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Atheism Becomes Trendy
July 16, 2007

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Atheism is one of today's trendiest movements.

Secular stalwarts Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris penned some best-selling books on the subject.

Now Jonathan Miller, a knighted neurologist, humorist, and scholar, has launched a cinematic attack on the religious beliefs of Americans.

Miller's three-part documentary, "A Brief History of Disbelief," aired in the U.K. in 2004 and is coming to PBS stations in the U.S. this summer.

"When we first made it, it was inconceivable that it would be broadcast in the United States," Miller told "I think the success of Christopher Hitchens' ‘God Is Not Great' and Richard Dawkins' ‘The God Delusion' shows that things have slightly changed. I don't know why, but something has happened to usher in a certain hospitality to controversy on this subject."

Apparently, sections of the documentary try to make the case that our nation's founders, including George Washington and James Madison, were anti-religious agnostics who created the much-lauded secular progressive notion of "Separation of Church and State" (which, incidentally, is not contained in the Constitution) because they viewed the world as Miller does.

Miller lumps radical Islamists together with evangelical Christians, describing the events of Sept. 11 as "the most powerful expression of religious fanaticism" of our time.

"The World Trade Center attacks are one of the reasons I thought it was important to do it [the documentary]," Miller said.

"I just thought it was a good place to begin, because of the impact fanatical religion has on our world. I suppose the most dangerous right now is Islam, but fanatic Christianity has also done a great deal of damage to people," Miller added. "Not to mention the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the idea of bringing democracy to these countries has this sort of Christian conviction behind it."

Meanwhile HBO host Bill Maher is jumping on the religion-bashing bandwagon with a yet-to-be-named documentary feature, which will most likely allow Maher to wax contemptibly on faith. Lionsgate will distribute Maher's flick.

The basic premise of the ungodly books and films is that theism is less rational than atheism. But the truth is, it takes a lot of faith to be an atheist.

Atheists must believe that something came from nothing. Atheists accept on faith that in the beginning there was nothing, and then there was something. Even Steven Hawking and friends are convinced that prior to the big bang, there was no time and no space. Nothing. And now there's lots of something.

Atheists must believe that life came from non-life. Atheists accept on faith that once, when conditions were just right, something inanimate became animate.

Atheists must believe that human beings have no free will. Atheists accept on faith that by serendipity primordial slime eventually developed into human beings with mental abilities but no free will and who act in accordance with biochemical reactions in their cerebral cortexes.

In the cold atheist universe, there is no way to account for the transcendent ideals that make life worth living — dignity, steadfastness, courage, love, and hope.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

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Copyright © 2007
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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