Nation Building, Cohesion & the Atheist Nemesis
America was founded as a Republic with a balance of power between the executive, judicial and legislative branches. Alongside of this, there has always been a religious presence and its subsequent influence. It is important to note that since it's inception back in 1776, America has always had a legitimate secular movement - one that starkly differs from the recent group of revolutionaries loosely known as "the secular movement" that has divided us the past half dozen years or so.
This legitimate secular movement that I referred to in the last paragraph has successfully safeguarded Americans for the past 236 years from having a state church (if you were to contrast us with some of the European models). At no time has America been a theocracy. It's vitally important to note that there has never been a leader and its constituents have harmoniously consisted of genuine clergymen and the non-religious alike. There has been no need for these likeminded souls to organize; their bond has been an understanding that good religion helps to build a country and that united we stand -- divided we fall.
This established group hasn't been divisive and wouldn't think of misusing a cross or posting a demeaning billboard as an item to pander for funds. They are quietly confident and secure in their beliefs - they don't throw parades. They certainly wouldn't lobby congress. The Chinese concept of yin and yang (not opposing forces but complimentary) has best described the relationship between religion and non-religion in American society. Its hands off approach built a great America: then along came the new atheists and their new fangled rendering of the secular movement that wants to tear down America.
What I would describe as the "old school" secular movement has been wildly successful until a dirty band of atheists saw an opportunity to organize for destruction. For those insisting upon a label, this inconspicuous old school secular movement is what we commonly call society.
Now with 236 years of societal success, why do we need a "secular movement"? Are we moving towards a state church? A theocracy? The answer is no! The old school secular movement (society) hasn't failed us. Sure, there are religious crackpots upon the extreme right that scare undiscerning liberals with their rhetoric. The old school doesn't over react to the rhetoric; they let them ramble on as our First Amendment permits. Should the situation escalate they are prepared to handle the situation. There is simply no need for these revolutionaries or their new fangled secular movement!
What we have now with the new atheist's (secular movement) organizing is a group that fights the fabric of society. The old school was intelligent enough to know that an ethical system is attached to religion and to tamper with the arrangement is detrimental to societal cohesion and sustainability. The new atheists boast of their intelligence, but they recklessly ignore preeminent historians on the matter. Compare Will Durant's warning to new atheist leader PZ Myers' cavalier demeanor:
Will Durant - The Story of Civilization, V.1. , 71
"Religion begins by offering magical aid to harassed and bewildered men; it culminates by giving to a people that unity of morals and belief which seems so favorable to statesmanship and art"
"Conduct, deprived of its religious supports, deteriorates into epicurean chaos"
"In the end a society and its religion tend to fall together"
PZ Myers: Sunday Sacrilege: Bad Without God
"Announcing that atheists are "good" is a repudiation of our actual goals, which are subversive. We aim to change the culture."
"And that's really my big problem with the phrase: I don't want to be reassuring to people whose awful bogosity I oppose. I want to provoke and challenge, I want to change the status quo, I want to tear down the gooey conventionality of morality and narrow standards of public behavior. I want us all to mock and laugh at public professions of piety. I want to change how people think, and I want people to reject the absurd claim that our morality is founded on an odious holy book."
So there you have it, the new atheist (secular movement) barged into American society as a hostile takeover attempt upon our culture. Myers (2009 Humanist of the Year, American Humanist Association) makes my point about the impossibility of societal cohesion with atheism. Keywords are: subversive, provoke, challenge, tear down, mock and laugh.
While a number of Americans work for a more tolerant pluralistic society; this new secular movement provokes and is belligerently intolerant of religion. It's a secular adaptation of jihad. Intelligent people don't incite the destruction of society; that is what revolutionaries do!
I cannot understand what national interest is served when the President meets with these derelicts? Have they contributed anything positive to society? Why does the UN grant them diplomatic access? This new fangled secular movement should be treated as an enemy of the state.
One must recognize that acceptance of the secular movement as a legitimate entity creates a societal dichotomy of two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups. Christianity has matured enough to tolerate unbelievers; it hasn't executed a heretic for at least a few centuries (satire). Myers crowd is intolerant of the society it finds itself in. They are willing to take down society in the process.
A number of well-balanced, non-religious "old school" humanists have tried to reason with the unreasonable elements of the movement to no avail (revolutionaries aren't interested in cohesion, reason or the common good...just destruction of establishments). Acceptance of the secular movement is acceptance of civil warfare.
Religion is a national asset; a void is exposed in its absence. Transport an agitated religion hater to a society like Latvia that disavowed religion for 50ish years and have them live there for a few years so they can compare it to a country like the United States that has had longstanding Christian influence. These crackpots trashing religion live in an idealized world of dreams.
What I learned in Latvia (I could have learned from reading Santayana) is that whenever you wipe the slate clean you have to start from scratch with nothing to improve or build upon. Society has to be built around something to unify or rally around that is practical enough for the common man to follow. In Latvia's case, religion had been wiped out by the Soviet's atheism. The religious framework was gone and all they had previously experienced was the secular model that miserably failed (I wrote about this here).
The secularist's idealized world (improbable as it is) is one that hasn't accounted for the breakdown of the family unit. In Latvia's case, the dire economic situation forced many parents to foreign soil to secure work. Often the kid (s) were left behind with one, no parent or grandparents back in Latvia trying hard to make ends meet. Hey, people did the best they could. Some kids get abandoned. Everyone knows the best situation for a kid is with his or her biological parents that love and nurture the young tyke in a supportive, sustainable environment. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case (welcome to reality).
Whenever the family unit is so broken down and no one else is there - this is one of the places where churches are so valuable. They mentor and serve as a surrogate when needed. Sure, churches have their problems but society would have much greater problems if the churches weren't engaged. Do seculars want this great religious work to go away? Then why bad mouth or seek its destruction? Does secularism have the necessary compassion and would they be willing to roll up their sleeves and join in this important work?
I do religion an injustice by only mentioning their willingness to fill the void whenever needed; their role in the development of character is just as important. Sure, they teach it as truth and I see it as myth... so be it. I see great value in religious capital. Skeptical society doesn't really understand or esteem non-evidential capital the way it should.
What it boils down to is that virtually all of the critics within the new secular movement don't know the subject matter well enough to speak intelligently. They attract malice hearted irritable people that want to duel. They are mad; it shows in their communiqués. They are led by mad scientists... what else can I say?
I'm interested in nation building, not it's destruction. A dual approach that doesn't duel with the other is a sustainable model; it used to be the American way. Secularism doesn't have all the answers; neither does religion. The new secular movement needs to be destroyed before it destroys our nation!
Brian Worley Ex-Minister.org November 1, 2012 All Rights Reserved