A reader just sneaked this comment into an old thread from an otherwise empty livejournal account. And people wonder why I turned away from the atheist camp with a shudder of disgust.

  Subject: Frightening


 Just re-read your introduction to The Night Lands: Eternal Love, and  inspired by your enthusiasm for the setting and SF in general and having  enjoyed your stories in that volume (I also purchased vol. 2 recently), I  looked you up on wikipedia and Amazon. As a staunch, card-carrying  atheist, I have to say I’m dismayed to discover that you’ve abandoned  reason for sloppy thinking and comforting delusion.Why otherwise  seemingly reasonable people (like yourself and C. S. Lewis–I was a fan  in my youth) retreat to this sort of nonsense in middle age is beyond me. 

I’m approaching 40 myself, and fervently hope I never become spiritually  cowardly enough to take refuge in such tripe. Not to put too fine a point  on it, but, “There for the grace of God go I.” Why people can’t just  accept that they have but one life to live is beyond me.

I think H. P.  Lovecraft put it best when he wrote,  “Oblivion is all the heaven I require… No wish unfulfilled.”

 Amen, and BTW I won’t be purchasing any of the books of yours I tracked  down on Amazon. Wouldn’t want to inadvertently pollute my mind with rubbish.

Can you imagine one grown up addressing another grown up in these terms? He says he is approaching 40 — I do not believe it. No matter how old his body is, in his intellect, he is a 14 year old. His assumption that he was wiser, a clearer thinker, and more educated than me or than C.S. Lewis did not seem to be supported by any evidence within the document itself.

Indeed, I read this whole thing as an embarrassing confession of abject intellectual cowardice. He does not want to read the books I wrote when I was an atheist because it might taint his virgin purity of mind. Not because the books might not be to his taste, not because he wishes no book buying dollars to go to enemy coffers (these are reasons no one can call ignoble) — but because he does not want to pollute his mind! Pollute it with thinking, I take it.

I called him a coward and left him a challenge to debate the fine points of theism and atheism both at the original post, and on his otherwise empty live journal. Perhaps this is not very Christian of me, perhaps I should turn the other cheek, but the atheist conceit that they are smarter than the rest of us needs to be deflated.

I have met reasonable atheists, that is, men who for sincere reasons, with no loss of intellectual honesty, do not believe in God, or in the supernatural. It is to their shame that highly-emotional and arrogant fools, men of inferior intellect who boast of their superior intellect, also march under the same banners. Anyone who can tell the difference between Carl Sagan and Christopher Hitchens knows what I am talking about.

We Christians have an unfair advantage. We are supposed to be fools in the eyes of the world. It pleases our God to reveal to the simple people the mysteries of the universe that intellectuals like me stumble and fumble at. He makes the wise foolish and the foolish wise. Should all my intellectual powers and all my reasoning turn out to be vain, what does that matter to my Christian life? Saint Peter is not going to administer an IQ test at the Pearly Gates. If I meet an atheist smarter than I, the humility will be good for me.

But look on the other hand. The irrational atheist’s self-esteem, he of the Proud and Loud wing of the atheist party, is tied entirely into their self-image as our lofty intellectual superiors.  What does an honest atheist do if he is ever trounced in debate, or if he realizes Aquinas, or Augustine, or Kant, or Newton, or some other person who believed in God was actually smarter than him? If he refuses to admit that there are smart theists, he is no longer honest. If he admits it, his self-esteem has no grounds. The peevish and shallow arrogance of Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins is the result.

A rational atheist, of course, simply follows where the evidence leads, seeks truth for the sake of truth, and leaves his emotional baggage at the door. No one can predict the results of such a case: look at what happened to famous atheist writer Anthony Flew.