Where Are the Atheists?

For the better part of the past month and a half, our collective conscience has been focused on Florida. The state has been devastated by a series of powerful hurricanes. The cumulative effects of Charles, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne have prompted President Bush to ask Congress for $7.1 billion in repairs and clean-up.
It has been interesting to note all of the religious entities that have also stepped in to help in disaster recovery. Baptists, Methodists, Adventists, Lutherans, and Catholics are just a few of the denominational bodies that have mobilized volunteers to assist. These church-related groups work in concert with the federal government (i.e., FEMA) in an effort to relieve the hurting masses. They donate goods and clothing, provide child care, offer stress-management counseling services, provide temporary shelter, repair housing, set up food kitchens and shower facilities, furnish laundry details, provide hot meals, distribute cleaning supplies, send out chain-saw crews, and render other humanitarian aid.
While we commend those who give of their time, effort and monies to hurricane recovery, I think we need to ask a question: “Where are all of the atheists during this crucial time?” Really. Thousands of humble people pledge their hands and hearts to storm victims, but not the unbelievers. Why not? How many meals do they serve? How many homes do they repair? How do they help carry the financial burden in the storm-stricken south? Where is 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 14:1a; cf. 10:4). Atheists can neither give, nor receive; all they can do is suffer and watch others do the same. How sad (1 John 3:17).

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Mike Benson

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