Atheism As Fashion Statement

Wednesday, April 15, AD 2009


Mr. Wilson first came on my radarscope when he wrote in 1990 what I perceived to be a fairly nasty biography of C. S. Lewis which I thought was actually much more about Wilson’s dislike of Christianity.  At the time of writing the book on Lewis, Wilson was an angry atheist.  He had been an Anglican, a Catholic, an Anglican, and then an atheist.  In 1991 he wrote a short volume, 53 pages, entitled Against Religion in which he declared that the love of God was the root of all evil.  An interview from his atheist days is here.

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8 Responses to Atheism As Fashion Statement

  • I actually liked his biography on Lewis. Yes, it is critical, but it helps one to look at Lewis in a different, non-hagiographical light (and even shows elements of that, too).

  • Wilson first laments how Britain has shorn itself of much of its Christian heretage, then goes on to proclaim that he’s now a Christian. This sounds very much like the “fashion statement” you deride atheism of being.

    Atheists have no illusions that theism or religion will be dying out any time soon, given the growing body of evidence suggesting its natural evolutionary origins. Religion itself evolves; one merely has to note the thousands of Christian sects to appreciate this fact.

    You wrote, “Wilson reminds us of one of the great strengths of Christianity. A habit God has of raising up champions for us among the opposition.”

    Is God similarly raising up opponents of Christianity from among its former champions? The number of such individuals is too numerous to count now. One of them, John W. Loftus, has written an exceedingly powerful and well-received book: Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity.

  • Robert, the answer to your question is no. God is not responsible for the delusion of atheists that matter and energy came into existence ex nihilo and certainly does not provide champions for that position. As with all examples of human folly, humans embrace atheism all by themselves.

  • To clarify my above comment, atheists have to believe in creation of matter and energy ex nihilo without God, unless they believe in some eternal source creating matter and energy out of nothingness which they do not call God.

  • Donald, I’m sorry, but I fail to see how the origins of the universe relates to my question whether God is raising up opponents to Christianity.

  • I answered your question Robert. God does not lead us into folly, rather quite the reverse.

  • Interesting to see Mr. Wilson pop up again! I read his Belloc bio from the ’80s and enjoyed it though it was erratic and not always reliable. (Some of that may have been due to his biases of the time.) Yet the book was sympathetic and he gave Belloc credit on some of the tough issues, like alleged anti-Jewish bigotry. At any rate, this is nice news, especially from the UK where things are a little bleak at the moment!

  • From Anglican to Catholic to Anglican to atheist to Christian once again – that’s quite a bit of hopping around. A.N. Wilson is a very good writer though, and I am glad to see he is back in the fold.

    The UK’s situation does sound bleak. I might get jumped on for saying this, but I wonder if a problem there is that the evangelical movement is much weaker than it is in the States (although the UK is evangelicalism’s home turf) and consequently, a predominately Protestant country is left with what would be called “mainline Protestantism” here in the States. It seems as though such weak tea no longer satisfies or inspires or even interests many Britons. I am sure there are good and holy Anglicans, but whenever I read anything Rowan Williams has to say I thank the Lord for Pope Benedict.

An Easter Rescue for Captain Richard Phillips

Sunday, April 12, AD 2009

On this Easter, I would like to join in a commendation of Captain Richard Phillips — profiled here in the New York Times.

According to Reuters, when the U.S. Cargo ship Maersk Alabama was attacked by Somalian pirates on Wednesday, Captain Phillips told his crew to lock themselves in the cabin and offered his own life in exchange for their safety.

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6 Responses to An Easter Rescue for Captain Richard Phillips

  • Captain Phillips is one very brave man and an example of an officer who puts the welfare of his men first. The crew also deserves a commendation for retaking the ship. The United States Navy, as usual, performed superbly. This incident should be a wake-up call for the world. Too many areas are becoming dominated by these modern corsairs.

  • I’ll have to tell my friend Lou Cronin a “well-done” to convey to his two sons who are both Navy Seals!

  • This was wonderful news to get on Easter!

    And I hope that all of you had a good and blessed Easter!

  • Awesome news! Muslim pirates never seem to get the message about messing with America. From shores of Tripoli to the Horn of Africa!

  • I was traveling home & met a gentleman who knew Captain Phillips & several members of the crew. He told me that he believes the pirates took over the ship not realizing it was an American ship. When they figured out the ship was American, they were in the proverbial between a rock and a hard place moment. Kudos to the seals & the rest of the Navy for a very professional job well done. I hope that they will still be able to do so over the next four years!

  • As the wife of a Navy veteran (first Gulf War), I was pleased to hear this. Thanks to our faithful “squids” and all service personnel.

An Easter Peace

Thursday, April 9, AD 2009

One of our reasons for being here on The American Catholic is to provide a forum for spirited yet respectful discourse on the often controversial intersection of Catholicism and civic life. I know I very much enjoy the controversies here, and I’ve learned a lot from the other writers and commenters here over the last seven months.

However, there is a time and place for everything, and as we enter the most sacred period of the year, there’s been discussion among our contributors about instituting an Easter Peace of sorts. We will not be closing comments, however we would respectfully ask that readers consider adopting a more restrained tone between evening of Holy Thursday and the morning of Easter Monday. (If you find the time to read at all.)

All new posts during that time will be on Holy Week related themes.


From the writing team: A blessed Triduum and Easter to all our readers.

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7 Responses to An Easter Peace


Thursday, April 9, AD 2009

As we enter into the Holy Triduum, I’d like to invite a reading of Pope Benedict’s catechesis given during yesterday’s general audience, appropriately deemed by Sandro Magister “A Handbook for Holy Week”:

Dear brothers and sisters, Holy Week, which for us Christians is the most important week of the year, offers us the opportunity to be immersed in the central events of Redemption, to relive the Paschal Mystery, the great mystery of the faith. Beginning tomorrow afternoon, with the Mass “In Coena Domini,” the solemn liturgical rites will help us to meditate in a more lively manner on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord in the days of the Holy Paschal Triduum, fulcrum of the entire liturgical year. May divine grace open our hearts to comprehend the inestimable gift that salvation is, obtained for us by Christ’s sacrifice. [Read the rest]

(The homilies of Pope Benedict XVI for Holy Week 2009 will be made available here, on the Vatican website).

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