The Day After the Elections – A Biblical Perspective

The cultural shift toward Darwinian humanism was displayed in its fullest form yet in the elections of 2008 in the US. Here is one theologian’s perspective that I HOPE will be the normal reaction from professing Christians to this year’s presidential election.

Since you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ, in God. Colossians 3:1-3

California Children Forced to be Indoctrinated by the State? Who’s Next?

As many of you may already know, a recent ruling by a district judge effectively “outlawed” home based education in the state of California. This would force all parents who believe that educating their children at home using individualized curriculum that reflects their values and caters to their child’s particular strengths and interests to place their child in an expensive private school that is accredited by the secular state accrediting agency (which in most instances would put the parent under undue burden) OR force the child to be enrolled in a public school run by the secularized state.

The parent may opt to earn their credentials from the state, (also putting the parent under an undue burden) but since being educated in political correctness and secular worldviews are essential to getting these credentials, most Christian parents would consider this a waste of both their money and their time. In most instances, it is the very reason they’ve opted to homeschool in the first place.

Fortunately in most other states, homeschooling is an accepted practice, and it is understood that parents are the ones who should have the right to decide how their child is educated and trained for their intellectual and moral well being. (Deuteronomy 11 ; Proverbs 22:6…)

You can find out more about this court decision and what you can do about it by going here:


ReverseTheRuling.com

Atheism’s Aggressive Political Agenda

BY JOEL MCDURMON

The Village Atheist by Joel McDurmon

Note from Reformed Faith Weblog Administrator: I read this post by Joel McDurmon today and felt it extremely important to post this to the blog asap. You’ll see an “editorial plea” about 2 thirds of the way into the article to repost this quote wherever it can be posted… but I will go one better and just post the whole article. I feel if the quote is not posted in context of it’s background, the weight of what the man said will not come down and bring us to a realization of what kind of mindset, and yes, social agenda, Christians are and will be dealing with. So on that note, here is the post in it’s entirety…

“We don’t care what they say in order to get elected in this religious country. We care about what kind of judges they give us on the Supreme Court . . . I don’t care what kind of verbal obeisance they pay to religion if that’s what it takes to get a person in the White House who will give us church-state separationists on the Supreme Court.” — (Atheist, Edward Tabash, on Democratic Candidates)

From my very first encounter with the writings of the modern atheists I have argued that the movement is not philosophically sophisticated, nor intellectually rigorous, and it was never intended to be. Despite their pretense to a monopoly on “reason” and “honesty,” these guys’ motivation has been a political agenda from day one.

Nowhere have I seen this agenda as brazenly presented as in the recent Convention “Crystal Clear Atheism” 2007, organized by the Atheist Alliance International. The Alliance, which claims as its purpose to “help establish and strengthen the religion-free community,” invited all the big names of atheism to address a crowd of — judging by the videos and audience applause — 200 people max. The convention was a mirror image of similar conferences put on by religious groups, with plenary speakers, nightly movies, a “secular parenting” workshop, advice on how to start local atheist cell-groups, and, believe it or not, even an atheist apologetics workshop entitled, “Snappy Answers to Religious Questions: How to Combat Common Questions Posed to Atheists in Formal and Informal Settings.”

Admittedly, I’m guessing about the small number of attendees, but there was no need to guess about the message these speakers where there to promote. Far from merely a rehearsal of their typical jokes and name-calling, the speakers spilled an overt agenda to insulate American public life from any and all religious influence (as if that is what the First Amendment meant), called for a concentrated effort to establish and solidify the U.S. Supreme Court as a secular and anti-religious tyranny, and appealed for a radical leftist vision of America.

Well, OK, you may think that as one who has an interest in painting these atheists as bad guys that I have exaggerated my description of their party. Not in the least. Hearing this has again confirmed my presentation in Return of the Village Atheist that the current popular atheism is a reincarnated Marxism. Let the reader decide.

Atheism, Socialism, Marxism: the Hope of America?

