How not to evangelise to an atheist: Secularism is Atheism part one

If you haven’t yet, read this first, or you won’t understand what this is all about.

The title of the editorial is already problematic: Secularism is Atheism. From my perspective, that’s just silly at best, unintelligent at worst. Secular means not concerned with religion. Atheism means being convinced of the non-existence of gods. The writer uses an entire article, though, to justify the statement, but I’m afraid it doesn’t get better after the title.

Not long ago, the great Western democracies were unashamedly Christian in heir politics and education. Of course, not everyone was a genuine Christian (re-born of the Holy Spirit and adopted into God’s family). In addition, not everything done by those nations was “Christian”, but the worldview of almost everyone was basically biblical.

From Creation Magazine, Vol. 37 No. 1 2015

Right there, in the opening paragraph, you’ve lost me, and this is something I wish could be more thoroughly understood by those who feel themselves moved to attack my views. The writer makes a statement which can only go down from where it starts (and does, when you read the rest of the article). Great Western democracies committed some of the worst atrocities in recorded history. Christian education gave us the Ryan Report, as well as the near endless stream of similar reports from other countries. And no, it’s not just the Catholic church.

The rest of the paragraph intrigues me, not because of the statement but because of what goes through the mind of the person making it. In short, it’s like taking out insurance on a house you know has dodgy foundations. Knowing what I pointed out above about atrocities committed by these great Western democracies, he preempts the inevitable shootdown with a no-true-Scotsman disclaimer. What I want to know is: is the writer aware? Does he know his argument is unsound, but it’s such a useful one that he suppresses that inner voice whispering: “This is bullshit”, or has he actually convinced himself that those cracks in the wall don’t exist?

So that’s what goes through my mind when I read the title and first paragraph of this article:

a. Does this person not own a dictionary?

b. Is this person delusional or dishonest?

Next: Secularism is Atheism Part Two

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