Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Atheist Activist Who Threatened to Sue to Stop Texas Nativity Has Become a Christian

 Patrick Greene

From The Blaze:

This is one of those stories that seems too good to be true.

 Last month, we told you about Patrick Greene, an atheist activist who threatened to sue over the presence of a nativity scene in Athens, Texas.

Despite his actions against the religious symbol, Christians came together to raise funds for him and his wife to purchase groceries after he fell ill. Now, as a result of the kind gesture, Greene has reportedly announced that he has become a Christian — and that he wants to enter ministry.

It’s only been two months since the atheist was threatening to wage a legal war against the nativity scene in Henderson County. But something changed over the past 60 days. After residents found out that Greene was suffering from a serious eye condition that could lead to blindness and he was forced to retire, Christians‘ kindness transformed Greene’s worldview.

n the end, they offered him $400 for groceries and other needs (atheists raised additional funds). This simple gift, which was given despite ideological and theological differences, apparently caused Greene to re-think his atheistic inclinations. The Christian Post recaps his transformation from non-belief to an adherence to Jesus Christ:
“There’s been one lingering thought in the back of my head my entire life, and it‘s one thought that I’ve never been able to reconcile, and that is the vast difference between all the animals and us,” Greene told The Christian Post on Tuesday, as he began to explain his recent transformation from atheist to Christian. The theory of evolution didn’t answer his questions, he says, so he just set those questions aside and didn’t think about them anymore.
But when the Christians in a town that had reason to be angry with him showed him a gesture of love, he began reconsidering his beliefs altogether. He eventually began to realize that evolution would never have the answer to his questions, he says, and it was at that time he began to believe in God.
“I kind of realized that the questions I [was] asking you just had to accept on faith without doubting every period and every comma,” he said. He later began studying the Bible, both the Old Testament and the Gospels, and also discovered his belief that Jesus is the Son of God.
Greene says his wife, who remains an atheist, is surprised by his conversion. That being said, he claims the two are able to cope with their differences without putting one another down or bashing the other’s beliefs.
Read the rest here.

H/T: Catholic & Enjoying It!


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Alan said...

I commend the Christians in Texas for reaching out to him in the way that they did. If we would all act in ways such as this and show love instead of hate when our beliefs are questioned, this world would be a wonderful place. A great quote from Gandhi that I have always found interesting is "I like your Christ. I dont like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ"

We profess to represent something that is our own creation of God when we strike with anger, and hate. When we bash gays and others who live a different live than us. This is not the Christ that lived and died. The Christ I believe in is love, and while I am not always perfect this is the one I choose to follow. So after all that said, bravo Texas group, bravo. :)

Mark said...

It truly is a credit to the Christians who donated. Their generosity is evident. Atheists also donated $2000 for his glaucoma treatment, but we don't expect thanks.

I'm sure his conversion is genuine, but Christians should still be careful what they wish for. As an "atheist activist" Greene was an unpredictable one-man band. He first appeared when he called the web-TV show The Atheist Experience in 2008, to express an intent to sue Ray Comfort, Christian Minister, because he found Comforts bumper stickers offensive. Rather than supporting him, the hosts, Martin Wagner and Matt Delahunty raked him over the coals for petty litigiousness and for not respecting freedom of speech (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OogZa34wWo ). And suing to prevent a nativity scene on court land? I can't comment on the merits of the case, as it was never filed, but atheist organizations rarely go immediately to the nuclear option of suing. That occurs usually in the most egregious cases where petitioning and public arguments were unsuccessful.

Anyway, he's all yours now. I see he wants to become a Baptist minister, but his Gofundme fund-raising site says "I need help to achieve that goal also". Ah, I miss him already :-).

Yep Alisha, you correctly pegged that I'm not American. I'm an Australian living in Adelaide, one of the southern cities. 37 years old, no kids, married for six months to a girl I've been with for eleven years. Just accepted a subspecialty training position which includes long work hours but peanuts for pay, so instead of going to the movies in my free time, I save money by spending time on blogs like yours. Entertainment has never been so cheap!

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Mark, you're an Aussie! Yay! No wonder you're English is so nice. I've found that English speakers from other countries tend to use a far more formal approach to the language compared to us Yankees. My husband was raised in Trinidad and attended schools that use the UK model and I love the way he writes.

Err... Greene... Well, God loves all. I'm still working on that... ;-)

I'll have to check out that YT link. And I did hear about the atheists who donated, too. Generosity is a beautiful thing all around.

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Alan, I agree with your comment wholeheartedly. This story truly inspired me, too.

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