As an effective training exercise, shadow-boxing involves a single participant throwing punches at an imaginary sparring partner. An amateur or professional boxer will often use this technique as a way to prepare their muscles and perfect their moves. However, the ultimate purpose is to eventually employ such skills in the ring against an actual contender.
It seems, though, that the atheists are engaged in a futile ‘shadow-boxing’ effort against a God they claim doesn’t exist. They keep swinging and swinging, but are not prepared to admit to the presence of a real opponent. Why then do they expend so much effort and energy fighting that which they believe is not real? Despite this confusing conundrum, in just the last month alone, the atheists, skeptics, and humanists have taken quite a few swipes at God.
Nothwithstanding loss after loss in the courts, there seems to be a never ending stream of individuals and groups who are hell-bent on stripping the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. This past week, the American Humanist Association (AHA) went on the attack against the New Jersey Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District where students recite the Pledge daily.
As the Family Research Council reported:
It’s the group’s second lawsuit against ‘under God’ in a matter of months — only this time, AHA is trying a different tack. Borrowing a handful of buzzwords from the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate, the organization is now insisting that this kind of daily exercise treats ‘atheist and humanist children as second-class citizens, and certainly contributes to anti-atheist prejudices.’
An anonymous family filed the lawsuit against the New Jersey school district, complaining that the phrase added in 1954, “marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots.” According to the school district’s attorney David Rubin, the school is merely following state law, which requires the daily recitation of the pledge. And individual students are not required to participate. The AHA is also a plaintiff in a similar case in Massachusetts.
Mikey Weinstein, the staunchly anti-God founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), sent a letter last Thursday to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, calling on the U.S. military to severe its ties with the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
“The planned participation by uniformed U.S. military personnel in this private fundamentalist Christian religious event, run by a non-federal entity,” wrote Weinstein, “is an unequivocally clear violation of the plethora of DoD regulations and instructions.”
The National Day of Prayer began in 1952 when it was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The annual nationwide observance includes events and ceremonies held across the United States on the first Thursday in May.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force is organizing a Capitol Hill event featuring such notable speakers as the Dobsons, Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham, and Campus Crusade for Christ co-founder Vonette Bright.
The U.S. Armed Forces are scheduled to provide a band, color guard, and a yet to be determined speaker. And that’s what has Weinstein so riled up.
Brandon Jenkins was denied entry into a radiation therapy program at the Community College of Baltimore County due to his Christian faith. In a bombshell email, Adrienne Dougherty, the director of the radiation program, wrote, “I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the place for religion. We have many patients who come to us for treatment from many different religions and some who believe in nothing at all.”
Furthermore, during the interview process he was asked, “What is the most important thing to you?” According court documents, Mr. Jenkins allegedly replied, “My God.”
As a result, Ms. Dougherty also offered this “helpful” piece of advice to Jenkins in her email:
“If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.”
In a letter to the American Center for Law and Justice, the organization representing Jenkins, attorney Peter Saucier defended the school’s discriminatory actions.
“Stated bluntly, that is not bad advice,” Saucier wrote. “Mr. Jenkins was not advised to ignore, change or deny his religious views. The suggestion simply was that he not wear them on his sleeve as his best qualification.”
Apparently, a single mention of God when honestly answering an interview question, along with recommendation letters referring to his faith, were all that was necessary to disqualify Mr. Jenkins from the program.
About two weeks ago, a second grade student at Hamilton Elementary in Cypress, Texas was told to put her Bible away during a “read to myself” time. The teacher reportedly told the little girl that the Bible is inappropriate reading material.
Michael Berry, senior counsel with the Liberty Institute, said the teacher’s alleged actions were questionable given the fact that the school library contains copies of the Bible.
“So if it’s appropriate for their own library,” Berry asked, “why on Earth would it not be appropriate for their own students?”
Since these atheists actually don’t believe in God, then why is so much animus being directed at those who are doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment religious rights?
Truth be told, it’s not so much an actual matter of disbelief in God; it’s that they hate Him. They despise the idea of a God who has authority over their lives or who stands in opposition to their hedonistic pursuits. Others are bitter towards God due to some personal pain or tragedy. But their ‘shadow-boxing’ assaults rarely have anything to do with actual intellectual objections — these are just a facade, concealing the real issue(s). Never forget that fact when interacting with non-believers.
And Christians, as God’s visible representatives on earth, make for an easy target. Therefore, be prepared because the atheists will invariably keep swinging.
Our only hope is God’s counter punch of grace to their hearts.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.