Taking on Atheists and Fundamentalists

I find it very interesting to watch John Whitehead, head of the Rutherford Institute. He is a conservative in the old sense of the word, and, remarkably, apparently an honest man who does not allow a sense of partisanship or ideological loyalty to blind him to the truth.

Best-Selling Author Chris Hedges Takes Aim at Political Convergence of New Atheists & Radical Christian Fundamentalists in OldSpeak Interview

“The failure of the secular left in this country is that they forgot their Bible. They forgot that there are moral imperatives to which they must remain steadfast, regardless of what happens around them.”-Chris Hedges

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – OldSpeak, an online publication of The Rutherford Institute, hosts a provocative interview with Chris Hedges, author of I Don’t Believe in Atheists (Free Press, 2008). Speaking with John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, Hedges takes aim at so-called “New Atheists” such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins for peddling a malformed theology of blind religion and science and attacking religion in order to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperialist projects. The interview, “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” is available here (http://www.rutherford.org/Oldspeak/articles/interviews/oldspeak-Hedges_2008.html)

Having gone after radical Christian fundamentalists in his 2007 book American Fascists, Hedges has now turned his attention to the New Atheists, which he noted was “exactly the same as going after radical Christian fundamentalists.” For instance, in comparing the New Atheists to the Christian Right, Hedges suggests that both groups embrace the belief that apocalyptic or catastrophic violence can be used as a kind of cleansing agent to purge the world in order to remove human impediments towards progress. As Hedges points out, most of these New Atheists support the preemptive wars of the United States as a necessity in the battle against terrorism and irrational religion, and divide the world into superior and inferior races, i.e., those who are enlightened by reason and knowledge and those who are governed by irrational and dangerous religious beliefs.

Yet one of the major tenets of the new atheism includes an irrational belief in science as the force that will resolve all problems, including the irredeemable flaws of human nature. This belief, argues Hedges, is itself an act of faith. Furthermore, as Hedges concludes, the New Atheists are “intellectually bankrupt. They have nothing to offer in terms of serious moral, theological or even scientific debate,” said Hedges. “They are very much a product of the television age. They celebrate their own ignorance. The kinds of things they write about religion are religiously illiterate.”

Chris Hedges served as a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. He was a member of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the New York Times coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller American Fascists and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute and a Lannan Literary Fellow and has taught at Columbia University, New York University and Princeton University.

OldSpeak, the online journal of The Rutherford Institute, is dedicated to publishing interviews, articles and commentary on subjects often overlooked by the mainstream media in the areas of politics, art, culture, law and religion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.