Summary: Looking at the margins of a political movement often reveals much about its core, as people on the extremes display traits the mainstream conceals. For example, Marxists show many unexamined values held by Liberals. Today FM website author Joe Bonham looks at atheist conservatives, a group in the larger conservative movement that shows interesting things about what might be the dominant political force in America today.
For centuries Christians have warned society about the threat of unbelievers, a narrative which continues today in the United States. Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly and other members of the Christian Right insist that an atheist is incapable of morals. Without a magic man in the sky threatening eternal damnation, a human being is not only unable to behave himself, but will be quickly seduced by an evil ideology, like Nazism. The underlying assumption is that man’s innate moral compass is not enough; a scripture written by prophets is the only way to ensure that the average citizen will remain within the confines of civilized behavior.
While most liberals and progressives scoff at this notion, the Religious Right has been proven at least partially correct in their prediction -– American atheists have become empty-souled and easily duped by a hateful ideology. Not on the Left, but within the ranks of the Right itself.
Any blanket statement of an entire group is problematic and to be avoided. So for the purposes of this analysis, the writings of one of the largest collections of Conservative secular thought will be used, the website “The Atheist Conservative”.
Perhaps the most extraordinary attribute of the Conservative atheist movement is the way they have unthinkingly accepted virtually every position held by the Christian Right. The viewpoints of these modern Conservative atheists contrast sharply with those of Ayn Rand, the most influential and perhaps only atheist of any significance in Conservative politics. Rand herself expressed contempt not just for religion, but the very idea of any moral constraints on human behavior at all