The Catholic Defender: Conversation with an Atheist
May 28, 2020
I arrived at my first Duty Station at Fort Stewart Georgia in the late Spring/early Summer 1985 after Basic Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) as a Combat Medic. It was not long before I would meet our NBC-NCO who ensured that our training regarding our requirements of NBC training and equipment were maintained. It was here that I learned about NBC volleyball in MOPP 4. I actually took that training as fun, but not everybody did as it didn't take long before you sweated a great deal.
After a few months serving in the Medical Company it didn't take long before I would be challenged by the NBC-NCO about Religion. He claimed to be an Atheist and the challenge was mutual as I do not believe in real Atheism especially when they find themselves in a fox-hole. Throughout my time there the back and forth was mutual as we developed a certain respect in our encounters.
My opponent was heavy into science so my approach to him was from science. He became very interested in Eucharistic Miracles as I shared a number of them with him. I think what really took him by surprise was the investigations on two icons of the Catholic Church, the Shroud of Turin and Our Lady of Quadalupe. These scientific Miracles became a means that I was able to make progress with him.
Once I peeled back some of the banana peel, a lot of his questioning began to sound like arguments I've dealt with on their perceived understanding of what the Catholic Church actually taught. Recently at the time Pope St. John Paul II made a historic pronouncement on Evolution. Boy, did he go after me on that point. Unfortunately, the Pope did not present or at least he was not covered for making an important distinction on Evolution. Even today there is much confusion as I often hear people saying the Church authorizes Evolution.
That is not true that the Church recognizes Darwinism that is chiefly taught in Biology classes even at Catholic Institutions. This debate can tend to put Catholic Apologists on the defensive because people are not fully understanding on what Pope St. John Paul II was alluding to.
It's one thing to believe that Adam and Eve are "myths" and that the human race came from monkeys but it is entirely another point to say that Genesis was not suppose to be a history book. When Moses wrote Genesis, he was taking the oral tradition that had been handed down on the subject of creation. In Evolution, on the one side you have Darwinism that would also be known as "Macro" Evolution. This is not what the Church accepts. Micro Evolution was what the Pope was looking at to be explored. Do you have to believe that the 6 days of creation was 24 hour periods or could they represent periods of time? Catholics can be on both sides of that issue.
The Bible teaches that in God's eyes, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (Psalms 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). My friend was interested in what I was sharing. I also shared 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12:
"Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned."
I tied Macro Evolution as part of this massive "delusion" or "deceiving power" as I explained my position from a historical perspective.
Because of liberal Presidents of the past, the United States Supreme Court began eroding our Christian foundations for a more Secular State establishing a Church and State clause that became battle cry of the Secular Humanist.
On June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment by constituting an establishment of religion. Note that prayer in the public school system had deep roots in our culture. This clearly caused deep divisions in the Country. It is true that Catholics at the time were supportive of the result for a while, but only because Protestants would use the bible in School to proselytize. That was a genuine issue that could have been worked out for students but the outcome neither Catholic or Protestant would support.
The following year, in Abington School District v. Schempp, the Court disallowed Bible readings in public schools for similar reasons. These two landmark Supreme Court decisions centered on the place of religion in public education, and particularly the place of Protestantism, which had long been accepted as the given American faith tradition. Both decisions ultimately changed the face of American civil society, and in turn, helped usher in the last half-century of the culture wars.
The effect of the culture war has had an effect. Since 1990, the percentage of Catholics in the United States has remained steady at about one in four.
However, the percentage of Protestantism has decreased from 60 percent to 50 percent. William Donohue, president of the Catholic League believes that a radical shift towards individualism over the last quarter-century has a lot to do it.
Today, according to the American Religions Identification Survey from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut roughly Seventy-five percent of Americans call themselves Christian.
In 1990, the figure was 86 percent. The last decade we see a clear drop of eleven percentage points. In his 2006 speech to a liberal Christian group, then-Sen. Barack Obama said: “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”
The rise of Secularism is important to note because as Christianity is being diminished there is a rise of paganism and hedonism. President Obama believed this so much, he felt he could risk making war on the Catholic Faith without any major challenge.
The Democrats have always had the media and Progressive Liberalism continues to thrive in the Democratic Party. The American Civil liberties Union (ACLU) have systematically sought to take Christianity our of public life.
