CRIME OF THE CENTURY

  • In the 70’s SUPERTRAMP came up with a concept album cover showing the picture of a man trapped behind prison bars superimposed on a field of stars . Since a picture is worth a thousand words I suggest that you get the album and study it to find out why they called it CRIME OF THE CENTURY. My own guess is they were trying to convey the concept that the powers-that-be have created a world in which young people feel trapped. If this is the right interpretation, I totally agree.
  • I remember when I was nineteen and I came to the conclusion that I was trapped. I guess I was “too young” to know why I felt trapped. The older generation might have said, “He feels trapped because he’s just a kid in high school and he doesn’t know where he’s going.” But I remember being nineteen and I felt trapped because I couldn’t picture where I would ever fit into the world. I remember being full of zeal and ready to take on the whole world, save the world, if necessary. But the world apparently didn’t need saving: all it really needed is that I pick a course, finish my high school, get a career (doctor, lawyer, politician…) and get a job. The implication was that if I ever “settled down” I’d forget about saving the world and I wouldn’t feel trapped in it.
  • But now that I’m over 50 years old I don’t buy that explanation any more. I’ve lived long enough and learned enough about the world to know that there’s a better reason why so many people feel trapped. Plain fact is, the world does need saving. What makes every new generation of young people so mad is the pretence of the status quo that seems to be saying, “I’m OK, you’re OK, what’s all the fuss about?”

“I’m OK, you’re OK, what’s all the fuss about?”

  • On another album cover by SUPERTRAMP a man is pictured in the foreground dressed in swim trunks sitting on a lawn chair under a beach umbrella against a backdrop of a cityscape marred by garbage and pollution. The album title is CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS? What a picture! Here are the Rock icons of the younger generation saying to the older generation, “you expect us to relax, settle down, get a job, and to believe that the world’s OK and everything is under control, and we see with our own eyes daily the real situation. You expect us to fit into this?”
  • SUPERTRAMP is now the older generation, but the story is the same. A new generation of artists and performers are making their own social comments. (I really would like to redefine the modern labels rock stars , musicians, and artists: they are really what were once called poets and philosophers. But that’s another story.) The bottom line is that the real poets and philosophers of every generation point at the world and say, “you expect us to accept this without a fuss?” Often the spokesmen for the younger generation are labelled as rebels and revolutionaries. They point at the political and social evils such as corporate greed and the destruction of the environment, or they don’t point at anything at all but say over and over again “We’re mad as hell and won’t take it any more!” Members of the older generation just say, “Aw, you’ll get over it! You’re just young. You’ll grow out of it.”

“We’re mad as hell and won’t take it any more!”

  • What happens is that we do grow up. We make it through school, some of us get a career, most of us get jobs, and we get busy earning a living, raising a family, buying a house and a car …and all the rest. We chase after money, power, position, fame and fortune. We get busy and distracted just living, and then suddenly a new generation of young people come along and say, “We’re mad as hell and won’t take it any more!” and we respond, “What’s wrong with them?”

“What’s wrong with them?”

  • Now I’ve seen this process go full circle (several times) and I’ve noticed a common denominator. Every generation blames something else. Bob Dylan sang about the military establishment of the Sixties, calling them the Masters of War: “you’ve thrown the worst fear, that has ever been hurled, the fear to bring children into the world”. In my day it was the fear of nuclear war. Before that it was economic depression. Now it’s ecological disaster. The point is— it’s always something else.    That’s why I borrowed SUPERTRAMP’s title CRIME OF THE CENTURY to make my point. The question is, what would be the crime of the century? What would rate as the most nefarious scam of the age? The worst culprit? The real enemy? If every generation finds another one, which one is the real one?

