Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

3 August 2008

Atheism on the rise in Canada


Interesting article in this morning's Toronto Star about the rise of atheism in Canada, focusing on Christopher diCarlo who was raised Catholic but will be named Canada's "humanist of the year". Here are a few highlights...

Like any little boy, he asked his mother about right and wrong and the makeup of the world. But it wasn't the questions that made him doubt his family's religion, he says, it was the answers. "It's when you get into conversations with Mom and you ask, `Why is the sky blue?' and she says, `Well, it's God's favourite colour.'"

"It doesn't bother me that people are religious or spiritual up until it moves them to do something that harms others," he says."You can worship squirrels for all I care."

Statistics Canada reports that atheism is now the second-largest belief system in the country, at 16.3 per cent in the 2001 census, behind Catholicism at 43.2 per cent. In 1971, only 1 per cent of Canadians identified as atheist.

Gone are the days, she says, when people feared being labelled as immoral for lacking a religion. Atheists, she says, have made the case that religion is not a prerequisite for being a good person. "I had a friend who was very religious and said, `I'm going to pray for you,'" Meidell recalls. "I said, `It's okay, you don't need to pray for me. You can if you want, but it's not going to change who I am.'" "And I am a good person. I'm a very caring person. I care for my cats and other people."

Many offer weekly meetings on Sundays, debates and movie nights. Some even offer secular weddings and funerals and alternatives to church-based 12-step meetings that emphasize belief in a greater power.

But what ties them together is a strong belief in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and a reverence for those who dedicate their lives to it.

I'm not a fan of the pat answers that Christians give to questions. The God's favorite colour answers. Why is the science behind the sky being blue intimidating? According to HowStuffworks.com... this is why the sky is blue...

when you look at the sky on a clear day, you can see the sun as a bright disk. The blueness you see everywhere else is all of the atoms in the atmosphere scattering blue light toward you. (Because red light, yellow light, green light and the other colors aren't scattered nearly as well, you see the sky as blue.)


Ooooooooo... blasphemous.

List the things you see in that list that God DID make.
  1. Sky
  2. day
  3. sun
  4. colour
  5. atoms
  6. atmosphere
  7. light
I'm constantly amazed that we feel so threatened by perceived threats to our faith. Does your faith get rocked by the science of how things function? The reality is that atheists don't care what you worship. You're totally free to worship God in our culture. You'll likely be considered intellectually unsound until proven otherwise... but this is largely our own darn fault for letting the church become so impotent.

Can people be good without God? People do GREAT things without God on earth yeah. The "without God" crowd has actually had a pretty good run as the "with Goder's" sit in fellowship halls drinking orange drink. The question however isn't "can people be good without God". The question is, "can people be good?" And the answer is no man.

"I am a Christian therefore I am good" is an attititude that Christians have, for some odd reason, given off over the years that has so tainted our culture's view 0f the followers of Jesus. Where did we get off thinking that we were BETTER??

Romans 2-3

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Forgiveness for our sins is something that athesim cannot replicate. I'm as Christian as they come. I'm unapogetic about it. It's the central plot of my story. It's the driving force of my days. I intentionally get up in the morning trying to find new ways to be more like Jesus. And most days I'm a train wreck of a Christian with tiny blips of hope. I am NOT a good person. Neither are you deep down. Sorry Bill (Note: I don't know a "Bill... well my friend Sam's dad calls him Bill... but I digress) . But each day... I know that because of the Cross, Jesus washes away my moral, social and faithless failings. He unburdeds my spirit and gives me another fresh start the next day.

I sat in a hospital room this week with a very soon to be first time mom who would the next day loose HER mom. Her and her new husband looked at me and said, "I don't know how people get through this life without God". I have to agree. I no longer know either. The closer I get to God, the more I releasize just how wretched my heart is... and what a relief forgiveness is. It's why Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

It's something we all search desparately for and something I'm afraid a growing number of Canadians are missing as they choose to place their hopes... in nothing.



8 comments:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Dave and all,

The world descends towards greater disasters and debacle than humanity has ever known, and clueless people are still fighting over ages-old lies and delusions. If we don't take effective and proactive steps quickly, there will be very little left to haggle over. The only way humanity will survive the great dangers that now loom large is through wisdom and cooperation.

In that spirit, I am taking concrete action, in my own way, to end the rancor and deception. Since I am neither an atheist, skeptic, or a follower of any religion, please don't assume that I am trying to defend any of these groups or their positions. In fact, I'm going to kill all of your sacred cows so we can finally have truth, justice, wisdom, and peace.

Open Letter to Religious Leaders
Open Letter to Atheists and Skeptics

The time for the removal of ignorance has arrived, like a thief in the night !!!

Jeff said...

Man, Dave, better post another guard at the entrance to your cow farm. Gotta keep this guy out, or you'll be having nothing but steak for three years...

Dave Carrol said...

Well hello Seven Star... what a lovely pop in. I just read this in your letter to the atheists...

"I am the long-awaited Messiah and a redundantly proven prophet. With that said, I am going to say up front that I am in the process of demonstrating that prophecy is valid, but once again, that religion and skeptics alike are wrong about what that means. I have been able to repeatedly demonstrate things that both sides of this divide are not too pleased with. For skeptics, it means something exists that they deny and for the Three Faiths, it proves that their prophecy expectations are false."

Now... I know that I'm not the one with all the answers. But REALLY? Billions are all wrong and you're the guy we've all been waiting... OR NOT WAITING for?

Blog world a wild and wooly place kids.

Mike said...

Yea, "where did we get off thinking we are better". I don't know. The problem is that in many cases we are not better.

Dave Carrol said...

I wonder if we actually think that or if it just comes off that way because of the "us" and "them" that comes with evangelicalism.

I guess it's in how we approach sharing Jesus. I've talked to many that are surprised when I can actually carry a conversation with explicitly trying to convert them. That I'd care about their actual life and not just be a Jesus pusher.

Truth is... is that I am a jesus pusher because I believe He's the answer but sharing him comes in sharing life real life too. I find that one of the best ways to be able to share Christ is in admit our failings and sins ESPECIALLY to people who aren't Christians.

It's sad that many Christians feel like they have to put on a false front of perfection. Using phrases like "I know you think I have it all together" when the people are looking at us NOT thinking THAT at all! ha

JaaJoe said...

I would highly suggest for you, and any one else interested to read the book ""The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions." by self-professed secular Jew and mathematics/philosophies teacher David Berlinski.
This tells the story of a Jew who was forced to dig his own grave prior to being shot by a German soldier. Prior to being shot, the old Jewish man advised the German that “God is watching what you are doing.” The Jewish gentleman pointed what i think is the real problem with atheism. "If you have the time please check the book out

Samuel Skinner said...

Plato is rolling in his grave. He proved in the Euthyphro dilemma that God and religion are irrelevant for morality. It is nice to know that David Berlinski flunked History of Western Civilization.

Dave Carrol said...

That sir is a very intelligent response to which I may only quoth Homer.

"Scooby Doo can doo doo but Jimmy Carter is smarter"

Homer Simpson I meant.
I meant...

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