all.  Now, yes, Christian artists and Christian moviemakers can still be successful in these postmodern times and possibly hold some influence (i.e. Christian Hip-Hop artist Lecrae), but art created by Christians typically seem to be relegated as for the "religious" crowd and not as worthy as more secular works when the time for accolades is handed out.

Musicians and movie stars have carved out a nice little niche for themselves as influencers to young people.  Entertainment channels, like MTV, VH1, and BET, invite stars with songs about partying and doing drugs.  Besides initial backlash and controversy for allowing it, they continue to invite these artists back and praise them for their "artistry," if what and how they perform can actually be considered art.

I honestly believe that certain popular acts do way more damage to Christian ideals than some arguments levied against Christianity by irreligious types.  Way more young people will accept the ideas from a Miley Cyrus or a Taylor Swift than knowing the beliefs of a Dr. Richard Dawkins or a Sam Harris any day.  More young people will follow the direction of the elite of Hollywood than the scientism of the well-known New Atheists with their Oxford and ivy league school backgrounds.  One may imagine that it is easier to get a philosophy over to young minds in a 3-minute song and a flashy video than it is by way of a 40-minute lecture and an opinion-filled tome.

This is not meant to be condescending, but it seems to me that the New Atheists forget to take delight in the irreligious-ness of the famous crowd.  They are doing way more for the kingdom of humanism than their skeptic counterparts seem to be.

3 comments:

Dave Sterrett said...

Good post Jerome. Plato said, "Give me the music of a nation; I will change a nation's mind." The arts do change people's minds. In fact some theologians believe that there might be hints that Satan was in charge of worship before he fell in heaven. Ezekiel 28:13 says, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created."

brandonelrod said...

You definitely make several good points. The forms of entertainment that are out there do far more to desensitize people to God. The majority of people do not seem to be all that moved by intellectual discussions about the existence of God. A genuine apologetic ought to be more comprehensive.

You might find this post to be interesting: https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/new-atheists-fading/?utm_content=buffer8c72e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

brandonelrod said...

Poor entertainment desensitizes people to the idea of God. People see entertainers living these extravagant lives without having to face the consequences. Ultimately, that's what a lot of people are looking for. In a lot of ways, they live those lives vicariously through the television and social media. It ruins the sense that we are accountable before the Lord.

Great post, Jerome.