Thursday, February 25, 2010

God be with you!

The following is from "Religion Without God" by Fulton Sheen

Scripture reminds us that if we would not have softening of the heart we will sooner of later have softening of the brain.

Let us suppose for a moment that God did not exist, suppose He belonged, as atheists claim to the mere realm of fiction and fairy-tale. In that case what is the difference between Don Quixote battling a windmill which he mistook for an enemy, and an atheistical Don Quixote battling a God Whom he takes as a fancy? What is the difference between an insane man swinging his arm as wings, because he believes the pads in his cell are clouds, and an atheist swinging his arms in fury because God is only make-believe? There is no difference if there be no God for both are fighting a figment of the imagination and that is what makes a man insane; viz., the projection of a fancy.

There is one fact that must be forever kept in mind and to the eternal credit of the atheist. The atheist at his desk is not the same as the crazy man in his cell: society incarcerates one but not the other, locks up one and lets the other loose – and why? Because the object the atheist is fighting is real, and the object the insane man is fighting is not. In other words what saves the atheist from the stigma of insanity is the fact that God is real, not like a dream but like an enemy at his door. Foch was not insane when he took grey uniforms to be the uniforms of an enemy; Washington was not a crazy man when he took the red coats to be English soldiers. They were real – real like the thrust of a sword or an embrace; and simply because God is real, because the enemy is a real and not a fictitious one, atheists must never be classed as mad men. It is the reality and objectivity of their enemy which makes them sane and sound. That is why one may speak of the Theism of Atheism.

The energy of atheists, their tireless propaganda, their spirited discourses, testify to a belief in God which puts to shame mere lip-worshippers. They are always thinking of God. Do men pour out such propaganda, flood the country with letters, the press with copy, and the air with speeches in protest against halitosis, fallen arches, the generalship of Napoleon, the meekness of Moses, the intelligence of the Piltdown man, the belief in ghosts, faith in centaurs? How account for the fact that a hatred of God excites men much more than a hatred of an enemy at our doors; how account for that fact that no man has ever dedicated himself to a negation, as such, except the negation of God? How account for such hatred merely on the grounds of negation? Does not a negative imply a positive? Would there be prohibition unless there was something to prohibit; would there be atheism if there was nothing to “atheate”? Men do not gather figs from thorns nor grapes from thistles, neither do they gather hate from a negation. Hate proves the reality of the object hated, and since God is the only Being Who is infinitely hated and infinitely loved, I must conclude not only that He is, but that He is infinite. And that always makes me feel doubly sorry for the atheist: he never can say Good-Bye (God be with you) to his friends.

1 comment:

  1. [W]hat saves the atheist from the stigma of insanity is the fact that God is real, not like a dream but like an enemy at his door."

    Well said dear Bishop.