• The Death of Atheism

    I. There is no god but Allah

    Anyone remember atheism’s glory days?  Back in the early ‘oughts, where every week there was a new debate with Dawkins, Dennet, Harris or Hitchens taking on some religious representative?  When the media was full of discussions about this new wave of atheism sweeping the world?

    Things don’t look like that anymore.  If you see any article in the news about atheism – and I still search for the term in Google News regularly – it is invariably dismissive and negative.  There was plenty of that in the glory days, of course, but there was far more of it, too. What is more concerning is how little attention is being paid to the subject.  

    I’m hardly the only one to notice this.  Slate Star Codex asks How did New Atheism fail so miserably?  Let me try to answer.

    Since the New Atheism showed up, it has been pretty much dominated by leftists.  Think of the Horsemen: Harris, Dawkins, Dennet, Hitchens – all leftists.  This pew poll shows that 65% of US atheists vote for the US democratic party.  Hardly surprising. And the problem with an atheist movement that draws its membership and its energy from the Western Left is this: the Western Left is worse than useless when it comes to Islam, and there is no hope of this changing, not now, not ever.

    I confess that, back in the previous decade, I had high hopes for left-right cooperation.  I broke virtual bread with many US fundies – I mean real, Creationist, Bible-Is-Literally-True fundies – who agreed with me on the extreme importance of secularism and the separation of Church and State, because they’d seen what state-sponsored religion had done to faith in Europe.  If I could find common ground with them, it should be easy to find common ground with fellow secularists and atheists, even if they were on the left? I thought it would be easy to go:

    Hey feminists!  We might not agree about the wage gap, but surely we can work together to opposed female genital mutilation?

    Hey LGBT movement!  We might disagree on some stuff, but surely we can work together to stop people who want gays killed?

    Hey, identity-politics people!  We may disagree on the cure for black American poverty, but surely you want to help me oppose modern day slavery, right?

    Hey lefty writers!  You keep talking about McCarthyism; surely you are going to stand against the murder of people for their opinion?  Right? Right?

    Yes, I really did think that this would work.  Yes, I really was this much of a fool.

    Am I being unfair?  Quick, name me one mainstream, prominent Western lefty who speaks up about this.  Bill Maher, right? Okay, type “bill maher islam” into google and see the kind of headlines you get:

    “Maher embodies the anti-Muslim left”

    “A history of Maher’s ‘not bigoted’ remarks on Islam”

    “Bill Maher pledges money to activist labelled anti-Muslim extremist”

    (that last one is Maajid Nawaz)

    And so on.  So on the rare occasions that you find a western Leftist willing to speak about Islam, the rest of the western Left unites to run him down.

    Let me stress that I am speaking solely about the Western Left, that is, the one found in Western Europe, North America, and Oceania.  I have found genuinely reliable leftists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.  Please bear this in mind as you read further.

    Women’s rights showcases this abject failure.  Dawkins got into trouble for reposting a video which had a feminist singing “it’s not rape if a Muslim does it”.  Yes, terribly offensive, but how is it wrong? Consider the following: after six hundred women were assaulted in one night in Cologne alone, the mayor Henrietta Reiker explained that women needed to be more responsible and keep men at arm’s length.  Surely such a blatant example of victim blaming would surely bring out immense protests? Right?

    You already know the answer.  In fact, if you want to read anything about this, your best bet is to read Breitbart or The American Thinker or some other right-wing publication.  

    Don’t take it from me or my fellow rightists.  Julie Bindel is a lifelong radical feminist and leftist. Today, when she wants to write about Islamic misogyny, it is mostly in the pages of the right-wing Standpoint magazine.  Her treatment at the hands of the British left is all too familliar:

    Despite being a feminist and a human rights campaigner all my adult life, for the past 13 years I have been targeted by baying mobs, both in the UK andhere, who accuse me of being a ‘bigot’, ‘fascist’, ‘as bad as Hitler’.  

