In a recent post, I talked about an Ad campaign being run in D.C. by Atheists who wanted to encourage one another they are not alone:
In response, a group of Christians have begun their own ad campaign, raising thousands of dollars during the holiday season to do so:
You can probably guess that while I don't agree with the atheist ad, I'm not particularly offended by it, and don't see a need to raise thousands of dollars to throw an ad back to them...escalating into what could spark a national ad campaign in both directions. Money and effort could and should be used in much better areas.
I usually let things like this go, but since I noticed the woman heading up the Christian campaign had a Facebook publicly displayed on her website, I might as well send her a message. I politely told her I was disappointed at her efforts, and that I wasn't sure she was sending the right message. This was her response to me:
I respect what you have to say, but I think that if you reflect more deeply on it you will recall that Christ spent his time proclaiming the Good News.
Once people hear the message of God then we will have more people assisting the poor. If all I do is help the poor (which I do), I am limited and can't reach everyone. But if I evengelize and get others to help me, the numbers we can reach are limitless.
I love our message because it reminds people that God is a personal God who created them individually and loves them as individuals. Entering into a personal relationship with God helps the individual beyond measure. And the ripple effect of that will only be known in heaven. There are different types of poverty - and spiritual poverty is definitely not something to be ignored.
Thank you for your email. (In case you're interested, I've only heard one other comment similar to yours. There is a great deal of excitement over the opportunity to contribute to an ad that rebutts the athiests.)
Even with all the good involved in what she is saying here, that last parenthesis is the part that I'm not a big fan of. And it seems to be what continues to drive her efforts.
Here's hoping it's a short-lived effort that fizzle's out, instead of inflaming more responses on both sides of the issue. May we forgive and love in a way that echoes Christ. Because despite what she says, forgiveness and love are ALWAYS good ways of proclaiming the Good News. Possibly even better than buying a billboard... (crud. Is this blog post a way of me rebutting her? crud crud crud crud.)
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