Sunday, October 29, 2006

God Knows

Europeans have long been baffled by the American religious experiment. Absolute freedom of religion fostered in America a free-market-like competition among faiths that provided a religion for nearly every American. In the Nov. 2006 issue of First Things, historian Thomas Howard explained that European anti-Americanism rests “on a number of issues - religion most of all.”

On a visit to America in 1844, European theologian Phillip Schaff fretted about our religious diversity: “Tendencies which had found no political room to unfold themselves in other lands are wrought here without restraint,” he wrote. “What is to become of such confusion is not now to be seen.” Schaff searched in vain for Europe’s heritage of state-established churches.

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger saw America as “a cultural catastrophe.” In 1944 he wrote that “Americanism is the most dangerous shape of boundlessness, because it appears in the form of a democratic middle-class way of life mixed with Christianity.”

The poor Europeans still have not figured us out.

“They exchanged the truth of God for the lie,

and worshiped and served the creation
rather than the Creator.” -- Romans 1:25

In America we have our own breed of “Europeanized intelligentsia.” Biologist Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) regards faith as a “virus of the mind.” “Materialism is absolute” said biologist Richard Lewontin, “for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.” Naturalist E.O. Wilson (The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion) believes that “there must be some evolutionary explanation for the universality and pervasiveness of religious belief.”

Hoover Institution Fellow Dinesh D’Souza has the answer in his SF Chronicle article
God knows why faith is thriving.

“My conclusion is that it is not religion but atheism that requires a Darwinian explanation. It seems perplexing why nature would breed a group of people who see no purpose to life or the universe, indeed whose only moral drive seems to be sneering at their fellow human beings who do have a sense of purpose.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dinesh D'Souza's article is another piece of trash. Bottom line, Christianity causes nations to flourish..mmmmmkay. We're the Christian nation that has ruined our moral authority and wasted hundreds of billions and killed hundreds of thousands on the order of the Pastor in Chief, and we're supposed to believe that secularism is the enemy? To add to that, Bill and friends are closely aligned with the Left Behind crowd, who think it's a good idea to conduct foreign policy based on the Apocalyptic misreadings of the Bible. Overall, very dumb article which doesn't prove anything.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you forget who your forefathers were? Europeans they were, with all kinds of Christian religions!


4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one!! Further we need to demand our rights to pursue our practice of religion and to have the government stop interfering in the pursuit of that which means crèches at Government buildings at XMAS!! The minority are interfering with the majority!

Let's dump the supreme court and get our rights back. NOWHERE does it say in any government documents that there should be a separation of church and state! NOWHERE!! That came from a letter Jefferson wrote - a letter!! Not the Constitution, not the Bill of Rights, etc but a letter!


4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It would be interesting to note what your belief in God is. In one recent poll about one quarter of Americans believed in a God that had no say over what happened on Earth and most of these did not have a strong belief in Heaven. This does not describe a very religious person. We might as well call Him String Theory or Dark Energy.

Rather than count myself as one of the above I choose to call myself an atheist but I could easily be called an agnostic, believing in a God that has no powerr.

My belief system thinks of all human beings as Gods since they alone have the power to do good on Earth. I think that this philosophy of life gives far more purpose to life than praying to God to make things better.

Dick J

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a lot easier not to believe in God because then the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong is oneself.

C.S. Lewis said Christianity is both hard and easy. The hard part is that God does have real absolute standards for us to live up to and the easy part is that those standards are no mystery if we seek them out and adhere to them.


9:24 PM  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

10 30 06

Good article Bill. I always wondered why I was taught that ignorant and impoverished people believe in religion via schooling. My parents and grandparents are pretty smart and they have strong faith traditions. I really hate the dichotomies that are drawn between atheists and agnostics. As one of the anonymous commenters pointed out, a fair amount of people have a deist belief system too, and aren't so easily categorized.

There is a very strong sense of truth in the authors statements that people who have a belief in a higher power due populate themselves and that atheists seem to be bitter and cannot sustain even their own populations!!!

Who knows which religion is the right one, or if there really is such a thing as the right religion? But simply having faith in something greater does impart one with a sense of optimism.

I have struggled with various illnesses and a strong and abiding faith has always kept me going, no matter how rough things get. If I had no faith in anything else, I wouldn't be here.

Phooey on the mean spirited anonymous commenter who likes to hassle you so much!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

10 30 06

I also wanted to mention that I am quite surprised that the SF Chronicle published his op-ed because it certainly seemed to favor Christianity! Is liberal SF changing, or was that just a fluke?

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Mahndisa, it simply means that the "Liberal MSM" is a myth created by your fellow right wingers, and they are fully capable of showing all sides of the debate. I know I know, San Francisco is full of "queers" so it must be liberal, but just get back to your p-generated translations. Thanks!

1:13 PM  

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