    Read how she tried sound the alarm about the Muslim child-rape gangs in Britain, and no one wanted to know for fear of being called racist.  To this day, one of the few to actually interview the victims is Mark Steyn.

    I saw this article: Feminism gone bad?  Women’s organisations and the hard right in Germany At last, I thought.  Even if it is couched in ‘to stop the right’ talk, they can’t remain silent forever – silly me.  The article argues that those women’s groups speaking up about sexual assault should just lie back and think of Arabia.  The 120 Dezibel movement (120 decibels is the volume of a rape alarm) get’s particular scorn.  120 Dezibel wants to take Germany back to the days when women carried deodorant-spray not pepper-spray.   It is lead by an immigrant women fleeing from islamic persecution, so, clearly, it is a racist, xenophobic, nativist movement.

    So far, so typical.  Go ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Sabatina James, or Phyllis Chesler and they will tell you the same story.  I could keep listing these examples, but then, I already have.  I have see no change for the better in twelve years; all changes have been for the worse.  There used to be at least some condemnation of this stuff from the left; now there is rarely even denial. Instead a Sicilian omerta has descended, because even to deny it is to acknowledge its reality.

    The islamic preacher Zakir Naik was asked once how a Muslim should do dawah for an atheist – that is, how can one convert an atheist to Islam?  Naik answers that an atheist is halfway to being a Muslim, since the atheist already attests to half the Islamic declaration of faith – “There is no god…”.  All he, Naik, needs to do is append “but Allah” after that.  

    I think the preacher was overstating his difficulties.  In practice, western leftist atheists do seem to believe that “There is no god but Allah”.  Anyone remember The God Delusion?  How Dawkins slammed Ann Coulter etc. as American taliban, and went on to famously describe Yahweh as “arguably the  most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomanical sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”   Not a peep of complaint. Of course, when asked about the God of the Koran, he was careful enough to say “Well, um, the God of the Koran I don’t know so much about.”

    But then he had to go and tweet this:

    Utterly beyond the pale.  Dawkins was promptly denounced for bigotry, abusive speech, islamophobia, and racism (several lefties helpfully explain that you don’t actually have to be racist to be racist).  Say what you want about any religion but one.

    Of course, there are exceptions, such as my colleagues here, but we are on the fringes.  If you want the creed of the western lefty atheist, “There is god but Allah” is hard to beat.

    II. Leftist denial

    When the black dog pads round me, and things seem irretrievably wrecked, and I lose patience with the most recent mendacity, I’ve been known to snap “Lefties lie”.  I enjoy the alliteration, but it’s not quite right. It’s more that western leftists have is a fundamental dishonesty about this subject, or, to be extremely generous, that they are lost in denial.

    Honesty is not just avoiding lying.  Honesty is a commitment to the truth, which presupposes active effort to find out what that truth is.  Honesty requires you to look hard at all the evidence, and even seek out evidence that contradicts you. When it comes to the subject of Islam, this honesty is utterly absent.  Here’s Scott Alexander:

    Lots of people (and not justs whites!) are hasty to generalize from “ISIS is scary” to “I am scared of all Muslims.’

    Scott…  It’s not just ISIS people like me generalize from.  It’s ISIS and Al Qaeda and HAMAS and Hezbollah and Islamic jihad and another eighty-one terrorist gangs and over thirty four thousand terrorist attacks since 9/11 and  four Islamic genocides in my lifetime and the Islamic slave trade and the ethnic cleansing of infidels throughout the Islamic world and the eleven islamic countries that punish homsexuality with death and the thirteen countries that kill atheists and the murders of cartoonists and the murders of writers and the murder of apostates and the endless polls that show that muslims in the west show a horrifying level of support for the most illiberal values and that you can’t find a muslim majority society that treats infidels well and the history of naked imperialism and cruelty and and and….

    Oh, and the generalization chaps like me draw isn’t “I am scared of all Muslims” but that “Islam as doctrine is violently illiberal”

    Either he is avoiding mentioning or thinking about this, or he doesn’t know – which can only mean that he has avoided investigating it.  Neither possibility is honest.

