Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. Proverbs 14:7
The story is told of a man preaching on Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England, who in his sermon said that anyone who didn't believe in God was a fool. A man in the crowd of listeners shouted out, "I'm an atheist. If you can't prove that I'm a fool, I'll publish it in the papers and we'll run you out of town!"
"You really don't believe in God?"
"You bet I don't! I've been fighting against God all my life!"
"Tell me," replied the preacher, "if a man who spends his life fighting against someone who doesn't exist isn't a fool, then who is?" A commonly-repeated anecdote, cited in Cosmos, Creator and Human Destiny by Dave Hunt (2010).
Proof of the truth of the above anecdote is provided by the title of a book scheduled for release on December 1, 2015: Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World. The author is David Silverman, president of American Atheists. According to Goodreads:
Fighting God is a firebrand manifesto from one of the most recognizable faces of atheism. In his book, Silverman-a walking, talking atheist billboard known for his appearances on Fox News-discusses the effectiveness, ethics and impact of the in-your-face-atheist who refuses to be silent.Following the advice of Proberbs 14:7, I won't bother reading the book--I suspect it will consist of the same tired old arguments that we've heard so often before--but I credit Mr. Silverman with noticing the "dangerous teachings and disproportionate violence in Islam," in contrast to many professing atheists who lump all religions together.
Silverman argues that religion is more than just wrong: it is malevolent and does not deserve our respect. It is our duty to be outspoken and do what we can to bring religion down. Examining the mentality, methods and issues facing the firebrand atheist, Silverman presents an overwhelming argument for firebrand atheism and reveals:
- All religion is cafeteria religion and almost all agnostics are atheists.
- American society grants religion a privileged status, despite the intentions of the Founding Fathers.
- Christian politicians have adversely (and un-Constitutionally) affected our society with regard to science, health, women's rights, and gay rights.
- The notion of "atheist Jews" is a lie forced on us by religion.
- It is not "Islamophobia" to observe dangerous teachings and disproportionate violence in Islam.
- Atheists are slowly but surely winning the battle.
Fighting God is a provocative, unapologetic book that takes religion to task and will give inspiration to non-believers and serve as the ultimate answer to apologists.
As for the idea that "atheists are slowly but surely winning the battle," that's true if you're looking at rulings from courts and "human rights" tribunals, but it's not true when it comes to winning hearts and minds and converts. As Vox Day, author of
The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens (2008), has pointed out in his blog (click the label "atheism" for various posts), the New Atheists' moment has come and gone.
While American Atheists--founded and led for many years by the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair--is the first such organization that comes to mind, it seems that it doesn't speak for all atheists in the United States, according to Howard Thompson in the old but still relevant article WHO SPEAKS FOR ATHEISM? The Problem of American Atheists, Inc. Mrs. Murray's son Bill, the subject of the court case Murray vs. Curlett, one of the cases which resulted in the 1963 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States banning mandatory prayer in schools, became a Christian in 1979, and is now chairman of Religious Freedom Coalition. I heard Mr. Murray in a radio interview in 1988, and he said that American Atheists had never had more than 2,500 active members at any time. Despite Mr. Silverman's confidence, I doubt that AA has many members today; in a quick search on their website, I couldn't find anywhere where they mentioned how many members they have.