From time to time I wake in cold apprehension of falling under the Lord’s censure for those of whom all men speak well. (I feel quite safe in the assurance that all women don’t speak well of me, having worked very successfully on that for years.) Googling my name, however, quickly gives me the desired result: someone out there doesn’t like me. Although the first of these is obviously misprision, no one can rob me of the eschatological promise of being called a militant anti-theist.
From a blogsite describing the invitation of genial atheists to visit a few Evangelical churches, after which they were asked if they had any interesting or useful observations:
. . . You’re right. And the atheists did have some very helpful things to say about some of the formal aspects of worship (“Why do greeters always feel the need to smile?” “Why do people arrive so late to worship – is it because they don’t like the music?” etc.) In many ways the atheists were doing exactly what you suggest, and in their own way showing great tolerance. They effectively say, “I’m with you to this point, but… when it comes to belief in the transcendent as motivational, or the centrality of faith, or the need for a hopeful story, etc.” And, gratefully, neither atheist was in the militant camp–the anti-theist camp of S. M. Hutchens, Mike Hutchinson, or Richard Dawkins.
And here’s something from a site apparently frequented by dyspeptic dwarfs. I’m honored to be put in the same soup as my friend Esolen (especially when it gives bellyaches to the likes of these), but here all Touchstoners join us in the pot:
Sometimes I want to sit back and imagine that “Anthony Esolen” and “S.M. Hutchens” are pseudonyms for some outstandingly clever satirist who is trying to show what the world would be like according to the dictates of man-children held captive by an almost perverse fascination with medieval legends as models for living and an adolescent schoolgirl’s approach to morality. If you mix in there some requisite citations to the Bible, you basically get an issue of Touchstone.
I must agree with Obi-Wan that what we regard as the truth is very often a matter of perspective. When peered out at from beneath a rock, our brand of morality is indeed that of an adolescent schoolgirl–provided she is a serious Christian.
But the teaching point is this: Mothers, be sure to keep your children from Touchstone (check under the mattress, or out behind the corn crib, or behind an innocent copy of Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang), and should you see one of its editors, or forsooth, someone you know to be a reader, on the street, pass by on the other side with eyes averted. One glance may bring atheism or arrested moral development–depending on your perspective.