The link between atheism and tyrannical socialism became very obvious when former Hollywood screen writer and author Matthew Chapman made an overt plea for American to be made into an openly atheistic and socialistic country. I say socialist, but the whole talk sounded openly Marxist to me. Chapman argued that religion won’t die away in America because it still provides so many great things for its people: community, support, help for the needy, etc. If the delusion of superstition were to be taken away, and government institutions were to take over the support roles, then the need for religion would die away too. He put it like this,

“The church takes care of people . . . and how does atheism compete with that? I don’t think it can. I don’t believe atheism actually can ever succeed in isolation; only as a result of a much larger political change.
. . . It’s quite clear that the better a country takes care of its citizens, the less religion there is. . . . I don’t think atheism can succeed in a country as primitive as this one [the U.S.] now is; a country where politicians deride their own profession, sneering at the political process as if it was the problem not the solution, who deride the idea that government should help, protect, and raise up its weaker citizens; where the current government has turned over the delivery of basic needs to religion and made them a matter of charity.”

Get that. We need less religion, less charity, and more government care-taking. Indeed, he argued that, “without gigantic social change, the church will have to remain the only place where ordinary people can go to find community, and equality (albeit under the eye of a very stern god) . . .”

Now if this sounds openly Marxist, it is for good reason: it is a direct repetition of one of Marx’s most famous ideas, that religion is the “opium of the people.” Marx wrote, “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people, is the demand for their real happiness.” This is the core of the atheist political agenda: religion is a false hope which must be destroyed in order to society to progress. Religion must go, and all the functions of religion must be replaced by non-religious institutions in order to convince people that religion was wrong to begin with. Thus, Marx assessed, “The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.” (Karl Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right)

Now, it seems to me that this is exactly the type of “social change” that Chapman calls for. Build society upon decidedly atheistic institutions, hijack the role of religion in society, and push religious groups to the fringes, then claim victory for atheism. Equally, with anti-capitalist odor, Chapman followed up, “If atheism, if reason is to flourish, it will only do so when people feel protected by a rational system in which they have involvement, and which is run on principles of compassion, not profit.” It is this profit, he argued — the greed and fear allegedly nurtured by the free market — that enables religious hunger to grow also.

Let me translate: for atheism to flourish in the marketplace, we must destroy the marketplace, and bring its role under the direct supervision of atheists.

All of this leads me to the obvious conclusion: big-government socialism is the opiate of atheism.

Chapman was hardly coy about this idea. He literally cursed the idea that “big-government” should be frowned upon, and retorted, “I am for big-government,” and to even my surprise — and having studied them for a while now, I usually am not surprised by the continued antics of the atheist crowd — the audience heartily applauded.

A View of the Atheistic Agenda

The second overt rally cry was given by crusading anti-religion lawyer Edward Tabash. Tabash caught my attention by name at first because I am familiar with his active role as a debater of the existence of God. I have heard a few of his debates, particularly one many years ago in which he did not fair too well under the acumen of Dr. Greg Bahnsen. Nevertheless, Tabash continues, primarily as chair of the activist legal group “Americans United for Separation of Church and State.”

At first Tabash merely called for the atheists to have two objectives:

1) “To secure an America in which the separation of church and state is absolute (in the words of John F. Kennedy), and to make sure that no branch of government is able to treat the believer and non-believer differently”
2) “To promote the atheistic idea to society at large, and use our powerful scientific and philosophical arguments to explain why the supernatural is non-existent.”

Related to these objectives Tabash foresees two possible futures:

1) One where “secular government” secures that “religion will be left as a matter of private conscience to the individual, and not be legislated by government,” or, conversely,
2) one where “by a shift of only one vote on the United States Supreme Court, we will essentially become a theocracy, in which all branches of government will be freed to favor religion collectively over non-belief.”

Tabash’s inability not to editorialize was already showing through. But his real feelings came out much later. For now, let us rehearse quickly what awful things Tabash fears that imminent “theocracy” threatens to take away. What is Tabash afraid such a “freed” government will cause atheists to lose? He gives a list:

1) “We will lose autonomy in every area of our private lives if the Supreme Court in a new decision nullifies government neutrality in matters of religion. We will not just lose the right of abortion for women, we will lose the right to use birth control even for married women . . . we would lose the morning after pill, … [and] all post-fertilization forms of birth control.”

2) America will be plunged into scientific ignorance: citing a “shocking example of the attack on evolution,” Tabash added, “Not only would they bring about oppression here at home in America, the Religious Right is in danger of being able to actually cripple our competitiveness worldwide by destroying rational modern scientific education here at home.”

3) This includes stem-cell research: “we are going to forfeit our leading role in science to those nations who do not have a religious right that hampers the development of this most important aspect of modern biotechnology.”

