Jack Hawkins, the chancellor of Troy University in Alabama, is taking some heat for sending out an ignorant and absurd New Year’s video to every student and professor at the college claiming that American democracy will crumble unless non-believers turn into Christians again. The video:
Jack Hawkins, the chancellor of Troy University, a public college based in Troy, Alabama sent the 90-second video as a “reminder” of what he called the “blessings” of American democracy – and its vulnerability to secularisation.
The video, narrated by Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business School professor, cites an unnamed visiting Marxist economist from China who came to Harvard and discovered “how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy.”
The video recited a familiar theme among the America religious right – that the decline of church-going is responsible a rising tide of lawlessness and a moral decay that could ultimately lead to America’s fall, as it did for Rome’s.
“What will happen to our democracy? Where are the institutions that are going to teach the next generation of Americans that they too need to voluntarily obey the laws?” asks Mr Christensen on the video. “Because if you take away religion, you can’t hire enough police.”
I know, right? Just like all the nations of Europe, all far less religious than we are, have collapsed as a result. And yet our far more Christian country has far higher rates of poverty, teen pregnancy, violent crime and many other social ills. This is just dumb. But you know what I don’t want? An apology.
American Atheists, the leading atheist pressure group in the US, said it was demanding an apology after receiving a complaint from a Troy student who was offended by the message.
“We demand an apology from you for using the public university email system and your publicly funded position to disparage atheists and minority religious groups as well as perpetuating the discrimination and anti-patriotic sentiment against atheists in the United States,” wrote David Silverman, the group’s president.
But what would an apology mean if he gave one? He actually believes this nonsense. Any apology would be fake and meaningless even if he did offer one.