You may have already heard about the news story that leads to my blog post, you can find an article on it here: Anti-religion Sign Joins Nativity Scene…. Now, there’s a whole blog post just from that article, but I have to get to my main discussion point here; Dan Barker on Fox and Friends this morning trying to make some kind of point about us Christians “stealing” the winter solstice from “them,” and drawing a bizarre connection between having a creche (nativity scene) of the baby Jesus with Hell…and dictatorship.
Apparently Dan Barker is another proselytizer for the “new atheism.” This was my introduction to him, and I’ve found quite a bit about him online of course.
First, December 25th is indeed the time set aside in the church’s liturgical calendar to remember or commemorate Christ’s birth. Pretty much every Christian I know readily acknowledges that Christ wasn’t literally born on the 25th of December. So, this Dan Barker (spokesperson, and co-president for “freedom from religion”) goes of on this odd notion that Christians “stole” the winter solstice from them, meaning the atheists…hunh.
Does Dan Barker not realize that the celebration of the winter solstice was not humanistic, that it had religious, sacred, and/or spiritual overtones, even when it wasn’t Christian? How about the fact of the celebration of Hanukkah, the festival of lights, also falls at this time of year?
Besides those obvious facts, how in the world is adding in a day to celebrate Christ (and St. Nick for that matter) “stealing” anything? There was no logical argument given, it just came across as a child stamping his foot over some perceived slight.
Then he starts talking about the baby Jesus, and winds up trying to throw in a bit about Hell (it seems that’s what he thinks about when looking at a nativity scene), and how that baby Jesus became a dictator. Now, I fully realize this is the same Dan Barker that can’t even admit that Jesus was a real, honest to goodness person that did in fact exist. The idea of the “Jesus myth” (where someone claims Jesus of Nazareth never existed in any form) is so illogical as to defy description. There are a majority of scholars from all backgrounds that readily admit the existence of Jesus, even if they do not believe He’s the Son of God. So, I should be prepared for illogical tangents, but the one about baby Jesus becoming a dictator was a red herring I didn’t really expect…especially since Barker supposedly doesn’t even believe Jesus ever really existed.
Of course in our society it is quite clear when someone refers to someone else as a dictator, especially in a context like this, that they are employing a dysphemism. It is an attempt to sway listeners’ emotions in a negative fashion…and this is what Dan Barker attempted to to do by linking the term “dictator” to Jesus (baby Jesus at that). The later comments by viewers of Fox News, and additional thoughts by the anchors reveal that Barker’s attempt at emotional manipulation (unsurprisingly) backfired.
Who can seriously listen to someone who directly tries to smear Jesus in His infant state by tossing around words like “dictator,” and pouting about Christmas? It struck me as a good thing he was broadcast on-air with all of this rhetoric, since it should show people how illogical, and emotional those like Dan Barker really are. Yes, we again have an example of a “new atheist” blatantly resenting Jesus whilst at the same time trying to maintain that He doesn’t exist in the first place…funny that.