The "Lie" of Moral Atheism
Bill Wilson, a senior analyst with Daily Jot News, wrote recently about his frustration with the recent progress in this country of nontheists.
He seems particularly distressed by this quote by Lori Lippman Brown, the director of the Secular Coalition for America, who said:
We need to educate the public that people who don’t have a god belief can be good neighbors and friends and moral and ethical people.
Yes, that's right. The concept that atheists can be good people is just a little too much for Bill to bear. In response, he says:
But this is a problem because atheists really cannot claim to be moral or ethical because morals and ethics have their roots in God’s law.
And there you have it. As proof, he offers the following:
A case in point example is found with the Director of the Michigan Atheists, Arlene-Marie, who strongly opposes putting any Bible curriculum in Michigan public schools, even as an elective. Arlene-Marie boldly claimed to the Detroit News that the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools’ curriculum had been found to be unconstitutional in four states. In reality, the Council’s curriculum “The Bible In History and Literature”, which uses the Bible as the student textbook and provides a 300-page Teacher’s Guide, meets all Constitutional guidelines and never has been legally challenged anywhere. It is taught as an elective in 377 school districts in 37 states, including Michigan . When atheist Arlene Marie was confronted with her lie by the Detroit News, she said, “I misspoke. I should have been more careful.”
I guess that's the ultimate proof of atheist immorality. Some atheist lied about something, and so atheism is immoral. I'll deal with that in a second, but first let's check something- did Ms. Marie really lie?
In actuality, the National Council on Bible Curriculum hasn't technically been challenged itself, but school districts which have adopted it (such as the Lee County School Board in Florida) have been legally challenged on constitutional grounds. The curriculum has also been rejected in cities in Texas, Michigan, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Illinois. Although the unconstitutionality of such a curriculum would be enough to prompt a rejection, the quality of the course itself is notoriously awful. Even Mark Chancey, a professor of religious studies here in Dallas at Southern Methodist University studied it for seven weeks to find it riddled with errors, including supposed information from NASA that supports the idea that the earth stopped twice in its orbit (which can eaily be debunked on Snopes), and cites Carl Baugh as a scientific authority.
So, it really seems more like Ms. Marie could easily have been thinking about the many states which have rejected the curriculum due to its unconstitutionality and poor quality, as well as the legal challenges against school districts who have adopted it. When you consider that, it really does seem to... you know, it really does seem like she misspoke. Who'd have thought?
But I find Wilson's argument interesting. If an atheist lies, it's because atheism is immoral. Well, okay. So that must mean that if a Christian lies, it's because Christianity is immoral. And do I really need to list any examples of Christians caught in very-obvious-no-chance-in-hell-they-misspoke lies? Probably not.