Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New Atheists: "Socially Awkward Iconoclasts"

Tim Stanley has some harsh but well-deserved words for the new atheists today in his Daily Telegraph blog on American religion. First, some background:
America’s culture war took an unpleasant turn this week. A group of atheists filed a suit to take down a cross erected at the Lower Manhattan memorial to the victims of 9/11. The cross was formed from two intersecting steel beams that were found intact in the rubble. Dave Silverman, head of the American Atheists, called the display a breach of the separation between church and state.
The fanatical, obsessive, anti-social drive to eradicate every vestige of Christianity from the world is a characteristic Marxist-Leninists and the new atheists. What does Stanley think of this attitude?
The story itself is a storm in a tea cup. The cross will probably stay because it has attained a cultural status beyond religious symbolism. To many viewers it is a physical reminder of the devastation and a metaphor for the resurrection of New York as a city. What is remarkable is where Silverman’s American Atheists have chosen to make their big stand. Picking on a memorial to the victims of 9/11 exposes the profound lack of sensitivity of the New Atheism and its obsessive, socially awkward edge. . . . The fact is that the New Atheists aren’t interested in either pluralism or being left alone. They are iconoclasts and they enjoy breaking things.
Yep. I'd say that is about the size of it: socially awkward iconoclasts who are anti-social and angry - the kind of people you hope don't move in next door.

1 comment:

MamaOat said...

...and heaven help you if they do move in next door and you have a cross on your door...or *gasp* a "Jesus fish" on your car