Grace Tabernacle, a church right around the corner from my house, has a marquee where they often post interesting messages. This one (which they have up currently) particularly rilled me:
I decided to write them a letter and put it in their mailbox. (I would have nailed it to the door like Martin Luther, but the door was glass and I didn’t want to vandalize the building. Here is what my letter said:
Dear Grace Tabernacle,
I saw your sign “You should buy an atheist a Christmas gift” and being an atheist myself, thought I would give you my wish-list:
For Christmas I would like Christians to show they are Christians by their love, not by their hate and distrust of others.
For Christmas I would like for Christians to stop demonizing atheists, to realize that not only are we good and moral people, but we’re your co-workers, classmates, family, friends, and neighbors; neighbors you should love as yourselves.
For Christmas I would like to be included as a person with worth and value. I would like Christians, who compromise 80% of the country and a super majority in every government body, school, and business to stop perpetuating the myth that they are a persecuted minority.
For Christmas I would like Christians and non-Christians to stop mischaracterizing one another. For example: When an atheist says “secular,” we do not mean “greedy, amoral materialism,” we mean “equality and tolerance, where no one religious faith is given special privileges over another.” Ask any atheist and they will tell you this.
For Christmas I would like us to work together, as stewards of the earth, to make this place better for ourselves, our children, and our neighbors. Belief in God is not a prerequisite for love and understanding, but love and understanding are prerequisites for improving our lives and living peacefully together.
On behalf of atheists everywhere, I wish you and your love ones a safe and joyous Christmas.
And then I signed it “an atheist”
I can’t wait to see how they respond. Perhaps they’ll change their sign and message me that way.