As militant atheism is growing some of its own stalwarts are beginning to have questions about the desirability of a world without religion and especially one without Christianity. A number of atheists and agnostics going back to at least the time of the American Revolution have asked themselves what would a world without the constraints of Christian morality be like. The most recent examples of religion free governments that come to mind are the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cambodia under Pol Pot and Mao’s China . The most obvious characteristics held in common by all of these atheist governments are mass murder, political repression, and economic poverty. Atheists are generally not stupid or ignorant of history, many see that their own fate under an atheist regime could be quite unpleasant, for while they may share, with such governments, a disdain or even hatred for religion or God, these governments are usually quite hostile to other things that atheist often see as desirable. Homosexuals, for example, were dealt with very harshly, including executions, in the above “atheist paradises.”
Some of this disagreement surfaced this September following the “Blasphemy Day” celebration held in Washington D.C., where atheism enthusiast engaged in a number of activities designed to ridicule, denigrate, and insult religion and religious believers especially Christians. These activities included de-baptisms, desecration of communion hosts, offers to swap Bibles for pornography and an extensive display of blasphemous art. Interestingly this “bold and imaginative intellectual effort” somehow failed to include and depictions of Islamic materials, a mere coincidence no doubt on the part of a group who views themselves as courageous advocates for true non-judgemental, relativist morality.
The rift seen at this meeting was one primarily of style. Some atheists found the tone of the activities objectionable and likely to be counter-productive. However deeper streams of discontent are being voiced by some atheists. For example, sophomoric refutations for the existence of God currently abound in the atheist literature. Many atheists seem to think they have hit upon an original thought when asking, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, seemingly unaware of the libraries full of books that provide answers to this 2000 year old question or the embarrassingly naive discovery by Oprah Winfrey that the Bible states the “I am a jealous God.”
Atheists claim that the world is moving into a Post-Christian Era, however if they would bother to look at the broader literature in philosophy and history they would notice that the actual stronger trend in movement into a Post-Secular Era.
Source: “A Bitter Rift Divides Atheists”, by Barbara Hagerty, National Public Radio, October 19, 2009.