Atheists Continue to Win Popularity Contests With Their Charm

Mike Flynn relates the following tales of atheist social imbecility:

A headline from the Puffington Host informs us that in the on-going struggle to ensure that no one ever enjoys a benefit not enjoyed by everyone else [see single weddings, above]

Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen Must Offer Atheists Its Church-Goer Discount, State Rules

How a small restaurant in Lancaster County PA can establish a religion, TOF does not know.  Anyone remember “Ladies’ Nights”?  So far, the restaurant is hanging in there.  She [the owner] says if anyone brings in a bulletin from a mosque or synagogue, they get the discount, too.  That may not be a big issue in Lancaster County.  More likely the Amish, who don’t have churches per se, will be out in the cold; but they usually eat at home.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a first grader wrote a poem for Veteran’s Day, but was not allowed to read it.  Why you ask?  Why, because second graders can be an establishment of religion!  The poem, which was about her grandfather’s service in Vietnam, contained the line:

“He prayed to God for peace, he prayed to God for strength.”

It did not matter whether her grandfather had actually done so.  It mattered only that she had used the Phorbidden Phrase.  An *ssh*le parent complained and the line was stricken; thus teaching the child something about totalitarian techniques, the first amendment right to free speech, and the bullying methods of atheists.  She should have written that her grandfather burned a flag and went to Canada.  They would have stroked her for her courageous statement.  Hate to be so direct, but Jeez, some people need to get a life.

And to complete the godless trifecta, we have a case across the river here where a teacher who habitually used the phrase “the first shall be last” was pestered by a student to find out where the phrase came from.  (This is a high school student.  He didn’t already know!  So low has cultural education fallen.)  So the teacher told him and outside of school hours gave him a Bible where he could look it up.  And with that all of Western Civilization came tumbling down.  The usual suspect complained and the teacher was threatened with firing.  The words used made it sound like he had said something vulgar or had given the kid pornography.  If he had, he might have been celebrated as transgressive.  Who knows.  But the thing is this: How can anyone be an educated member of Western Civilization without any knowledge of it foundational documents?  Even to know the origins of common words and phrases?  You don’t have to be Jewish to understand what means the phrase “as old as Methuselah.”  You don’t have to be Christian to recognize the meaning of “turn the other cheek.”  Heck, you don’t even have to turn the other cheek: you could offer a beat-down instead and kick the sucker in the mouth when he’s down.  But you ought to know the origin and meaning of common expressions; and in English, that means the Bible and Shakespeare.  Tough noogies. (Modern student don’t like to read Shakespeare, either.  This will be handled by the new Obama “Common Core” standards to be imposed on all schools despite the Dept Ed. enabling legislation forbidding DoE from doing any such thing.)

More and more, I become convinced that dogmatic atheism is an expression, not of a philosophy, but of a particular kind of pathology that afflicts a small percentage of the population.  It can win a sort of fashionable following that temporarily expands its ranks from time to time, just as other times its ranks will shrink.  But it tends to remain roughly stable.  And even 20% of those who self-identify as atheist also state they believe in God.  But the fairly consistent tendency of dogmatic atheists to be insufferable jerks helps to insure that those with normal social and affective skills keep at arms length from them.  And the tendency of male atheists to be, ‘ow you say, not good with the ladies (plus the tendency of atheists to loathe “breeders”–as normal people who like children are called) helps to ensure that atheism remains a self-limiting proposition.  When it gets power, as for instance it did under such beloved figures as Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, dogmatic missionary atheism turns its social ineptitude into a homicidal force for a utopian post-theist society.  And when it is out of power, atheists tend to play the “no true Scotsman” game, pretending that murderous atheist regimes have nothing to do with atheism, while blaming Christians for the extermination of Canaanites by Joshua 3300 years ago.

Not all atheists are human toothaches, of course.  But a big enough percentage of them are that atheist Phil Plait needed to plead with them not to be “d*cks“.  He was roundly derided as a quisling by the very large Atheist Jerk community, who carefully examined their beautiful faces in the mirror and detected no flaws.

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  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    The only way to counteract this rotteness is for us Christians to (1) pray, pray, pray (2) to get our own lives in order, with God’s help and (3) to evangelize more, and better, and faster.

