Lack of belief as an identity

Brendan O’Neill himself does not believe in God, but he has written a piece entitled How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet – Telegraph Blogs.  After rehearsing the various ways atheists have become obnoxious, he offers a rather penetrating analysis of why that is:

So, what’s gone wrong with atheism? The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, which is just non-belief, a nothing, a lack of something. Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an identity, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism. The problem with today’s campaigning atheists is that they have turned their absence of belief in God into the be-all and end-all of their personality. Which is bizarre. Atheism merely signals what you don’t believe in, not what you do believe in. It’s a negative. And therefore, basing your entire worldview on it is bound to generate immense amounts of negativity. [Read more…]

The Six Types of Atheists

Christians have their different theologies.  Conservatism comprises a number of different ideologies.  Now studies are showing that there are different kinds of atheists.  Sociologist George Yancey discusses recent research that classifies atheists into six different types. [Read more…]

The religious spectrum of liberals and conservatives

E. J. Dionne is a liberal columnist who is also a  faithful Catholic.  He has written a column warning liberals about the anti-religion reflex that some of them display.  In doing so, he cites a useful study of where both liberals and conservatives fall on the religious spectrum. [Read more…]

Why there is only one way to salvation

Once again I see on the LCMS website in the “View from Here” feature an article I wrote a long time ago, I think for Lutheran Witness.  It takes up what has been called “the scandal of particularity”; that is, the claim that there is only one way that leads to Heaven, the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Why aren’t other religions equally valid?  How can we credibly  hold to Christ as the only way to Heaven  in our current climate of religious pluralism?  And, as if that isn’t a difficult enough problem, I throw in the question of how a just God could condemn someone for not being a Christian.  Reading the piece long after I have forgotten what I said, I found myself approaching it like any other reader and, in an odd way, learning from myself.  I’ll present the essay in its entirety after the jump.

[Read more…]

Shifting from family values to religious freedom

McKay Coppins notes a change in the message of Republicans and social conservatives in particular.  No longer are they pushing for moral issues, apparently feeling that those battles have been lost.  Instead, they are fighting for religious freedom, for the liberty of religious people, at least, to hold to their moral convictions. [Read more…]

Atheists offended by Star of David

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is trying to get the state of Ohio to remove a Star of David.  From a Holocaust memorial!

[Read more…]