Summary: Didn’t you know? The Southern Baptist Convention is going to take over the U.S. government! So says Kevin Phillips, author of American Theocracy—one of many anti-theist writers jumping on the bestseller-list gravy train.
This article is from BreakPoint WorldView magazine: http://www.breakpoint.org/contentindex.asp?ID=146.
Didn’t you know? The Southern Baptist Convention is going to take over the U.S. government! So says Kevin Phillips, author of American Theocracy--one of many anti-theist writers jumping on the bestseller-list gravy train. Well, although at least one commenter on our blog, The Point, jokingly nominated me for U.S. president, I don’t see us becoming one nation under the Southern Baptist Convention--amusing as that notion is. Nevertheless, as Ross Douthat wrote last year in First Things, anti-theocrats "assume that the most extreme manifestation of religious conservatism must, by definition, be its most authentic expression." So we Christians are all theocrats? That’s what today’s militant atheists--or anti-theists, as I call them--would have the world believe.
Do you attend church every Sunday? Oppose gay "marriage"? Vote pro-life? Believe students should be allowed to learn intelligent design in school? Well, then of course, you are a theocrat--don’t deny it. You want to take over American government and force everyone to believe and act as you do.
Sound ridiculous? Paranoid? It is. With a profound ignorance of the Christian faith, anti-theists are cashing in on the many atheist rants topping today’s bestseller lists. In truth, paranoid books by atheists are nothing new (think of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale). However, today they are enjoying particularly lucrative returns from their tirades. I am sure you have seen them: Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon; Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion; Chris Hedges’s American Fascists; Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation; Christopher Hitchens’s God Is Not Great; among others. This is what used to be called in antitrust law conscious parallelism. These writers are aware that these books are selling (more than a million copies last year alone), so it encourages one atheist after another to make his case. (Can you hear the cash registers?)
In case you may still be scratching your head about that term--theocracy--likely because it is foreign to everything you believe, let me define it for you. As Douthat wrote in his article "Theocracy! Theocracy! Theocracy!"--an amusingly written column I recommend that you read--theocracy "is often used to connote government by a specific institutional faith." Of course, the first thing you must think of is sharia law in the Middle East (and the second, "That’s not me!"). But a sort of Christian sharia is exactly what anti-theists are accusing believers of wanting to establish in America. And so they run around like so many Chicken Littles, publishing their tirades and warning that the sky is falling on democracy.
These unfounded fears may be amusing, but after we stop chuckling, we need to realize that this is a serious matter--because it is not Christianity that poses a threat as grave as radical Islam, but rather today’s neo-atheism.