Normally I reserve Sundays for little throwaway comics or jokes just as a way to get a day off from blogging, but with the Easter holiday today and something relevant to post, I figured I would make something of an exception … even if I still don’t end up writing much.
Last Easter, the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason (DFWCOR) started a new ad campaign highlighting atheist families in the area to show that people can be good without God and religion. Naturally, some people took offense to this, but in the spectrum of tactics groups like this use to reach out to the general public, I think this is one of the better ones. The “we’re your friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.” approach has always appealed to me far more than the much more confrontational “what you believe is fake” stuff coming from American Atheists. Non-believers already have a bad image in the public eye. If we’re ever going to make any progress in dispelling that, we first need to be viewed as people, not the heathen, God-hating anarchists some churches would have their flocks believe. – especially in places like Texas.
Well. This year, Zach Moore of the DFWCOR took a different approach, to last year’s attempt at public engagement and sent the following card to all of the local pastors:
Moore offers his assurances that his wishes are genuine, pointing out how the death of Jesus is an instrumental element of the Christian faith.
I get the feeling that most people, however, just see this as more evidence that atheists are pretty much exactly what they’re told about in church: spiteful, mocking, and filled with a sense of superiority because of their own moral and intellectual certainty. Yes, people have been celebrating the death and rebirth of their gods for thousands of years; however, I think most people – myself included – find it extremely difficult to believe that the intent of this card was to do anything other than engage – as the author of the article linked above so creatively put it – in some “pastel colored trolling”.
The explanation he provided for the card (“we’re celebrating with you!”) is a convenient, yet feeble, cover for an opportunistic jab at Christian pastors during one of the more important holidays, for a purpose that is completely lost on me. It’s not intended to gain converts. It’s not going to provide any additional useful information about the position of the non-believer or the kind of attitudes we really have about God, Christians, and religion as a whole. There’s nothing to gain except bragging rights … so what?
So to all my readers, happy Easter. Whether that means celebrating a religious holiday and going to church, having a party to ring in the start of Spring, enjoying a long weekend and making a huge dinner followed by a dessert consisting of nothing but jellybeans, or just playing Skyrim because it’s an ordinary Sunday … I hope all is well.
Back to the normal insanity tomorrow.