In a recent issue of New Oxford Review, Andrew Seddon ("The New Atheism: All the Rage") describes a "Reason Rally" in Washington, D.C., a "coming out" event sponsored by atheist groups. Among the speakers was Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," who claims that "faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument."
Christians have been infected by a "God virus," says Dawkins. They are no longer rational beings. Atheists should treat them with derisory contempt. "Mock Them!" Dawkins shouted. "Ridicule them! In public!"
In "The End of Faith," atheist Sam Harris wrote that "some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people."
"Since the New Atheists believe that religion is evil," notes Seddon, "that it 'poisons everything,' in (Christopher) Hitchens' words -- it doesn't take much effort to see that Harris is referring to religions and the people who follow them."
Now since atheists are still badly outnumbered in America and less well-armed than the God-and-Country boys, and atheists believe this is the only life they have, atheist suggestions to "kill people" of Christian belief is probably a threat Christians need not take too seriously.
With reference to Dawkins' view that the Christian faith "requires no justification and brooks no argument," Seddon makes a salient point.
While undeniable that Christianity entails a belief in the supernatural, the miraculous -- God became man that first Christmas, Christ raised people from the dead, rose himself on the first Easter Sunday and ascended into heaven 40 days later -- consider what atheists believe.
They believe that something came out of nothing, that reason came from irrationality, that a complex universe and natural order came out of randomness and chaos, that consciousness came from non-consciousness and that life emerged from non-life.
This is a bridge too far for the Christian for whom faith and reason tell him that for all of this to have been created from nothing is absurd; it presupposes a Creator.
Atheists believe, Seddon writes, that "a multiverse (for which there is no experimental or observational evidence) containing an inconceivably large number of universes spontaneously created itself."
Yet, Hitchens insists, "our belief is not a belief."
Nonsense. Atheism requires a belief in the unbelievable.
Christians believe Christ could raise people from the dead because he is God. That is faith. Atheists believe life came out of non-life. That, too, is faith. They believe in what their god, science, cannot demonstrate, replicate or prove. They believe in miracles but cannot identify, produce or describe the miracle worker.
At Christmas, pray for Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins and the other lost souls at that Reason Rally.