    School children in their off hours need to be evangelizing their classmates. Car-pooling Moms need to be evangelizing the children they give rides to. Play dates, overnights, and birthday parties are evangelizing opporutnities for students and parents. I ‘m recommending a gentle, low-key, contextually appropriate way of evangelizing; nothing aggressive or intimidating.

    If our lives are brimming with the love of God, and we show our eagerness to pour His love out upon others, then the predations of the wicked will come to nought all that much the sooner.

  • Technically, the problem isn’t with the atheists. The problem is whatever allows them to get their way.

    • Well, ya. Why is it that the Supreme Court in the U.S. seems to take its lead from the most dysfunctional members of society when establishing precedent? Very strange that these leaders cannot produce a rational understanding of separation of Church and State and the Freedom of Religion. Instead they take the interpretation of atheists and say, “Ya okay. That sounds about right. It’s been a long day. Let’s go for a drink.”

  • The Deuce

    On a related note, I recently came across this hilarious and illustrative true story about what happened when atheists actually did manage to create that utopian society without religion, right here in America, comprised entirely of “enlightened” freethinking atheists, that they claim is what we should aspire to:

    No doubt atheists will do the “No True Atheist” with these guys too, but they were clearly pretty much identical to the New Atheists in tone, worldview, and behavior.

  • sal magundi

    “I become convinced that dogmatic atheism is an expression, not of a philosophy, but of a particular kind of pathology that afflicts a small percentage of the population.”

    emphasis on “small.”
    btw, is dogmatic religiosity also an expression, not of philosophy, but of a particular kind of pathology? if not, why not? after all, using your own diagnostic, the dogmatically religious can be insufferable jerks too. claiming “Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot” (a thing i’ve heard endlessly) is an example of this. they were statists an utopians. plenty enough people who believe in collective economics aren’t atheists. it’s like saying that conservative evangelicalism is the motivation for The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism.

    • Mark Shea

      Depends on what you mean by “dogmatic”, but I would argue that, yeah, the same pathologies tend to create both religious and atheist fundamentalists.

  • phil

    And atheists wonder why no one likes them.

  • Alias Clio

    Sal magundi, you’re being obtuse. Most statists are not atheists nor Utopians. Pol Pot et al can hardly be blamed on them; nor, of course, are most atheists statists.

    The issue is that as more people become atheists they invent, embrace, or act upon Utopian political dreams, a phenomenon in the West since popular faith declined after the French Revolution . Atheistic utopianism is much rarer today than it was 50 years ago, of course. The last explosion of it came from the 1960s New Left, the Jerry Rubin-Bernardine-Dohrn-Daniel Cohn-Bandit radical wing of it.

    Stalin’s atheism was NOT the cause of his extreme violence (and I’m sure Mark doesn’t either), but he and his cohorts could not have been anything but atheists . The push to build new societies and create New Men to inhabit them by whatever means necessary is an atheist one. Of course, most atheists are not aspiring Stalins, but it’s hard to disagree that societies in the losing their faith have a tendency to produce such men, and that atheists are more likely than believers to have world-domination fantasies of this kind. (Hey, I suspect that several of the more, er, unpleasant popes were de facto atheists., but perhaps Mark would say that this is indulging in the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.)

    One final disclaimer: I don’t think such men as Stalin are likely to appear in societies that have entirely lost religious or quasi-religious faith, as ours probably has. What happens then (as in ancient China) is the slow collapse of social order as people grow more individualistic, then the rise of tribalism as they try to find alternatives to family and civic order; the worship of beauty, power, and physical strength; and increasing superstition. Such atheist societies don’t do much of anything except tax and spend – to pay their armies and pay off the populace so it doesn’t revolt. Once they lose the will to do even that, sooner or later they’ll fall to more dynamic invaders from the outside with more energy and fewer scruples.

    • The Deuce

      “nor, of course, are most atheists statists.”

      Actually, in my experience, this is far from true. The vast, vast majority of atheists I have ever met are left-wing statists.

