There has been a lot of talk recently about science, atheism, Christianity, and religion as a whole. The battle between atheism and theism has been fought for some time, but it seems the battle is getting stronger and coming more to the forefront of society, especially here in America from the Christian side. This has led me to ponder the question: Is Christianity dying? Are we seeing the last attempts of the religion to stake its claim in America, and even the world? I think the answer to that question is yes, and I came up with three signs that Christianity is dying, even in America where it has its strongest hold. Yes there are more than three, but I feel these are the most obvious.
All the Christian films Hollywood is releasing this year.
Take a look at all the Christian films that are coming out in 2014. First we have Son of God, a film that once again follows the life of Jesus Christ from birth to death. This is a narrative that has been done to absolute death and really has nothing new to bring to the table, but here we are, once again rehashing this tired story.
The second film of note is God’s Not Dead, which appears to tell the story of a Christian college student who finds himself at a crossroads when his philosophy teacher asks the class to disavow God at the start of the class. He refuses to do so and is led down a path where he is forced to scientifically prove the existence of God if he wishes to pass the class. In reality, weather or not you believe in God makes no difference here; the task of scientifically proving the existence of God is impossible, as there is no scientific proof. The only “proof” one can hope to come up with is ideas and beliefs, or leaps of faith. I assume without having seen the film, that the main character “successfully” proves the existence of God, although I’d be willing to bet there is no actual proof, or for that matter, any actual science in his argument.
The third film is Noah, starring Russell Crowe. By the title alone it’s obvious that this film is set to follow the biblical account of Noah and his ark. Most people, religious or not, know the story of Noah. Noah was a 600-year-old man who was tasked with building an ark in a single week, rounding up two of every animal on Earth, and loading them up along with his family to survive a great flood that was to be brought by God to destroy all of mankind as a punishment for their sin. I’m sorry, but anyone with half a functioning brain can tell this story is a load of bunk. At best, the story of Noah is a metaphor, or a form of symbolism to tell a moral story.
So where am I going with all of this? It’s really quite simple. Tell me the last time you remember being bombarded with this many high profile religious films in a year, let alone in a month or two. Every year religious films come out all year long, but not of the high profile of being shown in theatres. These films are generally marketed just to their intended audience. This leads me to my point; Christianity is being backed into a corner and is fighting back. People are starting to accept science and new atheists are being born everyday. This is an attempt by Christianity to reel back in the flock.
Take bees for example. Most bees will not attack unless they are backed into a corner or feel threatened. Sure, some attack for no reason, just like Christians, but most do not attack unless backed into a corner. Christians are backed into a corner and now they are fighting back.
Fox News and The War on Christmas
I don’t know how many of you watch Fox News, but if you do, or were even paying attention this past holiday season, you most likely noticed Fox News’ War on Christmas campaign. Now I could get into the history of the holiday and provide proof that Christmas was celebrated long before it was celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ, but that’s a completely different topic.
Let’s look at the obvious here: The War on Christmas. What is the first thing that you notice when reading that? I don’t know about you, but I notice the word “war”. The term “war” implies that there is a battle being fought, and that there are two sides, good and evil. This is truly not the case. There is no war being fought by atheists against Christmas. I personally as an atheist still celebrate the holiday, although not for the same reasons Christians do, and that is my right, the same as it the right of every Christian to celebrate the holiday for their reasons.
Most importantly, when I look at the word “war”, I see that Fox News and the religious right feel they are being attacked. This backs up my previous statement. They feel attacked and cornered when this is truly not the case, and they are making their persecution complex well known in an attempt to “rally their troops” and reel back in their flock. Christians are the first to cry that their beliefs are being attacked, but they fail to see that they are doing the same thing to our lack of beliefs. This is just one more example that Christians feel like their hold on the masses is slipping, and they need to fight a “war” to keep control.
Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, and the rest of the Young Earth Creationist crew.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of any of these people before, but if you haven’t, I’m sure you will soon enough. I personally never heard of either of them, but now I can’t get away from them. Now before I start, I want to take a moment to clarify that I am in no way attacking them or their character. As a matter of fact, I don’t know much about Mr. Ham, but Ray Comfort seems to be a rather genuinely nice person, although slightly misguided in my opinion.
Mr. Ken Ham is the owner of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a “museum” dedicated to the biblical account of creation in the book of Genesis. Mr. Ham also heads a ministry known as Answers in Genesis. Mr. Ham believes the book of Genesis is a word for word factual account of the creation of the Earth, universe, and all life in it. He is known as a Young Earth Creationist, believing that if you do the math with the dates given in the bible, that the Earth is only six thousand years old. Ray Comfort is also of this belief, taking the bible literally verbatim.
If you have been paying attention at all, you will remember that back in February, Mr. Ham debated Bill Nye the Science Guy at the Creation Museum on the topic of evolution vs. creationism. It was a very high profile debate, and while many Christians feel that Mr. Ham won the debate, and most atheists feel that Mr. Nye won the debate, I have found that many Christians also feel that Mr. Ham lost the debate. Their reasoning is not so much that he was wrong, but that he is taking the bible too literally with too much evidence to the contrary. Many modern Christians accept science, and have in fact modified their beliefs to coincide with this fact. Mr. Nye even made mention to this in the debate.
The most telling moment of the debate however, what when both men were posed the question: “What, if anything could change your mind?” Mr. Nye answered simply, evidence, while Mr. Ham tellingly answered, nothing. That answer right there is very telling. No matter what evidence is brought forth, Mr. Ham will adamantly refuse to change his beliefs, and that’s fine, but it’s a telling sign in the demise of Christianity.
Like I said, many Christians accept science and model their beliefs around the changes in it, but many do not. The more evidence we get to the contrary of the Christian faith, and all religions for that matter, the less Christians we are going to have. Mr. Ham’s debate was, in my opinion, another futile attempt to rally his flock. In the coming years, Mr. Ham even plans to add a life size, to biblical scale replica of Noah’s Ark at the Creation Museum. While I’m not accusing Mr. Ham of being out for only the money, the evidence surely hints at it. If money is truly not his motivation behind this, and I hope it’s not, then it is clearly yet another attempt to convert the masses and reel back in the flock, through extraordinary measures.
The bottom line here is this: Christianity doesn’t have to die. Christianity can in fact coexist with atheism, science, and even other religions, but overall, it doesn’t seem interested in coexisting. I have friends and family who are devout Christians, and I love them very much and respect their beliefs, because they are not confrontational and they come at me with respect. This persecution complex must die if the religion is to survive the coming knowledge we as humans are destined to gain. Only time will truly tell what becomes of Christianity, and other religions for that matter, but in my opinion, God is dying.