Whistling in the dark?
I am not sure if it’s just me, but it seems like more and more celebrities and elite folks are claiming to be atheists. Elon Musk, Brad Pitt and Bill Gates are just a few names that come to mind in the USA. What a pity. It seems that wealth, fame and the “good life” are three sure ways to lose your way spiritually and check out of a common sense existence. Someone once said that, “atheists are like the toddlers playing with their toys at Kindergarten : too obsessed with the toys to acknowledge the Father who gifted them.”
But when talking to talking to atheists, you might find that they can be quite aggressive, angry and down-right rude. If possible, and if they will listen, it’s good to point out that nearly all the founding pioneers of modern science (and quite a few present scientists) were devout Christians. Copernicus, Kepler, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, etc. It’s also helpful to remind them that without Christianity there would be no Gothic or Baroque architecture, no Renaissance paintings, no classical music, no Shakespeare or Dante, no universities, and hence, probably no empirical scientific method. Whether it’s art, music, architecture, literature, or education, there is a treasure trove of religious cultural wonders that the secular world simply cannot ignore. The church is the reason these things exist today.
Finally, it helps to be able to defend the faith with logic and reason, and to prove it with beauty and form. Beauty naturally evokes a sense of the transcendent, offering the atheist a glimpse of the joyful divine mystery. There’s s a story of Yo Yo Ma He Ma being invited to play his cello at Steve Job’s home. He sat in the living room, pulled out his 1733 Stradivarius cello, and played Bach. “This is what I would have played for your wedding,” he told Steve. Jobs teared up and told him, “You playing is the best argument I’ve ever heard for the existence of God, because I don’t really believe a human alone can do this.”
What burdens me about the anger, aggression and rudeness that is bottled up inside many prominent atheists is that they don’t seem to want to listen or find truth. It appears that their anger is connected to their need to be right and their fear of being wrong. It reminds me of the boy whistling in the dark—-he wants the “ghosts and goblins” to know that he’s totally unaffected by scary things, but in fact he’s quite afraid.
It’s been said that in WWI there were “no atheists in the foxholes”. Rather than get angry at the apparent rise in atheism and the preference some universities seem to have in hiring them, I am learning to pray for them and to offer some evidence that is irrefutable—-how He has saved someone as unworthy and undeserving as me and given me a joy, peace and love others that they don’t understand and is a cause of alarm to the Prince of Darkness.