The Worst Culprit

  • In my opinion, it would have to be something that is at the root of everything else. It would have to be a philosophy. Why? Because it is the philosophy of a man, his basic, root belief system, that makes him do what he is and  does. If a man is a thief, it is because he believes that it’s smarter to steal than to work, and that he is too smart to get caught. If a man is a liar, it is because he believes that he can manipulate people into giving him what he wants on his own terms, without work,  and that he’s too smart to get caught. If a man is a polluter, it is because he believes that he is more important than anyone else, that he has a right to make a living even if it ruins life for others,  and that he’s too smart to get caught.
  • Even these philosophies have a common denominator philosophy: the belief that a man can get away with wrong behaviour. What problem is there in the world today that is not related to some form of wrong behaviour on the part of individuals?
  • Theft, fraud, rape, murder, deceit, selfishness, greed, arrogance,  are these not the wrong behaviours that lead to oppression, exploitation , and political, social, economic and ecological problems?
  • And what is at the root of wrong behaviour? A deep, basic, fundamental philosophy,  a belief system, that is the real culprit, which I believe would rate as The Crime of the Century: promoting the belief that there is no God.

promoting the belief that there is no God.

  • You see, if there is no God, then there is nobody to whom we will be held ultimately accountable. There is no Observer who observes our behaviour and will judge us according to the effects our behaviour had on the rest of the world. There is no Creator to tell us what to do, how to live, how to utilize our resources. Thus we can live our lives however we want, taking, consuming, abusing, manipulating, destroying, with no accountability to anyone but ourselves.
  • This belief that there is no God has a technical name: Atheism. Now if I make a statement such as I have made, that I nominate Atheists as the perpetrators of the Crime of the Century, am I not being judgmental and unkind? No, because Atheists themselves have said the same things I say. They admit that their philosophy should have a devastating moral and social affect.
  • Take for instance the atheistic teaching of origins, the theory of evolution. A senior writer for Scientific American said, “ Yes, we are all animals., descendants of a vast lineage of replicators sprung from primordial pond scum.”[1] Since this is now generally believed to be a true statement, is it any wonder that so many people are confused, discouraged, and angry with the world? After all, what good is pond scum? What purpose has pond scum? And who cares what pond scum does? If we really are all the end product of evolved pond scum, then as individuals we amount to very little. Our lives are really only a matter of survival.
  • We must survive, at all costs, and however we see necessary, and as there is no “afterlife” we not only have to live in the here and now as best we can, we will not have to worry about how we lived, because after we die we’ll not be accountable to anybody. Ultimately, when our lives are over, we will cease to exist, and that will be the end of that.

That will be the end of that!

  • That this is an accurate analysis of the end-result philosophy of Atheism is admitted by honest atheists. Two evolutionists, Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, and Richard Dawkins, a professor at Oxford and an ardent Darwinist and atheist, exchanged this dialogue in an issue of Psychology Today magazine  [2]:
  • Jaron Lanier: “There’s a large group of people who simply are uncomfortable with accepting evolution because it leads to what they perceive as a moral vacuum, in which their best impulses have no basis in nature.”
  • Richard Dawkins: “All I can say is, That’s just tough. We have to face up to the truth.” [3]

“That’s just tough. We have to face up to the truth”

  • Certainly, if it is the truth, then we have to face up to the fact that we are, each one of us, the end result of billions of years of the mutation of organic compounds, and we live in a universe that began spontaneously as an explosion of gases, and we exist temporarily in a reality in which we must struggle to survive, and survive we must at all costs, living any way we choose, and when we have lived to the best of our ability we will die, cease to exist, and our children will have to live on without us. The results of believing this supposed truth are devastating.

The results of believing this supposed truth are devastating.

