Sunday, October 6, 2013

Atheism in America

USA is of course not a homogeneous Christian country. There are countless of denominations of different shapes and sizes. But the great majority of all Christians in USA are protestants and the far biggest group of protestants are evangelicals. About a quarter of the whole population according to one study from 2009 (link). Hence, from a purely theological perspective Christians in USA should very much resemble Christians in Northern Europe. But, they surely do not!

They base their religious beliefs on the same religious scriptures, but still they differ so vastly to the extent that one could easily mistake them for separate religions all together. And why is that? Well, of course because the culture is so very different. It's actually quite understandable. In order for new nations to survive they have to unite the people under one banner. Most of the old European countries have a long history and ancient mythological roots that bind them together. This was no easy task for the founding fathers. USA is a very big and heterogeneous country. Basically they only had two things in common. The fact that most of them had left Europe (often due to religious and political persecution) and were Christians. This is probably one of the big reasons the government was declared secular.

Atheist often like to point out that many of the founding fathers were non-believers or deists. That of course contributed to how the constitution was formed. But, frankly that was also the only way to unite such a heterogeneous group of people of whom many had been persecuted by the governments in their former countries that did not tolerate religious dissidents.

But, most Americans were devout believers. In many ways much more so than people in Europe. So here we have Christians of a large number of different denomination sharing one fate. It's not very surprising that this new idea of USA as the new holy land became very popular. The constitution became almost like a new religious document that I'm sure many Christians considered divine and probably inspired by god himself. Hence, when you talk about Christianity in USA you can't separate it from nationalism and patriotism. They are deeply intertwined and dependant on each other.

I think that's why atheists are so despised in USA. They are not only seen as ungodly. They are seen as a direct threat against the very soul and soil of their nation. How can an atheist possibly be a good citizen of USA when Christianity is the very heart and soul of USA. This also explains why Christians in America are so egocentrical. When they evangelize they don't spread Christianity in the sense that perhaps most Christians from Europe do. They promote the American way of life. Because to them the American way of life. The love of the American soil is Christianity. You can't separate the American culture and politics from Christianity when you talk about USA no more than you can separate nationalism from the culture or politics. I think this is what many here don't seem to get. Christians in America don't regard atheists just as non-believers. They are a threat to the American way of life. A threat to their beloved nation. Their holy land.

So what about the issue of left/right wing politics. Well, I think it has a lot to do with the cold war. Socialism and communism were considered the big threats to USA for half a century. I think this legacy is still very much alive in the minds of most Americans. A half century of fierce propaganda is not all that easy to revise. Hence, liberalism is still seen as a threat to USA. And as such also something unchristian and unpatriotic. Hence liberals can't possibly be true Christians. They have to be atheists or in some other ways deranged individuals. Common quotes like "green on the outside, but red on the inside" demonstrates this perfectly well. Hence, the idea of USA as a capitalistic society became a vital part of the national identity and also a vital part of people's religious identity. Of course USA is not for te moment being a free market in any way. But, the delusion lives on. The market is never to be blamed for the financial situation. It can't be. Because capitalism is what makes USA so great. And as such it also becomes a vital part of people's religious beliefs. As said before you can't separate these from each other. And if the market can't be blamed then of course it has to be the government.

My point is that you can only understand Christianity in USA if you regard it as a inherent part of the cultural and political fabric of the American society. Many people make fun of the fact that many Americans are so individualistic, for the right to carry guns, warmongerers, etc. when it clearly has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. But, when you realize that Christianity in USA is to a great extent an extension of a national identity then it makes perfect sense.

Islam Is A Religion Of Peace?

I hope we are not now supposed to accept that all religions are equally bad, as seems to be the implication. I at least cannot forget the history of jihad that has brought us to the situation we are now in. And that will repeat itself if we are not very vigilant. If we are to consider the Crusades, then we must also consider the bloody jihad conflicts leading up to the Crusades.

When the UN authorised the formation of the nation of Israel, it was not just in recognition of recent genocide in Europe, but also the past history of the Jewish people in the mideast and their oppression since the time of the Romans. Remember that Jewish tribes were numerous in the region, including the Arabian Peninsular, until Mohammed ordered that they all be eradicated from the whole of that land, which was achieved within a few years of the death of the prophet. It took a uniquely hateful creed to drive and motivate the Arab Muslims to wipe out all traces of others so piously over such a long period of history, albeit not continuously. The decline of Christians and Zoroastrians and other faiths as well as Jews was a merciless process which will only be complete after the destruction of Israel, and what is left of Lebanon.

According to Hugh Fitzgerald: When speaking of the Middle East, liberal elites in the West like to speak of “root causes.” There is nothing wrong with that, except that the root causes they seize upon are a product of Arab propaganda – a fact of which people like Clinton, Blair and Obama are probably not even aware.

Where this propaganda has achieved its greatest success is in the reversal of the “root cause” of the conflict: instead of an Israeli David beset by vast, oil-rich Arab potentates, the narrative is now of an Israeli Goliath oppressing a tiny, embattled, never before heard of “Palestinian people”.

What is needed is a public education campaign to reverse the Arab reversal and set things in their proper light. It was once readily apparent that the reason for the Arab-Israel conflict was Arab intransigence; the Moslem world’s backward belief that the entire Middle East somehow belongs to them and that non-Moslems have no right to be there, except as second-class citizens willing to submit to the Islamic boot.

