Recently bestselling atheist author Richard Dawkins sent out a tweet warning those who might be rejoicing at the “death throes” of Christianity in Europe to remember that “something worse” might be taking its place—Islam.
Dawkins was certainly right about the danger of Christianity being replaced by a different religion. But he was wrong about which religion. The fastest growing faith in the West is not Islam but atheism.
Surveys show that atheism is growing at an alarming rate across the globe. In a very short time, countries such as France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia will lose their Christian majorities to those who consider themselves atheists or “religiously unaffiliated.” In fact, in the United States the “religiously unaffiliated” makes up almost a quarter of the population.
Of course, atheists deny they are a religious group. They deny that they believe anything on faith, but rather, claim to accept only those theories and principles that can be established scientifically. They assert that they have no beliefs whatsoever regarding God.
But the truth is, atheism is the farthest thing in the world from simple absence of belief. Indeed, atheism is a whole system of beliefs—a system that has its own philosophy (materialism), morality (relativism), politics (social Darwinism), and culture (secularism). It even has its own sacraments (abortion and euthanasia). And this system of beliefs has been responsible for more death, carnage, persecution and misery than any system of beliefs the world has ever known.
Ex-atheist Theodore Beale succinctly summarizes: “There have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm…of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao Zedong… The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists.”
So no, atheists can’t be allowed to hold out their hands in mock innocence, calling what they so fervently believe mere “unbelief”—not when those same hands are stained with the blood of so many victims of atheist totalitarian governments.
But there are other things that suggest atheism is a faith, too. G.K. Chesterton once said: “When a man stops believing in God he doesn't then believe in nothing—he believes anything.”And how true that is!
To start with, atheists believe that everything in life has a purely material basis. They believe that all our thoughts, dreams, desires, passions, loves, hates, hopes, philosophies, politics, cultures, art, literature, music, and history—that all of this is purely the result of the movement of molecules in an empty and lifeless ether.
That’s not science—it’s faith. What’s more, it’s an irrational faith that serves as the foundation for all superstition.
Indeed, atheists make a whole slew of assumptions that can’t be proven scientifically. For instance, they believe that this incredibly complex universe of ours—a universe of unparalleled beauty, harmony, and order—came about all by itself, out of nothing. They believe that organization came out of chaos, that life came out of lifelessness, that consciousness came out of non-consciousness, that reason came out of irrationality.
None of these beliefs can be shown empirically. None can be demonstrated or replicated scientifically. None of them even make sense.
In fact, the statistical odds that even the most elemental kind of life could arise as the result of the random mixing of atoms in some sort of primordial “soup” are so astronomical that even scientists have trouble figuring them out. They can’t say that the odds are “trillions to one,” because that figure is much too low.
Yet despite the testimony of many respected scientists and mathematicians, atheists obstinately refuse to accept even the possibility that the universe had a “designer.” They steadfastly maintain the dogma that life on this planet had to come about by chance. Their position contradicts logic, contradicts experience, and even contradicts science, itself. Yet they still believe it.
In the end, atheists actually require more faith than believers, because their faith involves a much more significant suspension of logic and common sense. And it is this “greater” faith which probably accounts for the aggressive behavior of modern atheists.
Faith, after all, is a source of tremendous energy. It explains why atheists are so militant in their rhetoric. It explains their zealous attempts to suppress all forms of public religious expression. The fact is, atheists today aren’t just trying to defend an intellectual position—they’re attempting to spread a “religion” of their own: a religion of hopelessness, cynicism, and unhappiness. And the frightening thing is, they don’t intend to stop until they evangelize the whole world with their “Gospel of Nothingness.”
This Easter Season, Christians need to reflect more deeply on this very real threat—and remember that we are called to fight against it with every fiber of our being.
Anthony DeStefano is the author of Inside the Atheist Mind: Unmasking the Religion of Those Who Say There is No God