Forgiveness for militant anti-theists

All of us know of prominent comedians, actors, scientists, and authors who have committed themselves to destroying faith in God. Can a militant anti-theist who has led souls to hell be forgiven?

I don’t know but may God enlighten them and protect the innocence and faith of believers.
Thank you Lisa for the reminder to pray for militant secularists and atheists, and for those who may be shaken by their arguments, and those whose lives are damaged by the consequent of secularist and atheistic militant campaigns

We should probably pray for them and ask God to soften their hearts filled with anger, hatred and bitterness.

I don’t understand what makes them tick, or what it will take to make peace between them and us.

I know comparisons have been drawn between them and the militant Christian fundamentalists 20-30 years ago. Like them, I think a major part of the issue now is simply misinformation.
They seemed to fade out of fashion just as fast as they appeared… I know Catholic Answers was established in part as a reasonable answer to the problem they posed.

Praying for militant atheists every day.

I think that depends on whether they repent or not.

It appears that you know of ‘militant anti-theists. But do you know of anyone who has lost their faith because of them’?

It would be interesting to discuss with them why they may have done so.

Let me pose a theoretical. (Be kind to me because I’m not really good at this.)

[LIST]
*]An anti-theist sets out on a mission to prove that God is a delusion. He becomes prominent by writing books, lecturing, and appearing on TV.

*]This message, as crafted by the anti-theist, gets through to people who were already having problems with their faith.

*]Some of these people become anti-theist converts.

*]A smaller number of the new anti-theists remain adamantly anti-God for the rest of their lives.

*]Can the original anti-theist be forgiven and go to heaven while his followers remain in eternal misery?
[/LIST]

What are your thoughts?

Desecration of a Communion Host?
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit?

It’s hard to see someone coming back from these. ;(

Yes, Lion, you reminded me of a case at the University of Minnesota. A professor faced no punishment for desecrating a host.

This link is to the Catholic League report about the incident. No images of the desecrated host are shown here.

And the Catechism says:

1864 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.

Thanks for prompting my memory.

Perhaps all we can pray is…
"Father forgive them for they know not what they do"

I think anything is forgivable so long as there has been true repentance.

Just from my own experience, I was strongly influenced by Marxist and atheist professors when I was in college. Their views reinforced my angry attitude toward God. But, thank God, I stepped away and started searching for God. That’s how I found the Catholic Church. I’m not sure that is a valid example, because it’s just a sample of one person.

There is no sin that God won’t forgive if truly repented of. Will their life be a mess after their conversion? Surely. However, God will surely forgive them and help them to get their lives on the right track. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable because to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit means not to ask for forgiveness.

Thanks for all the feedback. :slight_smile:

I suppose God would forgive someone who desecrates a consecrated Host if that person sincerely repents. After all, He forgave those who killed Him. It may be difficult to imagine someone converting after such a horrible action, but what about the soldier that plunged his spear into His side and was overwhelmed by Divine Mercy?

That soldier experienced something supernatural though, would he have repented even if he had felt nothing when this happened and his day just went on as normal after that incident?

Id be curious if any of the militant atheists could experience such a supernatural event and STILL be the same person afterwards.

True, but isn’t all grace supernatural?

I guess what I’m saying is: If it could happen to a soldier who participated in the crucifixion of Christ Himself, then why not the atheist?

I think God’s mercy is always available, but it’s up to the sinner to repent. If a person refuses to cooperate with the grace that is given, then it is unlikely a conversion would happen, unless there is something like a last minute death bed conversion. (It’s been known to happen)

However, if an atheist decides to respond to God’s grace, then while less dramatic and maybe not instantly like the soldier at the foot of the Cross, it is still God supernaturally working repentance in that person’s soul.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.