I suppose that in the strictest philosophical sense, the atheist – who denies the existence of God – is making the ultimate expression of a free will that God didn’t give him. I personally find this rationale about as perverse as the psychopath’s perception that murder is the ultimate expression of power over another.
I could cite quite a few very recent polls – many taken by unabashedly liberal organizations – which reported that the percentage of Americans who believe in God unequivocally is somewhere between 85 percent to 95 percent.
These statistics would appear to cross well over nearly all political boundaries. It’s certainly not a question of the Religious Right vs. the Secular Left. The national election of 2004 gave rise not only to some of the aforementioned polls, but to a realization amongst politicos and the media that values were a key voter issue across the board.
And why not? If one weeds through the tripe on television, winds their way past the news, past the smattering of family programming and arrives at PBS, the bastion of secular thought, what will one find their viewers gobbling up? Dr. Wayne Dyer, who quotes Christ, the Buddha, as well as more contemporary Eastern and Western religious scholars with equal ease.
Yet, religion and religious values in America are under spirited attack by what is evidently a minority – albeit an extremely vocal and resourceful one. The American Civil Liberties Union has received a great deal of press of late relative to their efforts on the part of the secularist agenda – the mere hint of an ACLU-initiated lawsuit has been enough to bring about capitulation regarding religious issues on the part of public and private organizations alike. This “fear factor” and the nascent PC zeitgeist in certain areas has led some institutions to voluntarily banish religious speech and symbols from their culture lest they do come under attack by these cultural racketeers.
The incredulity of people like myself lies in that such an overwhelming majority has been so effectively cowed by so few. If religious people protest, let alone stand up for themselves, their actions are condemned as manifestly evil, not to mention unconstitutional, for attempting to somehow “force religion” upon others.
But has not atheism become a religion unto itself? Indeed, to the religious person, it is less of a question of believing or not believing in a god, but which god one believes in.
What, if not “religious zeal,” can be applied to the vigor with which atheists have attacked religion?
What does the atheist find so threatening about religion and religious values anyway? Well, Jews are into obedience to God, education and industriousness, and Buddhists espouse deep introspection. Christians have that horrible gospel of unconditional love and Divine forgiveness, and the silent majority of Muslims who don’t want to kill and blow things up espouse compulsory charity and community.
The common denominator is, of course, accountability – to oneself, society and, ultimately, to God by extension. All of these things are threatening to socialists, for whom the ultimate authority must be the State. It should be no surprise that nearly all atheists, preferring the contractual governmental concept to a covenantal one, lean toward socialism.
It’s easy to blather on about lofty ideals, and even easier to dismiss them, because after enough blather, they become abstracts, even to many of their proponents. So what does the traditionalist see as the downside to the glorious new age atheists wish to usher in?
Well, if the last 40 years are any indication, it will mean more unwed teenage mothers, fatherless children, sexually transmitted diseases, divorce, drug abuse, gang violence, corruption in business and politics, economic decline, the diminishing of America as a world power – pretty much any social malaise you might name. We’re simply not the wise, socially-evolved race from “Star Trek” that atheists would like us to think we are.
Simply put: Without that accountability, people will do pretty much anything they want, which is often not in the best interest of themselves or society at large.
Back to atheism as a religion. Weighing the positive side of adherence to traditional values against the societal ills described above, atheism appears to be an immature exercise in intellectual narcissism – more of a supplanting of God with oneself rather than a disbelief in the God concept.
With respect to the political dynamics of the anti-religion jihad, it would seem atheists are simply another minority that the left has taken under its wing in order to actualize its ultimate goal: the State as god.
Atheists – and those quasi-religious secularists who claim to believe in God, but that it’s OK to drive Him into the church and bar the door – assert that theirs is a more tolerant ideology. This is laughable, since they have been free to believe or not believe in anything they liked since the inception of this nation, yet now they – a marked minority – make no secret of their desire to drive the majority into the closet. Their cries of the religious “forcing religion” upon them are as specious as multimillionaire ethnic minorities who decry America as a racist nation. If they’re so oppressed, how is it that they have developed such an inordinately strong political voice?
Spirituality is at the core of enlightenment with respect to the Ultimate Arbiter of right and wrong – religion is simply its utility. The state is only capable of influencing minds and enforcing laws – it is incapable of arbitrating right and wrong. When the individual assumes that role … look out.