David Silverman, president of American Atheists Inc., is Jewish and an atheist. He is getting into the spirit of Christmas by telling people they don’t need Christmas with a “Who Needs Christ During Christmas?” campaign.
Silverman goes further than declaring that no one needs Christ (which is not a name) at Christmas. He’s going with “Christmas is better without Christ.” Better for whom and for what? And who gets to define “better”?
Mr. Silverman and his ilk are thieves. They live in a world created by God. They breathe His air and feed off the bounty of the earth that God created, “for in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28). Silverman wants the fruit of Christ without the root, but there is no accounting for fruit without the root.
Years ago Dr. D. James Kennedy (1930-2007), pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, preached a seasonal sermon titled “Merry Tifton!” It was a modern parable on how people celebrate a holiday without ever understanding why. The application goes beyond what David Silverman does not believe. It includes those who also participate in the bounty of this world while never acknowledging the One who makes it all possible. Here’s the text and the video of Dr. Kennedy’s sermon.
As an atheist, Silverman believes that there is no need for God. The accidental coming together of atoms and molecules animated with a charge of electrical energy is all that Mr. Silverman can offer.
There is no accounting for what is “better” or “worse” in such a world. Stuff just happens. As one of Mr. Silverman’s prophets writes, “DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”1 DNA-animated Nazis brutalized and murdered 6 million Jews, who are DNA-animated Jews to object? Who is anyone to object? Where does the morality come from in a godless matter-only cosmos? Who determines what’s “better”?
Hitler declared that the world is better off without Jews. Who can say otherwise? An atheist like David Silverman is an “interloper on God’s territory. Everything he uses to construct his system has been stolen from God’s ‘construction site.’ The unbeliever is like the little girl who must climb on her father’s lap to slap his face. . . . [T]he unbeliever must use the world as it has been created by God to try to throw God off His throne.”2
I would love for Mr. Silverman to be a real consistent atheist for one week without borrowing from the theistic worldview. “In New York, the victims of all nine [knock out] punching attacks reported so far appear to be Jewish, and the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit is investigating.” What’s “wrong” in attacking Jews in Mr. Silverman’s world with no ultimate Judge of behavior?
How does a person counter the following given atheistic assumptions?:
“Laurie Cumbo, New York City Councilwoman-elect and ally of newly elected mayor Bill de Blasio, just outed herself as an anti-Semite. In a 1,200 word Facebook post, she wrote that the ‘knockout game’ violence stems from growing concern about Jewish influence.”
One person’s pain from a knockout punch is another person’s “better” in a world where people get to define what’s “better.” “Jewish success” is not better for those doing the knocking out.
- Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: HarperCollins/BasicBooks, 1995), 133. [↩]
- John A. Fielding III, “The Brute Facts: An Introduction of the Theology and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til,” The Christian Statesman 146:2 (March-April 2003), 30. [↩]