By author William A. Zingrone
I wrote the recently published The Arrogance of Religious Thought long before the epitome of arrogance and religion joined hands in the most insidious of ways delivering us the Trump Presidency that looms before our very eyes. I already felt it was time, with just over a decade passed in this New Enlightenment secular movement, that another direct attack on religion was warranted. The non-believer book market, since Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens and Dennett burst on the scene with their powerful writings roughly ten years ago, has been saturated with de-conversion stories and atheist how-to/self-help books. All excellent and necessary to be sure, but a no-holds-barred polemic in the vein of the works of the “Four Horseman” in my mind, was long overdue. This New Enlightenment has morphed into a very diverse and widespread phenomenon with thousands of YouTube videos, podcasts, books, articles, and websites coming onstream in the past five years especially, coinciding with more regional atheist meetings and hundreds of local atheist meetup groups. Secularism is on a roll, and it was time to stoke the fires even further. The amount of people that suffer tremendously, all over the globe, due to the primitive idiocies of religious thinking is such a travesty in the 21st century. As a species, largely embracing science and reason in our daily lives, we know better. It is time to drop all religious rules and repressions left over from ignorant, barbaric times. That’s my drive. That is my passion.
I have a bumper sticker on my car that says “Misogyny, Homophobia and Science Denial all go away when Religion Does.” Only religious thought promotes such primitive and retrograde perspectives. Some of the examples in my book illustrate the “free pass” religion and religious figures get in upholding absurdities and repressions by having their claims spring forth from the mouth of the regular guy next door: “What if your neighbor said…” We wouldn’t let them get away with the delusions and discriminations religious leaders espouse regularly: the relegation of women and gays to second class citizenship, unfounded musing about an afterlife, and regularly condemning all others to horrific torture for an eternity on some fiery pit, all for the ultimate crime of not believing in their loving god.
A whole chapter is dedicated to the subtitle “Information Kills Religion.” Education works. Most developed countries, in the West at least, are incomparably less religious than 500 years ago, prior to the first Enlightenment when the populace lived in fear of god’s retribution in every natural disaster, disease, or terrifying omen (such as a comet in the night sky). We made another huge leap to secularism in the last 50 years, dropping so many religion-based restrictive laws and advancing civil, gay and women’s rights beyond the stifling conservatism of the 50s. Now we have seen that suddenly accelerate again in the past 12 years with the unprecedented New Enlightenment advance. The rise of the “Nones,” the proliferation of secular authors and speakers, bloggers, podcasters, video bloggers, and the constant questioning, even ridicule of religion all across the internet and all media: newspapers, TV, Facebook, books, magazines, Twitter, YouTube, is a new and formidable development in secular thought and behavior. We are making a real dent in the grip religion has on our otherwise modern free-thinking and tolerant culture and we can do even more. This book is a call for turning up the volume of the attack on religion. We can hasten religion’s demise for the good of all. Dump religion, and we will move forward in reason and tolerance even faster.
You can purchase The Arrogance of Religious Thought at Amazon here.