The Spiritual Life of An Atheist

August 29, 2010

Spiritual Life of An Atheist: Defending Freedom From The Beckian Campaign To “Take It Back” For God

At the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, Glenn Beck announced, “America today begins to turn back to God.”  At a pre-rally meeting, Mr. Beck said, “My role, as I see it, is to wake America up to the backsliding of principles and values and most of all of God.”  At the Lincoln Memorial, he also exhorted an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution limiting the role of the federal government and eliminating entitlement programs.  Undoubtedly, God does not want you to have an education unless your parents can afford private school, to have a minimal income source if you cannot find a job, or to eat if you do not have the money to buy food—at least if you do not look like Glenn Beck or the substantial majority of his supporters.

Mr. Beck and his fellow religious-political conservatives talk a lot about “freedom.”  But their talk is literally Orwellian.  What they desire is the “freedom” to dictate to others.  They are totalitarian wolves cloaked in the sheep’s hide of liberty, and they most decidedly want to render up to their “God” what is Caesar’s.  Their singular aim is to usurp the individual liberties and opportunities embodied in our diverse, largely tolerant 21st Century democracy, and they are purposefully invoking the name of God to do it.

All people of good will must work together to stop them.  At moments like these, I wish I were a person of religious faith.  As a non-believer, my railing against their demagogic invocation of God to support a brown-shirted vision of “freedom” holds little weight.  True freedom-loving women and men of faith can and should speak out.

I cannot counter the Beckian invocation of God with a more loving vision of what Jesus would do.  But I can say that I hold a deep spiritual (and reasoned) conviction that an encompassing compassion, not self-centered, closed-minded certainty, is the touchstone of any authentic pursuit of the good.

All people of conscience must speak against the principles and values of animosity and exclusion that Beck and his misguided supporters espouse under the guise of “freedom” and “God”.

copyright 2010 S. Anne Johnson



  1. Well put!

    Comment by Mike AKA MonolithTMA — August 29, 2010 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Mike. I am interested in checking out your space. What a great idea to create a forum for the civil exchange of divergent ideas!

      Comment by SAJohnson — August 29, 2010 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks! I really need to post more. 😉

    Comment by Mike AKA MonolithTMA — August 29, 2010 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

  3. The ring wing conservatives have all gone nuts. The sky is falling; it is the end of the world.

    I investigated one such incident in Dearborn Michigan. Headline: 4 Christian missionaires arrested outside an Arab festival. Sharia law has come to Michigan!

    In reality, another Christian missionary phones the Christian police to complain about one group’s behaviour. The Christian police chief, supported by the Christian mayor send out Christian police officers who investigate then arrest these guys for disturbing the peace. This is witnessed and confirmed by… gosh, other Christians. The next thing I know, there are headlines and video clips all purporting that this is the application of Sharia law. Heck, the only thing Arab about any of this was the festival. What would anybody say if it had been a Jewish festival? Or a Hindu festival?

    Extremism invades America? Heck, did anybody look at Christian extremism?

    Excuse my rants. This stuff gets me riled up.

    Love the blog. I’m enjoying your writing.

    wb 🙂

    Comment by William Belle — October 12, 2010 @ 6:28 am | Reply

    • Thanks for the input, Monsieur Belle. Je suis d’accord. (Now I have exhausted all of my remaining French.) Extremism of all varieties must be called out!

      Comment by SAJohnson — October 21, 2010 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

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