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Faces on Faith: Advertising nothing

By Staff | Apr 15, 2015

It goes without saying that regular network television treats us to advertisements for a seemingly endless array of items that one never believed one needed.

Indeed, much of what is advertised on TV is only needed by a rather small segment of the population.

After all, how many new cars can one person own, and so many items just don’t apply. I thought I had seen just about every thing I could possibly imagine advertised on television when last week I saw an advertisement for atheism.

The recognizable spokesperson stated that he was “unabashedly atheist,” since 12 we are told. His advertisement/invitation was to join him in supporting an organization that supported the separation of Church and State, and, I gathered, supported the making of commercials that proclaim that some people do not believe in God or any higher power.

Something that I was already was acutely aware of. Upon reflection I realized that the commercial really wasn’t offering any thing to its listeners, except the comfort gained by knowing there are others who think the same way.

There was no promise of hope in the midst of despair, there was no promise of help in a time of need, there was no promise of comfort in overwhelming loss.

Indeed, nothing was offered; it was a commercial about nothing!

Not an insignificant percentage of the world has just celebrated the great Christian feast of Easter, a moment when Christians “unabashedly” proclaim a God who loves us so much that He sent his Son into our world.

That Son would embrace suffering and death in order to gain for us eternal life. Not only is God very much alive for us, but that same God is responsible for the world in which we live, and is the very foundation of all societies and all law.

Our founding fathers were right in not enforcing any particular religion and, in that sense, keeping government and religion separate. But our founding fathers were not a religious or devoid of faith, and I suspect that they would be amused by those who say “they intended” to keep all things spiritual out of the public sphere.

For men and women of faith we need no proof for what we believe, but neither can we prove to unbelievers that God exists. As the letter to the Hebrews states, “faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see” (Heb. 11:1).

An atheist speaking on a recent CNN special about atheism said he “would believe if there was any evidence of God in the world around him.”

For those of us celebrating the Lord’s Resurrection the world is replete with signs of God’s presence among us.

Indeed, if we were to have a commercial for men and women of faith, we would not be offering nothing, but we would be offering something that makes life worth living, something that is truly a catalyst for good, and something for which there is no cost.

What faith truly supports, is the very lives that each and every one of us leads.

-Rev. Christopher Senk, St. Isabel’s Roman Catholic Church