Since 1933, the Secular Humanist have since sought to De-Christianize the United States of America. They have put together three manifesto’s that is their blue print in transforming society. The Humanist Manifesto I was written in 1933 by Roy Wood Sellars and Raymond Bragg with thirty-four signatories including philosopher John Dewey. There are 15 items in this manifesto and so let’s take a look at this to see if we can see a cause and effect:
First: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.
This seems to be what is taught in Science today. Evolution is taught as a fact and not a theory. Robert L Waggoner asks a question in the form of an article which he states, “In syllogistic form, the argument may be stated as follows: Major Premise: The theory of evolution is now taught in all public schools. Minor Premise: The theory of evolution is a major doctrine of modern humanism. Conclusion: Therefore, all public schools now teach humanism. This is where many young people loose their Christian foundation.
(The NBC-NCO was raised a Methodist and he acknowledged that he does not follow anything he was raised with so my point with him was made.)
Second: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as the result of a continuous process. That is Macro Evolution and that is part of the problem. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 states, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene”. The Holy Spirit restrains the heart that binds evil from taking over completely. There is still good in the world. We as Christians are to stand for justice and liberty defending the rights to worship God in freedom. But these freedoms are eroding because of the rebellion taking place.
Third:Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.
This is the goal of the Humanist, to fight faith where ever they find it. They are establishing a terrible web that if the Church does not respond, it will continue to get worse.
The war on Christmas, the rise of Atheism is a result of several decades of persistence from the Progressives and primarily silence from the Church.
Fourth:Humanism recognizes that man’s religious culture and civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. The individual born into a particular culture is largely molded by that culture.
We are to mold and shape culture. The Catholic Faith endured 246 years of Christian persecutions through ten major Roman Emperors. This philosophy denies the presence of the omnipotence of God.
It builds upon personal ability without recognizing a creator of the universe. This philosophy is standard in the public school setting.
Fifth: Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values.
Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relation to human needs. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method .
Religion must bend the knee before the light of scientific method? Abortion and Gay rights become a personal decision. The bible and religious teaching must conform to the mind of human reasoning. There are no moral absolutes. This is a very dangerous situation because God is a jealous God. The secularists deny anything spiritual. Consider St. Peter’s warning, “Know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers will come to scoff, living according to their own desires and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?” I see this at the college that I attended in Texas . Do not think that the Lord’s coming is delayed, He will come like a thief in the night, but nobody knows the day or the hour.
Sixth:We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of “new thought.”
To the Secularist, this is the end of Christianity so they have to work down the importance of faith in America. That means a lowering of patriotism, liberty, faith in the public arena of ideas. The Catholic Faith stand in their way and so that is why the Obama Administration and today's Democratic minority continues to challenge faith.
Seventh:Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation-all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.
This one is very important, the Secularist has to compete in the arts. Much of the culture war is due because of the rise of sexually explicit movies, vulgar language, violence.
This has a great impact on all people. Ephesians 5:11 states, “Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them”.
The secularist then wants to take away Christmas vacation and turn it into Winter break. Easter vacation then becomes spring break. All throughout the Country we see the battle of singing Christmas carols and having manger scenes. It is going to get worse if we do not stand up!
Eighth: Religious humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man’s life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist’s social passion.
This is the heart and soul of the Atheist, at the end of man’s life there is no heaven or hell, it is all here and now.
John Lennon sang, “Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people Living for today… Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too, Imagine all the people Living life in peace… Above us only sky, Imagine all the people Living for today…Re-read # Eight and look at the words by John Lennon! Surprised?
Ninth:In place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being.
This one wants to take away worship and become self centered expressing a “heightened sense of personal life." The Secularist, social well being is to be able to do what ever you want to do with no rules. There is no sin so their is no moral responsibility.
This particular stanza of the Humanist Manifesto I is very dangerous because of the consequence. Every day in the United States, there are over 55,000 diagnosed Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 110,000,000 Americans with an STD, and 65,000,000 with an incurable disease. Get the picture?
Tenth: It follows that there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes of the kind hitherto associated with belief in the supernatural.
The Secular Humanist want to take away the richness of God’s grace, no more Easter Vigils, no more conversion, no more faith.
That is the end desired goal of the Atheist. You take away the supernatural then God does not exist.
They have to do away with the Church, the bible, it’s customs and traditions, most of all, it’s worship and festivals.
Eleventh: Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.
