Alber Mohler Jr. Doesn't Get It

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is confused. He wonders why we gnu atheists are so pissy about about religion’s influence on politics.

When Rick Perry questioned the theory of evolution, Dawkins launched into full-on apoplexy, wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution.

A majority of Americans are not intelligent. If you do not accept evolution, then you are either uninformed of the facts or have made a virtue of being unreasonable. That is the definition of unintelligent. That a high percentage of our population is in that boat sounds very much like something to worry about. But Mohler just brushes this concern away like a fly.

The more educated people become, the more they accept scientific facts, like evolution. That’s the gripe of the gnu atheists: we think ignorance is something to be fixed. People with ill-formed opinions voting en masse is a problem for all of us.

We are deeply concerned about a host of moral and cultural issues, from how to address poverty to how to be good stewards of the earth, and on some of these there is a fairly high degree of disagreement even among us.

Above all, evangelicals are those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and are most concerned about telling others about Jesus. Most of America’s evangelical Christians are busy raising their children, working to support their families and investing energy in their local churches.

Above all, they are most concerned about telling others about Jesus. That’s a fucking problem. More than poverty, more than being good stewards of the earth (ask the scientists working to protect the planet from whence comes most of their opposition), they are concerned with ensuring people believe a dude walked on water 2,000 years ago.

Remember when google decided to stop letting churches use their software for free? Remember the cries from the religious?

Disappointed by the rejection, Living Hope scaled back its plans and paid $2,500 ($50 per user) to use Google’s office software and Gmail for one year. Young is happy with the products, but also unhappy that he’ll have fewer capabilities—and fewer remaining budget dollars to aid his church’s social ministries.

A big part of their social ministries? Heading to Mali and Niger where only 2% of the population believes in Jesus. Malady! At the time I looked up both those countries in the United Nations’ Human Development Index. Niger consistently has one of the lowest ranks of societal wellness on this planet. Presently it is 167th of 169 countries. Mali is 160 out of 169 and has a life expectancy of 49.2 years, largely due to starvation. Yet, thanks to the influence of religious thinking, here’s a well-funded, large group of people that thinks the main problem with these areas is that less than 2% of the population thinks a dude walked on water 2,000 years ago because they “are most concerned about telling others about Jesus”.

If you are most concerned about telling others about Jesus, you have thoroughly mismanaged your priorities. Sure evangelicals are concerned about morality (just like the rest of us). The problem with Christianity is not that it removes a concern for morals, but that it keeps us ignorant, and it slows us (or stops us) from tackling real problems. It corrupts people’s ability to properly fix concerns we all have and to chase phantoms that never threatened us to the exclusions of real things that are bothersome to society. This is why we gnu atheists are taking our claws to the evangelicals. It is why it would be immoral of us to not go after them as fiercely as we can.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://gofigger.org John Welte

    Epic fail #1.

    “To the contrary, evangelicals are dangerous to the secularist vision of this nation and its future precisely because we are committed to participatory democracy.”

    Not once is democracy mentioned in the Bible. Dominionism is the rule.

    #2 There are more but this is enough for now.

    “Evangelicals worry about the fate of marriage and the family, believing that the pattern for human relatedness set out in Scripture will lead to the greatest human flourishing.”

    If you want family values don’t look at scripture.

    The willful ignorance displayed here is a crime against humanity.

  • http://jonvoisey.net Jon Voisey

    You took some very different things from this than I did.

    1) Regarding “Dawkins’ apoplexy”: Mohler mischaracterizes Dawkins’ statements. The argument from him, and others, isn’t that they’re stupid, it’s that they don’t accept facts. And if they don’t accept facts, they can’t responsibly lead a nation.

    2) We don’t assume that our “institutions and leaders are normative”. We argue they’re superior because they’re based in reality, intellectually consistent, and not bigoted.

    3) Mohler notes that we all have a worldview. While this is true, it’s also a red herring. What he misses, is that not all worldviews are inherently equal.

    4) Mohler argues “the vast majority of evangelicals are not attempting to create a theocracy”. Another red herring. It doesn’t matter what the (silent) majority are doing. It matters what the loud ones, that organize votes, and more importantly, the senators, congressmen, and presidential candidates are attempting to do. And when they try to push religion into classrooms, when they write laws to enforce religious morals, when they bolster the system that discriminates against every other religion or non-religion, they are creating a theocracy, regardless of the wishes of the majority.

    5) Evangelicals are welcome to advocate for their worldview in public life. What’s not allowed, because it’s illegal, it’s unconstitutional, is for them to advocate for it by means of law. Mohler blithely skips around that last point.

    The conclusion is that evangelicals ARE dangerous. But when you ignore the teeth they have when they infest government, it’s obvious you’re going to miss that.

  • Joshua Fisher

    Mohler argues “the vast majority of evangelicals are not attempting to create a theocracy”. Another red herring. It doesn’t matter what the (silent) majority are doing. It matters what the loud ones, that organize votes, and more importantly, the senators, congressmen, and presidential candidates are attempting to do. And when they try to push religion into classrooms, when they write laws to enforce religious morals, when they bolster the system that discriminates against every other religion or non-religion, they are creating a theocracy, regardless of the wishes of the majority.

    The vast majority dont get off the hook just because they aren’t on the front lines drafting the laws and leading the charge. They still vote for all that stupid shit. They are doing their part to build the theocracy one law at a time.


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