Friday, March 23, 2012

Atheist ‘flabbergasted’ at Christians’ assistance

A few weeks ago, Patrick Greene of San Antonio, was known in Henderson County simply as a professed atheist who threatened to sue Henderson County about the courthouse manger scene. Greene’s experience with Christians was of narrow-minded individuals who had treated him unkindly throughout his life.

“My wife and I had never had a Christian do anything nice for us,” Greene said. “Just the opposite.”

That changed when the 63-year-old learned he had a detached retina. Greene was forced to give up driving his Yellow Cab, and resign himself to his impending blindness.

Eye surgery would cost $20,000 he said, and he didn’t even have the money to pay bills or buy groceries.

Jessica Crye, a member of Sand Springs Baptist Church in Athens, learned of his troubles on the Internet, and felt compelled to help.

Crye’s pastor, the Rev. Eric Graham, contacted Greene to find out more about his needs.

“I said first of all, I don’t want $20,000,” Greene said. “That would be ridiculous, because there’s a chance the surgery would fail. On top of that, there’s a chance it could become detached again.”

Greene told Graham he had a more immediate need.

“I said, if you really want to contribute something to help, we need groceries,” Greene said.

Greene said he was “flabbergasted” to learn that a group of Christians in Henderson County was reaching out to help an atheist, who in February had informed Commissioners Court that he would sue if the manger scene reappeared this year.

“I told my wife about it,” Greene said.

“They’re going to help us?”  Karen asked.

Greene thought that if anything, he’d see $50, maybe $100.

A few days later, the Christians made good on their promise, and sent a check for $400.

“I said I can’t believe it,” Greene said. “I thought I was in the Twilight Zone.”

The money went to help pay the rent, and provide necessities from the grocery store.

The contributions didn’t stop at $400 either, Cry said. More money is coming in.

Greene is so amazed by the generosity of the Christians in Henderson County, he’s  sharing the story through the media, and is thinking about writing a book.

“I’m going to call it the real ‘Christians of Henderson County,  Texas,’” Greene said.  “These people are acting like what the Bible says a Christian does.”

Greene plans on publishing the work as an e-book.

“I’m dedicating the book to my wife, the young lady who started the idea, and Reverend Graham.”

Crye said just about everyone she’s heard from has been supportive of reaching out to Greene. A couple have expressed resentment about helping someone who has been such a vocal atheist.

“I like to look on the positive side,” Crye said. “It’s wonderful what God has done.”

Now, rather than keep trying to keep the manger scene removed, Green said he’d like to add his contribution.

“I have decided to show my appreciation to the Christian community for all their help, and I am going to buy a star for the top of the Nativity scene.  You people can figure out how to plug it in,” Greene said.
See, liberals, atheists and all who seem to have such a distaste for Christianity. What does this story show?  


Right Wing Theocrat said...

We don't mind atheists, we'll even help them in their time of need, our God and his son our savior asks it of us. May God bless those Christians in Henderson County, as he has blessed the atheist.

I hope that his surgery is a success.

Z said...

I have to say Right Wing's comment is fabulous...well said.

But, I have to also say the atheist sure hadn't met many Christians because I know very few who wouldn't help him or any other person in need...atheists included

Of course, many atheists are tough to take: Here in Santa Monica, CA, believe it or not, there's the main street on the ocean bluffs, Ocean Blvd., where churches 'rent' stalls , about 15 of them, and they put in different scenes from Christ's life. Churches sign up in advance and usually just bring out the same scene they'd been displaying for YEARS.
This year, atheists got there ahead of the churches to sign up for spaces, so most of the spaces were empty. The atheists decided that's a way they could crowd Jesus out of Santa Monica.

Happily, the City Council decided that's not happening anymore and churches may finally have got the realization that they'd better sign up well in advance from now on.
It was heart warming to hear the Council of THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF SANTA MONICA (!) insist the churches be represented instead of the atheists and I think it was largely due to the ugly way the atheists pushed themselves in...and I like to think it was because of the thousands of people who protested. Hurrah!

I hope the surgery is a success, too. And good on him for donating a star!

Leticia said...

MK, that's so true. God is merciful and so should we be, too. I also hope that surgery goes well. The man was a cab driver, he needs his eyesight.

Z, way to go Santa Monica!

dmarks said...

"This year, atheists got there ahead of the churches to sign up for spaces, so most of the spaces were empty."

These atheists are religious zealouts, bigots, who make a sacrament out of ignorance and contempt for others' religions.

They would do well to read the First Amendment and its part about respect for religious freedom. While the Amendment is a guide to limit government, it and much of the Bill of Rights are good rules for socially responsible citizens to live by also.

Lone Ranger said...

There is a BIG difference between atheists and anti-Christian bigots. It is the latter who seem to make up the modern atheist movement. I was an atheist until the age of 42. Oh, I wasn't the foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, Christian/Jew-hating, immoral, cynical, close-minded atheist we are used to seeing today. I just didn't believe in God and really didn't concern myself with what other people believed. It was none of my business. In other words, I was a conservative atheist.

Leticia said...

Lone Ranger, I had no idea! And would you believe I was a Democrat and supported abortion?!

Heck, I even won a debate in High School supporting abortion and annihilated the poor pro-life girl.

Jersey McJones said...


Most people who've ever known me are usually surprised to hear I am not religious.

There's a reason for that.

I do not wear my non-religion on my sleeve.

Heck, I like Christmas, and Nativity scenes, and all the other religious and old pagan rituals and holidays. It's fun. The vast majority of atheists agree with me on all this.

