As atheism rises, America declines

Monday, January 21, 2013
Peter Heck - Guest Columnist

Peter HeckAs the decline of American society persists, it is not coincidence that the atheist movement in the United States is simultaneously growing.

According to The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, one in five American households profess no religious affiliation. That can't be too surprising to anyone who understands human nature or historical trends. A prosperous society built upon the back of the very values espoused in the Judeo-Christian worldview inevitably yields to satisfaction, complacency and arrogance -- the belief that our material possessions, our comforts, our good fortune are all the result of our own hands. Soon it's more than just not "needing" God for our provision. Man rebels against Him, and is offended by the mere suggestion of His authority. This culminates in an inevitable downward slouch that has accompanied so many great civilizations of the past. So it appears to be with us.

Granted, the number of "nones," as these trendy hipsters like to call themselves, is not overwhelming, but it's certainly higher than it should be if we were still a humble and rational people. The inversion of those two principles (humility and rationality) is one of the most stunning things about the atheist. They claim to be people of reason, yet eschew and despise its very foundation. They fail to grasp that apart from the eternal consistency provided by the biblical God, they would have absolutely no basis for reason at all.

The very fact that an atheist can argue about the laws of science "proving" there is no God, is actually proof in and of itself that He must exist. Perhaps this is what Scripture means when it states, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." Surely there is no better description of the American atheist.

And let's not forget arrogance. One of the funniest accusations to hear come from the lips of a rabid, evangelistic atheist is the one that goes like this: "You Christians are so arrogant to think that you're right and everyone else is wrong."

Of course, that kind of an accusation is an extraordinarily short-sighted attack, and one that doesn't understand the Christian mind at all. Christians certainly don't believe that the massive preponderance of human beings since the dawn of creation who have believed in some form of Moral Authority, Designer, and/or Deity are wrong. We think they are 100-percent accurate in their basic understanding that there is Someone beyond us all. And there are a large number of issues about morality and goodness and natural law that Christians have in common with other theists.

Obviously, when it comes to the claims of Jesus of Nazareth, Christians believe we have it right and others are wrong. But it is wholly inaccurate to suggest that Christians think they alone are right on the most fundamental question there is, and that everyone else is wrong. That distinction belongs to ... you guessed it ... the atheist.

It is the arrogance of the atheist mind that believes every man and woman who has, throughout history, placed his or her faith in the existence of a Supreme Being or beings has been 100-percent, totally and utterly wrong on that most fundamental question.

I write about this in my book BELiEVE: A Confrontation with Christianity's Biggest Challenges. Imagine a four-lane highway full of traffic all traveling in one direction. Then suddenly, one singular car traveling the opposite way down the same roadway appears, heading into oncoming traffic. While it's possible that the driver of the one car was the only one who knew the right way and everyone else was just mistaken, logic and rationality would suggest otherwise. It would take an extremely arrogant driver to stick his head out of his sunroof and start screaming at all the other drivers about how dumb they were, without ever pausing to consider he might be in the wrong.

Such is the worldview of the atheist ... or "none." So pardon my lack of excitement at the fact that such an irrational, arrogant and foolish worldview is becoming more common in American culture. It says a lot about who we are becoming and where we're going as a people.

Peter Heck ( is a public high school government teacher and radio talk show host in central Indiana.

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