I’ve been very disappointed in most of my critics, for the most part. Re-read the column more closely, especially if you find yourself getting upset. A few points:
1) The piece has nothing to do with Christianity per se. The same points hold true with regards to Hinduism or Zen Buddhism. The fact that I stated my argument is one with that of the pre-Christian Socrates, not to mention the self-professed antichrist Nietzsche, should have been your first clue. Yes, I’m a Christian. No, the argument does not depend on that. Hell in this case refers to both the Christian concept as well as the hell on earth regularly created by atheist-run societies.
2) I made no statements about the rationality of Christians or any other group of faithful. In any case, there is no irony with regards to them, as they do not hold themselves up as devotees of Reason. Quite the opposite, in many cases.
3) I do not hold myself up as a moral examplar at any point. Nor would I. Trying to bring Rush Limbaugh into it only shows that you’re not equipped to even begin understanding the piece.
4) Get your facts straight. I will not waste any time responding to anyone who is so ignorant as to equate the Spanish Inquisition (6,000 deaths in 356 years) with the National Socialist’s Holocaust (12 million in 11 years). This does not make me a coward, it makes you an ignoramus unworthy of debate. Most wars are not caused by religion. Did the significance of the Seneca quote escape you? Read the Chronicles of the Assyrian Kings or Chinese history if you think war and religion are synonymous. War is about power, plain and simple. Religion, most of the time, is only the excuse. If it does not suffice, another excuse is always found.
5) If you seriously want to argue that the Soviet Communists were not atheists, please go talk to a Russian emigre. The State as God is a metaphor. Metaphors are not to be confused with reality.
6) There is an important distinction between the acceptance of established and proven scientific method and the unquestioning acceptance of untest, untestable scientific theory. Riding on an airplane is not an act of faith. Arguing that the Earth is X years old – 6,000 or 6 billion, is. Remember, scientists used to say that the Hittites and Assyrians didn’t exist either. Scientific theory is a moving target, and faith in it as a constant is not only blind faith, but blind faith sure to be shattered soon.
7) Remember, you’re not only arguing with me, but with Socrates, Voltaire, Plato and Nietszche. Do you like your odds? I don’t.