Atheist Governments; Failed Experiments in Godless Goodness

Christian persecution in our world today seems to occur at junctures where competing ideas meet.

In the Middle East, the juncture is mostly between Islam and Christianity. In India, it is mostly between Hinduism and Christianity.

Atheists often claim that if we would just do away with faith, these types of bloody conflicts would end. But the juncture of competing ideas between Atheism and Christianity has proven just as bloody and even more oppressive in every government that has been dominated by atheists and atheist philosophy. Also, the people saying this ignore that they are themselves engaging in hazing, hate speech and other forms of attacks against Christians of a type that always leads to violent persecution if it goes unchecked.

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Militant secularism in the West has become just as much a competing idea with Christianity as Islam and Hinduism is in the East. Militant secularists in America and Europe are quite aggressive in their verbal attacks against Christianity and Christians. They also have managed to pass laws which interfere with the practice of Christianity and the freedom of Christian churches to function. This move toward discriminatory laws appears to be gaining momentum as each new law is passed.

The specific junctures where Christianity runs into the most aggressive attacks varies from culture to culture. In the West, the movement right now is to strip Christianity and Christians of legal protections concerning their right to practice their faith, while at the same time creating ever-broadening restrictions on any expression of Christian thinking in public life.

We have prayer bans, attempts to either deface or destroy public monuments that mention God and constant threats and demands aimed at public Christians to refrain from mentioning God in conversation, debate or speeches. By far the most draconian expression of this move to destroy Christian influence in Western society is the HHS Mandate. This is an all-out government attack on the rights of religious institutions to follow the teachings of their faith.

Norman rockwell golden rule do unto others saturday evening post cover april 1 1961

This kind of secularism is distinct from the healthy secular society that most people, including me, support. Healthy secularism keeps government out of faith and allows people space to believe and practice their faith in peace and harmony. Militant secularism, is the antithesis to this.

Its practitioners use the tools of unjust discrimination to further their aims, including hate speech, verbal harassment, shunning, social isolation and legal discrimination to further their goal of driving those who don’t share their ideas from the public sphere. They also show up at religious discussions and try to take over the discussion and hijack the debate, thus making it impossible to religious people to interact in a positive manner. This is especially widespread in on-line discussions such as this blog.

All this tawdry behavior is done in the name of a utopian claim that if only religion were driven from the world, evil would go away along with it. One of the many debating tricks these people use is to hold God (who they say does not exist) guilty for human depravity. Thus, if children die of starvation, they ask why a “god” would allow this. If five men rape and torture a young girl, they condemn god for allowing it, not the five men for doing it.

Underlying this logic is an extreme disrespect for human freedom. This disrespect for human freedom manifests in their attempts to use the law, shunning, slander, and verbal hijacking to silence anyone who speaks about faith. They don’t believe that other ideas should be heard, and they use every tool available to them to stop this from happening. The things they try to blame on God are results of human freedom, used to sinful aims.

The question arises, what if they win? What if they succeed in driving faith and people of faith into intellectual and actual ghettos of silence and subservience? What kind of society will we have where the only people who can hold responsible jobs, ranging from government officials to medical personnel to court typists and clerks, are those who are willing to violate their faith and bend their knee to the secular god of license?

Will our society be better when the Churches either close their hospitals and schools and do away with their charitable organizations or recast those organizations to follow whatever the latest anti-Christian fashion dictates? Will our society improve when religious leaders are silenced and afraid to say one word about what they believe outside their sanctuaries?

Is the key to world peace, prosperity and endless harmony, simply a matter of destroying the civil and human rights of people of faith? That is the basic claim of militant secularists and atheists. Do away with religion and we will do away with sin.

What sort of world will we have if they succeed in their goals? Sadly, we already have a number of examples of what happens when religion is driven to ground in a society. All we have to do is consider the bloodbath of the 20th century. From Stalin to Pol Pot, we have a wide swath of godless governments to chose from in our consideration. If what they offer is utopia, I do not understand the word. 

Stalin hitler photomontage zpscf3e7967

There are two ways of bringing religious faith under the government heel. The first is to suppress it, as the Communists, or those on the left, do. The other is to co-opt it as the Nazis and those on the right do.

