Hello. My name is Dean Esmay. And I would like to ask for your financial support for a project I’m working on, exploring the idea of God as a philosophical concept in Western Civilization, and the strong positive influence that organized, institutional religion–particularly, organized, institutional Christianity–has had on society in the last few thousand years, and the ramifications of modern atheism and its effect on people’s thinking–including the harm atheism can do to scientific thinking.
My work began when I realized one day that, far from being just another in a long line of faddish “Deepak Chopra” style New Age cults, the “New Atheist” movement was being taken seriously by millions, including influential media figures, and was particularly popular with young people. This “New Atheist” cult began in the early 2000s with the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens, but has now expanded into an almost full-blown Church of its own, with scientists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence M. Krauss, and Jerry Coyne, along with popular and cynical entertainers like Seth MacFarlane, Penn Jillette, Stephen Fry, Bill Maher, Tim Minchin, and even the late Bill Hicks and George Carlin who, like Hitchens, remain popular even in death. All are people who all act or have acted as professional, well-paid atheist proselytizers for their atheist faith–often passing off vicious remarks at religions and religious people as “brave” while knowing full well not one hair of their heads would be so much as mussed by most of the religious groups they attack.
As you may have guessed, I am not a fan of the modern atheism. As an ex-atheist myself, I think today’s atheism is a dogmatic cult phenomenon, led by cult leaders and proselytizers peddling pseudoscience, anti-intellectualism, and general intolerance. I also believe they have frequently misled their audiences, intentionally or not, causing a great number of innocent people to be treated with animosity, bigotry, bullying, and harassment they never deserved–all while behaving as if atheists are horrifically persecuted, which they rarely have been in human history.
Am I doing this as a Christian ministry? No. I am a Catholic, but am no way ordained as anything, not even as a lay minister. I’m not authorized to create my own ministry. Furthermore, while my views are of course affected by my Catholicism, just as your religious views likely affects yours, my goal is to examine atheist ideology, starting with the strange insistence of modern atheists that their atheism is not an ideological position, and the strange superstitious idea that atheism and science go together. I also explore information from an historic and social perspective, and how aggressive, militant, hostile atheism has affected our culture.
I will also be correcting common misperceptions these figures often pass off about historic Christianity, with a particular focus on what I call “broadly orthodox,” examining clear misunderstandings now common not just about Roman Catholicism, but also Eastern Orthodox, Coptic/Oriental Orothodox, and Assyrian Orthodox Christians, and even with some analysis where their thinking overlaps with things like Orthodox Jewry and oldest lines of institutional, organized Protestants like the Lutherans, the Calvinists, and the Anglicans. All of whom are regularly misportrayed by modern atheist ideologues and increasingly ignorant media and other culture figures who clearly don’t understand organized religion at all.
In short, this is a work of social criticism, not advocacy for any one faith.
To be clear, I am biased: I am critical of many forms of Protestantism as well as people on the religious fringes, but I also defend Protestants from smears. I also examine ideas put forth by other religions and philosophies, starting with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, but also such figures as Guatama Buddha, Maimonides, Kant, Pascal, Einstein, Heisenberg, Hindu and Sikh thinkers, and others.
God is a big idea in human civilization, but most particularly in Western Civilization, and far from what you’ve been told, it’s a rational idea. Maybe not an idea you agree with, but fully rational and logical nonetheless, and no properly ordered theology is an impediment to science–even if sometimes religious mores butt heads with scientific research, they’re certainly no more likely to than many secular political ideologies.
The “Science vs. Religion” war is phony. So are many of the New Atheists.
The project will begin with at least one book, which is provocatively titled “Letter to a Heathen Nation,” an ironic response to atheist guru Sam Harris’s famous book, “Letter to a Christian Nation.” If the project succeeds, it will spin off other books, and possible video projects as I seek to interview prominent atheists today to ask them to defend their positions.
You’ll find many of my essays to be collected in book form already on this blog. To lend ongoing support in my hope to make this a full-time endeavor, please use the tip jar or check out my Patreon. Thank you!