I am grateful to the Lord for providing people like “Anonymous” to help me never lose sight of my own faults and failings. The most recent blessing of this type comes to me courtesy of a kind soul who made the following comment on the equally kind National Catholic Reporter blog:
“Ah,yes. Patrick Madrid, the ever obsequious EWTN lap dog.
No spine in his body, not an original thought in his head!”
Those jungle drums you heard beating furiously today were the atheists who have just discovered “The Godless Delusion.” Judging from their jeering comments, we can safely conclude that they don’t like it — not one little bit — a colossal understatement. From the 50 or so comments that I’ve perused today on RichardDawkins.net (the notice about the book was posted there early this morning), a few things are clear:
1) The atheists who’ve savaged the book based on reading the first dozen or so pages which are visible on Amazon (most of them haven’t even read that) demonstrate that they really don’t understand what my co-author, Ken Hensley, and I are doing with The Godless Delusion. They seem convinced that ours is a book which rehearses the standard proofs for the existence of God, proofs for the Christian religion and the divinity of Christ, etc. They’re certain that all we do is quote Bible verses at them, defend creationism, flee from reason, shelter ourselves behind blind superstition, and deny the importance of science. You know, all the low-brow, knuckle-dragging, anti-intellectual Christian stuff like that.
Reality check. That’s not at all what the book is about, either in the real or the caricatured sense.
The Godless Delusion is, rather, a direct critique of atheism, and only indirectly a defense of theism. But then, the atheists posting there don’t know that because they’ve let their emotions run away with them and have fallen prey to typical atheist thought-stopping sloganeering to reassure themselves that they have a valid reason for dismissing our critique of atheism without even knowing what it entails. They’re a pretty agitated bunch, judging from their comments.
If just the idea of a Catholic book challenging atheist claims is enough to touch off the festival of odium and contempt that we see among the God-deniers in this thread at RichardDawkins,net, one can only imagine the paroxysms that would ensue once they actually read the book in its entirety and had to contemplate its philosophical critique of atheism.
2) Our atheist detractors are heavy on pompous rhetoric and light on actual substantive argumentation. The latter is due in part to the fact that they don’t understand the focus of the book, and that, of course, is because they haven’t read it. And it’s also due to the fact that, even if they did read the book, I’m confident that they wouldn’t be able to effectively respond to, much less refute, our critique of atheism. Let’s see what they come up with.
3) These atheists seem to think that their grievances against the Catholic Church (the priest scandals, the crusades, etc.) somehow vindicate atheism. A number of their comments are laced with shouts of “women-haters and child molesters!” and that sort of thing. Apparently, they think that whooping and hollering about the crimes committed by Catholics somehow disproves the existence of God, which of course it doesn’t. The evils perpetrated by Catholics, Protestants, and others who believe in God have no bearing whatsoever on the question of whether or not God exists and, more importantly and more to the point, they are completely irrelevant to the question of whether atheism itself is true. But they don’t seem to understand that.
4) The atheists who’ve commented thus far seem to have gotten practically everything they think they know about The Godless Delusion flat wrong. For example, several have been going on about how the book was published by a “vanity press.” Um, no. It was published by Our Sunday Visitor, which is one of the top 2 or 3 largest mainstream Catholic publishers in the United States. I don’t know the stats, but they might even be the largest. Also, at least one of these atheists are confused about when the book was released, scoffing that it is “copyright 1999-2006″ when, had they only actually read the front matter at Amazon, they’d have seen that
it just came out two weeks ago.
Anyway, the bulk of their scoffing is predicated on erroneous assumptions like those two, highly charged emotionalism and anger, and a general unwillingness to actually deal with the arguments (which, again, they have not bothered to explore, beyond the first 12-15 pages of introductory matter), etc.
I’m hopeful that some atheists somewhere will rise above the puerile antics of the ones who have been posting in this “kick the can” thread about The Godless Delusion. We’ll see. In the meantime, here’s just one example of the kind of “enlightened” atheist responses to the book:
Comment 38 by Logicel
I hope there are atheists out there who will respond with something more substantive than that level of mindless invective. Surely there must be. Perhaps some of them will calmly accept the challenge of The Godless Delusion, will read the book, and then respond seriously to our critique of atheism. We’ll see.
