Secular fundamentalists “the new totalitarians”

Tobias Jones (of The Dark Heart of Italy fame) on militant atheists who behave like totalitarians, hiding among anti-sexists, anti-homophobes and anti-racists, but in reality seeking to erase religion totally from the Earth, starting with the public sphere. He saw them first trying to exploit British politeness by removing religious symbols on the spurious grounds that they offend people of other faiths, and when this did not work, they switched to deliberately giving offence instead:

In recent years the nastier side of this totalitarianism has become blatantly apparent. It emerged with the hijab issue in France. With the hijab ban in French schools, a state was banishing religion not only from its corridors, but also from its citizens.

It was an assertion that after centuries of the naked public square (denuded of religion referents) the public now too had to go naked. The former had been true tolerance, something exceptional and laudable. It allowed everyone to bring their own cosmic testimony to the square. But this new form of “tolerance” changed things. From everyone being welcome, it had become everyone but.

There’s a background to all this. Since 2001, lazy intellectuals have been allowed to get away with repeating the nonsense that terrorism and war are the consequences of belief in God. Believers are ridiculed for being, in contrast to the stupendously brainy atheists, very dim. Listen to Richard Dawkins’ comment on Nadia Eweida (the BA employee who refused to take off her cross): “she had one of the most stupid faces I’ve ever seen.” Nice.

Some aspects of this will be contentious to non-Christians - for example, he asserts that it was Jesus (‘alaihi as-salaam) who “invented secularism”, presumably with the famous “render unto Caesar …” teaching, but we all know that for most of the history of the Christian West, the various empires and kingdoms of this part of the world were not at all tolerant, using Crusades and inquisitions to spread Catholicism and eradicate not only local heresies but also Judaism and Islam. However, it’s my observation that these atheists really do think they’ve “got it”, as much as any religious fundamentalist, and have utter contempt for anyone who questions their world view. I encountered this attitude on a particular tech forums when a major software project decided to change its logo in order to avoid offending the religious.

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