Mary Kochan of Catholic Lane reacts to some new stories involving atheists suing over “A Day of Prayer”:
Let’s get this straight. The atheists are suing because they had to turn off the television to avoid the topic of religion or news announcements about the Day of Prayer. They had to alter their conversation to avoid the topic of religion. This made them feel like “outsiders”.
Oh, boo hoo.
You whiny, sniveling, little, pusillanimous cowards. You have the audacity to tell us Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.” You are supposed to be so “courageous”, venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death, priding yourself on your realism and self-reliance. You are a bunch of feeble fakers.
…You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it hurt my feelings.” “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse.” “The sight of the Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.” Now we see how inadequate and feeble you really are. Rage, therapists say, is the flip side of helplessness. And so we see your rage against religion in the public square for what it is: a product of your own insubstantial internal resources. Go look at yourself in the mirror if you can bear the pathetic, contemptible sight of yourself. Our merest martyr shows you to be a wimp – fourteen-year-old Kizito of Uganda singing hymns while being burned alive. But you, you anemic, lily-livered worms – you quail at pushing the off button on the remote! Hah
One of the qualities of the so-called “new atheist” is their thinness of skin. In my decades of atheism seeing signs of belief in God did not freak me out wanting to file lawsuits or even rant on the topic. Sure I was condescending in attitude towards such belief and I wished for the Lennon utopian “imagine no religion”. It’s easy to do just as long as you ignore all human history. News of declining church attendance made me happy, but my mission in life was not to remove any kind of religious symbol from city seals.
The social Darwinism of the new atheists is ironically funny as they talk of how the strong survive while also being greatly upset at a Christmas tree on government property or a memorial cross on the same. They respond like vampires when they see a cross and act like it will kill them if they see one on government property.
There has always been the thread of the feeling of intellectual superiority within atheism labeling themselves as “brights” or “free thinkers”. I know I had the feeling of atheist pride living in a society that had not yet been uplifted to living by reason. For the new atheists this is especially prominent, though in many cases this is not evidenced by an erudite use of reason to propose the reasonability of atheism, but attacks on religion as being nothing other than pure poison that never had anything good to recommend it. Yet murderous atheist regimes had nothing to do with an atheist worldview while murderous theist regimes were always culpable because of religious views even as their actions were not in accord with them.
It is always dangerous to lump people together with any label. People are much more complicated than that to fit any into nicely defined groups with exact characteristics. Just like religious believers atheists have many “denominations” and range widely in regards to opposition to religious belief. Since it is difficult to impossible to determine someone’s motives it charitable to assume the best. So for the large majority of atheists I assume they are seeking the truth and have concluded that atheism is the truth.
But I will define a small group of atheist by their actions as the thin-skinned atheists a.k.a the new atheists. The ones who have the attitude like the book burners who want to eradicate all signs that disagree with them. They don’t want to participate in the public square acknowledging that most people are theists and a majority of them Christians. They want any such signs in the culture abolished as if this was the triumph of reason. If atheism was the only possible reasonable conclusion, then reason instead of lawsuits should be their main weapon. Instead we get people like Richard Dawkins who largely avoids debates and instead does things like supporting legal efforts to charge Pope Benedict XVI with crimes against humanity.
Leaving aside the problem that atheism undermines reason in the first place. There is a belief in scientism that science can answer every question even philosophical ones – eventually. The adage that when the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything looks like a nail is especially true for atheist of this stripe. Like the Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin who said “I don’t see any God up here.” Though maybe he should have called himself a Ramdomnaut as cosmos means “the universe seen as a well-ordered whole”. Or P.Z. Myers who apparently though that desecrating the Eucharist by throwing it in the trash was a scientific experiment to disprove God at some level. The scientific method of mockery. As if Jesus who allowed himself to be mocked, scourged and crucified would do something about this new indignity. Regardless God will not be proven or disproven by experimental science and to think so shows lack of knowledge both regards to the ability of science and even a basic philosophical understanding of the idea of God.
Jesus turned water into wine and the new atheist turns whine into lawsuits. Persuasion by being a jerk is not the most effective of the persuasive arts. The new atheist complains that he thinks theists don’t think he can be a good person as an atheist while not being able to define what an objective good is other than in selfish terms. Jesus asked “Why do you call me good” to elicit a response of faith while the new atheist asks “Why don’t you call me good” to elicit a faith in the moral goodness of atheism. They demand to be called good when acting like a jerk and demanding societal compliance with his atheism. The jerk atheist or jerkiest such as P.Z. Myers and his blog can be picked up by National Geographic only shows they must not really want to spread the “good news” of atheism. Though people acting like jerks and wanting to be seen as good is not confined to atheists.
Mark Shea also responds to the referenced article and writes:
Dearest atheists, consider taking some free advice from somebody who bats for the opposite team. You know who you guys could take a cue from? Christian martyrs. Roast ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew, they take a licking and keep on ticking. Gouge out their eyes and they laugh and turn it into a fun feast day. (Happy Feast Day to my grand-daughter, the Cuteness). Barbecue them and they say, “You can turn me over. I’m done on this side.” Heck, Perpetua was so badass that she actually helped the unnerved executioner in the arena by holding the tip of the sword to her throat so his trembling hands could deal the coup de grace. So New Atheists: Next time, pay attention to all those Christians you butcher by the millions and see if you can pick up some tips about how to cowboy up and deal with a little suffering. Those were men and women who could take it. Atheists who screech like little girls at the sight of a world not to their liking are not going to be very effective Vanguards for the Revolution because, you know, sheesh! What a bunch of sorry pantywaists!
His description of the new atheist “getting the vapors” when confronted by the idea of there being theists is rather apt. The lawsuit-filing ones might get the attention in the news, but how many see them as heroes to be applauded? When failing to remove the nativity they demand a public display for non-belief, which I guess would be a Negativity Display. In the meantime I will maintain the best way of annoying an atheist – by praying for them and loving them as my neighbor.