Okay … the Center for Inquiry recently sponsored one of the dumbest competitions I have ever seen. To enter, a contestant needed to create a statement, phrase, or poem that would normally be considered blasphemous. The competition was a part of Blasphemy Day 2009. Normally, I try to ignore stupidity on both sides of the spectrum; however, this one has me fired up for some reason. The Center of Inquiry is an organization that hopes to foster in a world, “devoted to promoting science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.” In other words, a world of free-thinkers, provided you aren’t thinking about God or religion.
I’m all for free-thinking and I am fairly certain God is as well. My common response to the question of why a good God would allow anyone to go to Hell is that He obviously thinks it is important for people to be free to reject Him. I believe that free-thinking is an inalienable, God-given right. I also believe that stupidity of this nature should be exposed and confronted.
One of the goals of the Center for Inquiry as presented on their website is to end the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever. I’m all for that goal as stated. I believe that atheists are every bit a creation of God as I am; however, I believe that competitions such as the “blasphemy challenge” reveal more about the organization than they will ever admit. I suspect their real goals are less about ending the stigma attached to nonbelievers and more about reattaching that stigma to Christians. The competition is unproductive, divisive and should be an insult to all free-thinkers … religious or not.