Too often, faith and reason are seen as incompatible, as if believing in God means you're just not smart enough to know better. Never was that misguided notion more obvious than in this year's atheist Christmas campaign. (There's an oxymoron if ever there was one!) The giant billboard on the approach to New York City says, "You know it's a myth. This season, celebrate reason!" Those of us inside the Church, which has been -- and continues to be -- filled with some of the greatest minds of history and modern time, know better.
I opted to ignore the campaign. Mainly because it seemed so ridiculous it didn't deserve my energy. Then again, I didn't see it live and in person. Here's a great column from someone who did. Kathy Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, writes about her reaction to the campaign in her column in the current edition of the Long Island Catholic:
I recently saw a billboard that took my breath away. It didn’t leave me breathless in a “just woke up to the first snowfall of the season” kind of way; it was more like a “just witnessed a horrific car accident” gasp. The 48-foot advertisement, sponsored by the American Atheists organization, depicted a silhouetted Nativity scene with the bold words: “You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason!”
I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Like every moral lesson I had ever been taught by my parents, every prayer I recited for the nuns at school, every Scripture passage I listened to on countless Sunday mornings were being derided as lies. My deeply held religious beliefs were being publicly mocked for all the world to see.
Recovering my breath, I suddenly felt angry. Because in addition to attacking Christmas and disrespecting my faith, that billboard implies that I’m stupid. It says that Christians can’t be rational thinking people, that faith and reason cannot be joined, and if you have one, you cannot possibly have the other.
Rubbish. Faith is not an excuse to evade thinking. Faith and reason are not competing alternatives. They are, as Pope John Paul II has said, “like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth” (Fides et Ratio, 1998).
Continue reading HERE.