      • The Deuce

        …and the few that aren’t tend to be libertarian utopianists

      • Alias Clio

        My experience, for what it’s worth, doesn’t tally with yours. I know a good many libertarian atheists, and perhaps rather more of them than of the left-wing* variety, although I’ve not attempted a serious reckoning of the numbers. Many of my younger, leftish friends and acquaintances have New Age tendencies of one sort or another, and while they may not be believers, or Christians, they are decidedly not atheists. They have on the whole a strong but obscure sense that Somebody out there demands Something of them. They are hardliners about gay rights and sexual freedom, but they are deeply hostile to adultery and – a small but positive sign, at least somewhat hostile to abortion. Most would not consider it (even in a “crisis pregnancy”), although most still say that if other people want to, well, they wouldn’t…. you know the drill.

        *In fairness, not all left-wingers are statists, at least not in theory. Marxists of the old school – the ones who actually read Marx – were ultimately anarchists who sought the withering away of the state. I’m old enough to remember when bona fide Marxists were thicker on the ground than they are now, and I sort of miss them. Unlike postmodernists, they didn’t think that reality was whatever you declared it to be (“I think I’m a man, therefore I am”). They had some knowledge of economic reality beyond the merely sentimental. Indeed, their vice was that they gave too little acknowledgement of the reality of sentiment and subjectivity in human affairs, and this grossly distorted their thinking about human society. However, in some moods I think it would be refreshing to encounter such an attitude now.

  • “Americans do one of two things: they either take a good idea and run it into the ground, or they take a bad idea and run it into the ground.” – George Carlin

  • The ongoing theme that seems to unify every atheist that I have ever met is not that they don’t believe in God (most are more agnostic in their sentiment or even explicitly state that they believe that God can or even does exist) but that they all hate God.

  • brian

    “Welcome to Prudhomme’s! Ah, you’re Atheist, you say? You get your ordered spiced to 10 stars. We think you’ll find that good preparation for the future for some reason.”

  • tz

    We have destroyed freedom of association (in the negative) so every business needs to have an integrated lunch counter and give atheists the same privileges as churchgoers (Waiting for someone to force Kosher deli to sell a ham and cheese).

    Then we have government schools, which some misname as “public”.

    Yet because I bring up subsidiarity to hold individuals as sacrosanct from D.C. (and not the village or county, or even the state), it is too much libertarianism.

    If you take “solidarity” to excess, remember that atheists are people to so you will be enabling them as well as those who you might deem “nice”. That some will find offense at any mention of “God”. That others will find greater offense if you define “God” differently.

    The safe option is to strangle or castrate leviathan as appropriate to keep it from imposing foreign wills.

    We used to have “shame”. That was once more powerful but less immediate and direct than force, guns, intimidation, fear, coercion. Shame taught tolerance on both sides.

    Instead of saying “shame on you”, it is now “I’ll sue you”.

  • RFlaum

    To some extent this sort of thing is just people being jerks, but I do think there’s a deeper issue here that drives some of the more absurd forms of extremist secularism. Now, everyone knows that if there were an actual armed conflict between Christians and atheists — or Christians and Jews, or Christians and Sikhs, or whatever — the Christians would win, due to their enormous numerical advantage. More realistically, if there were a political contest in America between Christians and non-Christians, the Christians would be able to out-vote everybody else. If Christians really wanted to abuse their power to disadvantage other groups, they could. So if you belong to one of these other religious groups, especially if it’s a very small minority, there’s… it’s sort of like sharing an apartment with a dragon. The dragon may be very polite, you may be intellectually aware that he’s far too much of a nice guy to actually breathe fire at you, but there’d always be in the back of your mind the uncomfortable awareness that he could if he wanted to. If you saw him sharpening his claws or flexing his muscles, you’d get a bit jumpy. This might lead you into doing some stupid things, as fear does. The paranoia some of these secularist (I say secularist rather than atheist for a reason) groups display about imaginary Christian attempts to grab power are a very similar sort of reaction, I think.

    • Chris M

      I think there’s something to this. It’s exacerbated by legends of the dragon past who used to filet hapless nonbelievers at a whim with its claws and/or toast them to a nice medium well with its fiery breath after staking them. If certain interested parties continue to perpetuate and inflate these frightening legends, then no wonder people still fear the dragon.