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Conversions: Atheism's Climax

A columnist of a popular magazine recently wrote his synopsis of the religious changes occurring in America, and I tend to agree with his opinion. His reflection on the expectations of science and atheism in the twentieth century demonstrate how scholars and analysts, despite their superior intellect and data, could not sway the stupid public to abandon God. To me, the situation in America sounds like a civilian adviser telling military commanders to massacre their foot soldiers. Imagine the university's esoteric faculty gathering for yet another committee meeting, only this time to revise and extend their official statement condemning organized religion for abating wars, crimes, and general depression. Even if every college graduate saw the light and endorsed atheism or agnosticism, the majority of Americans would remain theists. Why?

The top-down approach to change has failed, as the columnists symbolizes with the installment of Benedict XVI. Perhaps the Vatican realizes that it needs neither European secularism nor American freedom. I believe the cardinals chose the head of the department formally known as “The Holy Inquisition” because the spiritual crops in Africa, South America and Asia are ripe with legalistic, masochistic, and ethnocentric members. These converts are changing the Church from bottom-up, and in my opinion, the heretics have reached a climax because society supports only a few elites, whether financial or intellectual. The philosphic structure is leaning like the Tower of Pisa ever since scientists and academics siezed the microphone. This is not to say the priests and ministers are right, only that the foundation supporting the societal structure cares more for stability than truth.

Gandhi realized and achieved fundamental change, although it being more governmental than philosophic, by seeking and embracing those 'backbone of America' type citizens. Jesus sought the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the sick – basically the bottom of the barrel, where the froth on top of this barrel was the skim of elite and the most voluminous content was relatively naive or fully ignorant. A contemporary analogy popped into my head: the movie Antz. Antz was a children's cartoon about a colony of dumb ants, enlightened by one ant who opened the eyes of his brethren to see their strength, and unified the colony to overpower the suppression of mentally and physically superior grasshoppers. The tactic is clear: more than one of a thing is always greater than one of a thing.

The same argument questions SDT (not STD silly, Self-Determination Theory). The easiest coping strategy is denial: talking to ourselves about evidence that reaffirms our belief that nothing exists, for example, outside our perceptual proximity. Some citizens use this reasoning when asked why they do not cast votes, saying “Nothing really changes.” I find my self changing most dramatically when experiencing a moment with another person! and when reflecting upon my interactions with people! Example: I saw intense and vivid imagery guided by music that Peter encouraged me to hear, Matt recommended a play whose writer and director killed esoteric life for me, autistic thinking and relativistic discoveries haunt my acceptance of scientific fact thanks to a book recommended by Adam, et cetera. It is this web of interactions, this infinitely complex relationship between each self, that the atheists underestimated in their attack on religion. I believe the common folk out in the back woods understand quite clearly why they need religion.

Imagine writing to a black woman who raises her convicted son's children, where your words enlighten her that God is a fantastical figure that the priesthood manipulates to squander money; to dilute her from the truth of Darwinian evolution, Self-Determination, or whatever. Your letter, although admonishing a path of 'whatever makes you happy' and 'live in the moment' sounds to me, welll ... like another priesthood trying to convert an embattled mother's allegiance. If I were that woman, I would march over to my church and pray for your sins too; flip the letter over and use it for my grocery list, in hopes that I have enough food stamps to last the week.

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