By Tom Quiner

Last night was big.

It was my 32nd anniversary of becoming a parent.

And it was another anniversary.

I attended the beautiful Easter Vigil Mass at my church. It was the 32nd anniversary of my entrance into the Catholic Church, an act whose significance grows each day. My baby boy and I both came into the Church that evening in 1981.

This is my first Easter as a grandparent. Life is good!

The sweep of the Catholic Easter Vigil is awe-inspiring.

It is epic.

In two-and-a-half hours, we relive four millennia of God’s love for man, culminating in the the death and resurrection of His Son.

As I basked in the glow of God’s salvation history for man, I couldn’t help but think of my lenten journey. And I couldn’t help but think of Richard Dawkins and Steven Hawking.

Lent began with Ash Wednesday. Catholics believe we come from dust, and to dust we shall return. It is God who breathes life into the dust to create life.

In other words, Catholics believe existence comes from an Intelligent Designer, God.

Mssrs. Dawkins and Hawking believe existence comes from nothing.

It just kinda happened.

Okay.

They’ve got their religion. I’ve got mine.

As I went up for communion, I thought of Mr. Dawkins’ comments at a gathering of evangelical atheists last year called “The Reason Rally.” He preached to the gathered acolytes the need to go beyond mere proselytizing his nihilistic religion, he encouraged mockery of my faith:

“Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged – and if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt. For example, if they say they’re Catholic: Do you really believe, that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood? Mock them. Ridicule them! In public!”

What is there about Eucharist that so terrifies Dawkins and his followers? Seriously. As I went up for Communion, I thought of Dawkins’parting shot:

“When you meet somebody who claims to be religious, ask them what they really believe. I don’t despise religious people; I despise what they stand for.”

So, in response to Mr. Dawkins and his band of evangelical atheists, I humbly respond to his challenge:

Yes, I believe God created the universe.

Yes, I believe Jesus is Lord, and destroyed death.

Yes, I believe Jesus is present in the Eucharist.

Like so many of my Christian brothers and sisters, I am engaged in an intoxicating love affair with the Divine. What a 32 year journey it has been!

Join us. The door is open.

Alleluia! Jesus Christ has risen today!

21 Comments

  1. Embattled Farmers on March 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Congratulations on your 32nd. Last night was my 6th anniversary, and we welcomed 7 new Catholics at our Easter Vigil, another 7 who chose Jesus over Dawkins.

    • quinersdiner on March 31, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Happy 6th … happy Easter!

      • Embattled Farmers on March 31, 2013 at 9:47 pm

        Easter Vigil is amazing on its own. But for those of us who joined the Church that night, it brings back all of those emotions. I was sitting with a friend who joined 5 years ago and another who joined 3 years ago, and we agreed that we were transported back to our special nights.
        At the reception afterwards, one of my friends asked if my (lapsed) Catholic husband was there. I told her that if he was at Church, that would mean it was the day of my funeral!

  2. sally1137 on March 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    What I can’t figure out is why athiests are so hateful.

    • quinersdiner on March 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      In fairness, I know quite a few atheists, many of whom are thoughtful, reasonable people. You are correct that there are quite a few who are fairly sharp in their comments, such as Dawkins.

      • theguywiththeeye on March 31, 2013 at 8:08 pm

        Thank you for the display of fairness and solidarity, Tom. It is much appreciated and gives me hope.

    • theguywiththeeye on March 31, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Kind of a disheartening generalization you made. Atheists don’t deal in hatred. We are alarmed by the state of society and are trying to save this species from “god”.

      “True irreverence is disrespect for a man’s god.” – mark twain
      “Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense” – mark twain

    • Bob Vance on April 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Richard Dawkins is a scientist, specifically an evolutionary biologist, considered one of the most intelligent people alive today. He believes religion was born from ignorance of the world we live in, and that it stands in the way of science. I can see where religious people might see that as hateful.

      Of course, I have met my share of theists who were quite arrogant.

      • quinersdiner on April 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Well, duh. Just read Dawkins’ comments. He tells his acolytes to publicly humiliate Catholics. I’ve never, ever, heard a Catholic leader call on Catholics to humiliate anyone. Why are atheists so afraid of Catholic Eucharist? If it is as ridiculous as they proclaim, they could simply ignore it. They clearly fear it’s power. The better approach is to embrace its power. That’s my sermon for the day!