If you want to see a fine example of government co-opting Christianity, look no further than the Third Reich. Hitler overtook and controlled Christianity, first by claims of phony fealty, and later by brute force. He didn’t shut down the churches, he twisted them to his own propaganda ends. This is a form of militant secularism that we ignore at our peril. I call it militant secularism because it puts government in control of the churches and destroys them just as surely as the secularism which seeks to end religion.

With either form of militant secularism, we end up with a tyranny of the mind which leads to human beings reduced to chattel which their government may dispose of as they wish. The end result of militant secularism appears to be slavery, misery and mass murder of millions.

Atheist governments are failed experiments in godless goodness. Rather than leading us to a utopia where freedom reigns, they inevitably take us to the pit, where freedom is abolished and murder becomes arbitrary. 

Brave new world1

Militant secularists promise us a brave new world with lots of drugs, sex and rock and roll. They teach us the moral value of killing and degrading with impunity with their support of abortion, euthanasia and medical experimentation on embryos, “designer” children, farming women for eggs to sell, drive to legalize prostitution and support of pornography. They trample the building blocks of society with their attacks on family and home.

They seek to gain power by selling us on the fun of participating in our own cultural suicide.

But what, when they gain power, do they actually give? A world in which people are without self-discipline is a world that requires severe government discipline. A world in which people do not value any life but their own becomes a world in which no life is safe. A world that admits of no power higher than brute force is a world in which the biggest and the meanest get to make all the rules.

Instead of freedom, the governments we find at the end of this yellow brick road of license are totalitarian and cruel. Instead of being expressions of our liberty, the abortion clinics and on-line sites where women are bought and sold are harbingers of our universal future in this world of godless goodness.

Atheist governments have been tried. Many millions of people have died in their goodness. Millions more have lived their lives as chattel slaves of the state.

It is time we exposed the lies at the core of these promises of a utopia for all of us if we just oppress religious people into silent subservience to the state. They are lies told by liars who are pied pipers of people who want what they want and do not care what or who they destroy to get it.

 

  • Joel J. Miller

    Thanks for this. You should check out Larry Taunton’s Grace Effect if you haven’t seen it already.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’ll look it up. Thank you for suggesting it.

  • Brian Westley

    Tons of rhetoric, almost total lack of any kind of cites.

    Atheists really scare you, don’t we?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Brian, there’s no reason to provide cites for things like the mass murders of Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler. There is also no reason to provide cites for their religious oppression. Ditto for just about everything else I said. I could easily do it, but it would clutter things up and I would be “citing” what is common knowledge. If you are unaware of this, you might google a bit and inform yourself.

      As for atheists “scaring” me, if I was scared, I wouldn’t write posts like this. I would let them bully me into silence.

    • Theodore Seeber

      If Atheism doesn’t scare you, it is because you aren’t skeptical enough.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    There are no utopias because man is flawed and sinful. It is only through the power of Christinaity – the love of our fellow man as demonstrated in Christ – that a better world can be achieved. Removing Christ from the public square as the atheists want to do is a disaster in the making, as demonstrated by the atheist messiahs, Hitler, Stalin, Mao. And yes I use the word “messiah” here conscious of all its implications.

  • Rusty Yates

    >”But the juncture of competing ideas between Atheism and Christianity has proven just as bloody and even more oppressive in every government that has been dominated by atheists and atheist philosophy.”
    Yeah? Like in Sweden and Norway, Estonia, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic. Do you Christians ever ever ever look at the real world? What does Christianity do to your brains?

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      Who says that those countries are atheist countries? Last time I checked, while they may not have majorities of religious people, they still had a substantial religious population with a comperable representation in the government. The atheists don’t have free power as they did in Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, and Communist countries. And don’t forget atheist post French Revolution France.

      • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

        The Czech Republic has a plurality of atheists. The state is nastily anti-Catholic, so much so that it tried to ignore its own laws about restoring assets stolen by Communists to their rightful owners where the Church was concerned, until the courts told them that they could not do so. But it is certain that Czech churches are empty.

