With things going to hell in Eastern Europe and the U.S. sliding into wokeness, perhaps there’s one area where we can expect good news: religion seems to be inexorably disappearing ain the U.S., Canada, and most of Europe. “None-ness” is just a step from godlessness.
In fact, this is the first time since 2019 that the Post has published a pro-atheism editorial by a regularly contributing columnist (that was Max Boot calling for an atheist President of the U.S.), and the first time since 2011 that outside contributors were allowed to publish an atheist piece (“Why do Americans still dislike atheists?” by Greg Paul and Phil Zuckerman). Today’s contributing columnist is Brian Broome, who writes about “politics, culture and the African American perspective.” Atheism is hardly an African-American perspective, making this both both more unusual and more laudatory.
Click on the screenshot to read:
What turned Broome into a godless person is that Achilles Heel of theism: the presence of physical evil, like childhood cancers. No rational theologian can explain the conundrum that drove Broome over the line: innocent children suffering. If you’re going to be parsimonious about this, the most likely explanation, given the absence of evidence for God when there should be such evidence, is that there simply is no God. Alternatively, there could be a malicious or indifferent God, but that’s not how most Christians, Muslims, and Jews like their deities.
Broome spells it out plainly:
I was raised in a Christian household, and my family is still religious. But, at a certain point in my childhood, the whole thing stopped making sense to me. I couldn’t work out why a loving God would let so many children suffer. The idea of eternal life seemed to be a way for people to skirt their fear of death or assuage the pain of grief. I noticed that the things people told me God wanted were, more often than not, things that they wanted as well.
I didn’t give it up all at once. Like many people, I went on a spiritual quest. But, like some of those, I quit the hunt after a while.
I stopped looking for the meaning of life and instead decided to just live it.
Living life is of course finding its meaning, for as a determinist, I’m convinced that the “meaning of life” is simply our following our evolved program to do whatever gives us satisfaction.(Much of that involves family–reproduction–and garnering the approbation of others.)
Not only is Broome an atheist, but he also espouses some antitheism, even rarer in the “MSM”:
I often think that faith in God can be just as self-serving as staring at yourself in a mirror. The way a religion is practiced too commonly reflects the person who is practicing it.
If you want to be rich, you can find a religion that tells you that’s what God wants you to be. If you’re a misogynist, you find a church that will reaffirm your misogyny. If you don’t like our politics, or some of our political leaders, there’s a pew with your name on it somewhere, maybe closer than you think. If you are a hateful person, there are preachers for that, too. I watch people cherry-pick their religious texts to find what they want and ignore the rest. It was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who said that the most segregated hour in Christian America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.
We are not the only country where things work this way. For those who think it is a good idea to invade other countries, the battle cry will always be that God is on your side. Wars and atrocities have been committed in the name of religion throughout history. People fight over who’s doing religion right and who’s doing it wrong — or who are not doing it at all. Some religious leaders make no distinction between their role and that of their nation’s political ambitions.
Broome explains below why he think religion will inevitably vanish. (Like many, I don’t think it will ever disappear completely, but I’m confident even the U.S. will become as areligious as Scandinavia in the next hundred years):
Church attendance and membership have long been on the decline in America. My guess is that because many folks realize that fear is at the root of so much religious conviction, the proposition has become untenable. Those fears have led too many people of faith to police the way that others choose to live their lives.
Well, I don’t agree 100% with that. If divisiveness and policing caused movements to decline, wokeness would be on the wane. More important, though, I think there are better reasons. Mixed in with the avoidance of fear and divisiveness is the well-known negative correlation between how well people are doing in their lives and their religiosity. As people get better off, and have better access to food, shelter, medical care, and other amenities that bring security, their need to rely on an unhearing god wanes. And of course as science dispels mysteries once seen as evidence for god, that takes its toll, on faith as well. .
Whatever the causes, and despite the lies of those who tell us we NEED religion as a form of social glue (the “little people argument”), we can do just fine without faith. Just ask the Danes and Swedes.