One of the staples of right-wing populism is misology, a hatred of knowledge and learning. We hear it all the time and it has seeped into the ethos with phrases like “pointy-headed intellectuals” and “common sense” (a meaningless phrase usually used in contrast to too much thinking). Tom Flannery in the Worldnutdaily devotes an entire column to “brain-dead intellectuals,” a group he seems to think he can defeat merely by quoting Bible verses.
Perhaps Mamet’s declaration would be better said as being no longer a “brain-dead intellectual.” That may sound like an oxymoron, but the truth is it’s precisely the problem we’re dealing with when it comes to the cultural elites in politics, media, entertainment and academia.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” the Bible puts it in Romans 1. Such militant atheism is the core “value” of the modern-day intellectual.
The late Christopher Hitchens, for example, felt that “atheism” was far too genteel and passive a word to describe his antipathy toward religion and his opposition to anything that even smacked of it. Thus, he called himself an anti-theist. He was an avowed activist in a lifelong campaign against God.
And yet, Scripture also tells us, in Psalm 14:1: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’…”
Now where have I heard this kind of thing before? “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture,” said Pastor Ray Mummert during the Dover trial.
Only a fool, after all, would affirm a philosophy which is intellectually untenable – as atheism is, since it’s impossible to prove a universal negative.
And atheists do not try to, except the straw man variety that you love so much. Next?
Only a fool would go a step further and devote his entire life to evangelical atheism, actively and venomously opposing something (or, in this case, Someone) you don’t even believe exists!
Except when that “something” is used to justify bigotry, discrimination and oppression. Then only a fool would not devote their lives to defeating it.
Only a fool would enthusiastically embrace an ultimately hopeless worldview, and then even celebrate it as somehow preferable to life in a universe created and controlled by a loving God.
What does “preferable” have to do with it? You may think that a world controlled by God is a better one (I disagree), but that does not magically make that God exist just because you would prefer it if he did.
To be sure, the problem that our elites – and the rest of the unbelieving world – have with God is not an intellectual one. It resides not in the head, but in the heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 declares that the human heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” because of sin. Thus, they willfully reject what they know of God’s existence, His holiness, His sovereign power – or what they could know – in order to wallow in the sin and rebellion that consumes their very souls.
Yet another reason to dismiss the Bible, it thinks the heart does something other than pump blood.
This entire column could have been one sentence long: “I ain’t never had no need for book learnin’.”