A newspaper column was brought to my attention the other day. I had never before heard of the newspaper, The Daily Star of Oneonta, New York, nor the author of the column, Tom Sears.
Mr. Sears writes a regular opinion column for The Daily Star. Many of his columns’ titles are prefixed with On the Right Side. The titles alone are enough to show that Mr. Sears is a conservative republican. His column of December 21st, Atheists’ numbers doom them to irrelevance indicates that he is most definitely a Christian.
Mr. Sears’ other claim to fame is that he is a Professor of Accounting at Hartwick College. I can only hope that Hartwick College demands more rigorous attention to the facts from its students than The Daily Star demands from Professor Sears.
Tom starts his little rant with this:
Atheists are once again trying to bring attention to themselves by attempting to denigrate, insult or demean religions and, in particular, Christianity and therefore Christians.
Oh, my! What is it that has made Tom so upset?
This time it is a billboard advertising stunt in New Jersey; the billboard was placed there by some atheist activist group that calls itself American Atheists. Once again an attempt to put down Christianity will be doomed to irrelevance.
If it’s so terribly irrelevant, why is Tom so upset that he felt the need to write a column about it? Here we see Tom’s indignation and projection. Yes, an atheist group rented advertising space on a billboard in order to bring attention the themselves. That’s usually the intended purpose of advertising. As for being “doomed to irrelevance,”, the fact that Tom is so upset about it does a good job of pointing out how wrong he is.
What about Tom’s complaint that he, his fellow Christians, Christianity itself and religions in general are being denigrated, insulted and demeaned by this billboard and its statement? Let’s take a good look at the billboard to see what is said about Tom. With a stylized silhouette of a nativity scene for a background, the billboard says, “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate Reason.”
Yes, quite obviously the billboard is implying that the birth of Jesus is a myth. Like many other religious fables, it is. Of course, I cannot say with certainty that the person commonly known as Jesus Christ never existed, but the lack of any substantial evidence for his existence points in that direction. If Tom feels denigrated, insulted, and demeaned by this billboard, I can only imagine that merely existing in this world puts him into a constant foul mood.
Tom finally gets to the point where he’s going to show us some of those numbers that doom atheists to irrelevancy.
Polls show atheists to be 3 percent or less of the total population of the United States, a number that has remained about the same over past years. However, in a desperate attempt to make the number appear higher, the president of this organization now claims that there are many more “closet atheists.” He goes so far as to say that there are many who attend religious services during the holidays but don’t believe in them. Kind of pathetic if you ask me.
I would have thought that a person whose occupation deals in mathematical accuracy would be more careful. Of course, as Professor Sears is most likely an Evangelical Christian of an extremely conservative flavor, I suppose I should expect neither accuracy nor honesty. Tom appears to be pulling numbers out of his ass. That’s kind of pathetic if you ask me.
The most recent ARIS report (American Religious Identification Survey), found that in 2008, 34.2 million Americans (15.0%) claimed to have no religion. 1.6% describe themselves explicitly as atheist or agnostic, which is double the figure from the previous ARIS survey in 2001.
What about the numbers of Christians in the United States? From the highlights of that same ARIS report:
The American population self-identifies as predominantly Christian but Americans are slowly becoming less Christian.
- 86% of American adults identified as Christians in 1990 and 76% in 2008.
- The historic Mainline churches and denominations have experienced the steepest declines while the nondenominational Christian identity has been trending upward particularly since 2001.
- The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.
Tom continues to relate more anecdotes (and pull more numbers out of his ass) in order to foster his fervent belief that Christianity will soon be the law of the land.
Fortunately, the country is headed back on the right track to sanity. A few years ago only 20 percent of the nation’s top companies dared to make any mention of Christmas in their stores. A great many were simply intimidated by the American Civil Liberties Union or similar organizations. The number mentioning Christmas has reversed itself and is now up to 80 percent and continuing to rise.
How would the ACLU intimidate a company about whether or not to use the word Christmas as a greeting or in a store display? That has nothing to do with anyone’s rights, Tom. Do you know who does intimidate companies at this time of year about their use of the word Christmas? Christian organizations such as the AFA and the Catholic League have boycotted companies who failed to use the word Christmas in their December advertising. Tom seems to be giving us more clues that he doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about. He’s also giving very strong evidence of that projection that I mentioned.
It’s also nice to see the Salvation Army bell ringers back in places where they were previously banned.
Does Tom not understand the concept of private property? Do you know why business owners don’t want Salvation Army bell ringers at their store entrances, Tom? Because the constantly ringing bells are so fucking annoying! No one banned them. They don’t have some constitutional right to hang out on private property ringing those damned bells in the first place.
I’ll leave off here. Tom seems to have been beaten up quite soundly in the comments section of his column, and there is little that I could add which wouldn’t be seen there.
Why did I feel the need to pick on Tom? I felt it was necessary because of how utterly wrong I think he is. Tom’s beliefs are a part of what divides people from each other. Tom tries his best to feel special, even superior, yet still manages to imply that he is being marginalized and discriminated against.
Fortunately, Tom is not indicative of the majority of Christians in the United States. He is part of an extremely vocal minority of Christians who want to impose their religious faith on the rest of us. They believe it’s their god-given right to do this. They believe it’s their moral imperative to do this. I intend to do whatever I can to make sure that our country remains free enough that this will never happen.