“If you don’t matter to god,” says this advertisement for Answers in Genesis, “you don’t matter to anyone.”
Let us break down this non-sequituur. It states the following:
1. God determines whether your life has meaning
2. You must matter to god so you matter at all
C: Matter to god, or else you won’t matter at all.
I’ve chosen “at all” instead of to anyone for the present. But the underlying connotation of the video itself is one of a gun to the head, god being the bullet and meaning is the barrel. The entire project is riddled with cracks from a shaky foundation: a child with a gun? Pointing it at the camera? Shooting? And this is meant to confirm that life only has meaning with the god of the Bible.
It is an extension of the dangerous mindsets it allows to slowly boil over into the realms of madness. One need only think of cases like Paul Hill, who killed John Britton; or mullahs who beat women in Islamic countries. This disgusting affront to human sensibilities really rubs itself in the blood of the past to draw a crimson case for the present.
It is a threat, pure and simple. If you don’t matter to god, your life becomes meaningless. It means anyone, like this child in their advert with the “wife-beater”, can kill you – and no one should take a stand. Why? Because, well, you don’t matter to god, you evil amoral atheist. Adverts like this can only advocate discord in the echoing minds of the faithful. It can add and increase and reach a crescendo of violent actualisation, where someone takes this as a culpable inference to duty. It states that this person does not matter to my god, therefore, I can do what I want to him. Why? Well god obviously does not care about him – so why should I?
How can anyone watch this and not see this is almost reminiscent of racist propaganda? We don’t need this arbitrary god to be the one deciding what and who matters. How on earth can Christians have access to the mind of an ineffable deity?
We don’t need this tripe to decide for us, we need open mindedness, open dialogue, compassion and respect for each other. I don’t care about your views on god and you shouldn’t care about mine – that should not stop us from being able to engage as human brethren on the basis of our DNA, our fingers, our navels. When can we start laughing at the stupidity of our past, in a mutual clutching of glee, instead of clutching the myths and scavenging in the shadows of falling idols as most people do.
Answers in Genesis is no more disgusting than its advert, so perhaps for coherence’s sake the advert actually works. Gazing through this attempt at nonsense – because even nonsense will at least have the decency to not attempt to be science – one finds such nutshells of intelligence with: “evolution is actually contrary to the principles of science.” They constantly brandish their weapons of abstract bluntness against the side of evolution, never bothering to say how they plan on explaining what evolution does. See, one can not just poke holes in a theory – an entirely human theory and therefore fallible but one backed by what Richard Dawkins calls “mountains of mutually supporting evidence” – one also must establish ones own way of explaining the mechanisms involved. Thus, the Einsteinian revolution over the Newtonian; how astronomy seceded from philosophy and became its own brand of evidence based science; and so on.
Luckily, there are great websites fighting the attempt at nonsense, such as No Answers in Genesis and Answers in Genesis BUSTED! However, the important point to note about Answers in Genesis is their proliferation of the blood-in-the-mouth violence that can easily be given a spark from such an advertisement, how incredibly threatening and insulting it is, and, finally, how completely illogical the entire endeavour is.
And if I’m wrong, forgive me.