    I don’t want to pick on Scott here.  I don’t dislike him; I read everything he writes and have learned a great deal.  That’s exactly why I’m using him as an example. If there is a bell curve of intellectual honesty and basic decency in the Western left, S.A. is on the far, far, far right extremity of that curve.  He’s been prepared to treat honestly and fairly with even highly worrying and unpleasant arguments .  And he won’t address this subject honestly. So, what do you think the rest is like?

    If you want an answer, take a look at the self-proclaimed RationalWiki.  It has the same attitude towards reason as did the Catholic church; reason is there to be the meek and chastened handmaid of accepted dogma.  In this case, the dogma is the shopworn bromides of the Western left, but the principle is the same.  

    III.  Contra to expectations, I don’t have fangs, horns or cloven hooves

    The most generous reading of what is going on, the one that I think applies to Alexander and the best of the western left, is that it is a conflict between reality and moral convictions.  If what the facts say is true about Islam is true about Islam, then ongoing, unchecked islamic immigration can only mean the eradication of all liberal values that Western leftists say they uphold.  However, open, unselective immigration has been embraced as a moral imperative. So, the western leftist is faced with the unfortunate fact that his moral convictions will eventually destroy all he holds dear; unsurprisingly, he loses himself in denial.

    I think that this is the case for the best of the left, but I’m not sure the explanation holds for the rest.  I found a clue in the propensity of western lefties to Argue Like Stalin on this.  If you say anything negative about Islam, the immediate response is that you must be doing so for some nefarious reason.  At the Munk debate, when Mark Steyn had mentioned the sharp rise in sexual assaults and child rapes at the hand of Merkel’s “refugees,” Simon Schama sneered: “I was struck by how obsessed with sex these two guys are [laughter]  A bit sad really”.

    Notice what this implies.  It implies that Steyn (and Farage, his co-panelist) cannot possibly be honestly disgusted by the rape of three year olds.  No, they must have some weird sexual repression.

    This isn’t an exception.  This is the norm in all discussions with western lefties.  In this SSC thread, two of the chaps I’m debating dismiss out of hand my comment that I wish I were wrong about this.  In other words, I cannot possibly be telling the truth when I say that I wish there wasn’t a threat to everything I love and hold dear.  I can’t be wrong, or mistaken, or misguided, or even just plain nuts – I must have some sick, twisted need to believe this.

    This is what’s behind the term ‘islamophobia’.  The way it is used is to imply that people like me have sat down and for no reason other than sheer malevolence and senseless, groundless hatred decided to hate Muslims.  And whenever we speak about terrorism or female genital mutilation or rape or slavery or genocide, it is only due to this causeless, baseless malice.

    This is not restricted to criticism of Islam.  Go and read the reception Christopher Hitchens had when he wrote No One Left To Lie To.  Effectively none of his leftist accusers were prepared to grant that the Hitch was genuinely disgusted by Clinton’s racism, rapes and war crimes; no, it had to be that Hitchens was a sell out and a snitch and generally a bad person.  I know that when I said that the Clintonian record made a second Clinton presidency morally unacceptable, few were prepared to accept that I was – and am – disgusted by the Rwandan genocide and the devastation of Libya.  No, it had to be that I was possessed by some causeless bias.

    This is so common, and my brothers and sisters on the right have grown so inured to this, that I need to spell out the obvious: This is utterly dehumanizing.  The way western lefties talk about people like me is that we cannot have any morality or any common decency – that we cannot in fact be revolted by rape or mutilation or any horror.  That in the place of normal human decency all we have is a morass of senseless spite.

    Well, nuts to that, and nuts to them.

    This may be the reason why western lefties seem utterly incapable of understanding the difference between criticizing ideas and hating people.  Lefties can’t imagine that we can say that someone’s ideas are bad without damning them because they cannot imagine that anyone disagrees with them without being a complete monster. 

