The Uninspired Manifesto
Saturday, September 8, 2007
The Rise of Athiest America
The signs are everywhere. Many of America's top-selling books right now are angry, in-your-face, atheist manifestos. Judges try to outdo each other in banning references to God like the Ten Commandments and the "Under God" phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance. And nearly half of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll, would be willing to vote for an atheist for president of the United States of America – a nation founded by devout Christians.
Really? Every poll I've ever read says different, but OK...
In earlier eras, atheists were on the fringes of society, mistrusted by the mainstream. Those few who dared to publicly push their beliefs on society, like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, were widely regarded as malevolent kooks. But today, Hitchens' No. 1 New York Times bestseller, which has dominated the nonfiction charts for months, boldly condemns religion – including Christianity – as "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children."
Indeed, arrogant denial of God and condemnation of religious people characterize today's popular atheist books, which besides Hitchens' and Dawkins' bestsellers include "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris, sequel to his earlier bestseller "The End of Faith," as well as "God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist" by Victor J. Stenger, "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" by Daniel C. Dennett, "Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism" by David Mills and others.
"How can this be happening?," you might wonder. "Hasn't America always been a Christian nation?"
No question about it. America was founded by Christians. Its very purpose for being was the furtherance of biblical Christianity, according to the Pilgrims and succeeding generations. The nation's school system was created for the express purpose of propagating the Christian faith. Almost all of the Founding Fathers who drafted and signed the Constitution were Christian believers. Even U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer, in the high court's 1892 "Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States" decision, proclaimed what was then considered obvious to just about everyone: "This is a Christian nation."
Today, however, many Americans are infatuated with outright, full-bore atheism. In fact, Dawkins, the Oxford scientist who wrote "The God Delusion," is even selling young people "Scarlet Letter" tee-shirts with a giant "A" – for "atheist" – on his website (and bumper stickers too). Somehow, atheism – just like homosexuality, which used to be considered shameful and something to hide – is now becoming hip, sophisticated, enlightened, even a badge of honor.
Of course, I can't relay the entire article, because it's part of the latest issue of WND's 'Whistleblower' magazine they're trying to sell. In fact, while you're at the site, check out page after page, littered with the shitty merch they're trying to sell you.
What really pissed me off about this article, beyond the outright lies and bigotry, was the way they portrayed atheism as a fad; something people just wake up one morning and decide to do without ever thinking about it. No atheist that I know, or have ever met came to that conclusion overnight. I would write a letter explaining my disgust, but they're so fucking crazy over at that site, it wouldn't matter. Maybe someone out there who can relay an idea without using as much profanity could try instead.