  • I believed this supposed truth for over thirty years. When I began to really believe it in my high-school years it had a deep effect on my life.
  • I began to think, “What’s the purpose of life? Why try to make something of myself?” I couldn’t shake a feeling of the pointlessness of existence. When things were going reasonably well, I would say to myself, “well, might as well enjoy it because it probably won’t last”, and when things weren’t going well, I’d say, “well, if things get any worse I can always end it all.” I often contemplated suicide, whenever my basic philosophy of life intersected with some cause for discouragement.
  • What kept me from committing suicide was the persistent thought, “what happens if I don’t cease to exist? What happens if death is not the end of existence and what if it’s worse?” Honest atheism leads to such conclusions. Dishonest atheists deny such charges, and invariably argue around them, talking about the intrinsic value of even temporary existence. They make statements like, “after all, our contributions live on in future generations; in a sense, we live forever in our children.”
  • But such rationalizations invariably come from what I call comfortable atheists , academics and armchair philosophers who have landed jobs in science and education. It’s easy to be an atheist at the top, but not so easy at the bottom. Nowadays it’s fashionable to be an atheist. People ask for your opinions, they read your books and attend your lectures, and pay you for your ideas.
  • But what few people consider is what it’s like to be a teenage atheist, raised on atheistic philosophies and confronted with an uncertain, even hostile world. Is it any wonder that the suicide rate is higher for young people ?
  • That’s one of the reasons I call atheism the crime of the century. It ruins lives from the inside. It can’t be seen, doing its work. Therefore it can’t be blamed. After all, kids die from drug overdoses and hard drinking, and rebellious activity. Kids don’t die from atheism. But I contend that kids do die from it, or are adversely affected by it, all of their lives, if they have difficulty adjusting to the advice “We have to face up to the truth”.
  • But is it the truth? What if it isn’t?

Is it any wonder that the suicide rate is higher for young people ?

  • Unfortunately, unbeknownst to most people, the atheistic philosophies have so permeated our world that it is almost impossible to tell if it is the truth or it isn’t . Why? Because the alternative philosophy to atheism has been systematically disparaged, suppressed, and supplanted to such a degree that it is almost impossible for a victim of this atheistic agenda to tell that he’s been manipulated.
  • I was an avid reader for years, and I read seeking for truth, and I couldn’t find it. Finally, when I was thirty-one years old, I came across a man who suggested that there might be an alternative philosophy to atheism. He told me that there was a God, and that I could know Him personally. This God had created the Universe, and had a purpose for it, and a purpose for mankind. This God loved me, and cared about me, and had a plan and purpose for my life. Also, this God was good, and wise, and powerful, and could change my life in the here and now, and also bring me (after death) to a new life, an eternal life without fear, pain, want, and death.

an eternal life without fear, pain, want, and death

  • The atheist in me found this hard to believe, but the truth-seeker got the better of me, and I so I started  studying the source of this new philosophy , in the book that God had written and left for us to read, called the Bible. The Bible answered the questions which atheism could not. What’s more, the Bible showed that God loved me, even while I was an atheist.
  • Then a strange thing happened. In all the years when I was being indoctrinated into atheism, I was never really ever asked if I wanted to be an atheist, I just became one. It seems that atheistic doctrine is everywhere, it is taught everywhere, so much so that we are unaware that we are being taught this philosophy. We only realize it when we are given the opportunity to choose otherwise. By reading the Bible it became apparent that God was giving me a choice: did I want to remain an atheist or did I want to become a Christian?
  •   This then, is what I believe to be the crime of the century: promoting the belief that there is no God, by withholding information so as not to give people a choice.
  • What about you? Are you still seeking for answers? For the truth? Why don’t you give the Bible another chance? Why don’t you listen to God’s point of view? Why don’t you consider talking to someone who has been on both sides of the fence, who has been an atheist and who is now a Christian? What have you got to lose?

—JOHN IDEMS     (john.idems@rogers.com)

Or if you want the bottom line, and don’t want to talk to ANYONE right now, check out “HOW TO ANSWER LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION.”

[1] J.Horgan, “The New Social Darwinists,” Scientific American, 273(4):150-157, Oct 1995;quoted notes

[2] Argument quoted in “Refuting Evolution”Jonathan Sarfati,PhD;Master Books,May 1999, Pg 89

[3] “Evolution:The Dissent of Darwin,” Psychology Today, January/February 1997, Pg. 62

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