It was sad, though not surprising, when right-wing Christians tried to blame the shootings in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik on Muslims, even though Breivik is an anti-Muslim Christian. It's a bit more of a surprise to find someone trying to blame secular atheists for the shootings -- at least until you learn that it's Chris Hedges saying it.
Then it's no so surprising because it doesn't seem as though there is any calumny against atheists that is too extreme, too false, or too immoral for Chris Hedges to commit
Chris Hedges writes at Truth (sic) Dig:
The gravest threat we face from terrorism, as the killings in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik underscore, comes not from the Islamic world but the radical Christian right and the secular fundamentalists who propagate the bigoted, hateful caricatures of observant Muslims and those defined as our internal enemies. The caricature and fear are spread as diligently by the Christian right as they are by atheists such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.
Our religious and secular fundamentalists all peddle the same racist filth and intolerance that infected Breivik. This filth has poisoned and degraded our civil discourse. The looming economic and environmental collapse will provide sparks and tinder to transform this coarse language of fundamentalist hatred into, I fear, the murderous rampages experienced by Norway. I worry more about the Anders Breiviks than the Mohammed Attas.
Yeah, I don't suppose that there is any threat we face from immoral purveyors of lies about other groups. You know, the hate mongers who calmly spread lies about other groups in order to encourage hate and suspicion of them even though there is no basis whatsoever for any of their charges or claims.
By the way, Hedges, where are the examples of "racist filth and intolerance" from "New Atheists" which "infected Breivik"? Got any examples at all? No? I didn't think so -- you never have concrete examples to substantiate any of your charges against atheists.
That is what I call "filth". You, Chris Hedges, are guilty of doing to atheist exactly what you accuse atheists of doing to Muslims. It's also disturbingly similar to what anti-Semites have done to Jews for centuries. Can we expect some sort of blood libel from you against atheists any time soon? Or did I just spoil the surprise plot of your next book?
Granted, your words lack the racial component of these other things, but it's still little more than vile, evil hate mongering -- and it's hate mongering in an atmosphere where there are many Christians who are open and unapologetic about their desire to kill atheists. Yes, there are Christians out there who want to see atheists killed and you, Chris Hedges, are feeding them all sorts of fuel to keep their violent hatred going.
If America experiences an anti-atheist Breivik and the killer cites your work as part of their inspiration, Chris Hedges, what would you do? Would you acknowledge your errors and the extent to which you personally have fomented hate and violence against people you don't know, people who have not harmed you, and people who have done nothing wrong but disagree with religious theism?
I doubt it. Such a reaction would require far more moral character and self-reflection than I've ever seen you demonstrate.