4) Worst of all is the “overt effort to oppress gays and lesbians.” Referring to a 6-3 Supreme Court decision that decriminalized homosexual behavior to the extent that “no state can punish what two adults do with each other in private,” and lamenting that a more recent ruling reduced that decision to 5-4, Tabash gave the awful news : “Justice Scalia very chillingly said that the people of a state should be able to use their sense of tradition to criminalize all sexual behavior they regard as deviant.” (Imagine that. States actually determining their own laws without the Supreme Court forcing them! Why, it sounds almost like the Tenth Amendment.) Tabash will have none of that: “We don’t want this man to have a majority on the United States Supreme Court.”

5) Further, “We will lose modern sex education.”

6) “End of life issues” (read: euthanasia)

7) Further, tax money to “faith-based initiatives.” Eddie expounds on this one: “It is not the business of the President of the United States to appropriate billions of dollars of tax money to fund charitable programs through religious institutions, when it should be secular government that provides social welfare services to the people.”

So, in short, this is what Tabash fears his atheistic community will lose: abortion, post-fertilization contraceptives, embryonic stem-cell research, homosexuality, sex education, euthanasia, government socialism, and tax money. Condensing these into their fundamental concerns, Tabash fears the loss of atheistic powers to define and arbitrate life, family, and wealth.

In the face of imminent danger, how can atheists preserve these great delights of free society? Tabash advises: “This is what we must do. We must make sure that the next president of the United States supports church-state separation.” Further,

“Every single time there is a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court, we must deluge our Unites States senators with as many letters as we possibly can, and phone calls, to make sure that they do not pass through a religious right-winger,” and, “we must vigorously oppose all United States Senate nominees who indicate a willingness to support the confirmation of religious right-wing judges.”

The agenda was becoming more clear. Rather than peaceful, freedom-loving people who simply have a “lack of belief in God,” the atheist conference courted and promoted a radical political agenda: to gain control of political power in strategic places.

Lying to Win

Then Tabash got really scary. It was not until the question and answer session when he revealed his most ominous side; perhaps due to the more informal nature of the format, he spoke as unguardedly as any liberal I’ve heard. One questioner asked that due to the abundance of religious talk coming from not just Republican (which is to be expected) but Democratic candidates as well, whether atheists should be concerned. Tabash responded with this gem:

“We don’t care what they say in order to get elected in this religious country. We care about what kind of judges they give us on the Supreme Court, because only the Supreme Court determines if we’ll have secular government.” So, he expanded, “Don’t look to the rhetoric they need to pander to, remember what country they’re running in. I don’t care what kind of verbal obeisance they pay to religion if that’s what it takes to get a person in the White House who will give us church-state separationists on the Supreme Court.”

[Editorial plea: Please mark the preceding quote down, copy it to every website you can imagine, email it to everyone you know, mail it to those who have no email. Distribute!]

Tabash’s endorsement of blatant dishonesty was unsettling even for an atheist audience. One questioner pushed the issue, arguing that we should hold the candidates’ “feet to the fire” for what they say as well as do. Tabash would not budge: “When it comes to Democratic presidential candidates, they all will give us the right judges on the Court, courts [emphasizing the plural, and thus the entire federal court system] . . . so let’s not make the fire too hot.”

Tabash could not get off the issue. When another questioner asked for his comments on how to stop the “the proliferation of church-based law schools,” like Regent and Liberty, and their “influx into government legal roles,” Tabash continued his campaign: “The only way to do that is to have a president who disfavors the Religious Right and will not be accepting those people into White House positions.”

Here is a good point to note the hypocrisy in our crusader’s agenda. Aside from his open endorsement of lying when pragmatic for his cause, in his opening “objective,” he claimed to fight “to make sure that no branch of government is able to treat the believer and non-believer differently.” By the end of his talk, however, his agenda was noticeably opposite. Apparently, for him, it’s OK to reverse the prejudice and disfavor the Religious Right and bar them from White House positions.

When it seemed as if his rhetoric could sink no lower, Tabash closed his atheistic spin with this completely debasing comment: “We [atheists], the true First-Amendment patriots, cannot allow these vicious fanatics to take over our country.” He made no attempt to hide the atheistic political agenda, “Let us make saving the United States of America from the Religious Right our absolute number one priority.”

