Illinois Newspapers Portray ‘Atheist Baby’ as Future Killer

Are you prepared for the onslaught of atheist babies who go around murdering other people?

That’s the doomsday scenario sketched in an apparently dead-serious anti-atheism editorial that just got published in as many as seven Bugle newspapers, all small-town Illinois weeklies.

The writer fantasizes about two “atheist babies” (a tautology*: all babies are atheists) who get marooned on opposite sides of an island. One infant is found and raised by kindly Christians. The other child is reared by the Christians’ godless counterparts: a pack of wolves.

Wait — what?

You read that right: In order to lead this tale to its “correct” conclusion, the author’s first order of business is to paint non-believers as non-human; indeed, he equates them with predatory animals.

The deck thus stacked, Peter, the baby raised on Christian values, becomes (what else) a kind and compassionate young man. Paul, the Romulus-like feral child who knows only the “kill-for-advantage” law of the jungle, beats Peter to death the first time he lays eyes on him, in a squabble over some really delectable berries. The End.

The lesson that The Bugle says we should learn from this quasi-Biblical fable is that

… outside of the liberty of Western thought, wholly based on Christian morality, you cannot make a judgment [about right or wrong]. It is to each his own to decide good from evil. At its very heart liberalism is non-judgmentalism taken to its logical and idiotic conclusion. For good or bad to exist, in some objective sense, you need a God and a particular one: A God who is love, who is the creator and who continues to have a vested interest in his creation. Otherwise, the difference between good and evil is simply a matter of opinion.

No word is spent on the universality of the Golden Rule, which predates Christianity by many millennia, and which was articulated by Confucius some 500 years BCE and by Plato in roughly the same era. Nor does the Bugle‘s essayist manqué care to confront the frequent absence of the Golden Rule in the Bible, such as when Abraham slavishly agrees to kill his son on God’s say-so.

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Our incurious scribe gives no thought at all to the now largely godless countries of Scandinavia, all of which score sky-high on various desirable social metrics, from low crime to high literacy and from low unemployment to high levels of charitable giving.

And he expends not a syllable on the clear evolutionary advantage of things such as cooperation and trust and empathy, nor on their scientific underpinnings, like moral molecules and mirror neurons.

Basta! We can safely say that when it comes to treating non-believers fairly, The Bugle blows.

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[*corrected, with thanks to reader Brian Westley]

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.


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