Opinion

Atheists and believers: Let’s worry about ‘government as God’

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Max Borders
Editor, The Freeman
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      Max Borders

      Max Borders is editor of The Freeman and author of "Superwealth: Why We Should Stop Worrying about the Gap between Rich and Poor."

I have to give props to my Jewish friends. Judaism seems to be the only belief system whose adherents aren’t out actively recruiting people. The Tribe doesn’t feel the need to have me as a member. And I appreciate that. Their lack of zeal is nice. I used to be able to say that about my fellow atheists. But not anymore. If they ever start coming to my door, I’ll tell them — figuratively, of course — to go to hell.

Indeed, the controversy surrounding all these atheist ads is distracting us from the most dangerous false god of all: government.

I have admitted in these pages before that I’m an atheist. But these evangelical atheists are acting like an oppressed minority. To that I say, “My God. Gimme a break.” Similarly, I’d like to see all the Christians who’re suddenly in a huff about the ads take a moment to consider just ignoring them and the controversy — just like we all ignore the door when the Jehovah’s Witnesses ring while we’re eating breakfast.

Even thinkers I deeply admire in their respective fields — Dawkins and Hitchens, for example — seem to be out evangelizing against religion. This might be appropriate in places where church and state aren’t sufficiently separated — like Iran. To these godless evangelicals I would say: if you’re going to gripe about any institution, gripe about the government. Because this is where the action is when it comes to the worship of false gods.

Before the Tea Parties, it seemed Americans had found something new to believe in. Government seemed to offer everything a hungry spirit requires. Consider the parallels (X = God or Government):

1. In times of crisis, people turn to X to give them comfort and pray X will solve all their problems.

2. X possesses special knowledge about the affairs of ordinary people, which these ordinary people do not possess.

3. X has a special power to intercede in their affairs to positive effect, as long as they are faithful and obedient.

4. Forces beyond anyone’s control can be tamed by the will of X.

5. X can work through proxies and agents to exert its will. The agents and proxies are anointed by X.

6. X requires sacrifice, whether in tithes (taxes) or submission to its will.

7. Such sacrifices to X are rewarded tenfold (by X), because it has infinite resources.

8. People organize and evangelize to their fellow men in order to convert them.

9. Raids and crusades have been justified in the name of X, particularly during times of crisis.

10. X is personified in the form of a messiah.

There’s one little catch. Madison reminded us over 200 years ago: men are no angels.

  • 23tony

    “the problem with atheist is their inability for abstract thought.”

    This isn’t all that different from the elitism of the left that says “You’re too dumb to understand”.

  • Liberty for All

    Brother Max,

    Agreed, fiscal conservatives must band together to avoid the calamity of the illogical and emotionally unstable left. However, insisting that corporations say “merry Christmas,” is akin to trying to invoke Sharia law. Christians must understand that we Darwinists, or what ever you want to call us, don’t like being bullied. I love Christmas cheer and good tidings for all, but not if it’s being forced on me by my bosses and co-workers. (It has.)I no longer work at the place I admited my doubting ways. At my new job I decline to state. I don’t want my kids to have to live like this.

    My forefathers were Bible fearing americans who fought bravely in her wars. I will always feel awe for them. Does that mean I should not emulate them and stand up and at least speak out for what I know to be the truth for my children?

    Max, how will you not bring up your kids?

  • Skepticus

    When I was a boy, I believed in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, angels, the Christian God, etc. I believed in these things because my parents, whom I trusted implicitly, told me of them. When I grew up, I realized that I had been mislead by my parents, even with the best of intentions. There is no Santa Claus and there is no god. It is no coincidence that Christians raise Christian children, Muslims, Muslim children, Jews, Jewish children, etc. These are all self-perpetuating myths. Please, don’t offer a dusty old book full of mistakes and contradictions as proof of your deity, it is a weak argument. Let’s just agree to disagree. Also, abolish the Senate Chaplain, religion should have no place in our government. Everyone relax and have a nice day.

  • ringbell

    My God I think you have it. No not really. Your superficial understanding of Christianity is full of inaccuracies. If you mix politics and Christianity you get something called Christendom. You then have the medieval church, the monarch and the mindset that the Kingdom of God is now on earth. Of course when you take an unbiased look at the historical church and the politics of that era you will easily see that no such thing ever happened. But you are correct people who have put their child like faith in government or a false form of Christianity have been sorely disappointed. People who put their faith in Christ will never be disappointed.
    The Christian is warned against worshiping idols and these are not just little statues of deities. Idols can be anything from charismatic people to forms of government to forms of entertainment. There are lots of idols out there and they are not all American. (Pun intended) No the Kingdom of God on earth won’t come until the King arrives. First there will be judgment and then there will be eternal life and peace for all those who have entered the Kingdom. Admission is free and open to all, but your ticket is faith.
    If you are an Atheist your only hope in eternal life is that vampires are real. No wonder it is a popular genre of film. I am sorry the idol of science is going to come up short. It can only extend your life because the curse of death comes from God. It will not be denied. Just ask your idol Mr. Hitchins. Sorry I can’t make this pill any sweeter for you.

