A Brief Infomercial on Disbelief

PBS.ORG recently aired a 3-part infomercial on the virtues of the religion of atheism, which the producer calls “disbelief” because:

“I’m reluctant to use the word atheist to describe my disbelief, giving that conviction a special title which dignifies that which I deny… This series is a tribute to those who’ve won the right to stand up and be counted.”

He declares all this with the snobbish disdain of the English Gentry (hey, I can do that too). Without the pretentious airs and refined English accents, A Brief History of Disbelief is little more than another profane infomercial from “the Colonies”. (Does he snort Snuff?) In the spirit of such low-budget, late-night dramas, he surrounds himself with a self-congratulating, adoring cast noticeably absent of skeptics or naysayers. He then presumes to speak for Christianity, then dismantles his depictions with the erudite ease of a superior intellect. Ironically, he censures Christianity for censorship while he censors all Christian response.

He launched this series in response to 9/11, a tragedy which depicts “the danger inherently present in the world’s three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” he claims. But then he launches a three-hour diatribe exclusively against Christianity. How very droll, I daresay! How did we get here again? 9/11 suicide bombers and Christianity…? It is an odd connection.

Most disingenuous however is the oft-repeated theme of suppression and persecution of free-thinking skeptics and atheists through the ages by Christianity. It would all be palatable (I am, after all, no defender of the Roman empire nor its religious legacy), except that he neatly dances around the long and barbarous history of persecution by atheists.

Of the French Revolution, not only does he omit to mention the stunning number of tens of thousands beheaded in the name of “the goddess of (pure) reason,” he simply waves it away as “a movement not strictly atheist, of course.” But…but…it was very strictly speaking an atheist revolt against all churches! And the thousands of burned churches–Protestant, Catholic, it didn’t matter–their famous “goddess of reason,” its glorious temple, and its many proclamations leaves no question about the atheist leadership and humanist glory of the French Revolution.

Yet he goes on ad infinitum about the 20 atheists executed by the Church of England at around the same time.

Of the millions of Christians massacred last century by atheists, he merely mentioned that it happened, as a statement of fact, and quickly scampers on.

This is why “infomercial” is not an unfair label: it is a pretentious rewrite of history strictly favoring a narrow, biased view with a cast of same-minded intelligentsia pretending to question and learn from each other (with the same infomercial-staged sense of wonder and amazement as they preen each other).

This is how I ended up buying the “Magic Bullet” now sitting idle in my kitchen!

His entire thesis from the outset and oft-repeated is the terrible bloodshed to be expected from Christianity, but in truth (forsooth!) atheism produced savagery of a scale unparalleled in the long history of “religious dogmatism” he disdains.

There is perhaps a more even-minded interpretation of that history: persecution and suppression seems to follow humans, no matter who’s in charge. But such fair-mindedness would bite the hand that feeds him, because the infomercial sponsor was the “Humanist Foundation.”

I do wonder if PBS.org will give Christians an opportunity to air a Christian infomercial?

You can watch the infomercial online and see what I mean.

6 thoughts on “A Brief Infomercial on Disbelief

  1. Joe

    To me, all this anti-christian bais actually strengthens my faith.

    “Free thinkers”, athiests, post-modern minds always end up on the problem posed by the possibly that Gid exists. Why? For 1,000’s of years the debate always ends up here. Instead of dealing with it, a launch into a Christians suck/ are stupid defense is the preferred method- not really dealing with the problem.

    It’s the same tactic Satan used on Eve in the garden – God didn’t really say that, did he? Or you aren’t really that stupid are you?

    The bible says that we know got exists in our hearts. If there really was no God out there, what would be the big deal? Why’s there this big need to rail against Christians and God to prove your point?

  2. lbeech

    Keith – Satan gets free press and people flock to it and agree full heartedly. So sad.

    A Christian shares Christ and the free gift of salvation with a friend and he is called close-minded and an extremist.

    Joe, (even though I know your question was rhetorical)I think that one reason people rail – is that they fear judgement – in their heart’s they know there is a God – they have rejected him – but know that there is a judgement coming – they remain lost and attempt to take as many other people with them as they can along with them to destruction.

    The thing that amazes me it that many atheists boast that if there is a hell – they’d rather be there than with the boring, close-minded and judgmental Christians. It is as if they are pridefully claiming their placement with the fun and full-of-life sinners. Too bad they fail to realize that heaven is filled with those same sinners whose debt was paid in full.

  3. Gozer the Keymaster

    Yeah, rhetorical heat betrays some underlying emotional storm, I have to agree. It is a sad existence to live ”against” something. The new “dis-belief” spin is an attempt to get away from being “against,” but then they end up “dissing” anyway — can’t help it, I guess.

  4. Dar

    Every time man attempts to usurp God’s rightful position in the universe, things go horribly, horribly wrong. From the Enlightenment to Postmodernism, man puts himself on the throne of the universe and then tries to say, “Look how wonderful we are.” And yet, and yet…the emotional and spiritual health of mankind has continued to decline. Despite the advances in medicine and technology, we are as miserable as ever. And that’s what these guys are doing. “We are so smart, such great thinkers, so god-like, that you need to listen to us!” Frankly, I wonder what these guys are even offering us. Is there anything contentful here? It’s just wrangling with words.

    It is also irksome that whenever Christianity IS given a voice, it is the voice of the extremists, the weirdos, the wackos, and those Christians who DO NOT think. And then they paint us all with that same brush.

    Christians, too, are somewhat to blame because so many ARE ignorant. Why do we perpetrate the idea that Christianity IS a religion? Do we not agree that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion? We are constantly lumped in there with all the other world “religions” because we’ve allowed that to continue. Frankly, I don’t blame them for that criticism, either. Go to almost any church building in the world and try and tell me that it doesn’t feel like it’s a religion.

    Those of us who are educated need to get on it!! We do have something contentful to offer – and it’s a relationship with the God of the universe. One who offers freedom and healing and purpose and significance and eternal life.

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