Better Understanding of Gnu atheist movement

Whether it’s Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her fellow militant atheists, or the modern day Gnu movement, why is it that they so frequently claw and rip at each other?  The answer is simple – the Gnu atheists are not unified by anything positive.  Remember it was PZ Myers who admitted:

 I have to be very careful to keep my description of values general, and be clear that I’m not dictating them to you, but describing what I see emerging as a consensus, because otherwise I’ll be pilloried by my own kind. We’re a pitiless bunch.

There is only one thing that unifies the Gnus and it is something negative – the dark emotion of hate.  The Gnus are unified by their hatred of religion.   When people are unified by hate, and you remove the object of hate, all that remains is a room full of hateful people.  So they begin hating each other.  Even small things can trigger hateful rants, as hate has a way of magnifying things.  I think it is pretty much that simple.

Except for one thing.

I’m beginning to seriously think that “religion” is just code for Christianity.  That is, the Gnus hate and what they hate is Christianity.  And Christians.  We can tell this because 90% of the time, their 10 minute blog hates are directed against Christianity.  And even more significant is when the leader of the Gnus, Richard Dawkins, let something slip:

 But the centrepiece of this Christmas edition is the main coup for the New Statesman – an interview by Prof. Dawkins with Christopher Hitchens, the great polymath who today lost his fight against cancer. It’s a fascinating read over three double-page spreads. Not least because Prof. Dawkins reveals a charming humility, allowing Hitchens to show his intellectual superiority at his own expense. Hitchens is thoughtful about CS Lewis and Christianity and rather leaves Prof. Dawkins floundering in his wake, occasionally interjecting little assents to show that he’s still there, as he struggles to keep up.

But one of these interjections is most revealing. About half-way through, the Prof gets this in edgeways: ‘Do you ever worry that if we win and, so to speak, destroy Christianity, that vacuum would be filled by Islam?’

So, ‘if we win…and destroy Christianity’. True, there’s a ‘so to speak’ in there, but it doesn’t do much. Try ‘If we win and, so to speak, kill all the Jews’ as an alternative. Doesn’t really work, does it? And Prof Dawkins can hardly claim that he was misquoted or taken out of context. He was editing the magazine, after all – there’s even a picture of him doing so, pen poised masterfully over page proofs.

What’s interesting to me is that Dawkins acknowledges the Gnu’s are specifically targeting Christians.  If the Gnus truly were battling “religion,” his question makes no sense, as the demise of Christianity would be coupled with the demise of other religions, including Islam.  That he worries about Islam possibly filling the vacuum caused by their destruction of Christianity shows us “religion” is not the target.  Christianity is.

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2 Responses to Better Understanding of Gnu atheist movement

  1. apollyon911 says:

    Christianity is easy to target. Atheists have the privilege of living in Western societies that were ultimately based upon Judeo-Christian principles, including the right to believe what one wants, the right to free speech and the right to criticize (even denigrate) politicians and other public figures, institutions (including religious) and ideas.

    Many credit the Enlightenment for bringing all this about (since the Enlightenment was, in theory, about science and reason), but the credit really lies with the Renaissance. Democracy, the rule of law, rights of the individual were already developing. Even during the Enlightenment, many of the leading thinkers were Christian or at least theists.

    No such movements occurred in Islam (or elsewhere for that matter). Islamic countries do not tolerate atheism (or dissent in general) and their way of dealing with atheists is not pretty.

    Atheists would do well to worry if they ‘defeat Christianity’: Islam is growing in the West both through immigration and through fertility (large families). Their influence is growing and atheists, who are cowards as a rule, know better than to target a group that will respond violently.

    Better to hit the nice guy Christian who either a) turns the other cheek or b) engages them in debate (which the atheist claims to want but tends to rely on invective and ad hominem attacks instead).

    Still, it doesn’t matter. Atheists are losing the battle. First through attrition (demographics are not the atheist’s friend) and second through debate and online forums (Christians are proving to be formidable intellectual opponents).

  2. chunkdz says:

    To take it a step further, it’s not about Christianity or Christians, it’s about their bitter hatred for Jesus Christ.

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