The Anchoress is reposting a year old column she put up in response to a Sam Harris piece I thought would play well here given the consistent, dare I say, obsessively compulsive presence found in the comments of this blog.
Harris’ short essay was meant as a secularists hymn of praise celebrating the recent announcement by Rep. Pete Stark (D-California) that he did not believe in God. Not content to simply praise Stark’s willingness to witness, Harris took the opportunity to preach condemnation in the general direction of the religiously-inclined. Permit me to intersperse my own thoughts among his. Since Harris can be bold, I will be italics.
The truth is, there is not a person on Earth who has a good reason to believe that Jesus rose from the dead or that Muhammad spoke to the angel Gabriel in a cave. And yet billions of people claim to be certain about such things.
Many millions of people are absolutely certain that the world will end in precisely 30 years - and it will all be man’s fault - unless we start buying carbon offsets from Al Gore and David Cameron. Faith is a funny thing. As a Christian I don’t demand that anyone believe as I believe, and yet some religions - largely the secularist ones - insist that I believe as they do.
As a result, Iron Age ideas about everything high and low — sex, cosmology, gender equality, immortal souls, the end of the world, the validity of prophecy, etc. — continue to divide our world and subvert our national discourse. Many of these ideas, by their very nature, hobble science, inflame human conflict and squander scarce resources.
It is a particularly mid-twentieth century conceit that everything that came before that generation was either wrong, outdated or of dubious value, hence any idea dating back from the Iron Age cannot possibly speak to this age. Except the parts about how iron ore may be mined, smelted and made into useful stuff. All other notions from that age should be scrapped, as they’re making us disagree, “hobbling science” and “squandering resources.” Pay no attention to the secularists who are silencing heretical scientists (and the journalists who cover them) if they dare to disagree and dissent from the emerging Dogma, by the way. Those are not real human conflicts, science is not being hobbled by a 21st century secularist refusal to undertake the third step of scientific methodology and prove the doomsdayish hypothesis of man-made Global Warming. And resources are not being squandered by people who fly their private jets to faraway nations in order to gather and piece together the New Commandments and New Scripture which will soon be delivered from on high by…someone unlike that stuttering idiot Moses, to be sure.
…one meets religious moderates and liberals of diverse hues — people who remain supportive of the basic scheme that has balkanized our world into Christians, Muslims and Jews…
One meets postmodern secularists of diverse interests who remain supportive of a basic scheme that is balkanizing our world into environmentalism, anarchism, paganism, pantheism, food-puritanism and other isms, and who have simply embraced a religion outside of monotheism. If you think by abolishing the Abramic Big Three you’re going to abolish religion, well…good luck. Every secular religion I just mentioned comes with its own Liturgies, Rubrics and Rituals, its own Sins, Laws and Saviors.
There is more and it's all worthy. Trust me.