While left-wing bloggers insist the next Supreme Court justice should be an atheist and Psychology Today publishes an article on “Why Atheists Are More Intelligent than the Religious,” occupying anti-religion’s center stage today are best-selling authors Richard Dawkins (“The God Delusion”) and Christopher Hitchens (“God Is Not Great”).
The world’s two most well-known atheists are seriously calling for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI “for crimes against humanity” for what they allege is his complicity in covering up sexual abuse on the part of Catholic clergymen.
They’ve retained top U.K. lawyers Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to cook up a legal process enabling British authorities “to initiate criminal proceedings against the pope, launch their own civil action against him or refer his case to the International Criminal Court,” the Times of London tells us.
No question about it, atheism is rapidly undergoing a remarkable transformation right before our eyes.
Somehow, in recent years, atheists have gone from being a near-invisible pariah class on the fringe of civilized society to a confident, unapologetic and increasingly vocal minority, publishing best-seller after best-seller condemning and mocking religion. To give you a taste, here’s the opening sentence of chapter two of Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
That’s just the beginning. Atheism is currently coalescing into a genuine political force, its adherents comparing their “plight” to that of gays combating “discrimination.” The evidence is hard to miss:
- Newspaper headlines trumpet atheists’ new confidence and activism, like the New York Times’ Page One story, “More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops.”
- The American Religious Identification Survey, released in early 2009, shows that atheists are increasing in number, with those claiming “no religion” being the only demographic group to expand in all 50 states over the last two decades.
- Almost half of Americans – 45 percent according to one Gallup poll – say they’d be willing to vote for an atheist for president of the United States.
- President Barack Obama “regularly puts nonbelievers on the same footing as religious Americans,” notes the Wall Street Journal. Even in his Inaugural Address, Obama declared: “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.”
- Atheism is so big in the United Kingdom that more than 100,000 Britons downloaded “certificates of de-baptism” off the Internet to make official the renunciation of their Christian faith.
- Illustrating atheists’ increasingly public “liberation” from religion, Richard Dawkins, the charismatic evolutionist-author, is selling a whole line of “Scarlet Letter” T-shirts with a giant red “A” – for “Atheist” – on his website (and bumper stickers too).
Atheism, just like homosexuality – once considered shameful by the larger culture – is now becoming hip, sophisticated, even a badge of honor.
Exit-polling data clearly indicate atheists’ numbers are growing dramatically. “The bloc of voters identifying themselves as religiously unaffiliated – which does not directly translate into nonbelievers but includes their ranks – has risen in every presidential election since 1988: from 5.3 percent that year to 12 percent in 2008,” writes Paul Starobin in the non-partisan National Journal. “That 12 percent share amounts to 15 million voters – a bigger bloc than the Hispanic vote (9 percent), the gay vote (4 percent), and the Jewish vote (2 percent), and just a notch smaller than the African-American vote (13 percent).”
Even more impressive is the data compiled by Roger Finke, a Pennsylvania State University professor who directs the Association of Religion Data Archives:
The share of Americans who report no religious preference hovered around the 5-to-6 percent level from the early 1970s through the 1980s, jumped to 9 percent in 1993, rose to 14 percent in 1998, and is now about 16 percent. … By that count, the no-preference bloc is nearly equal to the share of mainline Protestant churches, from which it is probably poaching members.
Until recently, atheists had zero political clout, having to content themselves with being more of an “intellectual club,” the Journal report says, “reflecting on the meaning of a life without God (and the patent absurdity, as many of these folks think, of a life with God). But those days are over.”
Now the Godless are making a crucial transformation toward the status of a my-time-has-come movement with a political and legislative agenda to enact – and with this shift, a host of contentious national issues is being engaged, with the potential to ignite a new round of culture wars in American society.
Today’s atheist activists “liken their strategy to that of the gay-rights movement,” adds the New York Times, “which lifted off when closeted members of a scorned minority decided to go public.”
“It’s not about carrying banners or protesting,” said Herb Silverman, a math professor at the College of Charleston who founded the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, which has about 150 members on the coast of the Carolinas. “The most important thing is coming out of the closet.”
In fact, just as homosexuals co-opted the word “gay” to facilitate their cultural and political mainstreaming, atheists have adopted their own euphemistic label, many now calling themselves “brights.”
And how, exactly, do atheists want to change American society and government?
“The end result,” atheists claim, would be “a more peaceful and modern society,” reports the National Journal, since presumably our nation would be “less willing to embark on violent conflicts of a religious character” such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Euthanasia would be widely permitted – no ethical problems there. Pharmacists couldn’t legally refuse to fulfill birth-control prescriptions (or, presumably, chemical abortion prescriptions either) as a matter of conscience or religious faith. School science classes would be prohibited from teaching anything about the origins of life except evolution – no mention of “intelligent design” allowed. And “the Boy Scouts would lose all forms of federal support for teaching that a good Scout has a ‘duty to God.’”
It gets even more controversial. At least some influential atheists reportedly want to clone humans. “In a sign of the culture warfare to come,” reports Starobin, atheists are “emerging as an enthusiastic voice on behalf of scientific efforts to clone human beings, a technology with the potential to ‘conquer mortality.’” Seeing themselves as very pro-science, atheists “tend to think that mindless religious scruples prevent the development of such techniques as cloning that could extend the boundaries of human life.”
As I explain in my new book “How Evil Works,” the astonishing spectacle we are witnessing today – from the upsurge in militant atheism and pagan religions, to the overflowing toxic sewer of popular culture, to the attempted socialist coup d’etat in Washington, D.C. – is the utterly predictable, inevitable result of abandoning our nation’s core principles, otherwise known as Judeo-Christian values.
A couple of generations ago, almost all of America believed a few basic things: that there is a God, that He’s the God of the Bible, and that the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are the basis for a good life and a great society; that human beings are made in God’s image (so we don’t kill little babies before they’re born); that sex is sacred and reserved only for marriage. These and a few other common values, which formed the moral foundation of Western civilization for millennia and American civilization for centuries, gave life and strength to our nation and unity to our people.
Then, we were seduced into abandoning those few, innocent, shining truths. We were persuaded and intimidated into thinking they were old-fashioned, superstitious and repressive. Remember how Barack Obama referred to the Bible’s censure of homosexuality, dismissing the moral principles held as sacred by virtually all of America’s founders as “worn arguments and old attitudes”?
As most readers already recognize, America as we know it is being destroyed – or as Obama put it five days before the 2008 election, “fundamentally transformed.” But this didn’t start with Obama, his regime being just the latest phase of a long-term assault on the transcendent moral foundation of America. The termites have been voraciously boring at our ground floor, largely out of view, for decades.
There is unquestionably a way back, which I explore in-depth in “How Evil Works.” It will not be easy, but it can be done. However, if I may offer a friendly warning, there are also many ways of fighting back that, while making us feel good and righteous, serve only to make things worse, perhaps much worse. I spent a very long time sorting all this out and translating it into plain, simple English in “How Evil Works,” and I sincerely commend it to you.