The right and the totally absurd 5

Most conservative writers take it for granted that those who share their political opinions also share their religiousness, and are surprised, even shocked, that some conservatives are atheist.

We look at the matter the other way round. It is a perpetual puzzle to us why so many persons who are clear-sighted and rational enough to be conservatives yet believe in the supernatural.

Writing in the American Thinker, Lloyd Marcus opines:

Without beating around the bush, I believe the battle being fought in America today goes beyond politics; right vs. left. It is a spiritual battle; good vs evil.

We agree that the battle is between good and evil. We think the Left and Islam – in alliance with each other at present – are evil.

But what do the religious mean when they use the word “spiritual”? We understand “spirit” to be adverbial: one does this or that in such and such a spirit. They believe that spirit is a noun, identical with the “soul”. And what is the soul? It’s the ghost inside “you” which will continue to live when “you” die. Christians believe that it will live forever in “heaven” if it was good on earth, and will suffer forever in “hell” if it was naughty.

As if to strengthen his argument, Marcus quotes a passage from the Epistle to the Ephesians, ascribed to St. Paul, but of disputed authorship. Whoever wrote the epistle put into it one of the most egregiously Gnostic passages in the New Testament, and that’s the one Lloyd Marcus quotes:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12

In Gnostic systems there were layers of heavens between the ascending spirit of the Gnostic and the highest sphere of the good God. In them dwelt powers called Aeons (heavenly beings and ages in time) and principalities (Archons). A low-dwelling, evil god, identical to Jehovah the god of the Jews, created this world and ruled it with his own set of Aeons and Archons.

That is not orthodoxy to any Christian sect. Christians are hard put to interpret the passage in their terms, which is probably why some argue that St Paul  didn’t write it.

But Marcus means that flesh and blood Democrats are the “powers and principalities” he and his fellow Christians are wrestling against, and the Senate and the White House are his “high places”. In other words his battle is within the realm of politics. He just vaguely supposes that good and evil are terms that belong only to religion, so quotations from his scriptures leap to his mind:

The mindset of the American left is a spirit of Antichrist which is man making himself God.

Before writing me off as a Bible nut, please hear me out. Understanding this reality will explain much of the left’s behavior. Because they believe man is God, in their insane arrogance, the left think they can fix everything; legislate equal outcomes and even save or destroy the planet.

Now we agree with him that lefties arrogantly “think they can legislate equal outcomes and even save or destroy the planet”. And we know they cannot. Not because they lack divine power, but because equal outcomes cannot be legislated, and because the human beings who “infest” the planet (as H. L. Mencken once put it), cannot affect the thing to any significant extent.

What the religious right cannot or will not see, is that you can believe in the market economy, small government, low taxes, strong defense, individual liberty under the law – all the important conservative ideas – without believing that they issue from, or are sanctioned by, a supernatural source.

Marcus defends Sarah Palin:

Make no mistake about it folks, we are in a spiritual battle. Ask yourself. Specifically, what about Sarah Palin inspires such visceral hatred from the left? The word is “wholesome.”

We agree that she is wholesome. We like her wholesomeness. We like her decency and probity and patriotism and moral strength. We like what we have gathered are her favored policies. We agree with Marcus that the Left hates her for the very things we admire in her. And we are willing to disregard her religious views, as we have to disregard the religious views of all possible presidential candidates because the time has not come when a self-confessed atheist will stand a chance of being elected to the White House. (We suspect, however, that many a presidential candidate is a secret atheist – and perhaps a few presidents have been too.)

Our point is, good values make good sense and don’t require the sanction of a Nobodaddy-in the-sky. All moral ideas, all ideas proceed from the minds of human beings. A person who knows this to be the case is not one who “thinks he is God”; “God” is superfluous to him or her.

Marcus holds that without God to tell us what to think, none of us would ever get it right.

Because liberal elitists think man is God, they assume moral authority to confiscate as much control over our lives as we simple-minded god-fearing peons will allow them, including procreation. I picked up a government-funded brochure at my local library which basically said birthing babies is an irresponsible abuse of the planet.

Folks, this is leftist control-freak hogwash!

Yes it is.

The seven billion people who live on the planet could fit in Texas enjoying about the same amount of living space as residents of New York.

True. But he adds:

God said be fruitful and multiply. But then, what the heck does God know?

Sarcasm of course. But what the heck does “God” know? If there is a being who knows more than man, how can man know that he does?

The rest of the article (see it here) rambles on about this and that – “Christianity only religion not respected, Jesus is divine, true Christians trust God, zz-zzzz” – the points being tied together only by the buzz in his head that they all represent aspects of wrong guidance by “the Antichrist”.

Like an episode of Star Trek, the left believes universal peace can be achieved via America apologizing and admitting to the world that we suck, surrendering our power, signing treaties and singing a few verses of Kumbaya. They believe the greatest source of evil in the world is warmongering Christian white guys like George Bush. If only Bush had “Given peace a chance.” Liberals always cater to man’s lowest base instincts. They hate standards for behavior, labeling all rebuke of bad behavior as being intolerant and judgmental.