If anything, I and most other nonreligious people are fully aware of the role of religion in society. It is a part of all of us. A longstanding tradition. A significant part of our cultural evolution.

People who go out of their way to proselytize atheism are morons. There's nothing to espouse. Either you believe or you don't.

Don't lump intelligent people in with morons like that, Leticia. It's insulting. No different than if I lumped you in with Westboro, or some schizy loose association like that.


Leticia said...

Jersey, you know what? My last comments were to those who truly believe us to be hateful, bigoted, racist and uncaring, uncompassionate people that only preach fire, hell and brimstone.

This story clearly shows our true nature. I would help anyone, within my power to do so, even a satanist. I forgave the people that robbed us. It wasn't easy.

And, you know, what else? Better hang onto something....I agree with your last statement. There are always the good, the bad and the very ugly.

Lone Ranger said...

What would this country be without atheists? All the ivy-league universities they've founded, all the charities they run, all the missions they take to impoverished nations to give the poor food, clothing, education and medical treatment. Yup. Atheist nations like China, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, etc., are the shining cities upon the hill.

Right Wing Theocrat said...

Thanks Z.

"This year, atheists got there ahead of the churches to sign up for spaces, so most of the spaces were empty."

Now that's really nasty of them. However it's actually a great thing for us, provided some of the space was taken up by the Churches.

I can just imagine someone walking down the street and having on the one hand Christianity, the true religion of peace and salvation, showing their stall of eternal life and right next to it the alternative, emptiness and nothing.

Thanks Santa Monica atheists for doing our work for us. How's that for God working in mysterious ways.

Always On Watch said...

In my view, Christians need to do more of this reaching out. Isn't this what our Lord commanded us to do?

Magpie said...

I thought Christians were meant to help their fellow men and women, and not judge them... lest yee be judged... or something like that.

Is kindness not kindness regardless of whether (yawn..) someone calls themselves Christian or not?

By the way, Lone Ranger...

There are Christians in China. Once there was a civil war there called the Taiping Rebellion, started by someone who thought he was the brother of Jesus and wished to replace the existing religions with Christianity. Killed more people than the first World War.
God being merciful, perhaps.

Right Truth said...

This was great, turning the other cheek, what an example.

Right Truth

Jersey McJones said...

Lone Ranger,

Without atheism - or at least skepticism about the God - there might not even be an America today.

Like I told a friend the other day, if we all did everything the same way (or in this case have the same faiths) we still be living in the stone age.

Skepticism - questioning the questionable, arguing the arguable - is why we have so many different sects of religions, and why we have atheists.

You can't lump atheists in with totalitarian governments, any more than I can lump religious people in with theocracies and quasi-theocratic aristocracies and juntas.

Besides, religion is widely practiced in the countries you cite. It's just recognized by the state unless it gets on the states nerves, hence "totalitarian."


Bob said...

I had to do a double take. You see, San Antonio, Texas is in Bexar County, and Henderson County is close to Dallas, Texas. I guess this is nit-picking, but that seems to be my contribution, today.

I agree with Z that MK's comment is particularly meaningful. The juxtaposition of many empty atheist stalls with a few stalls filled with Christ's love had to be striking.

By the way, is there something in the Blogger setup that prohibits me from including hyperlinks?

Leticia said...

Bob, I'll look at my set-up and see if I can find out if I may have inadvertently blocked them.

And welcome!

Right Wing Theocrat said...

"I thought Christians were meant to help their fellow men and women....."

And that's what they did Magpie.

Most out there would thank them for it and try to follow their example, but I guess if you have a reflexive dislike of Christians, it's hard to muster a bit of gratitude.

Lone Ranger said...

I am a journalist who works on the East Asia desk. Religion might be widely practiced in the countries I mentioned, but not Christianity. (Nice try, though.) In China, if you do not attend a government-approved church, you could be in danger of having your church torn down and being sent to a reeducation camp. In North Korea, being found in possession of a Bible could doom you to death -- along with three generations of your family.

In a story that was not covered by the media (I wonder why), soon after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian military contacted our military for help in setting up a chaplain corps. It was thought that after all those decades of forced atheism, officers did not have the moral foundation to be trusted not to mount a coup. We see what Egypt is doing to Coptic Christians. Of course, those are Muslims and Muslims are incapable of living peacefully next to any culture without bloodshed.

A religion should be judged by its teachings, not by people who do not follow them. To do otherwise is bigotry.

Magpie said...

Lone Ranger,

“I am a journalist who works on the East Asia desk.”

I’m something else who used to live in Japan, the language of which I speak, read and write fluently.

So now we’ve shared something.

“In China, if you do not attend a government-approved church, you could be in danger of having your church torn down and being sent to a reeducation camp. In North Korea, being found in possession of a Bible could doom you to death -- along with three generations of your family.”

Which is terrible… but you still have it around the wrong way….
These places don’t have freedom of religion because they don’t have freedom.
It’s not that they don’t have freedom because they don’t have religion or, specifically, your religion.

And I said “there are Christians in China”. There are.
I never said “practiced widely” and I never mentioned the other countries.

“Muslims are incapable of living peacefully next to any culture without bloodshed.”

Blanket prejudice, and untrue.

Teresa said...

That is simply amazing! This shows what putting one's faith in action can do in bringing change or conversion of hearts.

christian soldier said...

Love it!


Lone Ranger said...

Magpie, show me a country that has freedom of religion that is not free. Once again, the topic is not religion, it is Christianity. Anti-Christian hatred and bigotry seem to go hand-in-hand with repression.