Because of the arguments between the New Atheists and the Social Justice atheists (the Id Atheists), it’s tempting to think that at least the New Atheists are the reasonable ones when it comes to things like free speech. But be careful. I don’t think many New Atheists truly believe in some universal principle of free speech. I think it’s more about them worrying that they won’t be freely able to criticize and mock religion.
In other words, I think at their core, most New Atheists are social justice atheists and the debate is simply about the target of social justice retribution and aggression. In fact, the whole blow up triggered by Elevatorgate seems to be about the Social Justice Atheists not agreeing to restrict their attacks to Christians and Jews. When the SCA’s broadened their attacks to include secular white men, that’s when things derailed. Things became even more heated when the SCA’s decided to take Islam off the table when it came to bashing religion.
The New Atheists have the same basic id-based attitude as the social justice atheists. While the latter view “cis straight white males” as The Problem with the world, the former views “religious males and females” as the Problem. Both sides like to accuse the “problem tribes” of sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. Both sides think the “problem tribes” must be stripped of cultural influence as the means to bringing about some wonderful utopia and rely on aggressive methods to bring about their agenda. After all, both are quite supportive of censoring and deplatforming the “problem tribes” and creating safe spaces free of the “problem tribes.” Both the New Atheists and Social Justice atheists embrace extremism because they view themselves as Good and their problem tribe as Evil.
The difference is that the New Atheists (here in the United States) have a tool thanks to historical contingency – a particular Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment. Thus, they can use the courts to create safe spaces for the secular approach while trying to censor public expressions of religiosity. To facilitate this, atheists posture as snowflakes who are being psychologically traumatized by public expressions of religious behavior and/or thought. As the government grows in size and reach, the atheist activists are there to ensure it pushes religion further and further into some corner. Since the SCA’s don’t have a court ruling (yet) that can empower their censoring ways, they must rely on public shaming , protests, witch hunts and even violence. But you can count on the SJA’s to support the atheist activists push to completely secularize culture as long as a sizable safe space is created for…….Islam.