Essay / Philosophy

This Present Folly

A major difference between most thoughtful atheists and most thoughtful theists is that almost no theist thinks all his foes are stupid. Now of course there are thoughtless theists that think all atheists are “fools” by wrenching Scripture out of context. (The fool of Scripture is a theist who thinks his wicked deeds will not be seen by God. He is a theist who thinks God is dead when the wicked theist is sinning.) However, most of us went to government or secular schools so we know that theism is not foolish.However, my experience both in daily academic life and on the web is that atheists hardly ever return the favor. They act and write as if all their foes are incredible idiots. “Believing in God is like believing in Santa.” They also frequently associate wisdom with formal education, a kind of folly in modern American society that is hard to believe. Suffice to say there are a good number of badly read college graduates and a good number of well read (see many rural states) non-college graduates. This is particularly true of older people.This prejudice will prevent secularists from responding well to the last election. They are far too likely to say that their foes are just bigots or stupid. To associate opposition to homosexual relationships with mere bigotry is foolish. There could be good reasons for thinking homosexual behavior is wrong. In any case, assuming there is none is unwise.Finally, the new Democrat line that “we are smarter” is odd in the extreme. Democrats depend on city voters, just as Republicans depend on rural voters. Can anyone imagine what would happen if Republicans made the racist and ethnocentric claim that Philadelphia voters went for Kerry because they are stupid? They are not, but it is equally offensive to assume that rural voters are all stupid.Democrats who visit other countries rightly work hard to understand the culture and respect it, even if they disagree. They do not work hard to understand evangelicals. They just react.We are forty percent of the population. We are not shrinking and we are not growing more liberal. They need to deal with us. We hope they do. It is not wholesome that three-quarters of traditional Christians are in one party.

Share this essay [social_share/]