Conclusion

What have our atheists told us in just this one brief conference? Far from docile citizens hoping to live their lives quietly in private peace, these atheistic leaders have your government, your children, and your money in their sights, and they are serious about things. Society can only progress when religion is eradicated from society (Chapman) or at least driven to the dark corners of something called “private conscience” (Tabash). In addition, they say, we must fight for atheistic control over the definitions of life, death, family, sex, and taxes.

Worst of all, we have learned that these atheists believe it is acceptable for a presidential candidate to consciously deceive religious people in order to gain votes, and then work to promote a secular atheistic society in opposition to those who voted them in. As we have know all along, and now have Tabash’s own words, an atheistic society must be built on the foundations of deception and political strong-arming. Apparently, the only thing stronger than a Christian faith is the atheist’s faith in the dishonesty of Democratic candidates. Blessed be the lie than binds!

And we, Christians, we are the ones they call vicious fanatics.

Joel McDurmon is the author of Return of the Village Atheist
He is a graduate of Reformed Episcopal Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and an adjunct speaker, writer, and researcher for American Vision.


Victory At University of Delaware – University President Ends Mandatory Ideological Reeducation Program

November 2, 2007

    FIRE Press Release

NEWARK, Del., November 2, 2007—After an intense campaign led by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the University of Delaware has dropped an ideological reeducation program that was referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The program’s stated goal was for the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. Following FIRE’s campaign, which called the attention of the national media and the blogosphere to the Orwellian program, university President Patrick Harker terminated the program, effective immediately.

“FIRE applauds President Harker for recognizing the chilling nature of this program and ending it,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Under the First Amendment, state institutions have no right to impose mandatory ideological training on their students. We are thrilled that this unconscionable and invasive program is gone, but we will be keeping an eye on the University of Delaware to make sure future programs respect the individual right of conscience of its students.”

Under the program, students were required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and “one-on-one” meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The university also instructed RAs to ask intrusive personal questions during one-on-one sessions, including “When did you discover your sexual identity?” A student who responded, “That is none of your damn business,” was, according to the university’s own materials, written up—along with the student’s name and room number—as having one of the “wors[t] one-on-one” sessions.

The program’s materials stated that the goal of the residence life education program was for students in the university’s residence halls to achieve certain “competencies” that the university decreed its students must develop in order to achieve the overall educational goal of “citizenship.” These “competencies” included: “Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society,” “Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression,” and “Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality.” And in the Office of Residence Life’s internal materials, the program was described using the harrowing language of ideological reeducation, including referring to the program as “treatment” and defining “learning” as “specific attitudinal or behavioral changes.”

Following FIRE’s initial press release, the university’s administration first chose to defend its invasive and unconstitutional residence life education program. However, in a statement released late yesterday, President Harker stated, “I have directed that the program be stopped immediately. No further activities under the current framework will be conducted.” Harker also called for a “full and broad-based review” of the program’s practices and purposes.

While FIRE commends Harker’s decision, concerns remain about some aspects of life in the residence halls. For example, FIRE would like to know if RAs are still required to immediately report “[a]ny instance that is perceived by those involved as being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or otherwise oppressive.”

The assistance of the Delaware Association of Scholars was critical in the effort to eliminate the program, as was the willingness of Delaware students and RAs to attest to their experiences under this “treatment” program. The case also drew vast attention from the blogosphere, dramatically increasing the pressure on the university to either justify or abandon its thought reform program.

“Universities often cannot defend in public what they try to do in private, and the situation at Delaware was no exception,” Lukianoff said. “While we are pleased that this program is over, it is stunning that it ever existed at a public university in the United States. FIRE will continue to monitor the situation at Delaware and to fight against other ideological reeducation programs at schools across the nation.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process rights, freedom of expression, and rights of conscience on our campuses. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty at the University of Delaware and elsewhere can be seen by visiting http://www.thefire.org.

CONTACT:
Greg Lukianoff, President, FIRE: 215-717-3473; greg_lukianoff@thefire.org
Samantha Harris, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE: 215-717-3473; samantha@thefire.org

Alarm Bells Should Be Going Off Now… A 2007-08 NEA Resolution and New California Law

WHAT???
This blog comment was posted on one of my many social networking sites I like to frequent… I felt it had significance for this forum in that many of my Christian friends are also homeschoolers. I will post what my friend Carla posted, and then my reply to it that I believe connects the NEA statement and another recent event regarding law…

The National Educational Association in their 2007-2008 Resolutions has taken a stand against homeschooling.

