I was listening to an episode of the Laura Ingraham Show featuring Dan Barker, a former preacher who turned to atheism and current host of Freethought Radio on Air America. Barker was featured in a segment with Dinesh D'Souza, author of What's So Great About Christianity, on the subject of faith. As you can guess, Barker's position was not exactly friendly towards Christianity. Hearing Barker talk about how he "grew up" after he rejected Christianity and how he professed the superiority of reason and logic (which he claimed proves the Bible wrong) brought back some painful memories.
When I was young and stupid, I took Barker's position. Boy, did I ever! I was arrogant and thought God couldn't possibly exist because I believed He didn't touch my life in any way in spite of years of faithful service in my youth. I fell out of faith later in my teens after a particularly rough year and felt my youthful intellect was superior to God. As I got older, I found God never really left me, even during those tough times. What happened was that my understanding of God didn't grow up as I did.
When I opened my heart to God again, I reexamined my faith and came to terms with my past. The "I'm smarter than God" attitude fell away and was replaced with humility and respect for God's works. Instead of thinking facts and reason were at odds with faith, I found that they work in concert with faith. Opening up my heart opened up my life, and things continue to get better every day.
Barker's comments brought back a lot of memories, not all of them good. I am ashamed of the way I used to be, but without it, I would not have been able to find redemption now. I think one of the big areas where atheists fail is in not questioning their lack of faith. I firmly believe that in order to be comfortable with your life philosophy, you must question it from time to time. I didn't, and it's clear Barker hasn't yet.
Another area where atheists fall is when they become arrogant with their lack of faith. I've known atheists and agnostics over the years, and most are regular folks who respectfully disagree with people of faith. But there are those, like Barker and Michael Newdow, who have made it a holy crusade (ironically enough) to "prove" Christianity wrong. They place their faith (ironically enough again) in facts and logic, according to them. Yet, facts and logic can fail if one has incomplete or inaccurate information. But try telling that to someone like Barker. He's too busy proclaiming his superiority to Christians...setting himself up as a...god.
Irony abounds with the arrogant atheist front, doesn't it?
Listen, I have no problem with you if you question your faith in God or if you out and out reject God. That's your call, and you're welcome to it. But don't try to come off as though you're superior to me because I happen to believe in God. I've been down the "I'm smarter than Christians" road and it lead to a dead end for me. If it doesn't for you, great. But if you want me to respect your lack of faith, respect my abundance of faith.