googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: What George Jones Can Teach Us About Atheists

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What George Jones Can Teach Us About Atheists

George Jones died last Friday (April 26). Jones was an icon of country music since before I was born. I admit that my father was literally a hillbilly, having been born and raised in eastern KY, and he was also a big fan of country music. Jones was one of my dad's favorites. I remember being only five or six and sitting with my father, in his den, listening to the old vinyl records of Jones and other country singers. Later, I actually bought him the Best of George Jones and Tammy Wynette on 8-track. That gives you an idea of how old I am.

Anyway, Jones wasn't what anyone would call a model Christian character. He was married four times. His early career was marred by alcoholism and later he became involved in cocaine. I'm not trying to disparage the man, mind you, I'm just trying to say that Jones is not usually the kind of person we would turn to for spiritual advice.

Stay with me, because I'm going somewhere with this.

So, I'm watching some George Jones videos on YouTube – He Stopped Loving Her Today is probably my favorite – when a thought occurred to me. One of Jones' biggest hits was, She Thinks I Still Care. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to watch it.

Here's the first stanza of the song:

Just because I asked a friend about her
Just because I spoke her name somewhere
Just because I saw her then went all to pieces
She thinks I still care

Excuse the gross alliteration but the story in the song is simple: the man has lost the woman he loves – a typical country theme – and he begins doing little things like asking friends how she's doing, “accidentally” calling her number, going to the same places they used to go together, etc. He denies that these things mean he still cares about her but as you hear all the things he does, you know that he obviously still does.

What, then, can George Jones teach us about atheists? Let me give you a theory. People may deny feeling or believing certain things.  But when they obsess over that thing they deny, it belies their denials. Have you ever noticed that? Maybe so. I know I certainly have.

I believe in God. I believe the Bible. I believe in creation. I'm not coy about my beliefs and spend a great deal of time defending them. If you've ever read my blog, you'll see that I'm sincere. Conversely, I don't believe in Big Foot, I don't believe professional wrestling is real, and I don't believe in alien abductions. These things aren't important to me. If other people want to believe in them, I don't care. I think it's foolish but I guess people have the right to be foolish. I'm not going to waste a lot of my time trying to talk them out of it.

I think a lot of people feel the same way that I do. How many websites have you visited that are dedicated to disproving Big Foot? People might mention it, as I've done here, but they don't dedicate a blog to it. They don't write books about their non-belief.  They don't visit college campuses and lay out their arguments against Big Foot for impressionable, young students.  In other words, they don't obsess about it.

You probably see where I'm going with this but let me spell it out. Atheists claim they don't believe in God. I get it. To them, my belief in God is about as rational as a belief in alien abductions. However, atheists don't “not believe” in God the same way that I don't believe in Big Foot. They don't passively disbelieve but rather, they actively promote their disbelief. They blog about how foolish it is to believe in God. They wax on and on about how science has disproved the Bible and Jesus wasn't a real person.  They write books and make speeches about why they don't believe... yadda, yadda, yadda. They want to not believe and they also want everyone else to not believe. Atheists obsess about the idea of God.

Isn't that curious?  I mean, if I were an unbeliever, why should it bother me if someone else believed in God? I'm sure it also wouldn't bother me even if someone tried to persuade me to believe in God. It doesn't bother me now, for example, when people try to convince me there's a Big Foot. I listen politely but later I put it out of my mind. It's not so with atheists. They militantly brandish their unbelief and would bludgeon Christians with it if they could.

I think I know the reason why they speak so. They deny there's a God but their continued obsession belies their denial. They act like they don't care about the existence of God but, as George Jones said, I think they still care.


Todd Williams said...

I would agree that many atheists are like this. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Anonymous said...

Like I said before: Love those types of post. Atheists can be really annoying sometimes...
Where's the tolerance towards others people beliefs? Faith has always been part of human nature.

I visit your blog every day.

God Bless!

Steven J. said...

On your own insistence, it matters considerably more whether God exists than whether Bigfoot, or even intelligent extraterrestrials, exist. Surely, on that ground alone, theism would be more worth arguing over than the existence and distribution of yetis.

And then there are the political consequences of beliefs. For example, creationists want as much pseudoscience favoring their theology taught in science classes as they can get away with, for example; surely you can understand why we would wish to dissuade you from trying and others from cooperating with such attempts?

It would be almost trivial to adduce further examples. You can believe in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, and this has pretty much no implications at all for your views on blasphemy laws, marriage laws, etc. Now, if a large number of people shared David Icke's belief that, e.g. Queen Elizabeth II and the Bush family are reptilian space aliens, that would presumably have important political consequences, so I suppose it is also relevant how widely a belief is shared to how reasonable it is to make a point of opposing it. I think we can agree that young-earth creationism is more widely-held than belief in an alien lizard conspiracy.