‘Is God really dead?’
To the Editor:
“Another Christian thought, no less crazy: the concept of equality of souls before God. This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights,” said Friedrich Nietszsche, the famous “God is dead” philosopher. Wasn’t it nice of the world’s most influential atheist to explain why Judeo-Christian beliefs are the foundation of our liberty? Newsweek disagrees, of course, proudly proclaiming, “The Decline and Fall of Christian America.”
So is God really dead, and should we even care? Yes, we should - because liberty itself is a Judeo-Christian idea. Moses’ Exodus from Egypt is the first and best example of how slaves can win their freedom from oppressive overlords. Jesus was the first humanist.
Our culture is so engrained with His ethics of righteousness and compassion that it is hard to envision what a different set of values would look like.
No where in history or literature was compassion towards the lowly demonstrated before the Bible. The great Greek philosophers never tread on these now common-place ideas. The Code of Hammurabi attempted fairness, but it did so in a barbaric “eye for an eye” mentality that we mock today. Eastern philosophy is often worse.
Even modern day Hindus believe the poor are poor because they’ve gotten what they deserve. Infanticide, childhood prostitution, and human trafficking are common.
Watch "Slum Dog Millionaire" for a realistic example of the heinous human degradation caused by a class system that doesn’t care about the downtrodden.
The carpenter obliterated this idea with the parable of the Good Samaritan, changing Western culture forever. For he taught us that not only should we love our neighbor, but that our neighbor is everyone around us. He also invented the separation of church and state when He said, “Render unto Caesar’s that which is Caesar’s, and to God that which is God’s.”
He elevated the status of women through his radical treatment of them as equals. Even the romantic idea that the desires of a woman should be held as equal importance to a man’s was invented by Christianity. In Greek mythology, every hero who was smitten by love was destroyed by that love.
None of the Greek plays has love as its subject. Read "Medea" and you’ll see what it was like to be a Greek woman.
Aristotle thought women incapable of friendship, and Plato wanted to abolish marriage altogether.
Seventy percent of Greece was slaves. Their democracy only included Greek men. Aristotle lauded the proud and the rich, condemning the poor to deserved slavery.
The carpenter’s lowly life and birth and his crucifixion alongside common criminals annihilated the classical idea that aristocrats were superior to everyone else. Why do I harp on these things?
Because our Judeo-Christian ideas are absolutely necessary to our freedom.
Thomas Jefferson said it best. “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?”
In his famous “I have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. demanded to collect the “promissory note” cited in the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Jefferson argued that these rights were “self evident.” But they aren’t self evident at all – except within the framework of Christianity. Aristotle, Rama, or Mohammed would never have made such a claim.
As to Newsweek’s blithe headline; the world is getting more religious, not less. Hinduism is resurgent and Islam is exploding, due mostly to their “biological bomb” birthrate.
The fastest growing and the largest religion in the world? Christianity - especially in Africa and South America.
There are more Christians than Buddhists in South Korea, and underground churches are growing so fast that China will soon have the most Christians in the world. Evangelicals and Catholics are especially on the rise, expanding through conversion, not terrorism. Secularism? Atheism?
They’re dwindling - fast. In atheistic Russia, abortions outnumber births two to one. The Russian population shrinks 700,000 people a year. Japan will shrink 30 percent in a few decades, and the only segment that’s growing in Europe is immigrant Muslims.
In America, birthrates of religious are twice that of atheists. In a fitting bit of irony, the Darwinist mantra of “natural selection” seems to select Darwinists right out.
Why? Because Judeo-Christian values not only promote tolerance and liberty, but a sense of purpose and undying hope. Atheism offers nothing but empty cynicism and proud despair.
PRINTED IN THE APRIL 16, 2009 EDITION