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.