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The athiest gets it…part way

December 22, 2008
This afternoon, Dan Barker, atheist co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, was interviewed on the David Boze Show about his exhibit that was displayed at the state capital. This was the display that sparked controversy with the inscription: “Religion is but superstition and myth that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Barker explained that his display was in response to the “offensive” nativity scene that was also displayed at the capitol. What could possibly be offensive about the scene of baby Jesus, angels, wishes of joy and peace and goodwill to men?

Barker recognizes that the meaning of the nativity goes beyond a harmless baby. This child would go on to call Himself the only true Savior of the world, the Son of God, and God Himself. If these claims are true, we can imply that we are not God, we are accountable to a higher authority, and that we are in desperate need of a savior. To some, this is indeed an offensive message. For others, it is the greatest possible source of joy.

What is this message that evokes such strong reactions?

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:17-19)

Barker looked at the implications of the nativity and made up his mind. His conclusions are opposite of mine, but he correctly identifies that the story of Jesus is about more than warm feelings, time with family, and peace on earth—it is a story that demands us to make choice.

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