        At the back of this lie old Hussite hatreds. The Hussites were among the most violent heresies in history, and were eventually subdued by brute force; but they left behind an ineradicable hatred for the Church. This later joined forces with Communism, and also with the deep Czech contempt for their Catholic neighbours in Slovakia, with the result that the Communist persecution of the Church was more violent in Czechoslovakia (in which the Czech element was always dominant) than anywhere else, and lasted longer – until the very end of Communism, when East Germany and Hungary were already crumbling, Communist thug were still hounding and harrassing the few priests and three elderly Bishops left in the country. I think one day the Czech republic will rejoin the mainstream of civilization, but that day is not yet. I actually have a half-sister whose mother is Czech; the mother is a sworn atheist, while the daughter, having spiritual instincts but having been inoculated against the Church from childhood, has become a pagan. And to understand the depth of the Czech problem, you have to understand that my half-sister’s mother was not a Communist, but a refugee from Communism who sought freedom in Catholic Italy in the nineteen-seventies.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      Thank you Rusty. I am always confused at how people attempt to link the 20th century genocides to atheism. Yes, Stalin was an atheist, but he was also a ruthless dictator who would do anything to achieve his political goals. Pol-pot was an atheist, but but he was also a ruthless dictator who would do anything to achieve his political goals. Hitler was not an atheist, but he was a ruthless dictator who would do anything to achieve his political goals. It isn’t too hard to see a trend here.

      As you point out, many of the Scandinavian countries have high atheist populations and I am sure that many of their leaders are atheist as well. Yet they are not murdering millions, perhaps because they are not ruthless dictators who would do anything to achieve their political goals…

      • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

        Or because Scandinavians are obedient by nature. As for not murdering millions, you neglect abortion.

      • Theodore Seeber

        The trouble is New Atheists, rather than swearing off the beliefs of such dictators, seek to bring those beliefs into the political sphere. Gay Marriage, abortion, euthanasia, the eugenics movement in general, the utopian principles of economics, are all rampant in New Atheist circles.

        That is why I said what I said above- if you’re not afraid of Atheism, you’re not skeptical enough.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com Jessica Hoff

    I can’t believe that even an atheist needs ‘cites’ for the mass murders of the last century.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      No, citation for that is not needed. But I would like to request the following:

      1. A tangible connection between atheism and the mass murders of the last century (By tangible, I mean it shouldn’t fit the form of “Stalin and Hitler had mustaches! Therefore mustaches cause murder!”)

      2. Citation for all of the supposed rampant persecution of Christians in the USA (which is supposedly being perpetrated by our majority Christian government, strangely enough.)

      • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

        The fact is that I don’t believe you are in good faith. When a man tries to argue that the sun is not bright or warm, and that the event of being warm and in light when it is out in the sky is merely a coincidence, I don’t think I need rate his good faith too highly. The obvious fact is that Communism wanted Christianity dead because it bore an alternative view of hope and salvation, one that made it irrelevant to hate the rich or mass murder political enemies; and Nazism regarded itself as the very denial of Christianity, and proceeded accordingly. These are things you will find in any textbook. So, when you talk as though they were problematic or difficult, I can only conclude that you are consciously or unconsciously in bad faith.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        This is harassment. These things are common knowledge. However, I’m going to write an entire post detailing it later today. It may be quite a bit later as I’m busy.

        Done. See here.

  • Bill S

    “They also show up at religious discussions and try to take over the discussion and hijack the debate, thus making it impossible for religious people to interact in a positive manner. This is especially widespread in on-line discussions such as this blog.”

    Since this sounds very much like someone we know, I want to say that, while I don’t regret debating with others, I sincerely regret discouraging people from giving their own opinions. That was not my intent at all.

    There are only a handful (or two) of issues that secular people have differences with Christians over. The rest is all good.

    Christians have it in their heads that abortion is the worst thing since the atom bomb and the Holocaust. Secular people tend not to think that way. The result is that it is left to the woman to decide. That doesn’t seem like a loss of anyone’s freedom. Of course the counter argument to this is that the unborn have freedoms too. But that has never been established.

    Christians oppose gay marriage. Secular people, for the most part, do not. To allow it is to grant a freedom. To prohibit it is to deny a freedom.

    Christians, or at least Catholics, oppose contraception. And those against abortion include the morning after pill as an abortion causing drug. Secular people tend not to oppose contraception or have any problem with the morning after pill. Employers who don’t want to cover these because they violate their conscience seem to have a legitimate gripe and the courts might ultimately agree that they do.

