Conservative Thought = Anti-Atheism Thought

At least, that is the conclusion you would inevitably come to if you read Town Hall on a regular basis. The wesbite that boasts of being the first conservative web community seems to have a yen for anti-atheist propaganda.

For example, here's Mike Adams in a column entitled, “Understanding Atheism::

If psychologists were really interested in the fair and balanced treatment of religion they would see the obvious connection between cognitive dissonance theory and atheism. And, of course, they would discuss it in their classes in conjunction with the application of Freudian and Skinnerian theories seeking to explain religion away.

I'm afraid that obvious connection was lost on me. Might have helped if Adams had bothered to explain at some point, but he did not. Not only did Adams' column not help me understand atheism, it didn't even help me understand his point.

And this column, mind you, was one of the better ones. Here's Doug Giles explaining what atheism is really all about:

Atheists would love for everyone to believe that their motive for not believing is an intellectual one. Yes, the atheists ardently suppose that they are wise and the Christians, well, we're the buckle-shoed buttheads.

Yes, darling, the atheists would love all of us to suppose that they cannot believe because they are so astute and rational, and we theists, heck we're toads . . . a veritable troop of abecedarian simpletons who believe in God and Christ simply because we're straight goofy.

I think the atheists believe in not believing, however, not because they're intellectual little dandies but because they want to be autonomous, loose and randy.

There follows a lengthy discourse on how atheists want to be free from responsibility to God so they can indulge their perverse sexual apptetites. Read it for yourself and see if Giles has disabused you of your stereotypes about Christians.

And then there is Dinesh D'Souza, who has dedicated his last three columns to this subject. Here he is reporting on the well-known (to conservatives anyway) academic conspiracy against traditional religious belief:

It seems atheists have developed a comprehensive strategy to win the minds of the next generation. The strategy can be described simply: let the religious people breed them, and we will educate them to despise their parents' beliefs. Many people think that the secularization of the minds of our young people is the inevitable consequence of learning and maturing. In fact, it is to a large degree orchestrated by teachers and professors to promote anti-religious agendas.

To a large degree? Goodness! But at least we have a clear statement from D'Souza that education is the enemy of religion. Indeed it is.

Reading D'Souza too challenging for you? Then have a go at David Limbaugh's helpful summary. It contains gems like this:

He also exposes the illogic of atheism's claim to moral superiority when it can't even offer a rational explanation for man's moral component. Nor can atheism explain man's consciousness. Apart from God, there is no accounting for either conscience or consciousness.

Right. Because consciousness is very mysterious until you hypothesize into existence an even greater and more powerful sort of consciousness to explain it. Makes perfect sense.

Of course, they don't always attack atheism. Sometimes they go after “Darwinism,” which for them is a synonym for “atheism” I give you Marvin Olasky:

New York Times columnist John Tierney recently offered a materialist version of "intelligent design": All of us are actually characters in a computer simulation devised by some technologically advanced future civilization.

Fanciful to the extreme, sure, but the growing number of such theories -- life comes from the past (Mars, when it was theoretically livable) or future (Tierney) -- is one more indication that Darwinism no longer satisfies. Reporters pretending to referee the origin debate used to have it easy: slick evolutionists vs. hick creationists, progress vs. regress. Now, Darwinism is looking fuddy-duddy, and sophisticated critiques of it are becoming more diverse.

A New York Times columnist writes a column describing some amusing thought experiments from a British philosopher, some unspecified person says something about life coming from Mars, and Olasky takes this as evidence that “Darwinism” is no longer satisfying. Strong evidence indeed.

That's pretty dopey, but just for fun see if you can spot the logical flaw in the following paragraph:

We also have data now from a half-century of careful malaria-watching, which -- because malaria reproduce so quickly -- lets us see what happens to thousands of generations of parasites that are under constant attack from man-made drugs. Darwin predicted that random mutation and natural selection would lead to the development of new species, but no new kinds of malaria have emerged, just tiny changes in existing strains.

And people say that smoking causes cancer, but that's nonsense because Joe down the street smoked for fifty years and he never got cancer!

