Baptizing a 'Lonely Atheist'

May 2001

There are two basic approaches to the unbeliever nowadays: You can seek to convert him. For support for this approach, read the New Testament, just about any page. The other approach is to say that the unbeliever is really like the believer, but just doesn't know it. For support for this approach, read Eugene Kennedy in the National Catholic Reporter (Feb. 9).

Kennedy, a professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago, discusses a recent article by science writer Natalie Angier in The New York Times Magazine entitled "Confessions of a Lonely Atheist." Kennedy just can't let Angier be the atheist she publicly professes herself to be. Not that he tries to convert her. Oh no. Rather he unilaterally Christianizes (or Judaizes) her by claiming that "what she likes about non-religion is what religion is really like." Kennedy doesn't exactly tell us "what she likes about non-religion," but he does cite her non-religious worldview. Kennedy quotes her: "I don't believe in God, gods, godlets...any miracles but the miracle of life and consciousness.... The world...was shaped by the again miraculous, let's even say transcendent, hand of evolution through natural selection." Well, yes, this Angier woman is an atheist.

But no, no, says Kennedy, for she's onto what "religion is really like," for she "implicitly describes the universe as a sacrament...."

Oh? A sacrament of what ?


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New Oxford Notes: May 2001

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