What happens when you defeat your opponent only to unleash something worse? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Remember the new atheists? For a while, they were all the rage with people talking about them regularly. They made atheism more public than it had been before. While they had declared a war on religion, it was mainly Christianity. After all, Sam Harris began writing The End of Faith when 9/11 took place, and yet most of that was not geared towards Islam but Christianity.
And what is Sam Harris doing today? He’s well-known now for his remark about the 2020 election that he didn’t care if Hunter Biden had the bodies of dead children in his basement. All that mattered was getting Trump. Whatever you think of Trump, Harris’s statement is extremely problematic. He was willing to go with a known lie and sacrifice truth and lie to the public because, well, he knows what is better for them.
Silverman looks at what he saw and is aghast at it. I was recently pointed to an article he wrote on substack.
I cannot quote it entirely seeing as it is behind a paywall. (Remember, I have a Patreon below) However, I do have a friend who quoted a large part of it in sharing it. Basically, it’s about how the new atheism was supposed to destroy religion and thus create a utopia of freethought and rationalism where the days of insane religious ideas was behind us.
It didn’t work out that way.
First off, I am in no way saying the new atheists were really a formidable force. They weren’t. I have several blogs here on that front. However, they were certainly a force rhetorically. They had cute little slogans that seemed sensible, but most people weren’t interested in the unpacking necessarily to show their numerous errors.
Second, I am also sure if he were alive today that Christopher Hitchens would be one against this movement as well. That cannot be known for sure, but I do remember him as being one very interested in American history. When he visited SES for a debate, I was told he was impressed by the seminary and even offered to teach a course on Thomas Jefferson.
Third, and this is really important, I do want to commend Silverman on this. It takes a lot of guts to write a public article and say “I was wrong.” Silverman did that. We should not be attacking him for this. We should be commending him.
Now let’s look at the part that I have to quote.
I failed to consider that the members of my movement could reject skepticism yet label this rejection as skepticism to excuse their actions—and get away with it! I never envisioned that every significant player in the movement (save the fledgling Atheists for Liberty, on which I currently serve as Advisory Board Chair) would abandon our core principles and embrace the political hard Left, forsaking every belief and individual that was even slightly to the Right. I did not anticipate that the movement would leave the movement, become swallowed in Critical Social Justice, and lose its relevance and effectiveness in the process. I did not see it coming.
Man by nature is a religious creature. If you remove something for him to worship, he will find something else. That something could be himself, his own happiness. God is often a restraint in many ways on what a man can do. If a man knows there is a judge that He will stand before someday who has all the omni qualities, that can affect his living. If he knows what he does impacts for eternity, that should definitely affect his living.
While there is often something consistent between Christians and the right, the atheist movement saw it necessarily so. So why jump on the bandwagon to defend the LGBT group? Well, they oppose the Christians so let’s go for it! Anything that opposes Christianity is a friend since Christianity is seen as a great evil that has to be eradicated.
If man becomes the god, ultimately, that will pass to the state and who will become the new rulers? It will be those who consider themselves the elites. (Perhaps the term “brights” comes to mind?) It is a parallel with how the new atheists saw Christianity. After all, their opponents were the ones who were people of faith (Which they did not understand
) and the new atheists were the people of reason. Obviously, reason is superior to faith. Right? Obviously then, what should be rejected are the standards the Christians lived with.
Thus, get rid of all of this outdated morality, especially when it comes to sex. Get rid of anything that is said to be “Faith-based” (A term I don’t like anyway.) If the Christians tend to want the people on the right to be our governing leaders, then we will reject that. Whatever we can use to paint Christians as the enemy, it will be done. If your identity is not to be found in Christ, then it will be found in your tribe instead.
So, what has happened since we “killed God”? Not atheist Utopia. We won the booby prize—the religion of wokeism has completely taken over the Left side of politics, splitting both families and the nation itself. Riding on a wave of vapid emotion and a juvenile refusal to apply skepticism, the Woke Left—mostly atheists—have embraced this belief system as though it were the greatest new religion ever. Maybe it is.
