Atheists v. Mother Teresa – Commentary by Frank Gillispie 2/04/10
Mother Teresa is scheduled to be honored with a U.S. postal stamp later this year. And naturally, someone has decided to protest
the honor. The organization, Freedom from Religion Foundation, argues that postal regulations prohibit honors for
“individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings.” I have problems with this story.
First, other religious leaders have had stamps. The Rev. Martin Luther King, a Baptist pastor, has a stamp. Malcolm X, an active
member of the black Muslim faith had a stamp, and there were others. I do not know what Freedom from Religion Foundation had to
say about those, but I do not recall any significant protest about them.
Second Mother Teresa devoted her life to helping the poor people of India. She worked to help all who came her way without
regard to their religious faith. Her work may have been in response to the teachings of the Catholic church, but her
assistance was given to people of all faiths.
Now, I am fascinated by people who make such a big deal out of not believing in a God. Why are they so driven to punish
those of us who are convinced of his existence? What if they are right? What if there is no God and no afterlife? What if
we are the results of a stray cosmic ray rearranging the DNA of an ancient amoeba? If they are right, then we are created
by the mixing of genetic material from our parents, we live our lives and simply cease to exist when we die. If so, what
difference does it make if we believe or not believe? The results would be the same.
We cannot determine by our senses if God exists or not. If He exists, then the universe is filled uniformly with His
presence. There would be no differentiation that we could detect. If He does not exist, then the universe is uniformly
empty of any spiritual presence. Again, we have no way to determine if that is true. Believing in God is an act of
faith. But non-belief is also an act of faith. Therefore, atheism is just as much a religion as any other belief
system based on faith.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1)
Now back to my question: Why do they make such a effort to attack religious belief? I think they are convinced that they
are superior to the rest of us, that they are convinced that they have a right and a responsibility to force their
opinions and beliefs on the nation without regard to the opinions of the masses. I think their attacks on people
of faith are the results of their desire to have power over the inferior masses, and as long as we see God as the
primary power in our lives, they get shut out.
"Belief in Man's Divine origin is the foundation of the fundamental American principle which controls his relationship to government:
that Man--The Individual--is of supreme dignity and value because of his spiritual nature." --Hamilton Abert Long,
"Principle #1," of
The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles 1976
I never try to impose my religious opinions on other people, and I resent those who try to impose their opinions on me. If
they are right, it does not matter. If I am right, they have a problem.
Copyright © 2010 by Frank Gillispie
firstname.lastname@example.org, Hull, GA
The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles
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"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would
that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props
of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume
could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property,
for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts
of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be
conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect
that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. 'Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is
a necessary spring of popular government." --President George Washington, from
Farewell Address, 1796
"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth--that God governs in the
affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without
His aid? . . . I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the
Builders of Babel . . .]"
--Benjamin Franklin, in Federal [Framing] Convention, 1787, making a motion for Prayer
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Liberty Lost part 8 - J.A. Davis
The New Slave Traders - Steve Scroggins
Slavery, Apologies & Duty - Steve Scroggins
Founding Wisdom - Frank Gillispie
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