It reads “The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools. The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting.”

Statistics have shown that homeschooled students do exceptionally well. They excel (and win) spelling bees, score high on tests like the SAT, and go on to be accepted into many colleges. One Source: http://www.chec.org/Legislative/News/HomeschoolingStatistics/Index.html

Homeschoolers also find benefits in co-op classes contrary to the NEA belief that students should only be instructed by their immediate families.

Take a moment to tell the NEA that homeschooling is a real option that does produce wonderfully rounded and educated members of society.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/homeschoolers-against-nea-philosophy?page=%2051

And my post:

Thanks for sharing this, Carla. I hope that people see the agenda in this statement, and understand the underlying motives for making such a statement. Namely, they are losing federal monies for each student pulled out of their godless system and that they want to have total control over all students in the U.S. in the same way that the socialist government schools have total control over students in Germany, where parents can be put in jail for trying to homeschool their children, especially for religious reasons.

If anyone noticed, California just passed a law prohibiting the use of the words “Dad” and “Mom” in the public school system… ON ALL LEVELS…. which means that these words will be extracted from all textbooks (Hmmm, do you think the textbook publishers will complain about that?)

Swartzy also signed into law that boys can now use the girls locker rooms and restrooms – and visa versa. Think about that. That includes the showers, folks.

Swartzenegger has been pushed to the public as if he is a conservative republican, when in reality he is not. He is a fiscal conservative in many ways, but otherwise he is a RINO. Passing this type of legislation off as law proves that.

The resolution from the NEA is geared to try and force Christians to be subject to all policies deemed appropriate by the state. If someone in a position of power takes this NEA resolution statement and runs with it, everyone could be in real trouble.

Unless there is a huge outcry by Christians about these issues, one day we will wake up and have to hand over our kids for the government to raise. (Of course that is a bit of an exaggeration, but not really.)

Go here to hear commentary on the California law that passed…

http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/radio-show-episode.php?EpisodeID=2592

The Threat of Creation

Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed!

There has been a concerted effort on the part of the atheistic community to not only stifle but to villify people of faith, particularly people who are in the scientific community who hold a faith in God, or in any higher power, and who attribute findings in their field to an intelligent designer.

As Chuck Colson observed in one of his recent articles, (see article prior to this entry) it is not so much atheists anymore, but more and more it is ANTI-theists… these are the ones who would love all religion to be thrown out of the public forum. To them, the biggest threat to their agenda are Christians, especially professionals and influential advocates of any worldview other than their own.

So much for freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Isn’t that sort of what the Communists did in Russia? Boy, living like that sure would be a treat. Don’t we all just love to be told what to do and what to think. Or else.

In February of 2008, a documentary style film titled “Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed” will be released into theaters. Starring Ben Stein, it’s goal is to expose the monopolistic Evolutionist camp and it’s intimidation of scientists who do not hold the same opinions or worldviews as they do. I highly recommend it to anyone who believes in freedom of thought and academic freedom.

(For trailer go to http://www.expelledthemovie.com/ – but read this first!)

Now, I’m not saying throw the anti-theist Evo’s out on their ears, much as I think they deserve it, but I do believe institutions of higher learning should stop telling students WHAT to think and begin teaching them HOW to think for themselves. This will not happen if large bodies of vital scientific work are ignored due to philosophical differences.

On that note, I will post this blog entry from Dr. George Grant, founder and president of the Kings Meadow Study Center… (one of the most humorous smart people I know.)

The Threat Of Creation

By Dr. George Grant
(From his blog Grantian Florilegium on Friday, October 12th, 2007…Reposted with permission from author)

A resolution adopted by Europe’s top human rights body last week declared that the idea of “Creationism” is a potential “threat to human rights.”

On October 4, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted 48 to 25 in support of the resolution entitled the dangers of creationism in education in which the legislative body urged its 47 constituent governments to “firmly oppose” the teaching of Creationism, arguing that such beliefs are “promoted by forms of religious extremism” seeking to “to impose religious dogma “ at the expense of children’s “education. “

“For some people the Creation, as a matter of religious belief, gives a meaning to life,” stated the report. “Nevertheless, the Parliamentary Assembly is worried about the possible ill-effects of the spread of Creationist ideas within our education systems and about the consequences for our democracies. If we are not careful, Creationism could become a threat to human rights which are a key concern of the Council of Europe.”

