it begins to seek thrills in transgression. The other day we talked about blasphemy and the bourgeois values that most New Atheists affirm in their timid “transgressions” against the Christian tradition. We noted that the New Atheists still sanely hold lots of things sacred. That’s why they don’t advocate race war, or slavery, or wife beating, or child abuse, or the rape of rain forests. Those things would be violations of real sanctities for them. True, they are lesser sanctities, in the theistic picture of things. But real sanctities they remain, including for Christians.
But a culture that enshrines “nothing is sacred” at its core (as fools like Christopher Hitchens did, even as he unconsciously observed all sorts of the sanctities just mentioned) and which gets its substitutes for happiness, not from the joy that comes from God, but from the electric thrill of shocking bourgeois piety? Such a culture sooner or later starts searching for fresh ways to offend, to stab the numbed nerve back to life. And so the New Atheists will inevitably find *their* pieties blasphemed by a fresh generation of soul-numbed wretches in search of new boundaries to push. Case in point: Disney child star Brenda Song.Tres transgressive, no? Let’s go all Nazi chic! It will drive the folks crazy! Mass murder is, like, sooooo cule!
Special bonus: The article this appeared in, before an editor fixed it, called the swastika “the symbol used by Nazi soldiers in World War II to identify Jewish people.” The doom of a culture of transgression is historical illiteracy, since all that old stuff is stupid crap we’re making fun of, not trying to learn from.
To their credit, they did call it “wildly inappropriate” though, so there are some vestiges of the old sanctities still operating in that newsroom. Brenda’s generation will see to gassing those sanctities. And some future generation will see to gassing the people who reverence them. Nothing is sacred, remember.
People seriously believe that a post-Christian culture is going to be a paradise of freedom and not a bizarre melange of moral chaos and police surveillance state.