Shmuel spelled out the real root cause in his monograph “No Solution to the Arab-Palestinian Problem” (Dawn Publishing Co., 1985):

The correct definition of the root of the conflict over the Land of Israel or, in current phraseology, the “heart of the problem” is the determination of the entire Arab nation, under the inspiration of Islam, to rule over the whole area from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean and from the southern border of Turkey to the southern border of the Sudan. This was why they launched a war against the embryonic state, dispatching a vanguard of forces to abort its birth. The Arab states were going to wreak death and destruction in Palestine as the Mongols had in the 13th century, as Azzam Pasha, the secretary of the Arab League, declared at the time.

The perfectly simple fact — though its ramifications are hard and bitter — is that the failure of the attempt to strangle the nascent state did not weaken by one iota the Arabs’ liquidationist design. That design is rooted in Arab history and woven into the very fabric of the Islamic faith. The contemporary Arab objective is not the result of twentieth-century covetousness alone. The Arabs feeling of lordship over all these vast domains derives from memories of the past or, more precisely, from an imaginary notion of past glory, and it is fed by a desire for vengeance against the Western world. In the Arabs’ view, they were humiliated for hundreds of years, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, by the Western Christian powers — even though they, as Muslims, are the bearers of a superior religion.

When the Muslims dominated immense stretches of the world, the Jews and the Christians under their rule had a debased and inferior status: they were second-class citizens. By the grace of the Muslim ruler they were granted the status of dhimmis, or a subject minority, of protege citizens whom the ruler protected at will — and they paid special taxes.

The myth of the Palestinian People has reversed the true understanding of the conflict, making the local Arabs the supposed underdogs against the mighty Jews. It is time to reverse the reversal. What, are we supposed to support 56 Muslim states in the region and tut at the existence of one Jewish state? When that one Jewish state gives full rights to it's Arab Muslim citizens while the Muslim states have driven out most of their Jews, or made life intolerable for them? When Israel is the most advanced and democratic nation in the region? Once again, it is important to point out that the jihad did not begin in September 2001, and it is not aimed solely, or even mostly, at Christians in North America and Europe. The jihad has nothing to do with the existence of the state of modern Israel, or the existence of the United States of America. Jihad is the 1,350 year war of conquest by Muslims against non-Muslims (and fellow Muslims), to impose sharia law on all persons in all places. Victories in those battles of conquest are marked by the desecration of the houses of worship of non-Muslims, and the murder, enslavement, and humiliation of conquered non-Muslims.

The Trouble with Atheism

Rod Liddle's whole approach seemed to be based around the belief, that if you criticize religion your being arrogant. What's the big deal about religion that you cannot criticize it, even aggressively?

The whole program came across as an attack on atheists for attacking religious dogmatism, with the claim that the atheists are being just as dogmatic. Well, if religion were not as destructive in the World today, as it so clearly is, then Liddle may have had a point. As it is, his claim "rings hollow". Is it so surprising that atheists are so strident, when religion is causing so much violence in the World? I don't think so.

One of the most annoying claims that Liddle made, is that atheism is synonymous with communism. But, I agree with Richard Dawkins, it is incidental to it.

Communism itself, I would say is a form of religion secular yes, atheistic no; there is a difference. It is a dogmatic belief system, which is detached from reality, as is the belief in a personal God. Both theistic religion and communism are dogmatic belief systems, without objectively identifiable evidence of their validity.

Atheism, is not a dogmatic belief system, it is simply the none acceptance of God, based on improbability.

Liddle then goes on to do the same annoying thing with Darwinism, implying that Darwinism and atheism are synonyms (they are not of course, Darwinism is not an atheist Bible). It is true that an acceptance of Darwinism may weaken an individuals religious convictions. But, the fact that it does is not the primary fundamental of Darwinism again, it is incidental. Rod Liddle does not seem to be able to tell the difference between fundamental primaries and incidental coincidences. Why did liddle fail to mention that many Christians do accept evolution? Would that have weakened his argument?

I found it all rather one sided, with Liddle being far too nice to religion. The time for being nice to religion is up. Look where being too nice and too politically correct, in the name of not upsetting religious sensibilities has got us. It is this wishy-washy attitude to religion, that has allowed religious extremism to fester and spread like an untreated cancer.

It is aggressive ridicule of religion (including through the power of humour) that is necessary, to deflate its "untouchable status".

There was also a comment made, not by Liddle himself (though he didn't dispute it), that without Darwinism there doesn't seem to be any grounds for atheism. This is absurd, it suggests all atheists are Darwinist's and without Darwin atheism is not possible. And why does Liddle use phrases like "part of the atheist project" when referring to Darwinism, is he suggesting that Darwinism is part of an atheist plot to overthrow religion? Some kind of mass atheist conspiracy? (perhaps the overthrow of the geocentric view of the universe is part of the same plot). Notice, that not even once does he call Darwinism a scientific theory.

Then Liddle goes on to say that Darwin took on the religious establishment. No he did not, that is exactly what Darwin did not do, again it is purely incidental that Darwin's scientific identifications, where in conflict with religion. From what Liddle says it gives the impression that Darwin's purpose in discovering his theory, was done for the primary purpose of attacking religion. But Darwin was extremely sensitive to the religious beliefs of others and the last thing he wanted to do, was "rock the boat". Virtually every point Liddle makes throughout the whole program is just plain wrong.

Rod Liddle's absolutely absurd claim that "Marxism was a utopia based on reason" Marxism was not a system of reasonableness and it was not born out of reasonable thinking; but its antithesis. There was no reason to be found, that is why it was so inhumane. He is doing the same thing that he has done, throughout the whole program, linking atheism with a dogmatic belief system and making a wild claim that they can be coupled together as synonyms.