We don’t argue with that. But this follows:

And yet, they believe without divine influence, man is capable of someday achieving universal peace. Totally absurd.

Has he not noticed that a great many wars have been fought over religious issues? What has “divine influence” ever done for peace?

Christians believe that though we strive to do the right thing, the heart of man is critically flawed which is why we were in need of a savior, Jesus Christ.

And just when will his “savior” remove the flaws in the human heart?

This is how he concludes his article:

Despite the left’s relentless attempts to ban God from America’s public square, the emergence and power of the Tea Party tells me God is still on our side.

Mr. Obama, though your liberal zealots perceive you to be “the messiah,” God is still on the throne.

Totally absurd.

Jillian Becker   June 11, 2011

  • WLIL

    I should not feel afraid but I do feel afraid to announce my strong nonbelief in gods  in an asian country dominated or surrounded by islamic fanatics.

    Many a times, fanatic believers tried to impose their socalled socalled superiority over us nonbelievers, even though, for example, those islamic tribes tend to behave much worse than us individual nonbelievers who don’t belong to any tribe.

  • Andrew M

    Lloyd Marcus seems like a respectable enough spokesperson if you disregard his religious beliefs, which I won’t because of this article.

    It flabbergasts me that conservatives of the Christian ilk do not have any idea how many of their heroes deny God, but not as much as those God-deniers hiding under the cowardly veil of a culturally acceptable religious belief. Would a belief in the Almighty allow me to finish whatever oath I take for public office “So help me Zeus”? No, the Christian fanatics would jeer and sneer at me to resign for a crime apparently more contemptible than Weinergate: having a different God!

    The fragmentation of Christian belief which has so ingloriously developed since that fateful day in 1776 threatens to tear this nation’s warp and weft apart by 2076. How many Great Awakenings does it take to squelch out an centuries-long Enlightenment? A poor Christian nation left to defend the freedom of the entire world is the last thing ANY of us need when surrounded by Islamic aggressors encroaching into a European territory rapidly losing its free-market values. I cringe and wince every time I need to vote for a loopy Christian just to save this great nation from destruction, because I know it’s the only way I’ll have a chance to save it from a far more insidious destruction down the road.

  • George

    The radical religious right hijacked conservatism , just as the looney liberal left hijacked atheism.  Because of this our  society at large believes that to be a conservative one has to be a hardcore “born again” zealot  bible-thumping Christian and they also  believe that to be an atheist one has to be a liberal left wing socialist Democrat Party supporting “political correctness” promoting advocate and embracer. The demagogues , bigots , ignorant & brainwashed loud mouth activists pushed this upon the people supported by the overtly biased media and political pundits. Liberal atheists in America will attack Christianity but will give Islam ( including the radicals ) a free pass.  What does that say about liberals ?  It will be up to us ( conservative secular freethinkers )  to educate the people as a whole on the truth and we must speak this truth wherever we go ( including the mainstream media ).

  • George

    Even if someone were to prove to me that there is a supernatural being in existence aptly named–GOD , then what good is this GOD ?  Where was this GOD during all the wars that ever occurred ?  Where was this supernatural being during the holocaust , during slvery in America, during Sept. 11, 2001 , during all the plagues , sufferings and illnesses around the world ? Where was this GOD during all the natural disasters that have occurred around the world ? Oh , gee I keep forgetting ( these were ACTS OF GOD ) —-ooops, my bad !  If this supernatural being called GOD wants everyone to believe in HIM and believe that HE exists , then why doesn’t this supernatural invisible formless indescribable being just simply do the common sense thing and just reveal himself or herself or itself and let people see him/her/it in all his/her/it’s splendor to erase all doubt ?  How utterly stupid ! Why should I worship or give praise to a supernatural being that allowed all this to happen and not intercede to stop the sufferings, death, enslavement, illnesses that have horrified  humankind  ?  Lets see, GOD sends a hurricane or tornado or earthquake or disease plague that kills hundreds, thousands, or millions of innocent of men, women, children and babies and I’m expected to get down on my knees and pray to and worship and praise this mass murdering   a**hole  ?   Spare me !   Such a being is NOT worthy of any praise but only worthy of scorn and loathing . A Christian once said to me—” Well you can’t prove that there is no god ” .  I said  – ” So what—You can’t prove there is no Tooth Fairy either ? So why aren’t you worshiping and praying to the Tooth Fairy deity since you can’t prove that such a deity doesn’t exist —–duhhh  ? ” .   The other stupid thing that I hear Christians say is that ” atheists hate God ” .  Please- spare me with this nonsense . You cannot hate something that you do not believe exist in the first place . That’s like an atheist accussing a Christian of hating the Tooth Fairy Deity.  The burden of proof is upon the person making the claim , not vice-versa. You can’t prove a negative . Gullible IS  what gullible  BELIEVES ! 

  • Ralph

    I’m an atheist because I search for good questions and answers. You gave me another good question. “If there is a being who knows more than man, how can man know that he does?” We know the answer, but it might cause a theist to think.