Thursday, October 2, 2014

Get off the porch

The headquarters of the Freedom From Religion is only a couple of blocks from where I live. Some years ago, being interviewed by a reporter for a local paper, I wondered why atheists were so angry about something they don't believe exists. Actually I think most non-believers aren't particularly exercised about religion. But this from Chesterton's The Everlasting Man may explain the attitude. Chesterton via Kevin DeYoung:
.... They cannot get out of the penumbra of Christian controversy. They cannot be Christians and they cannot leave off being Anti-Christians. Their whole atmosphere is the atmosphere of a reaction: sulks, perversity, petty criticism. They still live in the shadow of the faith and have lost the light of the faith.

Now the best relation to our spiritual home is to be near enough to love it. But the next best is to be far enough away not to hate it. It is the contention of these pages that while the best judge of Christianity is a Christian, the next best judge would be something more like a Confucian. The worst judge of all is the man now most ready with his judgments; the ill-educated Christian turning gradually into the ill-tempered agnostic, entangled in the end of a feud of which he never understood the beginning, blighted with a sort of hereditary boredom with he knows not what, and already weary of hearing what he has never heard.... It would be better to walk past a church as if it were a pagoda than to stand permanently in the porch, impotent either to go inside and help or to go outside and forget. ....