Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
Damon Linker goes after Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, et al. He’s generally right about their position, but wrong that the only "liberal" alternative to various forms of theocracy is something like unitarianism, deism, or Ethical Culture.
JK wrote: "... but wrong that the only "liberal" alternative to various forms of theocracy is something like unitarianism, deism, or Ethical Culture."
I wonder what Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens et al thought of the Amish response to the mass murder of their children? Not what they might have written to defend their atheist views in the wake of that tragedy, but what they really thought. Because deep within that Amish response -- stripping away all the stuff about their lifestyle and external quirks -- was a display of deep humility and trust in God. In other words, a glimpse of true Christianity.
Hitchens wrote a now-famous column about his meeting the family of a fallen soldier. In that column he was obviously deeply moved by the "rootedness" of the family in the face of the loss. That family was drawing upon strength not their own, and Hitchens witnessed it first-hand. It made a deep impression on him; he was clearly drawn to the light.
So I agree with Joe ... the alternative to virulent atheism is not necessarily a watery and easily-ignored form of "spirituality." Nor is it some of the too-political or too-exclusionary forms of "Christianity" we see today.
Christianity is a matter of the heart. Jesus seeks changed hearts, not mere words or empty deeds. Sadly, these virulent atheists likely see precious few truly changed hearts. In other words, their view of "religion" is not the "religion" God intends.
In the article: "This is in part because liberalism is a philosophy of government, not a philosophy of man--or God."
Is that strictly true? Can a philosophy of government not be a superset of a philosophy of man?
In the artcile: "Washington state leads the country with 25 percent of its residents claiming to worship no God; North Dakota comes in last with 3 percent."
Scoff if you will, but I sense that every time I go to Seattle. There is a deep sense of sadness and loneliness in that city, despite all the activity on the street. Moreso than San Francisco or New York City.
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