    • Liberty for All

      Let’s see, as an atheist, no eternal life? As a Christian it magically appears? And science is bunk? How about you give up your modern science, including medicine, and get to your eternal life sooner than later? I respect the Amish and other strict christian sects for living their creed. The rest of you science leeching hypocrites are the real blood sucking vampires. Go to heaven already, and stop bothering us rationalists. We’re going to have enough on our hands trying to survive Omamacare!

  • John

    A good article to remind everyone that government will never have all the answers and we should never put our faith in it to do so.

    The US, because other countries were not formed like ours, governmental structure was intended to be more or less a guideline of principles for us to live in a common cohesive community.

    The government is meant to protect its people from war, internal and external and was never intended to be our nanny by fulfilling all of our social needs.

    I think todays people have become very complacent and in many cases lazy.

    Very few people even know the history of this country, they’re to lazy to even educate themselves.

    The people want to be spoon fed.

    When anyone who relies on another for their complete support becomes subject to them, they are lead around like cattle for the slaughter.

    I for one, will have fellowship with others but will never allow myself to be subject to another.

  • PhillyChief

    The problem with the analogy of god and government is that government is a real entity and that its role is to do things for its citizens. We can debate over how much it should do, but nevertheless, its role is to provide (ie – police, fire, defense, etc).

    Second, “evangelizing” as you call it is unfortunately necessary because there are too many actions predicated upon religious beliefs. To be fair, the problem is faith based beliefs, but religion is the largest of such beliefs and it helps promote the value of faith based thinking. For a non-religious example of faith based belief, look back at the housing bubble and subsequent burst.

    YouMadeMeSayIt.com

  • mapletree

    Great article. It seems that religious tolerance is a one way street. We’re supposed to change our religious practices of holiday traditions (Christmas songs, decorations, etc.) so we don’t offend the atheist but the atheist can openly ridicule and mock people of faith as being morons who believe in superstition.

    • thephranc

      Yes we can. Gods are not real. Grown ups shouldn’t believe in imaginary friends.

      • John

        Thephrac, the problem with atheist is their inability for abstract thought.

        It’s like air, money, you can neither see or understand how it works, your only able to see the effects.

        Every one says they see, but they don’t understand and they also say they understand, even though they see.

        I understand I need to breathe the air to live, but I don’t see how it works.

        I see and feel money, while spending it, but I don’t understand how to budget or invest properly.

        Like wise the atheist thinks he knows, but neither sees nor understands, it will always be like that.

        One day you will meet God and you will be with out excuse, because you have seen and you arrogantly refuse to understand.

        Because you’ve made the choice to play and be the fool.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Douglas-Jarvenpaa-Caron/1232490266 Douglas Jarvenpaa Caron

          My objective senses can feel and sense the existence of air, my ability to live shows that it is there, the reactions to other matter show that it is there. Money is very understandable and it does exist I can hold it in my hand; it is a medium for exchange that society has agreed upon to make trade easier and more efficient. God on the other hand there is no proof of. I can not feel hear taste or touch it. God is just an invention of people to explain what they were unable to explain. Most of what it helped explain has been explained through Science and REASON. There are still things out there that are unknown and will remain unknown for a while but the inability to explain it does not mean that a paranormal being must be causing it. An atheist is just somebody who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels about Thor or Baal or the golden calf. As has been said before, we are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. How do you know if there is a God that you are worshiping the right one?
          PS Faith is not an logic based answer so does not count.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

            just because you can’t sense God doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist though. He is better than natural laws, but you reject anything that isn’t under natural law, and actually i don’t know why you do that.

            we don’t understand God. it’s hard to comprehend something we can’t feel with our senses can actually exist but just because it’s hard for us to think of, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. God doesn’t have to follow natural rules, He created the natural world!! (oh wait, or did the universe just magically explode into existence?)

            science is great but it is finite. humans are so finite, we can’t know it all. and we make mistakes too, that’s why science is revised and rewritten. trusting in science alone is not good. trust in the science that has been tested, experimented, and observed. and for those things that CAN’T be tested and observed, such as the beginning of life/time/space/world/universe/etc… you have to have faith. faith, because no one knows for sure, no one was there. i have faith that God created everything. you have faith that a big bang and evolution created everything. do either of us know for sure? no, it’s our FAITH.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

        oh lol we all believe that now, just because thephranc told us to. (do you really think you’re convincing anyone?)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Douglas-Jarvenpaa-Caron/1232490266 Douglas Jarvenpaa Caron

      Those who try to change the names of Christmas and other traditions are not the average atheist. THose are also the ones who tell us, atheists, that we must respect Islamism even though it is a fascist system with a slant of Islam. These are not Atheists but the average person on the left who has no core principles but have such an open mind about things that aren’t around them and a closed mind to that they are used to. I am an Atheist and I celebrate Christmas and proud of it. I also saw merry Christmas proudly. Christmas might not be about the birth of christ to me but it still represents American culture and the essence of what makes America great, Capitalism and the liberty of the individual.