The reverend Billy Graham, probably the most recognized evangelical minister of the past 50 years, is doing his part to prove that evangelical ministers cannot seem to presume anything about atheism that isn’t intellectually devoid, completely unsubstantiated and just outright wrong.
Or maybe I should let his recent My Answer piece speak for itself and let you be the judge.
The kindest, most thoughtful person I know says she’s an atheist and doesn’t even believe in God. I always thought we needed to believe in God before we’d behave like she does, but I guess this isn’t necessarily true, is it? — S.K.
I’m convinced that when a person comes to Jesus Christ and commits his or her life to Him, they will become a better person than they ever were before. If your atheist friend comes to Christ some day, she’ll be an even better person than she is now.
Why is she such a kind and thoughtful person? I don’t know the reason; perhaps she simply has a sunny personality (as some people do), or perhaps her parents taught her to be kind and considerate when she was growing up. But I do know this: She’s not this way because she’s an atheist. In fact, she’s this way in spite of her atheism — because a true atheist has no real reason to believe in right and wrong, or to behave sacrificially toward others.
Pray for her, that God will open her eyes — not only to His existence, but also to His love for her. And ask God to help you be a witness to her of Christ’s love and transforming power. On the outside, she may seem self-sufficient and indifferent toward God — but inside she may be spiritually empty and searching for inner peace.
Wow. Amazing. Billy knows… yes, he said knows… that an atheist cannot possibly be sincerely kind and considerate to others, because “a true atheist has no real reason to believe in right and wrong, or to behave sacrificially toward others.”
Because being good for goodness sake is such a terrible reason for altruism when compared to, say, being good because you think there’s an invisible man that will fry you in a fiery lake if you aren’t nice to people.
So if you meet a nice atheist, Billy Graham wants you to rest assured that being freed from the whips and chains of an imaginary deity does not cause you to behave better. He or she is behaving for some other reason. Not at all because the realization that this is the only life one gets inspires one to make good use of that life and make it easier for others and future generations as well. No. That can’t be it.
Here’s something I suspect, Reverend Asshat. I doubt that this atheist becoming a Christian will make her a better person than she is now. Especially if she decides to use the Bible as justification for homophobia, misogyny, and being an all-around presumptuous, idiotic, officious prick.
I am not “spiritually empty,” or searching for “inner peace.” Spirits do not exist, Billy. And I’ve got plenty of inner peace. And if you resent the way atheists view Christianity, perhaps you might not want to exacerbate the problem by making shit up to support your backwards worldview.