This isn’t exactly news

From The American Prospect:

American evangelicalism, we contend, is strong not because it is shielded against, but because it is — or at least perceives itself to be — embattled with forces that seem to oppose or threaten it. Indeed, evangelicalism, we suggest, thrives on distinction, engagement, tension, conflict, and threat. Without these, evangelicalism would lose its identity and purpose and grow languid and aimless.”

You’d think that people would be capable of remembering what effect the vicious Roman persecution had on Christianity. And this why the attacks of the New Atheists are so amusing, because they tend to have precisely the opposite effect of the one intended. Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens probably turn 10 Christian moderates into Christian extremists for every non-believer they inspire to full-blown High Church atheism.

In fact, this is precisely what the Bible warns against. Christianity is never less appealing than when Christians grow fat, lazy, hypocritical and complacent. It is never more compelling than when Christian martyrs are demonstrating faithfulness unto death.

I agree with the article, in that High Church atheism is a distinct secular tribe with a recognizable ideology, the protests of the “nothing but a non-belief in god” theorists notwithstanding.