Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 7, 2009

No God? No Problem!

   The American Humanist Association has launched its 2009 holiday advertising campaign that features the slogan — “No God? No problem! Be good for goodness’ sake.” This year’s slogan will be displayed on city busses in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Roy Speckhardt, the executive director of the AHA said, “We’re hoping this campaign will build awareness about the humanist movement and our ethical philosophy — particularly among the ‘nones:’ the rapidly growing percentage of people who claim no religion.” Humanists will undoubtedly make lots of folks aware of their movement and more than a few of those folks angry.

   Although I disagree with the AHA slogan, I am neither offended nor threatened by it. The reality is that we live in a country in which people have differing worldviews and the right to express those views. As a Christ-follower I have both the freedom and the responsibility to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. The AHA slogan actually serves as a good conversation starter that can lead to healthy dialogue about God and His existence. Perhaps the AHA campaign will challenge people to think a little more deeply and talk a little more intentionally about God and spiritual matters.

   Speckhardt asserts that “Humanists have always understood that striving to make the world a better place is one of humanity’s most important responsibilities.” Terrific. I’m all for making the world a better place. I hope that humanists will heed their own message and actually close the gap between understanding and action. A 2007 national survey by the Barna Group regarding helping the poor concluded, “Atheists and agnostics emerged as the segment of people least likely to do anything in response to poverty.” So, perhaps this humanist “be good for goodness sake” initiative will lead humanists to do more than talk a good game. That would be a good thing, especially for the prospective beneficiaries of that goodness.

   So, if you happen to see one of the AHA ads on the side of a bus, no problem! Use it as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with a friend or stranger. After all, you too have the freedom to share your views about God and His existence. And, make sure that you do more than talk about being good. Bless others through unconditional and practical acts of kindness — not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

• • • • •

Please take a moment to read my post entitled Probably No God.


Responses

  1. The ads are mere propaganda that answers to an argument that no one has made. The claim is not that atheists lack of morals but lack of moral premise, lack of ethos.

    It is also a reprinting of their ads from last year:
    http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2008/11/another-atheist-charity-huge-success.html

    Yet again, during a time of the year when people are generally more inclined towards charity—peace on earth and good will towards non-gender specific personages—atheists are busily collecting hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars during a time of recession not in order to help anyone in real material need but in order to purchase bill boards and bus ads whereby they seek to demonstrate, to themselves, just how clever they are—need any more be said?

  2. Thanks for your comment. Actually, I had first read your comment when you posted it on The Washington Post “On Faith Panelists Blog” site on November 25.

    I have not seen any numbers on how much the AHA is spending on these ads. As you point out in your comment, these are indeed tough times and many people are in need. To their credit, the AHA does include links to humanist charities on their website. Hopefully many humanists will give and many people in need will be helped.

    I hope that Christ-followers will use the AHA ad campaign as a conversation starter to open dialogue with those who do not believe in God or in His existence. And, I hope that non-theists will use it as an opportunity to ask Christ-followers about why they place their hope in Jesus and that Christ-followers are prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within them.

    As I stated in my post, we live in a country and in a world filled with people who embrace differing and opposing worldviews. Like Paul on Mars Hill, my prayer is that Christ-followers will love God with all their minds, serve Him with all their hearts, and intelligently share Him without apology.

    Thanks again for posting your comment. Have a blessed Christmas as you celebrate Christ’s birth and share His story with others.


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