New Atheists and the Neocons

What do they have in common? Both of them took a proudly triumphalist posture just as their perceived popularity began to visibly collapse. Neocon boasting of a permanent Republican majority was still being bruited about only two years before the 2006 electoral debacle, while as I noted in TIA, atheist identification and popularity have actually taken declined since the New Atheist literary wave began:

Most Americans believe that angels and demons are active in the world, and nearly 80 percent think miracles occur, according to a poll released yesterday that takes an in-depth look at Americans’ religious beliefs. The study detailed Americans’ deep and broad religiosity, finding that 92 percent believe in God or a universal spirit — including one in five of those who call themselves atheists.

Best-selling books can, but don’t necessarily, prove the popularity of the views contained within those books. In some circumstances, it is the reverse that is more likely the case, after all, the fact that I own more than a few New Atheist books doesn’t indicate that I agree or even think well of the arguments contained within them. It is, of course, quite funny to see yet more evidence that so many “atheists” define atheism so broadly as to include belief in God. But they’re entirely rational… just ask them.

And of course, in nearly half the major cases, the New Atheists ARE Neocons. Both Harris and Hitchens fit the bill rather nicely; they’re not conventional Republicans, but they support American military adventurism in the Middle East. Hitchens, in fact, is very nearly a true Neoconservative as defined by the elder Kristol, considering his former Trotskyite politics.