He's probably right, too.
First, Chuck Norris wrote:
America is facing a new religious horizon in which atheism is becoming a formidable foe. Though the majority of Americans continue to claim to be Christians, a Gallup poll discovered 45 percent of us would support an atheist for president. Such a survey is a clear indication that the secularization of society is alive and well.
It would probably be difficult to come up with a more unambiguous, unequivocal statement of anti-atheist bigotry and animus. Despite the fact that more people would refuse to vote for an otherwise qualified candidate for public office solely due to their atheism than due to any other characteristic, Chuck Norris believes that those numbers aren't high enough. Chuck Norris expresses here the idea that there is something contradictory about being a Christian and voting for an atheist — apparently real Christians are too bigoted to vote for atheists. The minority of Americans who would be willing to vote for an atheist cannot be genuine Christians.
Imagine if Chuck Norris had instead expressed disbelief that real Christians would vote for a Jew, a Catholic, or any non-evangelical, non-fundamentalist, non-Protestant Christian? The unabashed bigotry of such a position would be clear and unmistakable — I guarantee that you'd see at least some reporting of this in the mainstream media (though probably not enough). Because Chuck Norris is denying that atheists are fit for public office, though, there's just no story here.
Though the U.S. Constitution outlaws religious discrimination, these organizations and individuals would love nothing more than to help society look with distain upon Christianity and, ultimately, make its components illegal. In fact, right now, they are coalescing and rallying at least 5 million of their troops to mount counter offensives to Christianity.
For that reason I believe theistic patriots need to be wise to atheists' overt and covert schemes, exposing their agenda and fighting to lay waste to their plans. For these liberal groups to win the war of ideological dominance, they know they must minimize the effects of Christianity, which many are doing (unbeknownst to others) behind the scenes through lobbying and legislation.
A primary theme here is, obviously, the claim that atheists are trying to make Christianity "illegal." That this entire notion is beyond ludicrous is demonstrated ably by Zachary Moore through the terribly underhanded tactic of taking away the distracting rhetoric and distilling Norris' argument to its constituent parts:
- by causing a goof-up at the mint, resulting in "In God We Trust" being accidentally left off some new dollar coins.
- by joining the Freedom From Religion Foundation and ensuring that the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution is correctly applied.
- by discovering the existence of a nonbelieving Congressman.
- by forcing Congress to pass a hate-crime bill.
- by daring to raise them without religion.
- by offering a non-religious summer camp for freethinking kids.
- by providing an online forum to allow teenagers to question faith.
- by offering unholy Richard Dawkins link buttons for MySpace pages.
- by purchasing Richard Dawkins' "atheist bible."
- by allowing Sam Harris to write letters.
- by ignoring the science that proves God.
To give Chuck Norris at least some credit, he is right to notice that the effects of traditional, orthodox Christianity are being minimized — but that's as close as he manages to come to a legitimate and accurate point. Unfortunately, he fails to understand the reality of America's past and history by attributing this development to evil atheists.
I'm sure many of us might like to take credit for this, but we can't. The effects of Christianity are being minimized becauase in an increasingly secular culture, more and more people are finding out for themselves that they just don’t need traditional, orthodox religion in order to enjoy life. The more people who notice this, the more secular the culture can become. This is why traditional religion has declined so much — even though many people remain religious theists, they abandon orthodox doctrines to a large extend. Secular atheism, of course, benefits as well but the changes go well beyond that.
In a sequel, Chuck Norris writes:
While you think your kids are innocently surfing the Web, secular progressives are intentionally preying on their innocence and naïveté. What's preposterous is that atheists are now advertising and soliciting on websites particularly created for teens.
Oh my, atheists are telling young people about what atheism is, who atheists are, and that there is not only nothing wrong with atheism but may, in fact, be a more reasonable position than any religious theism. Horrors! You won't find Chuck Norris complaining about religious groups aiming advertising at young people — so clearly, it's not advertising per se that he objects to. No, it's just atheism being advertised that he objects to.
Moreover, there isn't anything specific in atheist messages that he says is objectionable — you won't find Chuck Norris singling out particular messages and phrases which he can explain are inappropriate. It's just atheist advertising in general that's got him so worked up. This fits in quite well with the thesis that what bothers Christians like Chuck Norris is the prospect of atheism being viewed by very many people as unobjectionable and perhaps even positive in and of itself.
Americans for "Truth," headed by Peter LaBarbera, declares in response to Norris' article that "Of all the evils that are marketed to young people, none is more sinister than the marketing of atheism" I don't for a minute imagine that LaBarbera was ever a friend to atheists, but I share this to demonstrate the effects that bigoted articles like Norris' can have. Atheism is being treated by some as worse than pornography, drugs, violence, etc. and Chuck Norris is actively encouraging this demonization of atheists.
Presenting atheism as scientific fact might be secularists' greatest plan and others point of greatest gullibility, in hope of winning the battle for the ultimate view of reality. ...So what credentials does a man like Dawkins have to discuss the presence or absence of God? Answer: He's "a scientist."
Although Chuck Norris doesn’t come right out and say it, I think he's trying to hint at the tired old argument that "God" is outside the realm of scientific observation, testing, and knowledge. Lots of religious theists rely on some form of this argument in order to deflect secular or scientific challenges to their beliefs, but it's more common to see this from liberal rather than conservative believers.
Why? Because liberal believers are so often engaged in attempts to eliminate clear, empirical claims from their religion and retreat to vague, insubstantial metaphors. Conservative believers recognize that their religion cannot exist in any meaningful or relevant sense if it is so disconnected from everyday reality that it makes no testable, observable claims. Once such claims exist, though, that religion moves into the realm of science.
So, does Chuck Norris recognize the trap he's setting for himself here? If he sticks with the above line of reasoning, he'll be forced to join liberal believers in arguing that his religion is a load of metaphors that are beyond scientific testing. If, however, he attempts to retain religious beliefs which impact the world around us, then he will be forced to admit that scientists will end up having something relevant and important to say.
Then again, maybe he's just never given any of this any serious thought. What do you suppose the chances of that are?
Dawkins condemns Christians for being narrow minded and non-adaptive to other cultures which believed in Thor or Zeus, yet he is unwavering in disrespecting any other creation authority except Western science. What about the wisdom of African, Middle-Eastern or Far-Eastern sages, shamans, or religious figures? Just because science can explain many things in the natural realm, does that mean it owns the corner market on metaphysics and God?
Science, by virtue of its methodology, owns the corner market on helping us determine what is and is not true about our shared physical reality. Insofar as any of the claims by "religious figures" have implications for our physical reality, science owns the corner market on determining whether those implications hold true — and, therefore, whether the original claims are likely true or not.
Insofar as any metaphysical or theistic claims have no implications for our shared, physical reality, then natural science can't have much to say on the matter and certainly doesn't own the corner market on determining whether they are true or not. Then again, when it comes to such claims, it's impossible to determine what the difference is between their being true and their being false. If there is no difference, then the claims simply have no substance or relevance. If religious theists like Chuck Norris wish to reduce their religious beliefs to such a level, they are more than welcome.