Here are some recent headlines regarding atheism:

  • The Unenlightened Atheist
    – EO takes issue with the atheist claim that atheism is linked with the
    Enlightenment, when it is clear that Enlightenment thinkers were
    absolutely NOT anti-faith.

Many atheists who make this mistake are simply unaware of Western
intellectual history. For the rationalists of the Enlightenment era
were able to trust in reason precisely because
they were
theists or deists and believed in a transcendent, rational God. To
think otherwise was considered, as the philosophers often noted, the
height of absurdity.

In Michael’s view, there’s an odd defensiveness about all these
books—as though they were a sign not of victory but of desperation.
Everywhere on earth except Western Europe, religion is surging. Each of
the authors admits that most people, especially in America, do not
agree with him. Each pictures himself as a man who spits against the
wind. Each rehearses his arguments for atheism mostly, it seems, to
convince himself….

Still, there are reasons Sam Harris started the flood. The attacks
of September 11 fit in here somewhere: the sudden unavoidable awareness
of Jihadism and radical Islam put a weapon in the hands of opponents of

A more immediate reason for these books might be simple partisan
politics. In the enduring anger about the 2000 election—and
particularly after all the values talk that followed the 2004
campaign—there was a general sense on the left that the evangelicals
had become a defining force in American politics. It wasn’t enough to
mock and despise them; they must be actively attacked, as the confident
New Yorkery class sneer was converted into a hard grimace, a kind of
permanent anxiety about the breeding herds of Red America.