A couple of months ago, I wrote a letter to Pope Benedict pledging my support and prayers for him and the Church. Today I received a response to this letter, which came to me from the Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State of the Vatican, Monsignor Peter Brian Wells. The pope also enclosed a photo of himself. I am very happy about this and have attached a photo so you can see what it looks like.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Bill C-510, which was introduced into Canadian Parliament and which was known as Roxanne's Law was voted down by Stephen Harper and his so-called "conservatives". The bill would make it a crime to coerce someone to have an abortion. Obviously this sounds like a very common sense law, but it did not pass. Therefore, is not illegal for a man to demand that his girlfriend or wife have an abortion and indeed coerce her into doing so.
Abortion has taken on a life of its own. Rights to abortion have trumped all other rights, including human rights. A man could be charged if he coerced his wife to have her ears pierced, but coercing her to kill their child is alright.
The bill was named after Roxanne Fernando who was savagely murdered by her boyfriend when she refused to have an abortion. I guess this is ok to some people, since abortion is of such importance.
Shame on you Stephen Harper and your supposed "Conservatives"!
Posted by Phil Lynch at 3:57 pm
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
The New Atheist movement is one which is characterized as distinct from previous atheism in its level of attack against theism. Religion is called dangerous, even child abuse! After reviewing the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, eminent philosopher Alvin Plantinga warns readers that "one shouldn't look to this book for even-handed and thoughtful commentary. In fact the proportion of insult, ridicule, mockery, spleen, and vitriol is astounding."
There were atheists from previous generations, but they were far more reasonable and much less insulting. I remember reading something from Bertrand Russell, an atheist from the early to mid 20th century, and in one of his "scathing" attacks on religion, he wondered how the God of Christianity is different than the "homeric gods". Nowadays, book by prominent atheists are simply verbal attacks on Christians and Christianity (and sometimes, but not often, other religions).
However, despite their attack on religion, I believe the New Atheism is a form of religion. This statement will appear anathema to any atheist, but I believe if you look at the evidence, you will see some startling similarities. By the way, when I say the New Atheism is a religion, I don't mean the moderate kind, I mean full-on fundamentalism. Let's look at some evidence.
1) Attacks on believers
The New Atheists attack non-believers the same way a fundamentalist would attack the "powers of evil". They don't just personally not involve themselves in religion, but they decry it as sinister, stupid, abusive, etc. They say it should be eradicated. Just replace a Christian fundamentalist and his views on Satan with an atheist and his views on theism, and you will find many similarities.
2) The New Atheism is evangelical
Richard Dawkins and others have extolled non-believers to become evangelistic. To spread the news of atheism and to convert as many people to their belief system as possible. Any time they see a Christian-related event, they become infuriated and demand that it be removed. Atheists are now spending thousands of dollars erecting giant billboards and painting city buses imploring people to "convert" to atheism.
3) The New Atheism has saviors
I spend a fair bit of time on youtube watching videos by atheists and theists, especially with debates, and one thing I've noticed is the unquestioning admiration atheists have for their leaders. The oft-quoted leaders of the movement are Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. Anywhere a video of one of these men appears, you will see comments below which rival praise given to religious figures like Jesus or Mohammed.
I did a search in youtube for Christopher Hitchens and the first result was a video he made attacking Mother Teresa, who is almost universally loved. Yet despite this, all the comments praise Hitchens as having "opened up the eyes of countless thousands to the tyranny of religion", and other comments condemn Mother Teresa. None criticize him nor praise her. They just hang on his every word and hold him atop a pedestal.
The first result after I typed Dawkins, there was a video from CBC. The top two comments were:
"Richard is one of the most patient men that has ever lived.
He trounced that mouth breather and never raised his voice."
"comparing intelligence. interviewer is a tent and dawkins is the CN tower. must be so frustrating talking to such idiots"
The commenters compete to be the most praising of their beloved leaders and are ready to attack and defend them in battle. They are the foot-soldiers of this new movement.
The four atheist horsemen are constantly met with unbridled adulation. They have a free pass to say anything and know there will be a mob eager to back them up. How is this different than the Nazi followers of Hitler or the government officials of Stalin who were afraid to be the first person to stop clapping. It seems Richard Dawkins could criticize one of his followers' mothers and they would thank him for it. This type of uncritical adoration is rarely seen outside of cults or North Korea.
4. There are scriptures
The God Delusion, god is not Great, Letters to a Christian Nation, have taken their place as atheist scripture. They are required reading for any good atheist. In fact, I've never met anyone who is a self-proclaimed atheist who hasn't read at least one of these books. They fly off the shelves as soon as they are published, purchased by adoring fans. Sort of like an atheist Bible.
5. There are atheist "bible studies"
I know many atheists whose main topic of conversation is atheism. They will gather after work in their homes to discuss atheism, to read atheist books, and to discover ways of being a better atheist. There are support groups, meetings, conventions, and other events all on this topic. I used to work at an office near a guy who would constantly talk about atheism. His friends would join in the conversation as he constantly extolled the virtues of atheism and derided theism. If a group of people constantly talked about the Bible, they would be called Bible-thumpers or Jesus freaks.
It seems to me that for atheists to define themselves simply as people who do not believe in "a god", really doesn't tell the whole story. I believe the need for religion is inherent in every person, even for the new atheists. The new atheists have saviors, scripture, and bible study. They are uncritically receptive of their atheist leaders and spend countless hours studying their non-belief. They have a religion, they just don't want to admit it.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 6:30 am