    If I’m right about this, then it means that I was completely wasting my time piling up fact on fact, study on study. It doesn’t matter than a majority of British Muslims want homosexuality criminalised, or that a quarter are fine with murdering people for blasphemy.  My interlocutors and I were talking past each other – I was arguing that Islamic theory and practice is barbaric, and they were arguing that criticism of Islam is right wing.  And if it’s right wing, it’s unacceptable, all facts be damned.

    I think this is the real root.  The Western left recognizes one sin, and one sin only: that of being right-wing.  

    You can be a robber, or rapist, or a murderer, or a tyrant, or a slaver, or an architect of genocide, and it’s all good – as long as you are not right wing.

    Think I’m exaggerating?  Take slavery. Slavery is supposed to be considered bad, even by the left. Now, on the North American continent, there are two political leaders.  One of these has described the slavers and genocidaires of the Islamic state as animals and monsters.  Another has instead referred to the slavers and genocidaires as ‘foreign travelers’ and is happy to have them enter his country.  Tell me, are you surprised, at all, that the former is Trump and the latter is Trudeau? Now try to tell anyone on the western Left that Trudeau is morally worse than Trump.

    Russell Brand has described FOX news as “worse than ISIS”.  Scott Alexander tries to invent a justification where Brand doesn’t really think this.  The generosity is misplaced; from what I know of Brand, he really does believe this. Alexander even admits that many who were quiet and reserved at Osama bin Laden’s death, whooped and hollered about Thatcher’s.

    I don’t think we need to over think this.  This is exactly what it looks like: to the Western left there is only one sin, and that is being right-wing.  Aside from that, anything goes.

    And this is why the Western left is worse than useless when it comes to Islam.  Being anti-Islam is like being right-wing, and that is unforgivable.

    I’ve written that I doubt there will be any Islamic reform, because any Islamic reformer would need to question the Koran, and once you question the Koran, in what sense are you still a Muslim?  I think the same thing is true here. There will be be no Western leftist criticism of Islam, because once you do that, you have to admit that chaps like me are not motivated by pure malice, and if you can admit that right-wingers don’t have horns, fangs and cloven hooves, in what sense are you still a leftist?

    I’ve written that instead of reform, what will happen is Muslims going straight to apostasy.  I’ve come to the conclusion that, instead of launching a left critique of Islam, what is more likely is many leftists – the best leftists – start moving rightward at a speed of knots.  Even if they don’t want to, their soon-to-be-former comrades will drive them there. That’s why people like Dave Rubin are now calling themselves ‘classical liberals’; it was the venom of the left that sent them on this path.

    Once more: this is a western phenomenon.  In the SSC thread, I did find myself in a reasonable conversation with someone who disagreed with me.  Surprise, surprise, “Tarpitz” turned out to be Punjabi. 

    IV. Go Right or Get Out

    If I’m right about all this, it means that New Atheism was doomed from the start.  If New Atheism drew its main energy from the western left, and the western left won’t and can’t confront Islam, then there is no point.  Because failing to take on Islam doesn’t just mean you fail to take on Islam, it utterly discredits any other project of critique you might engage in.  Whatever “bold, brave” stance you take against, say, creationism is meaningless, because everyone knows that you only do so by the sufferance of those you pretend to oppose.  If US evangelical fundies ever decided to play hardball, adopt Islamic tactics, the left would fold.

    Alexander writes

    The New Atheists accomplished the seemingly impossible task of alienating a society that agreed with them about everything.

     I don’t think that’s true. The horsemen genuinely believed that religion is a source of great evil and that atheism was the solution to these problems.  The society they spoke to, that of the western left, thought atheism was a great way to club the western right.

    Even if, in some hypothetical way, the western left could get its act together, time has run out.  In Britain, rape is being slowly decriminalized, and there are one hundred and seventy thousand victims of female genital mutilation with a grand total of zero convictions of this crime, and the government now openly admits it cannot give asylum to Asia Bibi for fear of Muslim fanaticism.  The average leftist view – that maybe he isn’t completely opposed to possibly suggesting something along the lines that perhaps a measured criticism of Islam in the distant future isn’t entirely inappropriate – simply won’t do.

