My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Excellent content, though most of the examples and data are from the late seventies.
There have been a few brave exceptions (Christopher Hitchens, Salman Rushdi, Sam Harris), but the fact that we can count the main exceptions on one hand kind of proves the point. This recent article points out that the main thing driving the main halls of unbelief into a strategic retreat isn’t really strategy. It’s fear. Please take note of the word “main.” There are plenty of internet trolls out there who will speak out vociferously against the evils perpetrated by fundamentalist Islam. But a secular Facebook rant against Islam’s human rights’ violations or a few vitriolic anti-Islamic words in the comment section of a Mother Jones article doesn’t really qualify someone as courageous for standing against the aforementioned evils. What will the voices of public unbelief do when their words might cost them something? How will the internal resources that secularism provides assist the secularist who finds himself/herself suffering as a result of standing up for what they believe in? I honestly hope that secularists will find their courage and leverage their substantial resources to speak out against the most egregious sources of religious liberty and human rights violations.
We all want control. Americans especially want control. We even have multiple departments of our federal government (CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, National Security Council, etc.) dedicated to the procuring, enforcing, and defense of the illusion of control for Americans and US interests. But control is just that… an illusion. Sometimes our ability to maintain the illusion lasts for a while. We secure health insurance and life insurance. We pay extra for increased safety features on our vehicles and strap our children into car seats that could protect them from a nuclear blast. Even our cigarettes have a disclaimer on them so that we know just exactly what we are putting on the line when we light up. But eventually the illusion of control is taken away from most of us, sometimes violently so. A car wreck, a job loss, a cancer diagnosis, a child’s unexpected sickness, a parent’s death can all tear away the idea that we are in control of our lives or of those that we love.
But some helpful reflection on something we all do every day, should help let us down a little easier… Continue reading