Any attempt by man to bring about Utopia on Earth has always failed. Always. My ex-wife was once going through a book about how what was being sought was progress and not perfection. Progress though requires a true goal. If progress is just wherever you are going, then everything is progress. However, if you are going the wrong direction, progress is turning around and going the other way.
Silverman is also right in that this has split families and our nation. The best way to split the nation is really to split the family. The family is the foundation. Remember that meme that was shared years ago before the Supreme Court redefined marriage about what would happen if “same-sex marriage” was allowed?
That bottom one? Yep. Happening now. It didn’t start falling apart when marriage was redefined, but that was a killing blow in many ways. I blame a lot of this going all the way back to the sexual revolution. We unleashed a power that we did not know what it was capable of.
And ironically as a Christian, I think what the chart says would happen didn’t, since two people of the same sex can’t marry each other no matter what the court says.
Could it be the sexual standards of Christianity had a point? Could it be there was a reason abortion was a great evil and reproduction was a great good? Could it be that there was a reason that marriage should be for life for the majority of people and that marriage isn’t about your personal happiness? Could it be there’s a danger that happens when sex is removed from the confines of marriage? Could it be there was a reason marriage was established as between one man and one woman?
The new atheists also saw Christians making their decisions based on emotion alone, something I have spoken against as well here, but made a mistake of thinking themselves immune to that. After all, they were the men of reason. They would not fall to such a thing. Unfortunately, they have. One of the surest signs you will fall for something is that you think you cannot fall for it.
I have said before that I am the man who has avoided pornography throughout my life. So in my dating life, I throw caution to the wind. Right? Wrong. Nowadays, I don’t go up elevators alone with women or ride in cars with them and if on a date, I would never go back to her place or have her come to mine. The moment I think I am above the temptation, I have started my fall.
However, lacking a deity, it allowed wokeism to reside within—and be propagated by—the state. This is why the Left has adopted it. We may have subdued the lion of Christianity, but we failed to eradicate religion; we merely revealed that the lion might have been safeguarding us from the Woke Kraken. This creature is now unshackled, entrenched in our government and education system, and is literally coming for your children.
Pay attention to that first part. Remove the deity, and the deity becomes something within. What is the means of the new evangelism? It is the State. When the Christians disagreed with you, they disagreed. They didn’t try to force their way. When the left disagrees, here comes the power of the State!
Silverman did not eradicate religion as was his goal. He instead just moved it somewhere else. He defeated in his mind what was the greater evil without realizing that that “evil” was keeping something else at bay. Chesterton said years ago that before you remove a fence, you should see why it was put up in the first place.
Christianity did serve to contain man’s great evil and propel him to something greater than himself, and not the state. It still does for many of us. It teaches us that there is a real king named Jesus and we owe our allegiance to Him. It teaches us that there is a real right and there is a real wrong and there is a purpose to our lives here and we are to seek more than just the temporary good.
This idea—that atheists should stop resisting and instead actively promote Christianity, perhaps even joining churches, in an attempt to fortify it so that it may defeat wokeism—is gaining traction. Evan Riggs wrote in the European Conservative: “This is a call for sheer pragmatism… Of the two inescapable religious choices before us, Christianity is undoubtedly the better option.” My friend Peter Boghossian echoed a similar sentiment, tweeting, “Better to believe that a man walked on water than all men can give birth.”
I have been pleased with what I have seen from Boghossian and Lindsay lately on this front, two writers I have critiqued on their work on atheism before. However, a word of caution to the atheist movement. You might just wind up seeing that there is a lot more reason and truth to Christianity than you thought. Be prepared. The king will not be used. Christianity is not a means to an end. We go with Christianity not because it produces the best end result, which it does, but because it is true.
Maybe you should consider that question as well.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)