Paris attacks inspire anti-religious sentiment
A street performance of ‘Imagine’ says it all
In the wake of the recent tragic terrorist attacks, a popular video on YouTube with nearly a million views shows an unnamed pianist before a crowd on the street in Paris playing a piano with a giant ‘peace sign’ painted on it.1 He’s playing John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”—a song with a strongly secular humanist, antireligious message. In the lyrics, Lennon writes,
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today …
… Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace …2
Lennon’s point with this song is clearly to blame all religion for why this world isn’t a better place, and to blame religion for the many wars that are continually fought in human history. France, along with most of the world, has bought into the deception of secular humanism and evolution, and now, in the face of this tragedy, it appears that at least some Parisians are blaming the concept of God itself for the attacks, rather than attributing them to the evil choices made by these radical cult members.
Unfortunately, Lennon was apparently blind to the implications of this humanistic worldview he was promoting. If there is no heaven or hell, that means there is no ultimate reward or punishment for anything you do while living on this earth. This was what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’” (1 Corinthians 15:32)
What does a world look like with no moral constraints from God? Far from the peaceful paradise that Lennon ‘imagines’, the history of the 20th century bore out the results, as the Marxist, atheistic communist regimes took over and committed murder and genocide on a mass scale never before seen in history. The simple fact is, the true morality of the Bible looks absolutely nothing like the actions taken by militant Islamists. To associate all religion, including Christianity, with such heinous acts is nothing more than a dishonest smear and a straw man. Jesus taught people to love even their enemies, and bless them (Matthew 5:43–48). Would a consistent application of that biblical morality have yielded these attacks? Certainly not! See also What about bad things done by the Church?
Actually, even the leading atheopath Richard Dawkins (b. 1941) had a rare moment of clarity about this:
There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.3
In reality, God is the basis for absolute morality. When you throw out God (that is, God as revealed in the Bible), you throw out the things that God gives us, including an objective right and wrong. If materialistic evolution is true, then our actions are determined entirely by our environment and physical brains, ruled by the laws of physics, as even the leading evolutionist, William Provine (1942–2015) has admitted.
Dawkins, in one of his more typical moods, said that we inhabit a universe which has “no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”4 Where, in this worldview, is there any room to say that what these Muslim terrorists have done is ‘wrong’? And how were the atheistic mass-murdering dictators of the last century ‘wrong’ for that matter—they were being consistent with a worldview that lacks ultimate right and wrong.
When terrible things like this happen, people always are moved to ask why a good God would allow such evil things to take place; but what people sometimes fail to realize is the very idea of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ that they are using to judge the situation comes only from God in the first place. Take this as an opportunity to share the Good News with those who are looking for answers!
References and notes
- Pianist performs John Lennon’s Imagine after Paris attacks, youtube.com, 14 November 2015. Return to text.
- “Imagine”, azlyrics.com, accessed 18 November 2015. Return to text.
- Cited in: Gledhill, R., Scandal and schism leave Christians praying for a ‘new Reformation’, The Times (UK), 2 April 2010. Return to text.
- Dawkins, C.R., River out of Eden, Weidenfeld and Nicolswi, Chapter 4, 1995. Return to text.