    Christians oppose death with dignity, which is legal in three states. Secular people are divided on the issue. To allow it grants a freedom. To prohibit it takes away a freedom.

    Christians oppose cloning, stem cell research, invitro fertilization, etc. Secular people do not for the most part. The concern is for the unborn, which is similar to the disagreements about abortion.

    I don’t think secular people want to take away religious freedom. They just want freedom from religious influence in government decisions. No one is trying to make this country into a totalitarian state.

    • Theodore Seeber

      Bill, numerically, how many people did the Atom Bomb kill at Nagasaki and Hiroshima? How many people died in the Nazi Death Camps- of all stripes, not just Jews?

      Now compare that to the number of abortions since 1973, and you’ll see why pro-lifers of all stripes, not just Christians but also the more rational atheists, MIGHT consider abortion to be a genocide.

      If “Secular people don’t think that way”, then it is because math scores in public high schools are horribly low.

      • Theodore Seeber

        The difference being that is an “Act of God”, and we’re talking about “Acts of Men”.

        Nobody ever suggested that there wasn’t a double standard between what is proper for God, and what is proper for Man. There’s a huge gap of wisdom between the two- which you seem bent on displaying with your comments.

    • Theodore Seeber

      And that’s just the beginning of the lies “secular people” take as gospel truth without being skeptical about it.

    • Darren

      Bill S.;

      To clarify, the argument goes something like this:

      To prevent people of Faith from imposing their views upon other people (without Faith or with different Faith) is to _deny_ those people of Faith their free expression.

      • Jack

        As long as you think freedom is doing whatever you like, consider yourself lucky you’re being told what to do only on a blog.

        • Jack

          Lucky, for the moment.

  • http://jackhudson.wordpress.com/ Jack

    Thanks for this Rebecca.

    In my many discussions with atheists they often cite the supposed violence of Christian history – the Crusades, Salem Witch Trials, etc as evidence against Christianity. Yet the violence in those instances is not nearly as prevalent as that genocides and purges that were part of atheistic movements like the French Revolution, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambdian Killing Fields, The mass starvation and imprisonments in North Korea, and the political oppression of Castro’s Cuba.

    If the death and violence wrought by a worldview should cause us to reject it, then overt atheism should certainly be rejected.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Jack.

  • Theodore Seeber

    It has gone so far as to make some people like me deny even healthy secularism can exist. Tolerance is no longer a virtue when you are forced to be tolerant.

  • Brian Westley

    As I expected, you once AGAIN refuse to post my responses. You dish it out but you can’t take it. You whine about how atheists muffle debate, yet you hypocritically muffle me.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’m going to allow this just to give an example of how, if a person wants to be deleted, this is the way to do it. I had actually set an early post of this man’s aside, even though it was deliberately hectoring, accusatory and hateful, so I could (when I found the time) pull out the citations of things that are all over the internet and pretty much common knowledge that he was demanding.

      But after several of these little love notes calling me, and I quote: “a blowhard politician,” “intellectual coward,” “pompous,” “bigot,” “a contemptible hypocrite” and (drumroll) “Christian supremacist” … pfft.

      No one on this blog has to take abuse, and that includes me.

  • Darren

    Hitler, maybe an atheist, maybe a Christian, but he certainly did send 6 million Jews to their death.

    It was God, though, who sentenced them to an eternity in fire for knowingly rejecting Christ.

    • Darren

      Joseph Stalin, definitely an atheist; killed six million, more or less.

      Papa Joe is certainly roasting in the fires of hell.

      So, to, are (most of) those six million.

    • Darren

      Mao Ze-dong – 49 to 78 million. In hell; so are they.

      Pol Pot – 1.7 million. In hell; so are they.

      Ismail Enver – roughly 2 million. In hell, only the 500,000 Muslims he killed joining him, though.

      Leopold II of Belgium – 8 million dead. In heaven as he died a good Catholic. The 8 million heathen Africans not so lucky…

      Shall we continue?

      • http://jackhudson.wordpress.com/ Jack

        How would you know the eternal destiny of any of these people killed?

    • Theodore Seeber

      God doesn’t sentence anybody to Hell at all. Those who end up in hell, do so because they choose it.

