Leave it to Christian scion Franklin Graham to explain the real reason American Atheists is telling people to “skip church” in the group’s new billboards:
The real answer, of course, is that there’s pressure to attend church this time of year. American Atheists wants you to know that you’re not alone if you don’t find that worthwhile. You don’t need to attend church to be a good person.
Graham’s explanation? The atheists are just afraid of the “power” of church:
The American Atheists have put up billboards to try to get people to skip church and “Just be good for goodness’ sake.” These people must be absolutely afraid of Christians going to church. I find that extremely interesting — they must know that there is power in God’s people gathering together to worship Him! I would like to invite the atheists to come and join us this Sunday — you would be welcome in God’s house. It’s not about being good; it’s about being saved and knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
We’re not “afraid” of people who go to church.
Most of us used to be people who went to church — and now we’ve outgrown it.
The target audience for the billboard are those who go to church to keep up with appearances and have no theological connection to whatever the pastor is saying. Fear plays a role in all this, but it’s not fear of God. It’s fear of the people who will judge you for not believing what they do.
I at least appreciate that Graham is up front with how Christianity doesn’t make you a better person. It’s all about salvation from a fictional punishment. You can be a murderer and still “win” with Christianity, whereas atheists know they’re responsible for their own actions.
Maybe he’s just upset that a simple billboard reminding people that there are other holiday options besides church is getting so much attention.