Atheist clubs are springing up in American high schools, warns head of US Catholic bishops.

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Atheist clubs are springing up in American high schools, warns head of US Catholic bishops

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By Damian Thompson
October 7th, 2009

A “triumphalistic, self-righteous atheism” inspired by the work of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris is winning a following among American young people, leading to “atheist clubs” in high schools, according to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

The cardinal, who is President of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, says that unbelief among young people is more than a question of stopping going to church: it is part of a fashionable “new atheism” which is every bit as intolerant as Christian fundamentalism. He told John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter:

“In Chicago, we now have atheist clubs in high schools. We didn’t have those five years ago. Kids I would have confirmed in the eighth grade, by the time they’re sophomores in high school say they’re atheists. They don’t just stop going to church, they make a statement. I think that’s new. That’s perhaps a bit more like Europe.”

The Cardinal agreed with Allen’s suggestion that that the atheism of Dawkins and Harris was “highly evangelical”:

“Yes it is, sure. Everybody has said that, and it’s true. It’s the mirror image of a kind of fundamentalism, because it’s very restrictive in its use of reason. It’s also very triumphalistic and self-righteous.”

The Cardinal’s comments will be hard to dismiss as scaremongering. YouTube is crawling with videos by articulate, friendly American teenagers and university students proclaiming their uncompromising atheism; indeed, atheism is one of the fastest-growing movements in the 18-25 age group, casting doubt on old assumptions that the religious impulse is somehow hard-wired into the American psyche.

Yet, as Cardinal George says, there is something strongly akin to religious fundamentalism in the evangelical commitment it arouses in its adherents. He, and the whole of the American Church, must be praying that the certainty of unbelief wears off as the “new atheists” have children and face the prospect of mortality. But, as statistics from Europe indicate, this not a foregone conclusion: atheism, like any other belief system, can be passed from one generation to the next.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100012851/atheist-clubs-are-springing-up-in-american-high-schools-warns-head-of-us-catholic-bishops/

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8 thoughts on “Atheist clubs are springing up in American high schools, warns head of US Catholic bishops.

  1. The poor RCC. First the Irish exposed them for the scum bags they are, then Hitchens and Fry demolish them in a debate, and now the youth are delivering the final blow. You almost feel sorry for these assholes.

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  2. “”The Cardinal agreed with Allen’s suggestion that that the atheism of Dawkins and Harris was “highly evangelical”:

    “Yes it is, sure. Everybody has said that, and it’s true. It’s the mirror image of a kind of fundamentalism, because it’s very restrictive in its use of reason. It’s also very triumphalistic and self-righteous.””

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Desperate words from a desperate man. The poor Cardinal. Just because todays youth choose to think for themselves and not get on their knees in front of a weirdo with a pointy hat.

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    “Miror image of a kind of fundamentalism, because it’s very restrictive in its use of reason.” – Really? The RCC is a great example of fundamentalism. They are a cult of the worste kind. Protecting pedophile employees, trample on peoples rights, especially women’s rights, and they are totally against reason and accountability. The RCC have for way over a thousand years been directly responsible for millions of deaths. Now they want to talk about morality and reason?

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    They are a joke, and today’s generation can see right through their bullshit.

    And then lets not forget about their sex scandals. Lets keep talking about it, because their victims can’t forget what happened to them either. And they are still protecting those employees who did these deeds. They even helped them to repeat their offenses thousands of times over, with other unsuspecting children, in other communities. Then they got then very expensive lawyers to defend them, and to break down their victims’ credibility on the witness stand, and to humiliate them.

    Yes Cardinal, you are a very sound man of reason. Luckily today’s children are not listening to you and your pals, and they do not respect you and your cronies. You guys should be very ashamed of yourselves.

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  3. Well said, McBrolloks!

    ‘The Cardinal agreed with Allen’s suggestion that that the atheism of Dawkins and Harris was “highly evangelical” ‘

    Nie maklik nie!

    The fundies try so hard to make out that (1) atheism, (2) the belief in the evolution theory, and (3) the belief in science in general, are “evangelical” of some or other sort. Let’s get the definitions straightened out, and let’s argue from there.

    Atheism: “the theory or belief that God does not exist.” (Concise Oxford Dictionary)

    Theory of Evolution: “Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. The process of evolution can be summarized in three sentences: Genes mutate. Individuals are selected. Populations evolve.” (Talkorigins.com)

    Science: “Science describes Nature through observation and experiment.” (Savage’s definition)

    Evangelical: “of or according to the teachings of the gospel or the Christian religion.” (Concise Oxford Dictionary)

    How could anybody come to the conclusion that the first three concepts are similar to the fourth?

    Atheism specifically rejects the Christian religion, so how could it be “evangelical”. If the fundies think it is also “a belief system”, they are wrong. Atheism rejects Christianity; that does not prove that atheists now believe in something.

    The theory of evolution has been tested time and again, and every test has been successfully verified in Nature. So the only way where the word “belief” is appropriate is when you say: “I believe the theory of evolution accurately describes the evolution of species from a common ancestor.”

    A scientific theory can make predictions because it was formulated through observation and experimentation. If a prediction (how Nature is) turns out to be false, the theory is rejected, or modified.

    “…prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well…” James 5:15.
    “Prayer produces prosperity.” Jeremiah 29:7
    “Prayer yields peace.” Phil 4:6

    Through observation and experimentation it is obviously that prayer does not work, although a great deal of the Christian religion is built on prayer. Therefore the teaching of the Christian religion is not science. To say science is “evangelical” because it is also “a belief system” is equally wrong. Science describes, or attempts to describe Nature. No more, no less. If you believe in Nature, that is called Pantheism, not science.

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  4. Good to see that some forces (not spiritual ones though!) are at work amongst the youth in USA. Wish the same can happen in RSA, but I assume that is asking too much. I find it astonishing to encounter professionals like medical doctors, engineers and architects that not only are religous, but creationist. These people studied at the best univarsities this country has to offer. How is this possible?

    Has George’s blog vanished permanantly? Really a pity if this is the case.

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  5. Malherbe, yes, George’s blog disappeared (self inflicted). When he joined Hans’ brigade, he was naïve enough to think the fundies would leave him untouched. But when the first shot was fired he abdicated. Hans has more guts it seems, and will see this thing through. George resurfaced at “Vrydenkers”, because the article “Godsdiens in skole” is his style. What pisses me off is when Oubaas asked him to give explanations why Prom. disappeared, he did not come up with any, and all the good work was just wiped out. I think a good answer to why he wiped his blog was in order, because hell, we put in a lot of work there. Now the fundies have scored a major victory. Christopher Hitchens, and many others, do not let any fundie get off this easily. The Con-Testers, Objectiveses, Oubaases, Reniers, McBrollokses and their like are just gone; forever. Shit, that is bad!

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  6. Thanks for the answer. Really a pity, especially since the blog had a relatively long history which proved its suistainability.

    Like

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