      • Darren

        Stalin didn’t kill anyone, either, Ted. They all killed _themselves_ by opposing him… He did give them all a choice… Kinda reminds me of someone, I think…

        Yep. Choose it by being Muslims, or buddhists, or Atheists, or Hindus, or Shinto, or Animists, or (maybe) just by not being a particularly good Christian.

        Choose it by not believing that one just-so story out of 100 others is the one and true only way.

        Wide is the path…

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I can’t tell if you are being facetious or if you are serious. But …

          No one can make pronouncements about who is or is not in hell. The Church itself does not do this. There is no way to know what happens in a person’s last moments and, more to the point, we are not God. It is not our place in the order of things to decide or to claim that we know these things — which we most certainly do not.

          As for the idea that millions of people who are Buddhists, Muslims or whatnot are automatically going to hell, that is not true, either. Read the Catechism.

          • Darren

            Thank you, Rebecca, I have.

            From Wikipedia:

            ”The Catholic teaching on mortal sin was called into question by some within the Church in the late 20th century after the Second Vatican Council. In response to these doubts, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed the basic teaching in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor. It is also maintained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states: “Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell.””

            And what would be the mortal sins?

            Allow me to quote:

            ”The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) defines these sins as grave matter:
            (This is not necessarily all of the possible grave matters.)
            • Abortion (any formal cooperation in it)
            • Acceptance by human society of murderous famines without trying to fix it
            • Adulation of another’s grave faults if it makes one an accomplice in another’s vices or grave sins, but it is not grave when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.
            • Adultery
            • Blasphemy
            • Defrauding a worker of his wages
            • Deliberate failure to go to mass on Holy Days of Obligation unless excused for a serious reason or dispensed by one’s own pastor
            • Divination, magic, and sorcery
            • Divorce (If civil divorce, which cannot do anything to the spiritual marriage in the eyes of God, remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the protection of inheritance, or the care of the children it is not a sin.)
            • Drug Abuse
            • Endangering their own and others’ safety by drunkenness or a love of speed on the road, at sea or in the air
            • Envy (if to the level of wishing grave harm to another)
            • Euthanasia
            • Extreme Anger (at the level of truly and deliberately desiring to seriously hurt or kill someone)
            • Fornication
            • Hatred of a neighbor/to deliberately desire him or her great harm
            • Homosexual acts
            • Incest
            • Lying (the gravity is measured by “the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims” )
            • Masturbation
            • Murder (except when done in self-defense or defense of others when there is no other way)
            • Perjury and False Oaths
            • Polygamy
            • Pornography
            • Prostitution
            • Rape
            • Refusing or withholding a just wage
            • Rich nation’s refusal to aid those which are unable to ensure the means of their development by themselves
            • Sacrilege
            • Scandal (deliberately causing someone to sin gravely)
            • Suicide
            • Terrorism that threatens, wounds and kills indiscriminately
            • Unfair wagers and cheating at games unless the damage is unusually light”

            Oh, and let’s not forget the most important one, unbelief.

            …and I am pretty sure even the best Buddhist would be guilty of taking another God before God, and of course not going to Mass…

            • Theodore Seeber

              Wikipedia isn’t the catechism and can’t be considered such.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              Try reading the whole thing Darren, the actual book and not wikipedia. You are taking things out of context. Your problem is bias.

              I took the time to look this up for you:

              1260 “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.”63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

        • Theodore Seeber

          Stalin didn’t give them a choice.

          Purgatory exists. God gives a choice. Up to you whether to take it or not.

          Next time, get your theology correct *first* before you complain. So far, your complaints remind me of a 6 year old learning that life isn’t fair.

      • pagansister

        Theodore, how did all those murdered people CHOSE hell as a destination? I don’t understand.

        • Theodore Seeber

          I’m saying that we don’t know, or rather, that they likely did not.

          However, a certain breed of new atheist seems hell bent on not becoming, as one of them put it to me “a mindless praisebot”. Well, hate to inform you, but that’s not how Pascal’s wager works. The three options, for eternity are: Mindless pain, Mindless praisebot, and oblivion. This effectively breaks down into two sets that none of us can choose between: Either the afterlife exists or oblivion exists, not both. Since we can’t do anything about the oblivion side of the decision tree, that means that the side we *can* control is the general altruism/selfishness of the believer. Selfishness certainly leads to hell, altruism certainly leads to heaven. In the choice between mindless guilt and pain for eternity and becoming a mindless praisebot, I choose to become a mindless praisebot. It is certain that the other choice is possible- I see people choose it in this life without dying all the time.

