Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Profiles in apostasy

Apostates come in different flavors.

i) There are apostates who keep quiet about their loss of faith. Losing their faith doesn’t become a new cause to live for.

ii) There are apostates who appreciate to some degree the emotional and moral cost of apostasy. Ruskin is a good example.

However, the apostates we generally run across nowadays don’t merely lose their faith. They do so with great fanfare. For them, losing their faith isn’t merely a negative act of deconversion, but a positive act of converting to something else.

This type of apostate exhibits classicc conversion syndrome. Converts tend to be generically zealous about their new-found cause, whether its Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hare Krishna, Veganism, environmentalism, &c.

Where apostates to atheism are concerned, they tend to fall into one of two camps:

iii) There are apostates who act as if atheism is a wonderful discovery, like finding the fountain of eternal youth. And they are eager to share their exciting, newfound faithlessness with others. They act as if they discovered something better than what they left behind. 

Of course, this is incongruous, for atheism, if true, would be a horrific discovery rather than a wonderful discovery. Why are apostates to atheism so oblivious? A couple of reasons:

a) They transfer their residual Christian idealism to atheism.

b) They are joining a new social network. Making new friends in the community of godlessness. It’s similar to infatuation. A high school crush. But after the initial thrill wears off, it may cool.

Apostates like this can become irate when those they witness to don’t reciprocate their enthusiasm for the sheer wonderfulness of sugarcoated nihilism. 

iv) Then you have apostates who are furious from the word “go.” They don’t become enraged when their missionary atheism falls on deaf ears. No, they are furious from the start.

They act like investigative reports who unearthed a cover-up, like a company dumping toxic waste into the water system. Their nostrils flare with holy indignation.

They also get really mad at you if you treat them like the monkeys that Darwinism says they are. Although they embrace Darwinism and excoriate creationism, they don’t really think of themselves as apes behind the eyes. They still act as if they should be treated just like creatures made in God’s image.

I think part of this is due to the intolerance of youth. Apostates are often twenty-something college students. They are very judgmental about the real or perceived foibles and failings of their elders. When, however, they have their own kids, when they find themselves in the same situation as their parents, they are apt to lower their standards. Funny how that happens. 

1 comment:

  1. Before this post slips off page one and into oblivion, I for one would like to applaud it.