    (Western lefty: He’s only pretending to care about mutilating little girls because he’s an awful person!)

    For me this is a deadly reality.  In Germany, there is a skyrocketing rate of the worst crimes, especially sex-crimes, thanks to the Muslim influx.  Here is a good infographic on the subject; I’ve checked the numbers myself.  I personally know victims of assault. My own mother, living in one of the most stereotypically respectable areas of Germany, tells me she is now frightened of walking alone at night.

    (Western lefty: He’s only pretending to care about his Mother’s safety to disguise what a horrible racist he is!)

    Twelve years of futile effort have convinced me that any attempt to get any sort of cooperation with the left is pointless.  More than that, I no longer want it. An open enemy is still better than a treacherous friend. Go and re-read Bindel’s treatment at the hands of western leftists.  Charlie Hebdo’s history is one solidly of left-wing politics, and when its staff were slaughtered, their comrades deserted them immediately. If dedicated lefties can’t expect not to be betrayed at a moments notice – what the hell can a chap like me expect? I’m not interested in trying to form bonds of solidarity with people who will abandon me at the first sign of trouble.  

    The truth is that solidarity is only possible on the basis of shared values.  If you both want, fundamentally, the same thing. Twelve years have convinced me that the aims of the right and the left are completely opposed.  Yes, yes, here someone explains how that isn’t true because of X, but in practice, in reality, here is how it shakes out:

    If you want censorship, you’re left wing.

    If you want free expression, you’re right wing.

    If you want to force bakers to bake gay wedding cake, you’re left wing.

    If you want to stop gays being slaughtered for being gay, you’re right wing.

    If you want to shame men for liking boobies, you’re left wing.

    If you want to stop actual rape and assault, you’re right wing.

    If you want to fetishize slavery that ended over a century ago, you’re left wing.

    If you want to stop slavery that is happening right the fuck now, you’re right wing.

    If you’re against cultural appropriation, you’re left wing.

    If you’re against genocide, you’re right wing.

    So, the only real hope for the continuation of reason, science, secularism and liberty doesn’t lie in the futile task of trying to build a bridge between left and right.  It lies in selling the Western, and the international, right on the value of these ideas.

    Go Right or Get Out.

    V.  A note of understanding

    Despite having written a post saying “To hell with Donald Trump” and describing him as “a big-mouth, narcissitic windbag with a huge ego“, I fear giving the impression that I don’t understand just how ghastly he is.  Well, let me state that I entirely agree with both Robert Tracinski (“Donald Trump needs to not be President yesterday”) and Yaron Brook’s criticisms of the guy, and can add a few choice words of my own: Trump’s willingness to continue snuggling up to the Saudis is exactly the kind of thing that many of us were hoping he would put an end to, and compromises all his “drain the swamp” rhetoric.  His pettiness and narcissism has lead to a direct sanction of the asbestos trade, with the result that many more workers – and their families – in the poorest parts of the world will be poisoned by this stuff. And so on.

    This asbestos literally reads “certified as safe by the 45th President of the United states”

    So, yes, I entirely understand that people don’t want to “go right” if Trump is the image of the right.  We don’t want a boor like him. When it comes to the struggle for secularism and internationalism and reason and liberty, we’d want someone more sophisticated and nuanced and eminently civilized.  Say, a distinguished Oxford don, with an impeccable record of opposing superstitious flummery. Or, perhaps, a black champion of women’s rights whose whole argument draws explicitly on the Enlightenment.  Maybe even a neuroscientist who rhapsodies about the insights of Buddhism and meditation?

    Well, we had all those, and you know how far they got.  This is the one thing the western left has managed to achieve: to knock out all alternative opposition.  Leftists pounced on Dawkins, Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and deplatformed them and defamed them and drove them from the public eye.  

    And then along came Donald Trump, and when leftists tried the same with him, he just laughed, and grabbed them by the pussy, and tossed them aside, and became the most powerful man on earth.

