The BIG LIE of professional atheism goes something like this: religious folk are too busy thinking about heaven to worry about making life better here on earth. William Lobdell repeats this canard in his new foray into the atheism business, Losing My Religion.
Except of course for such “atheists” as Anthony Ashley-Cooper, William Wilberforce, Florence Nightingale, George Muller, John Wesley, Cicely Saunders — and this is just a handful of British evangelicals. If I expanded into Catholic history, you’d have to dig to the earth’s core to reach the bottom of the posting. (One passing reference: Think Vitoria and Suarez and their contributions to framing international law.)
Shall we venture a list of Christian scientists and researchers whose discoveries, inventions, and insights laid the groundwork for the scientific worldview touted now by atheists as the only reality: Copernicus, Galileo, Mendel, Newton, Boyle, Pasteur, et al., et al.?
Would you care to poll social workers worldwide and ask whether they believe in a personal God who answered prayer? What percentage do you think would say yes?
I thought so.
How about all those hospitals built by those conscienceless beasts who believe that suffering in this life is the will of God and of no account when compared to the joys of the afterlife?
Anyone remember how Jonathan Edwards died? Oh, yeah — serving himself up as a guinea pig for an experimental smallpox vaccine.
Want to know one of the reasons Christianity took hold in ancient Rome, when Christians were a tiny minority with virtually no social or political power? Read Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity. When the great pagan physician Galen and others were fleeing for their lives during plague season, Christians stayed behind to care and nurture the sick and dying — something the survivors remembered and sought to imitate. How do you account for such behavior other than that Heaven was on their mind as they did their duty here on earth.
How many atheists approve and promote infanticide, fetal harvesting, euthanasia, and assisted suicide because they’re convinced that only certain lives are worth living, and that because they have blinded themselves to any vision of transcendence that doesn’t happen at Lincoln Center or the Metropolitan Museum of Art?
Why isn’t it more obvious that if you believe this life is the only chance you get at happiness that other people’s needs and desires must always be subordinated to one’s own? That power — the power to manipulate others as means to ends — is the key to freedom? (As Tocqueville pointed out when comparing socialism’s notion of freedom to the true liberal’s.)
In fact, the contention that atheists are more likely than Christians or other religious people to ameliorate life’s harsher conditions is so patently, historically false that you can be certain that anyone who perpetuates this falsehood is most probably trying to convince himself more than anyone else.
And so it comes as no surprise that Christians and other religious believers fight to stay alive — and that because they enjoy this life, are grateful to God for the good things in it, and want to continue to meet their responsibilities to those they love for as long as they can.
The mortgage on Our Father’s mansion is paid for.
Heaven, which isn’t going anywhere, can wait.