Just two months after he threatened to sue a Texas county for allowing a Nativity scene on public property Greene temporarily renounced his atheism and even, at one point, wanted to become a pastor (1). However, some months after this he has since returned to his atheism (2). The reason behind his temporary transition was due to the compassion of one Christian woman who had left a massive impact on him.
Personally speaking Greene’s attempt to sue and remove the Nativity scene is nothing short of bigoted atheist behaviour. When Greene was asked for his reasons for trying to fight the Nativity scene he said it was “to show that Christianity does not rule my state of Texas, the Constitution does. Christianity is only one of the many faiths represented in this state” (3). But no-one is saying, and neither would one be right in saying, that Christianity rules the state, and neither does a Nativity scene on public property remotely resemble Christianity ruling the state. One might just as well sue the organizers of the atheist Reason Rally, though it was a failure in light of expectations so its probably not worth suing anyway, for its use of public property as if that somehow shows that atheism “owns” the state or country or city or whatever. Neither is anyone forcing Greene to participate in the events surrounding the scene, and it is probably some level of underlying hostility towards Christianity/Christians that would result in such an act. This is one of several big reasons why atheists are the most stigmatized and socially ostracized people in America. They just carry themselves in a nasty light and people don’t like that. However, sense prevailed and Greene’s case was declined as the the county refused to remove the nativity with county attorney Clint Davis writing, “Henderson County believes that it is in complete compliance with the requirements of the Constitution and acting very much in accord with prior U.S. Supreme Court rulings” (4).
However, that aside, prior to Greene’s meeting of this women, and after having made the threat to sue over the Nativity scene he discovered that his ability to see was rapidly deteriorating and that he would soon go blind due to a detached retina. As a result he withdrew his threats and left the Nativity alone as according to him “There is no way for me to go up there if I’m blind” (5). That’s when Jessica Crye, a Christian woman, asked her pastor, Erick Graham of the Sand Springs Baptist Church, if they could assist Greene. Crye explains, “Why not turn this into something else? This is a great opportunity to turn the other cheek and show God’s love” (6). She continues, “I knew of his lawsuit and threats and thought how sad it was for him to be so bitter toward Christians. I thought he must have never felt the love of God through Christians. I also thought about how scary that must be” (5). Because of her effort some money was raised via donations that would be used to assist Greene in paying his taxes, medical costs, and groceries. Pastor Graham was also happy to help saying, “We don’t discriminate on who we help, whether they are Christians or non-Christians, church members or not. We just help those with a need.”
Greene also says that he plans to use some of the donation money he received to move out of San Antonio and buy his wife her “dream” mobile home. He’s also planning to write a book about the donations he received that he wants to call “The Real Christians of Henderson County.” I do not know whether or not Greene will still set out to write this book subsequent to his return to atheism. He also says that any leftover money will go to the Humane Society in order to help the fight against animal cruelty and abuse. He wants to let the world know how Christians came to his assistance in a time of need when he tried to gun for their Christmas Nativity scene. This all thanks to the loving effort of a single woman at the story’s very beginning. Greene was so appreciative to the Christians that he ordered an electrical star for their nativity scene and had it shipped to Henderson County.
1. Schapiro, J. 2012. Atheist Activist Becomes Christian After Believers Show Him Compassion. Available.
2. Kumar, A. 2012. Atheist Activist Who Became Christian Returns to Atheism. Available.
3. Hannigan, M. 2012. Atheist Threatens County With Lawsuit. Available.
4. Hannigan, M. 2012. Ibid.
5. Shellnut, J. 2012. Texas Christians raise money for ailing atheist critic. Available.
6. Terry, B. 2012. Christian’s raise funds for ill atheist protester. Available.