  3. Bob Vance on April 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Sounds like you had a good Easter Sunday. Hope the Easter Bunny was good to you also.
    😉

  4. Bob Vance on April 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Dave Barry once wrote: “People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.”

    I have found that whenever someone finds out I don’t believe in a Biblical God, they do one of two things: They walk away as if I just told them I was a serial killer, or they want to convince me why I am wrong. Some people take offense to that.

    I would imagine some athiests choose not to ignore “Catholic Eucharist” for the same reasoning you choose to speak out against gay marriage. They strongly disagree.

    • Karen Quiner on April 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Bob,

      You have to understand that serious Christians believe that it is our call to bring everyone to Christ, and if we aren’t making the attempt, we are in error.

      We think the stakes are high, and we want everyone to be with us in paradise.

      And no, I am not saying you are going to hell so don’t try to suck me into that trap. Where you end up is between you and God, but out of love for humanity, we have to at least try to give you what we consider to be very very good news. We also think we have this wonderful gift we want to share, as opposed to the evangelical atheists, who only want to take away and tear down.

      It is not good for Christians to nag and push and threaten. Jesus would not have us do that, but we know He would want us to offer.

      I suggest you change your thinking, try to realize how we are wired, be glad that someone cares enough to try, and to just move on if you don’t want it. Don’t be angry. It is most often people just caring.

      I have very good friends and family who are not Christians. I look for natural opportunities to let them know where I stand because I love them, but mostly I just pray for them and love them where they are.

      But please don’t ever shut your heart and mind to the possibility. There is no reason to ever shut out possibilities for anything, unless it is evil, harmful, hateful or bad.

  5. kqduane on April 2, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I always feel sorry for these pathetic atheists who obviously think so little of themselves that they believe they are unworthy to have been created by God and rather embrace their uselessness by assuming they are here on Earth due to their cell structure, just like the water and trees. These people are truly self-loathing creatures and obviously are in desperate need of God’s grace.

    • quinersdiner on April 2, 2013 at 8:31 am

      You’ve got to be careful with stereotypes. I know many sharp, reasoned atheists whom I would not characterize as pathetic. Please be careful. We Christians have to deal with our own anti Christianity stereotypes hurled at us from the media and the Left. Having said that, I agree with your premise that they are in desperate need of God’s grace, as am I. The difference: I’ve accepted it. Thanks for writing.

      • kqduane on April 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

        My use of the word pathetic has to do with their inability to see God, the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. I feel sorry for them. They are deliberately denying themselves so much of life’s joy which is only accessible through Christ. And no, I cannot quietly accept their arrogant opinions of Christians, as just another way of viewing life. This is how we Christians have lost some much ground in America. It’s time to become the warrior priests of old, once again. The fight back and not just accept them. We know they are wrong and we should say so.

        • theguywiththeeye on April 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

          Why not join us and have faith in humanity.

          I can experience joy and connection with all things on a deeper level without Jesus.

          You might want to get that hallucination looked at by a professional. Sounds frightening 😉

      • theguywiththeeye on April 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

        Thanks, Tom.

      • Karen Quiner on April 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

        Eyeguy, twice on this blog, maybe three times, you indicated you get on the verge of panic. You have also admitted you are lonely. I am sorry.

        You say, “Why not join us and have faith in humanity.

        I can experience joy and connection with all things on a deeper level without Jesus.”

        Are you really joyful? If not, why not give God a try? What can it hurt?

        There are people who have been burned by others who twisted religion. That is a travesty and if that is your situation, I am sorry. That ain’t Gods fault though. Have the courage to possibly be wrong and ask Him to reveal himself to you. What can it hurt?

    • theguywiththeeye on April 2, 2013 at 8:42 am

      WOW. Pathetic are we?
      I could not disagree more.
      However, I’m going to resist getting offended, because I don’t think you’ve thought this through.
      You musn’t know anything about Humanism which most/many atheists are aligned with. The suggestion you just made is completely misguided.

      Just a simple wiki explanation, but should give you the idea
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

      Why do I follow your blog, Tom? I’m beginning to think that I’m looking for a panic attack 🙂

  6. […] He evangelizes his followers to publicly humiliate Catholics for their belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. […]

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