          In fact, with the average lifespan now being expanded to 80+ years, many of us have the time to make that choice *LONG* before we die. And I’ve known people in both conditions.

          • pagansister

            OK, I think——–I understand but am not sure. :-)

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      What are you even talking about, Darren? Who says that everyone killed is going to go to Hell? Certainly not the Catholic Church.

      From the Catechism starting at 845:

      To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood….All salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body….This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.

      • Darren

        ” What are you even talking about, Darren? Who says that everyone killed is going to go to Hell? Certainly not the Catholic Church.”

        Well, then, if all those Muslims, and Jews, and Hindus, and Atheists, and Mormons, and and communists, and homosexuals, and divorcees, and masturbators, and those who did nothing during the Darfur genocide a few years ago (pretty much everyone on Earth) are all Heaven bound whether they believe in the holy Mother Church or not, then I suppose I was all wrong.

        I suppose I must commend you Catholics, then, on your far ranging inclusion. _Thank_God_ it’s _you_ who are right and not the Baptists, they don’t even think _Catholics_ make it into Heaven…

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          They are not necessarily Heaven-bound either. Read the excerpt I posted. It isn’t that complicated. I’ll try to summarize:

          Those who, for no fault of their own, do not believe in Christ or the Church may be saved if they seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience.

        • http://philomenasmile.wordpress.com Anna Dawson

          It’s funny to me how many more demands atheists make of what religion says than those who actually live by that religion.

  • Barbara

    I always want to ask atheists about their objectives and the means they would take to go about attaining those objectives. What would be a perfect world to you? One in which everyone was atheist? One in which people never spoke of their religious beliefs outside of the walls of a church or home? and finally, do you respect democracy? See if the atheist says yes to the third, then there simply is no way to bring about the first two without violating it. Religion is a person’s software, it determines everything they do in both the public and private sphere, and there is no clear cut division between public and private expressions of faith. Would you be willing to keep believers from voting? because if you let them vote they will vote for things such as banning abortion, preventing marriage from being changed and preventing euthanasia. If you won’t prevent them from voting will you prevent them from running for public office? because they will run for public office on those issues, and will attract the votes of like minded people. Will you keep them from attaining positions of influence, such as teachers, doctors and the like? because their beliefs might “leak out” while they’re performing their public function.

    The only way to create the pure-secular public sphere you’re dreaming and salivating about is to mow over western civilization’s democratic traditions. You can’t force people to “stop believing” any more than believers can force people to believe. And you can’t slice human beings down the middle, into a “private man” and “public man”. If one believes, he will make that belief public in one way or another, through every interaction with society.

    This is why I am frustrated with atheists, because they’re utopians who have learned nothing from the last 100 years of human history in which every single attempt at creating a utopia has ended up a killing field. You can’t “make” people to fill a mold you want them to fill, and it always comes down to force in the end.

  • http://philomenasmile.wordpress.com Anna Dawson

    Hello Rebecca. I haven’t commented in a while, but just wanted to drop a line to say keep up the good work. I enjoy very much reading your posts and getting your insight. :D

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Anna.

  • Bill S

    “I always want to ask atheists about their objectives and the means they would take to go about attaining those objectives. What would be a perfect world to you? One in which everyone was atheist?”

    Good question. We would probably be better off with everyone being Catholic than atheist because Catholics believe in the Last Judgement and that scares them into trying to be as good as they can be. Atheists believe that when you die its the same as when your dog or cat dies. So, they are not enticed to be good or scared to be bad. So maybe we are better off with everyone believing even if it isn’t true.

    • Ted Seeber

      Isn’t that Pascal’s wager in action? I’m NOT disagreeing, it’s one of the epiphanies I had in rejecting Atheism, but I would point out that Dawkins has rejected this argument because he doesn’t believe in good and evil to begin with.

    • Jack

      “Catholics believe in the Last Judgement and that scares them into trying to be as good as they can be.”
      Says who? He makes it rain on the good and the wicked.


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