“In America religion is the road to knowledge, and the observance of the divine laws leads man to civil freedom” Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America
In response to the recent assault by “tolerant” atheists, I am going to explain why it is necessary to maintain our Christian heritage in order to sustain our democracy. This is for the benefit of the “scientists” who presume themselves the authorities on everything and who have penned tomes with such ostentatious titles as The God Delusion, Letter to a Christian Nation, God: The Failed Hypothesis, and other works that rehash the arguments from ages past. They all have committed the common error of mistaking the empirical method for the whole of knowledge. It wouldn’t be too bad if they all just went off by themselves into their own little self-created hells where they snarl and snipe (called “free-thinkers meetings”) because a Christian might say “God bless you” or wear a tiny crucifix around her neck. Judging by the comments in reply to my column “Letter to a Stupid Atheist,” I have to conclude that this is one of the most miserable groups of people on earth. And as my adjective for them implies, they are not very smart, for there is no analogy between a female dog and a columnist, a claim they make through the name they call me in their blogs and letters.
But more importantly, whenever they assault Christianity, we need to remind them of the foundations of their freedoms.
First, the fact that they live in a country founded upon a belief in “inalienable rights” imparted by their Creator should give them a hint. The very notion of democracy is based on Christian principles—a historical fact, though one not really emphasized in our public school system. But I noticed as I was reading an article in 1999 in The Atlantic Monthly by Francis Fukuyama: “In the West, Christianity first established the universality of human dignity. . .” Yes, the Greeks had a democracy, but it was not a democracy for women and slaves. It was the radical Christian notion of equality--that there was neither “Jew nor Gentile,” and that even prostitutes could repent--that forms the basis of our democratic values.
This of course presupposes the notion of sin, or if you don’t like that old-fashioned word, imperfection. Christianity acknowledges the universality of human sin in addition to the universality of dignity. Therefore the Christian recognizes the limits of government because of the limitations of the (fallen) people who make up the government. The ultimate arbiter is God, not man the Scientist. Who is the ultimate arbiter for the atheist? Sam Harris? Richard Dawkins? Adolf Hitler? To whom will they appeal when they cannot decide their infernal debates?
The atheist, nonetheless, against all evidence, believes in the “progress” of science. He believes it can replace religion. And he believes that we are marching towards perfection. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that. But what do we do before we reach perfection? Which scientist do we turn to to save us? How do we make decisions now? Or if we mistakenly believe we have arrived at The Answer Through Science do we form our culture to that formula? But how do we know it’s perfect? Doesn’t each generation believe itself the most advanced? Didn’t the flappers? Didn’t the hippies? What do we do about the past generations that made mistakes?
This is where the idea of forgiveness comes in. The atheistic world view, since it does not allow for sin, does not allow for forgiveness. Instead, each successive generation smugly thinks of itself as more “advanced” than their predecessors. Grievances build up and with them a desire for retribution. Think about the demand for reparations, the young flocking to the despot Louis Farrakhan, the incessant “reminders” of “injustice” through music, art, and literature. The ruse has to be kept up. Revenge is called for, revenge even for the great-great granddaughters and sons. And thus we have groups who claim superiority—the opposite of the idea of equality. The aggrieved form the privileged, and superior, group, and thus we have the ridiculous notion that a black person or a Native American “cannot be a racist.” (I quote a former English professor as he was explaining the near-death beating of a white truck driver just for driving his truck while the Rodney King riot was going on.) Under the atheistic, secular view, only certain groups can be guilty of sin, and only certain groups deserve dignity. Such race-based favoritism is opposed to the Christian notion of fairness. But atheists believe in the Power of Their Own Minds and reforming society to bring about a utopia. Their Own Minds have come up with affirmative action, as well as forced euthanasia to “alleviate suffering,” concentration camps, and communism.
Thus the state replaces God and those with the physical or economic power dominate. They all presume that this is the “general will.”
Nonetheless, even as the systems presumably march on toward perfection, anarchists, who believe that they have the answer stir and fume. So in spite of the fact that virtually all conservative faculty members and texts have been eliminated in English departments, “resist and refuse” posters grace the doors of securely entrenched tenured radical English professors who make up hiring and curriculum committees. Somehow injustices still remain! And these radicals call for even more drastic changes, and finally anarchy. The fact that English professors cannot just stick to their jobs of teaching about the great literary traditions is evidence of the overweening hubris of the atheistic mind.
As the youth, taught by these radical atheists, search and search and look into the void, they find that they—in spite of the arguments of the atheists—have a spiritual need. Schooled in relativism and multiculturalism, they turn wildly to such things as paganism or radical Islam to fill a vacuum. I’ve had a student tell me about pagan rituals involving the drinking of human blood. Indeed, stupid atheists are responsible for taking away the spiritual bulwarks against internal jihad in our schools.
The atheist prides himself on his feelings of fairness and empathy but refuses to acknowledge the culture from which he has inherited these attributes. Such notions are as prevalent as the air we breath (thanks to Christians), but at one time in history they were not. At one time, women could be stoned to death and babies and the elderly left exposed to die. To what will the atheist appeal when we dispense with such notions?
But as I stated in my previous column, atheists are stupid. As George Santayana said, “Wisdom is the first philosophy, both in time and in authority, and to collect facts or to chop logic would be idle and would add no dignity to the mind, unless that mind possessed a clear humanity and could discern what facts and logic are good for and what not.” Well, the atheists are smart in a limited way. They can function at their technical jobs. But they cannot see or think outside of that box. They cannot do philosophy. They are incapable of seeing that their empirical method is really just a limited function, for limited tasks. And that its limitation comes ironically (for them) from the notion that man’s knowledge is limited. Philosophy is the larger investigation.
But because of his limited vision the atheist is incapable of seeing beyond the material world; he sees society as a giant organism. He sees it in a Darwinian manner, sees the part for the whole and does not even know that Darwin himself recognized the limits of his investigation. To atheists the world is a big organism and they fancy that they know everything because they see the world as a big organism. They do not know where this organism came from or what its ultimate purpose may be. Whether it’s the Big Bang theory or the reproductive habits of the amoeba, the atheist fancies that he has found the answer to EVERYTHING. Someone needs to clear the atheists of their confusion.
But in the meantime, atheists should not be allowed to impose their atheistic views on us and exclude all other, theistic, views as they are intent on doing. If they succeed they will eliminate democracy. They need to be reminded of the source of their own freedoms. They should be thanking God that they live in a Christian-based culture that believes in the separation of church and state and does not persecute them, and instead knows that it is through reason and the grace of God that they will be converted.
But that is not to say that we should remain silent and not counter their ignorance with facts and remind them of the Christian basis of democracy. We also need to tell them that, in spite of what they believe, they are not the wisest and they will not rule the world.