On yesterday’s EWTN “Open Line” radio show, I received two interesting calls on the same subject: the recent plague of priest scandals. The first caller, a layman named Grant, asked why Catholic priests don’t preach more on this subject from the pulpit and how parents can explain this subject to their children. As you’ll hear, we soon moved off that issue and in the direction of what appear to me to be some of the root causes of the scandals. A bit later in the same show, a former Catholic priest named Dwayne called in to express his thoughts on this subject. I found his comments to be quite interesting, and I’m very interested in knowing what you think of this discussion. [I host “Open Line” every Thursday from 3-5 pm ET). Click the image above to listen, or click here.
It’s teaching them atheism (among other things) with blasphemous songs like this one. Don’t underestimate the potential for your children to become corrupted and their faith in God wrested away from them by the popularization of atheism through things as simple as songs and videos. If you have MTV and its affiliated stations coming into your home, cut it off now. Don’t wait. Don’t dither. Don’t accommodate this malignant evil even for another second. And let’s also all take a moment to pray for the deluded atheists who produced this song and all those whom it is affecting.
The venerable Catholic priest of blessed memory, Fr. John Hardon, S.J., says it is, and he explains why:
Yoga is incompatible with Catholicism because the best known practice of Hindu spirituality is Yoga. “Inner” Hinduism professes pantheism, which denies that there is only one infinite Being who created the world out of nothing. This pantheistic Hinduism says to the multitude of uncultured believers who follow the ways of the gods that they will receive the reward of the gods. They will have brief tastes of heaven between successive rebirths on earth. But they will never be delivered from the “wheel of existence” with its illusory lives and deaths until they realize that only “God” exists and all else is illusion (Maya). To achieve this liberation the principal way is by means of concentration and self control (yoga).
Indian spirituality is perhaps best known by the practice of yoga, derived from the root yuj to unite or yoke, which in context means union with the Absolute. Numerous stages are distinguished in the upward progress toward the supreme end of identification: by means of knowledge with the deity; the practice of moral virtues and observance of ethical rules; bodily postures; control of internal and external senses; concentration of memory and meditation–finally terminating in total absorption (samadhi), “when the seer stands in his own nature” . . . (continue reading)
Here’s how to make a half-price scholarship possible for a student you love: contact Joan Bradley at (704) 461-6009 or JoanBradley@bac.edu today! She can explain the total cost (less than $400 with the scholarship), payment plans and other important details.
Look at what is awaiting students aged 15-19-years:
, and eight great teaching seminars delivered by several of America’s leading Catholic apologists – Jim Burnham, Ken Hensley, Dr. Ben Wiker, and Dr. Paul Thigpen – plus talks and a workshop on apologetics that I’ll be presenting. Msgr. Stuart Swetland, S.T.D., will also be speaking to the attendees.
During the week, our excellent team of speakers will help young Catholics address issues like these: How do you pull the rug out from under an atheist who wants to weaken or destroy your faith (gently and with love, of course)? What is your answer when someone asks, “Have you been saved”? What does the Bible really say about the “End Times,” the “rapture,” the anti-Christ, etc.? What does the Catholic Church actually believe about evolution? What should your response be when a Protestant friend throws certain Bible verses at you that seem to refute certain Catholic beliefs?
All of our talks on these and other subjects will be presented the “Envoy way,” with our patent-pending mixture of reverence, good-and-sometimes-even-bizarre humor, inspiration, devotion and fun. And in between sessions, there’ll be fun activities like swimming, hiking, whitewater rafting, an ice cream social, plus an evening of karaoke.
Mass will be celebrated every day as well, including one by our special guest Monsignor Stuart Swetland, who will also be giving a talk afterwards.
To take advantage of this special limited-time half-price scholarship offer, please contact Joan Bradley at (704) 461-6009 or JoanBradley@bac.edu today!
(Also, if you are interested in making a donation yourself so that we can extend additional scholarships so even more students can attend, please call or email Joan about making a donation for additional scholarships. We greatly appreciate your support in any amount!)
One of my Facebook Friends brought this to my attention today. Seems that Netflix, which our family uses almost exclusively to stream movies directly to our TV, carries a plethora of good Catholic movies. (Think of that scene in “The Three Amigos” when you say the word “plethora,” mkay?) If you use Netflix, here are some worthy Catholic titles to add to your queue:
A Hand of Peace
A Man for All Seasons
After the Truth
Father of Mercy: The True Story of Venerable Don Gnocchi