Not wanting to be left out of the party, Michael Medved chimes in with his argument for the proposition that the American Founders wanted to establish a Christian nation, as opposed to a secular nation. Here is an example of his logic:

THE FOUNDERS NEVER “WANTED TO ESTABLISH A SECULAR NATION.” In fact, they repeatedly and insistently averred that the survival of liberty and the prosperity of the United States required a deeply religious society and a populace passionately committed to organized faith. In his Farewell Address of 1797, President Washington (who had also served as presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention) unequivocally declared that “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle...Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” His successor as president, John Adams (also known as “The Atlas of Independence”) wrote to his wife Abigail in 1775: “Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”

Of course, outside of Planet Medved a “secular” nation is one in which religious beliefs and practices are kept separate from the workings of government. Absolutely none of those delightful quotes Medved produces have anything to with that question. If the Founders had intended to create a Christian nation you would expect to find some mention of Christianity in the Constitution. Instead you only find references to not having religious tests for public office, and to Congress passing no law regarding an establishment of religion. Strange way to found a Chirstian nation.

So there you have it. If Town Hall is representative (and they certainly think they are) conservatism is simply equivalent to brain-dead, anti-atheist propaganda. Pretty pathetic.

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How did Giles miss the part about the Satanic orgies and the babies sacrificed on the altar beneath the upside-down cross?

We must be doing something right, if he has started to perceive us as a threat to be attacked like this.

I don't think much of his morals, that he could lie so much and libel people he has never met.

By JohnnieCanuck, FCD (not verified) on 29 Oct 2007 #permalink

Chroniclers of an ebbing philosopy.

Yep, that's a pretty accurate sample of mainstream conservatism. I think you could more accurately put it :conservatism is simply equivalent to BEING brain-dead.

I stopped using my first name (Christian) long ago.
Am I going to have to stop using my middle name (Giles) next?

By Christian Gile… (not verified) on 30 Oct 2007 #permalink

"All of us are actually characters in a computer simulation devised by some technologically advanced future civilization. "

Um, if this civilisation is in the future, what are we doing in the present?

By Ginger Yellow (not verified) on 30 Oct 2007 #permalink

I just love (and by "love" I mean "despise") the way conservatives latch onto symbols of freedom and pervert them for their own purposes. "Town hall" and "Minutemen" are two examples that I, as a lifelong New Englander, find insulting -- given that the New England town is rather different organizationally from municipalities in most of the rest of the country, I'd be surprised if anyone from townhall.com even really understood the difference. (I know the Census Bureau doesn't really get it -- municipalities in New England are apparently something of a major headache to them.)

As for their writers... well, I don't have much good to say about them, except that at one point Michael Medved may have been a good movie critic. I have found David Limbaugh laughable for years, though -- it's as if Rush's parents cloned Sean Hannity and adopted the resulting child as a brother for Rush. There hasn't been a more blatant example of coattail riding since Courtney Love. (You could argue the same about Hillary Clinton, but at least she attempted to make a name for herself before running for President.)

But at least we have a clear statement from D'Souza that education is the enemy of religion. Indeed it is.

Indeed indeed. I haven't stooped (and won't) to read D'Souza's article, but from your synopsis it appears that he's quite correct: successive generations of human beings are indeed being educated out of theism. The only mistake he makes (here!) is missing the fact that the vast majority of the "teachers and professors" involved have no such intention at all.
It's just that education, especially when it's paired with (lower-case) social security, destroys religion.

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Brain dead? Ab absurdo. That's accurate in WHAT way? What IS accurate is that sentiment is your opinion and reflects YOUR standards. Perhaps your anger at those who disagree with what YOU believe in overcomes your own sensibilities. I don't agree with YOU but would not call you brain dead. I'd just say I disagree and here's why...etc.

The divisiveness expands as overzealous partisans regress to 'if you don't hold my views I hate you' stances. The irony to me is that the political party that once espoused tolerance as one of their mantras now owns and propagates little of that endearing trait.

ach ja...c'est la vie...I'm just brain dead.