Praying for rain: Atheist critics show how petty and small-minded they’ve become
By Lisa Miller on July 26, 2012
© The Washington Post
With the death of the writer Christopher Hitchens, and the withdrawal of Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, from the front lines into a study of morality and neuroscience, the American atheist movement has a void at the top. A decade ago, atheists were brave, fierce warriors bent on battling conventional wisdom and easy piety. These days, it seems, atheists are petty and small-minded ideologues who regard every expression of public religiosity as a personal affront – not to mention a possible violation of the First Amendment and a sign of rampant idiocy among their fellow citizens.
Last week, such atheist hysteria reached a peak when Tom Flynn, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, publicly over-reacted to remarks made at a press conference by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In speaking about the devastating drought now facing farmers in the Midwest, the worst in 25 years, the Secretary, who was raised a Roman Catholic, struck a tone both emphatic and personal.