Sunday, December 17, 2006


Duck and Cover

Quoted from "Atheist Chic" by Dan Neil without further comment:

I am a white Anglo-Saxon male born in late-20th century America—in other words, one of the most privileged beings to walk the earth. And yet insofar as my godlessness is concerned, I am a member of a despised minority. It's like being gay.

I do appreciate the company, and the ammunition in these books [Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation, et al.], and the occasional exchanged glance of solidarity in the bookstore. But I'm just slightly alarmed. The new atheism is pretty hard-core, militantly insisting we challenge religiosity wherever we meet it, or else enable its darker extremist tendencies. In other words, the new atheism is on a quest for conversion. Having insisted on tolerance of our non-faith, Dawkins and Harris' take-no-prisoners orthodoxy would have us be intolerant of others' faith. Oh boy, just when I was beginning to enjoy being an atheist.

I can't bring myself to confront others on the truth-data of their religious beliefs, even if they do involve some strange convoluted myth of Old Testament prophesy and Hellenistic blood cults. I was brought up better than that. Believe what you like, insofar as it does not interfere with my lack of belief. Believe in Thor's mighty hammer, for all I care. Tell me Merry Christmas when I'm coming out of Wal-Mart. And happy holidays right back at ya.
Excuse me, I hear my shell calling.

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