Paranoid Atheism

Katherine Stewart posted a dumb article on Richard Dawkins’s Foundation for “Reason and Science” site and Dawkins has been promoting it when not counting his followers on Twitter (we’re supposed to be “distressed” by this).  It begins:

Imagine an America where, if you want to be a high school principal or you want to run for state office, you have to prove that you’ve been “born again.” Imagine an America where kindergarten children are taught as part of the public school curriculum that if they don’t accept Jesus as their savior, they will burn in hell for all eternity. Imagine an America where official meetings begin with prayers that infidels will come to know the Lord. 

Eight North Carolina legislators and the House Majority leader have put forward a bill that would make all of this possible.

Gimme a break.  The Theocracy is Coming?!  How often must Gnu’s return to this empty well?  Now, while I know nothing about this bill, I do know that atheists and secularists have been sounding the “Theocracy Alarm” for decades.  And given that their alarm cries always turn out to be kook delusions that never materialize into reality, I have no patience with such idiocy.  In other words, it is quite safe to say that an America where people have to prove they are born again to be eligible to run for office is an America that exists, and will always exist, only in the paranoid minds of people like Katherine Stewart.

Ironically, even Stewart admits her fears have no chance of materializing:

There is no point in debating the merits of the ludicrous “legal” theory on which this bill is based. There also isn’t much point worrying about whether it will become law any time soon. The legislature is probably not stupid enough to pass it, and the courts would shoot it down anyway. In fact, the bill was referred to the Committee for Rules, Calendar and Operations, where loony bills are typically sent to die.

So what’s the basis for her fear?

However, HJR 494 tells us a lot about the people behind the exercise. These people, as it happens, represent a powerful faction within the Republican party of North Carolina – which, as it happens, controls the state government. And here is what should really worry you: the people behind this bill have introduced it because they believe – rightly —  that such posturing will in fact increase their power and popularity among their base.

That’s it?  An appeal to the Eevil Hidden PuppetMasters?  Yawn.   Katherine needs to connect this speculation to a very real chance of her paranoid fears about America becoming reality.  Otherwise, all she has are bogeymen.


Keep worrying, Katherine.  But your threatiness has no effect on me.  I’ve heard it for too long to respond with anything other than a chuckle.  In fact, every April 4 from now on I’ll remind you of your kooky fears.  We’ll see if come 2014, we’re any closer to a nation where public school kindergarten children are taught they must accept Jesus into their hearts or public high school principals must prove there are born again.  If not, we’ll check in on 2015.  And 2016.

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