Secular education is key to fulfilling this goal, public schools must teach children to not listen and follow their parents.
Notice Elton John's lyrics in his song "Benny and the Jets", "Hey kids, plug into the faithless, Maybe they're blinded, But Bennie makes them ageless, We shall survive, let us take ourselves along Where we fight our parents out in the streets To find who's right and who's wrong"
Put your faith only in human ingenuity and reasoning.
Faith after all is only “wishful thinking”?
You ever notice that schools do not teach well academically math, history, reading, but people are becoming great philosophers?
Twelfth: Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy in living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life.
Joy is found deep within each person, to create in each person the knowledge of self discovery.
Who are you, the answer is found deep within yourself. If your a homosexual, that is who you are. This is being pushed by the Government as they try to come down on Faith in God. In effect, we are making gods out of every man accepting this philosophy.
Thirteenth: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.
This is where the battle line is drawn, to eradicate the practice of religion, that religion must be “reconstituted” to allow and bring forth secularism and the freedom of the inner self.
Consider Ephesians 3:14-19 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”.
Fourteenth: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.
This one is important to understand the current onslaught taking place in American politics. Look what has been taking place with Obamacare?
This stanza is a threat to the free market system and free inter-prize. The Secularist wants to radically transform society with an Atheistic socialistic utopia, Marxism.
This should give you the willies up your spine? This all is part of the culture war. We are caving in and it is my prayer and hope that we wake up before it is too late!
The CCC Paragraph 407 states, "The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil". Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals."
Fifteenth and last: We assert that humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from it; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow.
This is the credo, this is the desired end result of a Secular State, to affirm life (except the pre-born), seek to e\ilicit the possibilities of life (meaning, it is my body, I can do as I want)?
To take from the haves and give to the have-nots? People do not need to achieve, everyone should get the same pay regardless what we do.
All these 15 stanza’s seem to be entrenched today. Can we shake it off like a boxer who gets his bell rung? It is going to be an uphill fight, we really got to pray for this Country.
So stand the theses of religious humanism. Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind.
Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power for its achievement. He must set intelligence and will to the task.
This is the challenge, Jethro Tull wrote these words: “In the beginning Man created God: “and in the image of Man, created he him. 2 And Man gave unto God a multitude of names,that he might be Lord of all the earth when it was suited to Man. 3 And on the seven millionth day Man rested and did lean heavily on his God and saw that it was good. 4 And Man formed Aqualung of the dust of the ground, and a host of others likened unto his kind. 5 And these lesser men were cast into the void; And some were burned, and some were put apart from their kind. 6 And Man became the God that he had created and with his miracles did rule over all the earth. 7 But as all these things came to pass, the Spirit that did cause man to create his God lived on within all men: even within Aqualung. 8 And man saw it not.
Because America has largely lost it’s soul and direction, we see many examples of attacks on faith, in art, in the movies, and in the music.
In Oklahoma there was a battle taking place that Satanist were wanting to place a statue of Satan at the State Court House. Have we really drifted so far down the road that this is even being considered?
I’m going to quote a scripture coming from 1 Kings chapter 9.
In place of Israel, I’m going to insert America just to make my point. 1 Kings 9:6-9 states, “But if you and your descendants ever withdraw from me, fail to keep the commandments and statutes which I set before you, and proceed to venerate and worship strange gods, I will cut off America from the land I gave them and repudiate the nation I have consecrated to my honor. America shall become a proverb and a byword among all nations, and this America shall become a heap of ruins. Every passerby shall catch his breath in amazement, and ask, ‘Why has the Lord done this to the Land and this nation? Men will answer: they forsook the Lord, their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of the Old Country for religious freedom; they adopted strange gods which they worshiped and served. That is why the Lord has brought down upon them all this evil”.
I exchanged America because I want to show how it is important that we pray and unite to bring back the honor due God and put away this Secularism.
The Catholic Church will not be overcome by the gates of hell, but we must stand up, souls are at stake. Pray for our Country.
Lord Jesus, May your continual pity, O Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church; and, because without you she cannot endure in safety, may she ever be governed by Your bounty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.
At the end of the day, my friend who honorable served our Unit as the NBC-NCO would come around and aided me using his gifts of computer that helped me greatly giving talks at Savannah Catholic School and on Post at the Recreation Center. He was able to see the results of what Secular Humanism has been doing to our Nation.