So as people prepare to gather on the National Mall to celebrate their belief in nothingness, we might reasonably wonder what they want.
Finding abuses of religion is low hanging fruit—the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, self-detonating Muslim extremists, snake-handlers, etc.—and Dawkins and his ilk have made a fortune peddling it.
Also, we aren't the ones profiting from religious abuse. The religious institutions, the megapastors, and the televangelists are the ones who profit while the followers suffer. So don't you dare accuse us of profiting off the misery of others, Taunton, you horrible little man.
Paradoxically, it has become a kind of religion, a Church of Unbelief complete with a saint (Christopher Hitchens), a high priest (Richard Dawkins), and holy writ (anything Dawkins writes). And now, with the political nature of this rally, Dawkins is set to become the Pat Robertson of atheism.
But there is something not quite right about all of this. Christianity, whatever the faults of its adherents, has a rich intellectual tradition that has a comprehensive view of life.
It has given rise to the West as we know it. Our laws, arts, governments, and the very framework of our thought find their meaning in Christianity. Take for example the central premise of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal.”
Christianity, like Islam, has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the Enlightenment era. And to suggest that the Declaration of Independence means nothing without the light of Christianity is to be so obtuse and so stupid as to not warrant serious thought. The idea that we are equal is the antithesis of the Bible until you get to that one passage allegedly written by Paul and then promptly dismissed as nonsense by later church fathers. Jews were better than Gentiles. Men were better than women. Straights were better than gays. Masters were better than slaves. To deny this is to deny the very words of the Bible.
That not withstanding, atheism does have a history—a bad history. By conservative estimates, the twentieth century, an experiment in secular governance, witnessed the deaths of more than 100 million people. That is more than all the religious wars in all previous centuries combined.
And here we go with more of this nonsense: Stalin, Mao, Hitler, etc. For the love of all that's true, has Taunton not yet figured out that Hitler used Christianity (in particular Catholicism) to perpetuate his garbage? Stalin and other dictators held up their philosophies of communism as the state-enforced religion to perpetuate their garbage. Those of us at the Reason Rally (with few or no exceptions) do not want a state-enforced religion. THAT'S THE WHOLE GODDAMNED POINT. We don't want to force people to believe like us; we just want the freedom and the equal opportunity that religious people have in this world. Communist values are not the same as humanist values and Taunton would do well to figure that out before he shows his stupidity even more.
If, for instance, you do not believe in God, you are likely to conclude that man is a temporal being meant to serve the state, an eternal institution. This is the view of the communist world. Sacrificing a few million people for the sake of building socialist paradise was always deemed an acceptable price to pay.
If, on the other hand, you believe in a just, benevolent God who made man in his own image, you will likely draw a very different conclusion: man is an eternal being that the state, a temporal institution, is meant to serve.
Bullshit. Humanists and many atheists believe that since there is probably no god and just this one life, we need to spend it making the world a better place. We champion freedom and justice in this life, not some imaginary paradise after death. Life is important to us and, unlike too many religions, no holy book can justify the taking of it.
On the other hand, if you believe in the Bible god, you might get the idea that you have some special place in creation that gives you superiority or dominance. You might think it's ok to destroy unbelievers, suppress believers who don't believe exactly as you do, or else purge from your ranks those who don't measure up to your standards. That's the fruit of "my way or the highway" religion.
What they can point to are secular societies that are still running off of their accumulated Christian capital. But beware. When the fumes in that tank are spent, tyranny cannot be far away.