The “New Atheists”

by Ken Ham on January 16, 2007

We’ve warned you about them before on our website—but now they’re on a much more aggressive march all across America. No longer are they just staying in their classrooms or writing books and articles in the comfort of their offices. They are “the new atheists,” and they are aggressively going after your children, your liberties, and your faith!

According to the print media and websites, the new atheists say “evangelism is a moral imperative” to spread their “good news” in “persuading people of the virtues of atheism.” They are “drawing on evolution,” and are vocally “hostile to religions,” especially “fundamentalist Christianity and Islam.” They are “feeling a real need to convert people,” and preaching an “un-gospel.” In one media report, it was stated that “at some point there is going to be enough pressure that it is just going to be too embarrassing to believe in God.”

One of the most outspoken of this new breed of atheists is the vehement anti-creationist Dr. Richard Dawkins of Oxford University in England; another is philosopher, Sam Harris. The Washington Post wrote a major article about Harris and stated: “How exactly the faithful [Christians] will transition to a godless, Good Book-less cosmology is not exactly clear … but he is heartened by countries such as Sweden, where he claims 80% of the populace do not believe in God.”

These atheists are not just publicity seekers. They are very serious about their mission. Dawkins, from England, was recently crusading across America to proclaim his atheism to newspapers, websites, and at public meetings.

Some people might say to me, “But there’s no way Americans will go for atheism. Most people believe in God, even if they don’t take the Bible seriously as AiG does.” Think back to the 1950s. What if someone back then said to you, “Beware, the homosexual movement is on the march—if we don’t do something, ‘gay’ marriages will be legalized across the country.” Almost all of us at that time would have said that there’s no way Americans would ever accept this. Most people believe that marriage is one man for one woman, so, no, this will never happen in America.But as you know, it has happened—and continues to happen!

Interestingly, these new atheists liken their growing movement to that of the gay activists. One stated: “We’re in the same position the gay movement was in a few decades ago. There was need for people to come out. The more people who came out, the more people had the courage to come out. “That’s the case with atheists. They are more numerous than anybody realizes.”

If you think this observation is an exaggeration, just consider the popularity of two recent books associated with these new atheists: The God Delusion by Dawkins and Letter to a Christian Nation by Harris. Both books bitterly attack Christianity. Dawkins is more than just angry, though. He has a purpose, says a reviewer: “the whole book is meant to change people’s minds.”

The God Delusion was #8 on the New York Times bestseller list, #10 on Publishers Weekly, and #2 on the Amazon best-seller rankings in November 2006. At the same time, Letter was #6 on the Times list, and #8 in the Amazon rankings. Meanwhile, an increasing number of atheists are attacking our Christian faith in several major newspapers and websites—with their evolutionary beliefs often presented.

It prompts me to ask: “Why are atheists now getting so much publicity and gaining ground? What’s happened in the culture to allow this?” As we’ve been saying for years, there’s been a change in this culture—at a foundation level. Generations have been indoctrinated by the secular education system and media to build their thinking on human reason, not the Word of God. And at the base of this is the creation/evolution issue.

Evolutionary indoctrination has produced generations (even in the church) who doubt the Bible. Barna Research discovered that of teenagers today who call themselves born-again Christians, only 9% believe there is such a thing as absolute truth. These young people are ripe for “secular evangelists” like Dawkins and Harris.

Consider what else the media is saying about this “evangelistic” movement:

  • “There is clearly an evolutionary explanation for the tools we have cognitively.”
  • “Dawkins is openly agreeing with the most stubborn fundamentalists that evolution must lead to atheism.”
  • Atheists “derive their own worldview from the theory of evolution.”

Let me shock you further and illustrate how some of these God-haters think.

Quoting Harris, a source reported: “If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion,” Harris explains, “I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.”

Dawkins insists that Christians have no right to indoctrinate their children in religious “nonsense.” He continues, saying that children being brought up in Christian homes are being exposed to an “infection”—and Christianity is the most “dangerous thing in the world.”

One of Dawkins’ recent “evangelistic” talks was actually given in a packed church (the First Parish church in Cambridge, Massachusetts)! What times we live in! A news report stated:“At first his [Dawkins] words are greeted with laughter, and then with resounding applause . . . .” The words he preached were from his book:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Friend, all I can say is that I praise the Lord that He has raised up ministries like AiG to engage the culture and the church to return to the authority of God’s Word. With these militant atheists more and more on the march, you can be assured that AiG needs your prayer support more than ever. In fact, with the opening of the Creation Museum this year, the attacks on AiG will probably escalate.

I believe many of you agree that the creation/gospel message is vital today. God is using it at the frontlines of the foundational battle in the lives of countless souls, like this one:

If it wasn’t for your website, I don’t know if I would be a Christian. I was really depressed last year because there were tons of questions I had about the world that no one could give me answers to. I started to think that if evolution was true as they taught me in school, why should I believe in God? You showed me that the Bible can be trusted.

—C. T., Michigan

And that’s why AiG and the website are here: to present the life-changing gospel.

As we begin this new year, I ask you to consider what you might do to partner with us. The website and future museum are wonderful ways we can counter the atheists’ message of meaninglessness and hopelessness—and offer the precious gospel instead. We’re making great progress, but still need funding to make this happen. If our website has blessed you, I ask for your prayerful consideration of a gift to help us finish the museum this spring.

The atheists and evolutionists are more aggressive than ever. Indeed, we need your prayers and support to counter their message. Will you stand with us? Will you pray for us? As you’ve seen, the new breed of atheists is attacking the foundations of our faith as never before! Please partner with us now to proclaim the gospel—and combat the hopeless message of the evolutionists.


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