The Religious War on Religion and Atheism


During the initial research for my next book, which has entertained at least a half-dozen working titles in these early stages, I sought proofs that there is a “war” against religion, as well as against atheism.

Surprisingly, some freethinkers, atheists, and others of similar bent seem to want to disassociate the idea of “war” metaphors with their ideals of humanism. As one wrote, “Attempting to say that anyone is participating in a ‘war’ on religion is ridiculous and very unwise.”

But is it?

To deny that one segment of the community perceives a “war” against their belief system may, in itself, be part of the problem.

Discussing this matter with a spokesman for the American Humanist Society, there appears to be the impression of two parts of the story which are dependent on the perception of each side of the discussion. He did agree that, as Secular Humanists and atheists, there is no apparent “war.” However, he also agreed that those of faith may perceive such a “war” exists.

In addition, denying that some perceive “atheism” as a religion (though it is not) is also denying that such misconception exists. It appears that some just wish to cover their eyes, cover their ears and cover their mouths instead of confronting this issue.

Proof, in part, that the war-based metaphors are not out of place and there is such a perception of war can be seen in a video game series titled Left Behind of which there now has at least four titles in this Christian video game series meant for young teens – especially boys – if not younger.

What is the game?

The Huffington Post’s blog, Parent’s Dish reported in 2006 that Left Behind 1, Eternal Forces is a game where “kids will assume the role of a member of a ‘Christian’ gang wandering the streets of a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, killing or converting as many Jews, Atheists, and other unsavory types in the employ of the Anti-Christ as possible to get to the next level. If the heathen won’t convert, the character can kill them.”

Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist tells potential buyers that,

“(It) is a real-time strategy game based on the best-selling LEFT BEHIND book series, created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Join the ultimate fight of Good versus Evil, commanding the Tribulation Forces, the Global Community Peacekeepers and the American Militia! ESRB Rated: T, Violence.”

The series graphic novels and children’s books purport that violence is good in the name of one’s religion to save all in the name of God. That killing non-believers is the way to God’s grace.

I am at a loss here. Isn’t Christianity supposed to be a religion of peace? Didn’t Jesus preach to “Do to others as you would have them do to you?” (Luke 6:31, NIV) And “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” (Luke 6:29 and Matthew 5:39, NIV)

I am also at a loss as to why people believe that the only way to be “saved” in the eyes of their God is to violate the very laws given by that god and the parishioners hold so sacred – “Thou shall not kill” (Exodus 20:6 and Deuteronomy 5:17, NIV).

These games go far beyond the “normal” violence seen in the video game market and are now part of a larger indoctrination of children into the world of anti-Semitism, anti-Islam, anti-atheism, anti-any belief other than theirs.

I am not saying that atheists, liberals, Jews, Muslims and others need to take up arms to protect ourselves from the murderous hordes of religious fanatics.

What I am saying is that knowledge is power and if more people know about the religious based propaganda being shoveled into the heads of otherwise innocent children, who are not born with an evil or prejudice bone in their bodies, the more likely it will stop. We need to be the squeaky wheels.

As Bobby Kennedy said in his April 4, 1968 eulogy to Martin Luther King,

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another… Let us dedicate ourselves to that…

 

David’s new book, A Christian Nation? An Examination of Christian nation theories and proofs, is now available on CreateSpace eStore and Amazon.com.

InkandVoice readers can receive a 20% discount at CreateSpace with code 5H3W9SN8.

Return to InkandVoice.com.

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About David Rosman

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com, InkandVoice.com and NYJournalofBooks.com.
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8 Responses to The Religious War on Religion and Atheism

  1. brakelite says:

    Hello David. Thank you for what is a balanced and insightful commentary on today’s modern form of Christianity. That children are being indoctrinated into such a mindset that it is not only acceptable to kill but that doing so in the name of God is doing Him a service is graphically prophetic.
    The Book of Revelation tells us that the future new world order, a union of church and state, will be enforcing a Christianised form of worship on pain of death. God’s true followers have more to fear from the war that will waged upon them from within than any from unbelievers.
    Like you, I am at a loss to understand how we have gone so far away from the fundamental teachings of the Christian faith.
    ” But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”. Matt 5:44

  2. I think that this is exaggeration, unfortunately, regarding these Christian video games. Someone is attempting to misinterpret the games themselves and create something “dominionistic” where they are concerned. I know the books themselves are not presented in this way at all. The only killing that occurs is self defensive in nature.

  3. Thought I should clarify that it’s not you that I meant is exaggerating; it’s other sites/sources that have misinterpreted what’s occurring in these Christian video games in order to slur them.

  4. I love the article and research and theme!!! Bravo.

    My first reaction after reading it is this. I no longer believe you to be an atheist.

    I would like to test this theory. Interested in a challenge?

    Paladon

  5. it’s a joke to hear someone say this video game is anti-Semitic or anti-anything. And it’s even more ridiculous to say it’s so bad that it’s worse than all the games out there. Excuse me? What do you know about the games out there? Every time I hear something ridiculous like this I’m ashamed to have been born a Jew. Get over your bias, dude! Obviously, you haven’t played the game and are using a quote from a 5-year-old biased article to make your own point.

    Obviously, if someone “believes” there is no God, they have defined their own religion that they are so smart, they miss the binary code makeup of everything in our body (and all things organic) and somehow think something far more sophisticated than a super computer could, with the right chemical mixture and enough time, go ‘poof’ into existence. To me, that takes more faith than to recognizing the fingerprints of God.

  6. Peace and War?

    If someone comes in your house and is intent to rape your wife because they believe she is evil (because her ancestors hurt their ancestors), are you going to say, “Just slap me across my other cheek and go ahead and rape her…in fact, you can kill her”? Of course not. So, what if all your friends are telling you that Mr. Joe gonna-kill-you is planning to come into your house and rape your wife and then kill her, in front of you, are you going to just allow yourself to be in denial and ignore the warnings? After all, Mr. Joe builds hospitals and is involved in numerous community charitable movements!

    Your very article speaks out violently against the only video game with a gun which teaches the consequences of using it. LOL! And you think it’s the worst of all such games? Obviously you aren’t a gamer and haven’t played the game. Like so many others, you incite people to hatred, all in the name of desiring peace?

    I don’t know why so many people believe that peace just happens if you ignore the violent speech and eventual actions of others. People just want to be accepted to believe what is popular, no matter how ridiculous it is.

  7. Jinx McHue says:

    That HuffPo article is nothing but lies. The game is absolutely not like that at all. The game does not mention Jews, atheists or any other groups (e.g. Muslims, as some have claimed) and does not promote “converting or killing” them. In fact, game reviewers like IGN, X-Play, Ars Technica, GameSpot and GameSpy all cited the anti-violence nature of the game. The Anti-Defamation League criticized the game’s “exclusionary theology,” but agreed that it does not reward violence.

  8. Anthony E says:

    Funny that once a Christian agrees with you, they wish to deny your Atheism. They believe in a God, but refuse to believe you disagree with them. How convenient.

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