Tag Archive for ‘atheism’
There was a time when one could be assured that it was only the fool who denied the existence of God. No more. The revised biblical aphorism can now read, “The episcopalian minister has said in his heart there is no God.” Yes, the Very Rev. Gary R. Hall, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, self-identifies as a non-theistic Christian, and he sees no contradiction. As a matter of fact, he revels in it.
Recently interviewed by the Washington Post, Mr. Hall related how he once told Richard Dawkins, “I don’t believe in the God you don’t believe in either.” He went on to add in the interview, “That kind of atheism, though, is bankrupt. It’s like picking a fight with a cultural image no theologian would buy into. I don’t want to be loosey-goosey about it…but I describe myself as a non-theistic Christian.”
A bit later, reflecting on the state of the church, he laments, “We’re in a period where people under 50 don’t see the church as a credible place to explore their questions about God.” Of course, he wants to change that, but as I write this blog post, I’m at a loss as to what kind of answers a younger generation should expect to get from a man like Hall? I suppose, in one sense, his non-theistic Christianity simplifies the solution to many historically nettlesome theological problems.
Let’s imagine, for a moment, a young adult inquiring about the “problem of evil”? Mr. Hall’s got a ready answer for that – God doesn’t exist, there is no problem of evil. What a load off.
What about the deeply ingrained human sense that there must be some purpose behind the universe, my life, the experiences I have? The answer’s easy – there is no meaning, God does not exist.
But in all seriousness, perhaps Mr. Hall is onto something. Maybe he is in fact the unwitting incarnation of the ultimate bankruptcy of liberal Christianity. Think about it–after years and decades of Christian liberalism trashing, mocking, and rejecting the supernatural, miraculous, and revealed nature of the Christian faith, what should we imagine you’d be left with?
Wouldn’t it be logical that you’d have a hollowed out shell of a Christianity devoid of God? A kind of perverse Christian atheism, with a non-theistic clergy tending its flocks? Yes, indeed, what’s God got to do with it?
Early on in the interview we’re told that Mr. Hall began his career as a comedy writer. Perhaps he’s attempting to stay true to his roots with his pastor as atheist schtick. The problem, however, is simply this: God’s not laughing. And I sincerely hope, neither are you.
Assuming, no doubt, our anxious world could use a good laugh, Stephen Hawking undertakes to provide one. He says the universe created itself. The theory itself isn’t the joke. The joke is the dogged persistence of atheists trying in the face of common sense to persuade the world as to the wisdom they see in their every utterance. Another way of putting it would be, atheism is the joke.
Americans, apparently, have nothing else to think about but the Moon Walk and the Madonna concert that have occupied so much of the front pages of newspapers—or what is left of them—and news websites. Of Madonna and the victim of her collapsing stage, all I can say is that the the photographs of the ungracefully aging exotic dancer should be enough to kill anyone who likes women.