    I warned about this years ago, as did many others.  And here we are. Throughout the Western world, we have the apologists of Islam, or we have the  national conservatives.

    In Germany, you have the parties of mass sexual assault, and the attacks on Jews, Sikhs and Yezidi – or you have the AfD.

    In Britain, you have the parties of grooming gangs and murder for blasphemy – or you have UKIP and Britain First.

    In France, you have the parties of les tournantes (the ceremonial islamic gang rape), of the ethnic cleansing of Jews – or you have Marine Le Pen.

    And in America, you have the party of slavery, or the party of Trump.  Eight years of the previous administration left us with slave markets in Iraq and Libya, and since Trump’s been there, at least one of those has been shut down.

    Don’t like that choice?  I sure as hell don’t, but I didn’t build this world.

    VI.  Ideas without action and worthless

    There are things I like even less.  For example, consider this girl.

    8 years old and already victim of assault

    Her name is Yara and she is the last German child in her class.  As a direct result, she is constantly ostracized, bully, and, most recently, had her belly slashed.  The Muslim perps went unprosecuted.  As the teachers helpfully pointed out, it’s up to the teachers to decide when to bother the parents with such matters, and, anyway, it wasn’t a stab into the belly merely a slash across.   Of course, the teachers didn’t do nothing – they brought police action against the father for keeping his daughter out of the school.

    She’s eight.  In a few more years, she’ll be being gang-raped by the little darlings, and the teachers, media and so on will be doing their level best to cover that up.  So, yes, I may not like the AfD, but I like stuff like this far less.

    Christians say that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).  The principle is accurate: ideas on their own don’t change anything, unless translated into effective action.  The arguments for racial equality existed for a long time, until bitter struggles turned them into something passing for reality.  In the same way, it doesn’t matter how detailed and sophisticated your arguments are in favor of secularism or women’s rights unless you can show me an actual program to turn them into a reality.

    One of the odd things that the last twelve years has done is make me much more sympathetic to the voting patterns of black Americans.  This is something that has baffled many of us on the right is why they keep voting for people who are, frankly, naked racketeers.  Not least because so many of their views seem naturally right wing – I remember that following the Spike Lee biopic of Malcolm X, many conservative publications were praising X’s views on things like small business, sexual continence, abstinence from drugs and alcohol etc.  What I understand now is that this is secondary – what matters first and foremost is whether someone has your back in the face of a threat.   Black Lives Matter may be a bit silly – what on earth does ‘queer affirmation‘ have to do with stopping police militarization? – but at least it’s something.  Simply saying that you, personally, haven’t done anything bad isn’t enough, Ben Shapiro take note.  The same thing is true here – I have massive problems and differences with many of the above, but the fact that they are willing to stand up in the face of this menace trumps everything else.  The Jews joining the AfD seem to agree.

    VII.  Illiberal is the new liberal

    If you recoil at the thought of a clean sweep of the national conservatives, I can only sympathize.  I understand if you don’t like the prospect of Trump in Washington, Meuthen in Berlin, LePen in Paris and Wilders in Amsterdam.  The trouble is that the alternative is much, much worse.

    To stick with Germany for the moment, the alternative to the AfD doesn’t look like a return to the status quo, it looks like the KSK (Kommando Spezialkrafte).  The article documents how throughout the German army, and especially the elite special forces, there are those who are so fed up with the situation that they are talking, and training, for another Operation Valkyrie.  That is, a military putsch.  Things aren’t at that point yet in Germany, but a few more mass assaults, a few more terror attacks, a few more Yaras and I wouldn’t be too sure.  Britain seems to be host to something similar, with the #IAmSoldierX movement.

    If the situation here looks ugly, try looking outside the West.  I’ve previously written that those who keep wailing about “Islamophobia” will sit down and shut their yaps if things ever get so bad that Muslims are thrown into camps.  I said that based on the fact that this is exactly what happened during the Milosevic years (seriously, go read: the same voices were then yelling ‘hands of Milosevic’.)

