For the better part of a month and a half in 2004, our collective conscience was focused on Florida. The state had been devastated by a series of powerful hurricanes. The cumulative effects of Charles, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne prompted President Bush to ask Congress for $7.1 billion in repairs and clean-up.
It was interesting to note all of the religious entities that stepped in to help in disaster recovery. These church-related groups worked in concert with the federal government (i.e., FEMA) in an effort to relieve the hurting masses. They donated goods and clothing, provided child care, offered stress-management counseling services, provided temporary shelter, repaired housing, set up food kitchens and shower facilities, furnished laundry details, provided hot meals, distributed cleaning supplies, sent out chain saw crews, and rendered other humanitarian aid.
While we commend those who gave of their time, effort, and money to hurricane recovery, I think we need to ask a question: Where were all of the atheists during that crucial time? Really. Thousands of humble people pledged their hands and hearts to storm victims, but not the unbelievers. Why not? How many meals did they serve? How many homes did they repair? How did they help carry the financial burden in the storm-stricken South? Where was their organizational structure for lifting the hurting throughout Florida?
You see, according to skeptics, religion is a farce. Faith is a crutch for the weak. Belief in God is a tragic waste of time and energy. Ironically, whenever fellow citizens cry out for support and care, atheists are no where to be found. They look at the ravages of the storm and say, There is no God, while religionists roll up their sleeves and say, How can we honor God in service? (Matthew 25:31-46).
Isn't that fascinating? Unbelief has no redeeming value. It never wipes away a tear, it never rescues the fallen, it never renders kind regard. It never does anything. It is selfish and self-serving. It lacks compassion.
I now think I understand David a little bit better when he said, The fool has said in his heart, There is no God (Psalm 14:1; cf. Psalm 10:4).
- via KneEmail, Mike Benson, editor