One of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes starred the late character actor Burgess Meredith. No, I’m not referring to the one where he survived the atom bomb and broke his glasses before he could sit down to read his piles of books from the devastated library. I’m talking about the 1961 episode called “The Obsolete Man” in which he stands trial for his life as a librarian since the totalitarian State considers it a useless occupation. He is sentenced to death for being “obsolete” because he loves books, owns a Bible, and believes in God Whom the State has declared does not exist. [See Wikipedia synopsis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Obsolete_Man ]
Back in the early ‘60s, it was unthinkable that a government could declare that there is no God. We thought only a communist country like Russia or China could dare to outlaw religion and persecute believers. After all, the United States has “In God we trust” on their dollar bills.
Sadly, it looks like forces of God-haters are rising up in power in our country to lobby for their collective belief in atheism. They have a public relations campaign to win others to their views and even have celebrity endorsements to spread their message of the supremacy of man in the universe. Now they have a well-attended annual convention (next one in April in Des Moines, Iowa) to help them galvanize the godless masses into a powerful special interest group who can campaign for change in Washington. [ http://atheists.org/ ] They want to remove “one nation under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance and ban prayer in any public place. Instead of trusting God, they only have themselves to trust in. What a miserable position to take.
These atheists have the zeal of evangelists in spreading their message that God is a bad invention of man and responsible for all the wars and hardships throughout history. They have especially targeted the Evangelical Church as public enemy number one.
Since atheism is indeed a negative and hopeless ideology, their PR machine is putting a positive spin on their message. Comedian/magician Penn Jillette, for example, has been interviewed all over television testifying that his acceptance of atheism has brought joy and hope to his world.
Other celebrities that inspired him to come out of the atheist closet were Martin Mull, Randy Newman, and Frank Zappa. Jillette says they are just behind the Gay Lobby in coming into prominence and influence. The YouTube clip of his testimony can be seen here: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFdOGQbP1i0] At the end of his tape, Jillette rejoices in the fact that if atheism were a religion, he is part of the fastest growing religion in America.
Former Saturday Day Night Live not-ready-for-prime-time-player, Julia Sweeney, has taken her atheist one-woman-show on the road to packed audiences. Her “Letting God of God” routine is now on film and is also popular on YouTube. One clip shows the audience response and the people sound as if they’re talking about an inspirational gospel message in how much it meant to them. [see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_FLLzbRVT8 ]
Could the atheist lobby be a portent of things to come and a rise in persecution of Christians in America? Certainly this movement is not surprising when we consider it as just another sign of the times. The Bible tells us that before Jesus returns iniquity would abound. So this should not surprise us. However, it does sadden us to see how the Creator of all is being lampooned by His creatures. One day these very people may be the ones of whom it is written prophetically that will shake their fists at God when judgment falls.