Recently the term those “attack dog Democrats” has been voiced by commentators and in a variety of media outlets. James Carville is famous for having little dialog or debate on a specific discussion topic instead using more personal vindictives and sly remarks disguised as humor (albeit mean-spirited and meant to demean). Michael Moore is another example – he uses distortions to emphasize his truth, not the real truth. The debate between Evolution and Intelligent Design, between Christian believers and Atheists, has its antagonists too, primarily from the Darwinist and Atheist camps.
Christopher Hitchens is a skilled, at times humorous, yet limited individual in speaking for the atheists. He is more prone to pontificate with comical overtones on the likes of Mother Teresa and Jesus that argue convincingly that he is in “denial.” He has found a stance that suits his demeanor and provides opportunities to earn income and he is sticking by it. Hitchens, his book, god is not Great – How Religion Poisons Everything, is admittedly well written and witty in a sarcastic, ironic fashion. His skepticism shows in statements such as “confronted with undreamed-of vistas inside our evolving cortex, in the farthest reaches of the known universe, and in the proteins and acids which constitute our nature, religion offers either annihilation in the name of God, or else the false promise that if we take a knife to our foreskins, or pray in the right direction, or ingest pieces of wafer, we shall be ‘saved’.”[i] Hitchens demonstrates his apparent lack of humility when commenting on the Beatitudes by noting in his writing, “many of the sayings and deeds of Jesus are innocuous, most especially the ‘Beatitudes’ which express such fanciful wish-thinking about the meek and the peacekeepers.” [ii] Another example of his skepticism, “monotheism teaches people to think objectively of themselves as miserable and guilty sinners prostrate before an angry and jealous God who, according to discrepant accounts, fashioned them either out of dust and clay or a clot of blood.” Finally, as to praying positions they are “emulations of the supplicant surf before an ill-tempered monarch.”[iii] He labels the study of creation as “creationist stupidity” and wants any such study to remain out of the classroom. Author Michael Novak, his book No One Sees God, reflecting on Hitchens as positing “irritating…atheist prose” noted, “Some atheists are among the most satirical, dismissive dogmatists one encounters anywhere in life, constantly ridiculing others, setting these others up for logical traps and hoots of laughter.”[iv] In Hitchen’s representation of his atheistic position he only wants to be left alone to think as he does, just as other religions want to be left alone in their beliefs, and states so asking for “a reciprocal condition — which is that they in turn leave me alone.”[v] How can one expect to be left alone when they present their case in book form, available for all to read, to discuss and to provide their own polemics? Hitchens is clearly on the attack, not just of Christians but all religions. He has a religion; he believes in NoGod.
Antony Flew (at one time an atheist) did the same until in his 80’s he became convinced of the existence of God.
Sartre (Existentialist and Marxist) was an atheist and felt at death we all simply go to dust. He did not believe in creation. He took a hard stance against Christians and the concept of an eternal life with God. He saw man as existing, that was enough, learning through experiencing not via knowledge. But as his life came near an end he rebelled, according to the National Review, with Sartre stating, “I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here, and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”[vi]
A group of Darwinists computer geeks recently worked long and hard to break the code to access the password for a website announcing a conference to discuss Intelligent Design. From the Discovery Institute came this announcement: “A Colorado group is the target of malicious computer hackers in what appears to be a coordinated attempt to suppress information about an upcoming conference on Darwin and intelligent design in Colorado. Earlier this month the Shepherd Project Ministries website was breached using a “brute force attack” to break the password. The hackers then deleted webpages containing information about an upcoming conference featuring Discovery Institute speakers Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, David Berlinski, and John West.” The message provided went on to say, “These attacks reveal how even having a discussion about intelligent design is threatening to those who can’t countenance free speech on evolution. In today’s ID the Future podcast interview, Craig Smith said, ‘It’s stunning to me how threatened they seem to be about the conversation that is taking place. It’s not a matter of, ‘I disagree with the content’ or ‘I disagree with the conclusion,’ it’s ‘I disagree that the conversation should be allowed.'”
That is what we are hearing from the left idealogues daily, “I disagree that the conversation should be allowed.” They refer in such a way to Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Sarah Palin, Christians, anyone that offers a reasonable debate that could possibly be in deference to any position the Left espouses. This is truly a fear of the Freedom of Speech and the use of the term, “Tolerance” only for the sake of tolerance for their positions. They fear the open dialog as they know their desire for selfish postures, power and control may be undermined. Standing up for the rights of others can often impose constraints on the generation that wants it all now, their way, without work, and without discussion. Share the wealth and let us live as we want, regardless of the impact on society, morality, decency or common sense.
The attack dog approach is weak, seriously flawed, reflective of an insecure person and lacking an intellectual, civil approach to debate. From debate comes understanding, possibly common ground, or a shift to the other point of view. Stubborness and entrenchment in one view, a wrong view, brings out the worst in people. Such militancy can only argue for the cause being attacked – not the attacker.
Praise God for his blessings and the Truth that he reveals to those with an objective mind and an open heart.
[i] god is not Great-How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens, published by Twelve, Hatchette Book Group, USA, New York New York 2007, page 283
[ii] god is not Great-How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens, published by Twelve, Hatchette Book Group, USA, New York New York 2007, page 117
[iii] god is not Great-How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens, published by Twelve, Hatchette Book Group, USA, New York New York 2007, page 73
[iv] No One Sees God, by Michael Novak, Doubleday, NY, NY 2008, pg. 63
[v] god is not Great-How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens, published by Twelve, Hatchette Book Group, USA, New York New York 2007, page 13
[vi] Why I Still Believe in the Gospel, Clarence Boomsma, Wm Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Mi. 2007, pg. 98 (ref to the National Review, June 11, 1982, p. 677)