Atheistic Democracy: An oxymoron

Townhal.com Mary Grabar March 4, 2007

“In America religion is the road to knowledge, and the observance of the divine laws leads man to civil freedom” Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America.

In response to the recent assault by “tolerant” atheists, I am going to explain why it is necessary to maintain our Christian heritage in order to sustain our democracy. This is for the benefit of the “scientists” who presume themselves the authorities on everything and who have penned tomes with such ostentatious titles as The God Delusion, Letter to a Christian Nation, God: The Failed Hypothesis, and other works that rehash the arguments from ages past. They all have committed the common error of mistaking the empirical method for the whole of knowledge. It wouldn’t be too bad if they all just went off by themselves into their own little self-created hells where they snarl and snipe (called “free-thinkers meetings”) because a Christian might say “God bless you” or wear a tiny crucifix around her neck. Judging by the comments in reply to my column “Letter to a Stupid Atheist,” I have to conclude that this is one of the most miserable groups of people on earth. And as my adjective for them implies, they are not very smart, for there is no analogy between a female dog and a columnist, a claim they make through the name they call me in their blogs and letters.

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Comments

  1. The anger in this lady’s rant is unbelievable. I cannot imagine what she thought she would accomplish by writing something like this. Calling people who do not share her particular beliefs “stupid” is not going to accomplish anything good. She needs to realize that we do not live in a complete democracy in America – but a representative one. Nor did the original intent of our American forefathers support equal rights for women or slaves – as to her comparison to Greek democracy.

    She is delusional as there is no Christian basis for democracy. Democracy is majority rule – not “her particular faith” rules, unless it is shared by the majority (Which it is not). Sure, polls may reflect mine is a majority religion but, what about the 9000 denominations? There is no agreement on the divinity of Jesus Christ, the fact that homosexuality is a sin or even that the bodily resurrection of our Lord actually took place. What of the “majority” even understands how to obtain and sustain salvation?

    People like this lady and her foolish rants are what kept people like me away from Christ and his teachings for so many years. I cringe at the notion that she, with venomous words and anger would be confused by anyone with what God taught us about love.

  2. Christopher says:

    People like this lady and her foolish rants are what kept people like me away from Christ and his teachings for so many years.

    Really? So, in your current philosophy of life, the universe, and everything anger = bad. For anything to be true or beautiful this emotion has to be absent. Yet, you mention that “God taught us about love”. Which god do you follow? I ask because it is not the Holy Trinity (the basis of Christianity), as Christians recognize something called Righteous Anger. So what god do you follow?

  3. Jim Holman says:

    Bob writes: “The anger in this lady’s rant is unbelievable.”

    I believe it. This is an unfortunate development in modern American Christianity. For most of my life, Christians were pretty mellow people. Sure, everyone gets peeved from time to time, and there are always things to be upset about. But in recent years it seems that conservative Christian culture has become “angry,” and people striking out against their perceived opponents with insults and denunciations has become very common. And it’s not anger against anyone in particular, but anger directed toward entire groups.

    Bob: “She is delusional as there is no Christian basis for democracy.”

    She writes that “the fact that they live in a country founded upon a belief in ‘inalienable rights’ imparted by their Creator should give them a hint.” But the other half of that is that government rules by “the consent of the governed.” Democracy, not theocracy, in other words.

    Christopher writes: “So, in your current philosophy of life, the universe, and everything anger = bad. . . . Christians recognize something called Righteous Anger.”

    Yeah, but some of these people go off the deep end with righteous anger. I doubt that Jesus walked around constantly pissed off, slamming doors, and kicking the dog. When I read that lady’s piece, I just got the impression that there is something wrong with her. She says she has a Ph.D. in English, but it appears that the only literary form she learned was the diatribe.

    She denounces the atheists, but hard-core atheism is not all that common. Yeah, they have a couple of recent books out, but for every atheist book there are ten thousand Christian books. But you wouldn’t know it to read her piece.

  4. Christopher: “So what god do you follow?”

    The God that only commands of us two things. Maybe you have never heard them, so I will post them here for your benefit.

    Luke 10:27 – And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

    Matt 22:37 – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    Matt 22:39 – And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    Mark 12:30 – And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

    Mark 12:31 – And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

    John 13:34 – A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

    Christopher writes: “So, in your current philosophy of life, the universe, and everything anger = bad.

    No, please pay attention. That is not what I said. I asked what good could possibly come from calling those who disagree “stupid”? Anger is a sin against God. Is that what you are trying to say here? If it is, I agree.

    Jim, ‘inalienable rights’ is an argument for civil rights, not a basis for democracy. What is not “granted” by governement, but by God is not the topic here.

    Religious freedom comes from being left alone to worship or not as we please by authority – not being “guided by Authority” to worship.

  5. Christopher says:

    I asked what good could possibly come from calling those who disagree “stupid”?

    I am not sure, but I suppose it could be true. It might be what someone needs to hear. “Stupid” does have a definition and, in point of fact, some people are “stupid”. That being said, it is more often than not a simple taunt.

    Anger is a sin against God.

    No it is not. It is no more a “sin” than a any other emotion is a “sin”. That is why the Church recognizes “Righteous Anger”, which Our Lord Himself showed occasion.

    So, I ask again, what god or gods do you follow? Repeating scripture in light of a secularized and emotional definition of “love”, “anger”, ect.. does not make you a Christian…

  6. Christopher,

    You are quite right that the proper Christian understanding of “love” is simply not the secularized version we see preached and embraced by the mainstream culture.

    I think C.S. Lewis’ explanation of “Loving Thy Neighbor as Thyself” from “Mere Christianity” is much closer to the Orthodox understanding of this topic and much closer to the truth:

    And secondly, we might try to understand exactly what loving your neighbour as yourself means. I have to love him as I love myself. Well, how exactly do I love myself?

    Now that I come to think of it, I have not exactly got a feeling of fondness or affection for myself, and I do not even always enjoy my own society. So apparently ‘Love your neighbour’ does not mean ‘feel fond of him’ or ‘find him attractive’. I ought to have seen that before, because, of course, you cannot feel fond of a person by trying. Do I think well of myself, think myself a nice chap? Well, I am afraid I sometimes do (and those are, no doubt, my worst moments) but that is not why I love myself. In fact it is the other way round: my self-love makes me think myself nice, but thinking myself nice is not why I love myself. So loving my, enemies does not apparently mean thinking them nice either. That is an enormous relief. For a good many people imagine that forgiving your enemies means making out that they are really not such bad fellows after all, when it is quite plain that they are.

    Go a step further. In my most clear-sighted moments not only do I not think myself a nice man, but I know that I am a very nasty one. I can look at some of the things I have done with horror and loathing. So apparently I am allowed to loathe and hate ome of the things my enemies do. Now that I come to think of it, I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner.

    For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life – namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.

    Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere he can be cured and made human again. (C.S Lewis in Mere Christianity, Ch. 17)

    Now a step further. Does loving your enemy mean not punishing him? No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment — even to death. If one had committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged. It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy. I always have thought so, ever since I became a Christian, and long before the war, and I’ still think so now that we are at peace. It is no good quoting ‘Thou shaft not kill.’ There are two Greek words: the ordinary word to kill and the word to murder. And when Christ quotes that commandment He uses the murder one in all three accounts, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And I am told there is the same distinction in Hebrew. All killing is not murder any more than all sexual intercourse is adultery. (C.S Lewis in Mere Christianity, pg. 106)

  7. Christopher, Thank you very much for making your true disposition known to me.
    With this new knowledge, I will find it very easy to ignore all your blog comments from now on.