    Now we are at the point where China has tossed a million Muslims into ‘re-education camps’.  Protests have been quite muted, and when the Chinese leadership discovers this isn’t working, and proceeds to the next logical stage of mass sterilization, there will be even fewer complaints.  Even when there are complaints, as in the case of the Rohinga, they are non-effective. If you’ve surrendered to one form of viciousness, you can’t complain about other kinds. Even if western lefties pretend not to see this, I assure you, our cousins in the East see it all too clearly – see, e.g., this article from the Modern Tokyo Times.

    Just to rub in how bad it could get, let me repost this girl’s speech.  What conceivable good do you think Western lefties will be against her and her followers?  

    (Western lefties: “Oh, he’s just pretending to be against nuclear war to cover up his racism!!!!!”)

    Here’s where I disagree with Mark Steyn, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and other Eurabianist writers. I don’t think the choice is between resistance and submission; I think that the choice is between Islam collapsing from criticism, or things getting so bad that the current liberal Western order suffers a total loss of legitimacy – and Islam dying in fire.

    So, yes, here we are.  After twelve years, I’ve come to the gloomy conclusion that, rather than seeking non-existent common ground with the western left, the best hope is to try to sell the resurgent nationalist right on the values of secularism and internationalism.  It may be better than the complete fool’s errand of hoping that the western left stand’s up when it matters, but I’m fully aware that that hope is a slim one.

    VIII.  The Godless Right

    Or is it?

    To return where I started, I’ve found little problem convincing even American fundamentalists about the value of secularism.  Could there be a similar thing when it comes to matters such as solidarity, internationalism, reason and respect for the scientific method?

    It could be.  Just because some of these groups have rancid pasts does not mean they are always so.  After all, the official party of the KKK has given America its first black president.  Could similar evolution happen?  To stick with internationalism, it’s fairly easy to find chaps on the right who defend Israel, and many who voted for Trump also cheered Brexit.  Would it really be so hard to convince such people that such solidarity is laudable, and should equally be extended to India, Russia, and the nations of Christian Africa?  I do know who supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and who listens when I talk about supporting the Yezidi.

    Would advocacy of atheism be a bridge too far?  Doubt it.  People would once have said that homosexuality was a bridge too far, and in the last US election, the republican candidate was championed by a screamingly gay queen who did rallies in drag.  Would atheism really be such a deal breaker when I point out that the best arguments against abortion are all this-worldly and scientific – and that the best resistance to islamic thuggery comes from atheist organizations?

    Maybe I’m just fooling myself.  Maybe it’s all fucked. But I don’t think so.

    New Atheism is dead.  Long live the Godless Right.

    Category: atheismFree SpeechGay RightsInternationalismIslamJihadLife and Reason

    Article by: The Prussian

    • John Braggg

      Greetings from Vienna! Enjoy your return to writing this year, even if it’s fewer (but then perhaps also longer and more passionate) posts.
      Can I ask, have you seen any promising alternatives to the AfD (not necessarily Germany, but maybe in other countries) when it comes to instantiations of a ‘godless right’ movement?

      • ThePrussian

        The best I’d have to say is Geert Wilders. He’s always been explicitly philosemitic and pro-gay rights, so there is a far better chance there.

        However, I’m afraid that this is on us. It’s down to you, me and whoever else we can drag into it. The reason I’m not completely hopeless about this is that I have genuinely had the experience of having people write on this blog or send to me, “I was kinda involved in white nationalism, then I read your piece, and now I’m not there anymore”. So I think it’s on us to make the case to the nationalists that values like internationalism are the best way to protect their nations – the same way I’ve gotten so much agreement with fundies about secularism.

        Thanks for your nice words! Yes, I’ve had to learn a great deal and do some serious rethinking. Part of the problem is that the internet insists that what you write today needs to be in 100% agreement with what you wrote 10 years ago. However, writing is part of thinking and learning new things. I should do a post on what I’ve learned here.