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The Atheist Syndrome

Dr. George Grant sat for a video interview a back and he talked about the book, The Atheist Syndrome. The author, John Koster, profiles the lives and personalities of four of most well-known atheists and their followers. In the most extreme cases, atheism is not just a healthy skepticism, such as agnosticism (the admission of “not knowing” if there is a God) or “free thinking” that eschews supernatural theology in favor of naturalist explanations. The atheist claims to speak as infallibly as God in claiming there is no God. In its extreme form, atheism is a mental disorder.

George Grant explains:



If you think this is pure polemics, I’ll go as far as to agree that on the surface it seems that this profile is too naïve. To say that all atheists are bed-wetters, sexual deviants, victims of abusive fathers and promiscuous mothers is at best an over-generalization based on four of the most well-known atheists and some of their followers. I’d never go to this extreme to say all atheists are like that.

But there is a syndrome that is very real and more endemic to atheists than any other group.

Since 1987, my passion for ministry has focused on media projects, eschatology, theonomy, evangelism, foreign missions, political action and pro-life activism. Therefore, most of the criticism I get from our web presence has been from liberals, witches, pagans, and pro-abortion advocates. It is completely understandable and expected. The liberals (both theological and political) fear that a growing Christian movement represents a throwback to the fear and prejudice of the so-called “Dark Ages.” Witches and pagans fear that biblical law will lead to a return to the “burning times.” Pro-aborts oppose pro-life activism out of their desire for selfish autonomy and a license for irresponsible behavior.

Most of the emails and comments I have received from these groups have taken the form of hysterical screeds. In effect, they say: “You Christians want to kill and repress us all!”

Of this group, King Solomon lamented when he wrote:

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing” (Proverbs 28:1).

When faced with left-wing paranoia, I usually try to explain in a rational and calm tone that there is always great freedom in a Christian society for people to hold other views and practice their religion in private just as long just as they do not break the civil laws of the society. Of course, Christians want these laws based – if not wholly, then at least in principle – on biblical law.

As a person who was converted to Christ as an adult, I realize that everyone is in a different place in their journey toward God. We can offer a great deal of tolerance when dealing with groups who do not share our worldview. It took me 23 years to see the truth. I try to keep that in mind and that I should bear with people who don’t see it my way.

My vision for a Christian America is the Puritanism of Oliver Cromwell – a ruler who invited Jews to return to England 100 years after being banished by King Henry VIII. Cromwell also protected the rights of Roman Catholics to worship publicly in Protestant England – although he was adamantly opposed to their theology on a personal level. He strengthened a republican form of government in England and fought the idea of the “divine right of kings.”

Recently, due to some side comments I made on a blog post regarding imprecatory prayer, I’ve flushed out droves of new antagonists – the militant atheists. Except for a few notable champions, most prefer to remain anonymous while sniping at Christians and all theists in general from the bushes. Their most effective field of battle is the blogosphere of course.

They are even more hysterical than the usual suspects – the liberals, pagans and pro-aborts – but they are different in that they share in common several pathological characteristics. While I don’t necessarily think that Koster’s thesis is entirely correct, I’ve noticed several common denominators among atheists – or at least the these anonymous atheist flamers on the Internet. These include:

  1. Decrying the supposed stupidity and lack of intelligence on the part of Christians without ever condescending to a focused debate on worldview issues.
  2. The use of invective, profanity and ad hominem attacks when refuting Christians, ironically acting extremely insulted when the tables are turned.
  3. Focusing on the supposed hypocrisies of Christianity, while never owning their own behavior or the inhuman criminal history of recent atheistic societies.
  4. An obsession with sexually demeaning comments bordering on harassment in an attempt to assault the moral sensibilities and sexual ethics of the Bible.
  5. An obsession with irrelevant details.
  6. Frequent accusations of lying and dishonesty even while purposefully interpreting Christian writings and biblical theology in a skewed and satirical manner.
  7. An irrational insistence that experimental science is the only form of rational thought. In other words, a belief in metaphysical naturalism (the idea that all truth is knowable through naturalistic experimentation and observation) rather than traditional scientific rationalism (the idea that science can only observe, reproduce and describe natural events according to an imperfect paradigm.)
I didn’t need to do case studies or conduct a scientific study to discover this syndrome. I have enough data in my mail box over the years. (I am sure that I’ll get many more of these now as a result of P.Z. Myers free advertisement of my website.)

No atheist’s response is complete without the “bearing false witness” charge. Although mountains of materials defending Christianity have been written and collected over the centuries, the charge is always that it is a “lie” to say so. On the contrary, if a religious opinion can be proven demonstrably wrong, it is only an opinion, not a lie.

Another ploy is to portray Christians as “hateful.” The idea that Christianity promotes a “love you neighbor” ethic is freely admitted by atheists when they berate us for our alleged “hatred hypocrisy.” They need to borrow from Christianity’s moral code of the “law of love” even while they mock us!

I sometimes use sarcasm in my responses to non-believers. Jesus and the Apostle Paul used sarcasm, so it’s not wrong to use it in a measured way. But usually I try to answer rationally – not with my answers, but with a theological consensus based on years of study on the matter. I don’t get into arguments over things I know nothing about. In this case, silence is usually treated as an admission of surrender.

It is supposed to be hypocrisy for Christians to treat biblical morality as binding on non-believers. It’s hypocritical for us hold a black and white view of morality. Who are we to say what is “good” and “evil”? But that’s not to stop the pot from calling the kettle black. Atheists have their own version of morality that they seek to impose on society.

Neutrality is a myth. Every civil law is an imposition of someone’s morality on another person. No culture can exist for long as an amalgamation of diverse “moralities.” Eventually one worldview is going to win out. And that is really what this debate is about. It’s a battle for our culture. The militant atheists are worthy adversaries in this battle because they understand that theirs is a battle for cultural dominion far better than most Christians. Although atheists are a small minority, they understand that they can win by holding forth in the battle of ideas. No matter how vacuous they may sound at first, many of their core ideas are already the ruling presuppositions of the media, entertainment industry and liberal politics.

That is why the Sarah Palin nomination has them hysterical. Win or lose, she is a bright, young, articulate defender of the Christian political worldview who will be around for years to come.

So get ready. The culture wars are back.

Comments

Your comments are welcome!

You go Jay, run to the battle and slay thousands of philistines with your keyboard.

Posted by  Anonymous on 09/09/2008 09:41 AM #

Textile Help

A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!

Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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