The report, which had been moderated significantly since it was first introduced a few months ago by those great champions of freedom and integrity around the world, the French Socialists, also charged Creationists with denying the validity of modern science. Indeed, “the total rejection of science,” the revolutionary do-gooders said, “is one of the most serious threats to human rights and civic rights.” It then added that those threats came as Creationists sought to “replace democracy by theocracy.”

Of course, the European legislators did not offer any evidence whatsoever for their brazen assertions—these brave new heroes of a brave new liberty, equality, and fraternity apparently just assume that any questioning of presuppositional and dogmatic Darwinism necessitates a wild-eyed totalitarianism that has only ever existed historically in their own fevered-dreams (and in their own modernist revolutionary governments). Such lawmakers rarely allow the dumb certainties of experience to deter them from blindly pursuing their ribald ideological agendas.

As Dinesh D’Souza has argued, “This is not a time for Christians to turn the other cheek. Rather, it is a time to drive the money-changers out of the temple. The atheists and radicals no longer want to be tolerated. They want to monopolize the public square and to expel Christians from it. They want political questions like abortion to be divorced from religious and moral claims. They want to control the school curricula, so that they can promote a secular ideology and undermine Christianity. They want to discredit the factual claims of religion, and they want to convince the rest of society that Christianity is not only mistaken but also evil. They blame religion for the crimes of history and for the ongoing conflicts in the world today. In short, they want to make religion–and especially the Christian religion–disappear from the face of the earth.“

Dr. Grant’s Blog: Grantian Floriegium

Nietzsche Would Laugh – Morality without God

A Breakpoint article by Charles Colson.

October 9, 2007

One of the biggest obstacles facing what’s called the “New Atheism” is the issue of morality. Writers like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have to convince people that morals and values are possible in a society that does not believe in God.

It’s important to understand what is not in doubt: whether an individual atheist or agnostic can be a “good” person. Of course they can, just as a professing Christian can do bad things.

The issue is whether the secular worldview can provide a basis for a good society. Can it motivate and inspire people to be virtuous and generous?

Not surprisingly, Richard Dawkins offers a “yes” — grounded in Darwinism. According to him, natural selection has produced a moral sense that is shared by all people. While our genes may be, in his words “selfish,” there are times when cooperation with others is the selfish gene’s best interest. Thus, according to him, natural selection has produced what we call altruism.

Except, of course, that it is not altruism at all: It is, at most, enlightened self-interest. It might explain why “survival of the fittest” is not an endless war of all against all, but it offers no reason as to why someone might give up their lives or even their lifestyle for the benefit of others, especially those whom they do not even know.

Darwinist accounts of human morality bear such little resemblance to the way real people live their lives that the late philosopher Michael Stove, an atheist himself, called them a “slander against human beings.”

Being unable to account for human altruism is not enough for Sam Harris, author of LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION. In a recent debate with Rick Warren, he complained about Christians “contaminating” their altruistic deeds in places like Africa with “religious ideas” like “the divinity of Jesus.” Instead of rejoicing at the alleviation of suffering, he frets over someone hearing the Gospel.

In response, Warren pointed out the inconvenient (for Harris, that is) truth: You won’t find many atheists feeding the hungry and ministering to the sick in places like Africa or Mother Teresa’s Calcutta. It is precisely because people believe in the divinity of Jesus that they are willing to give up their lives (sometimes literally) in service to those whom Jesus calls “His brothers.” And that’s why my colleagues and I spend our lives ministering in prisons.

In contrast, the record of avowedly atheistic regimes is, shall we say, less than inspiring. Atheist regimes like the Soviet Union, Red China, and Cambodia killed tens of millions of people in an effort to establish an atheistic alternative to the City of God. For men like Stalin and Mao, people were expendable precisely because they were not created in the image of a personal God. Instead, they were objects being manipulated by impersonal historical forces.

One atheist understood the moral consequences of his unbelief: That was Nietzsche, who argued that God is dead, but acknowledged that without God there could be no binding and objective moral order.

Of course, the “New Atheists” deny this. Instead, they unconvincingly argue that you can have the benefits of an altruistic, Christian-like morality without God.

Nietzsche would laugh — and wonder why they don’t make atheists like they used to.

(This is part two in a five-part series.)

Get links to further information on today’s topic
http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=1806