“Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” [Mark 3:29]
Brad sent me a link today. It’s a story featuring an idea addressing a growing theme among Americans today: Atheism. The Rational Response Squad came up with a project called “The Blasphemy Challenge” where they challenged people to make videos of themselves denouncing the Holy Spirit and post them on YouTube. So far, there have been over 800 participants.
“We wanted to do it in such a way where we stripped the power from religious institutions that instill fear in people,” says Brian. “And we did that by blaspheming the Holy Spirit, by showing that we are not scared of this unforgivable sin.”
Of course, The Rational Response Squad has received hundreds of death threats, a tactic I have always found hilariously ironic coming from a Christian. Something very similar happen to Julia Sweeney after she wrote an article called “Letting Go of God.” She received so many death threats directed to both her and her child she was forced to take her Web site down. (Incidentally, if you haven’t heard this piece of writing, I highly recommend checking it out.) Still others believe that the group is denouncing hope, and a little hope never hurt anybody. Some believe that faith doesn’t need proof, nor does the existence of God.
I have written about this topic before. I wrote about it back in October of last year and if I remember correctly, it spawned quite the debate. I also received a few not so nice emails after the fact. I still can’t figure out why some Christians become so hateful when it comes to someone disagreeing with their religion. I know that most aren’t like this that it’s only the fundi weirdoes, but it still perplexes me. If they are true believers, if they know that God loves them, shouldn’t that belief be all that they need? Why do they care what some heathen believes, doesn’t believe, or says? I never quite understood that reaction. What is it they are so afraid of?
But I digress. You can read more about what The Rational Response Squad is up to by clicking here. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing. But Nico had a good point yesterday. She said, “I actually think the reasoning in this is a little weak. To say that you are blaspheme-ing (a word?) is to acknowledge is that there is a god to blaspheme. If you don’t believe in god you can’t believe in blasphemy itself. But whatever, I am verging into college stoner talk here. I know that is not the point.” Even if she does sound like a stoned college student, the gal’s got a point.
After having read the article, I think I am more pleased with the fact, based on the statistics quoted, that what I wrote back in October isn’t necessarily true, that an atheist isn’t necessarily seen as a second class citizen by those who are religious. I was even more intrigued to discover that there is now an atheists’ lobby in Washington, DC. (Admittedly, that city has an organization and/or lobby for nearly every group, thought, belief system, or plant under the sun. It’s true.) I think the “filler” material appealed to me more than the actual point of the interview.
How do you feel about The Rational Response? Me? I am not at all upset about their quest but you won’t be seeing a YouTube video of me denouncing God anytime soon. A post hinting to it? Perhaps. But for now I’m just here to question.