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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-… 
22nd-Aug-2012 06:15 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-atheist-leader.html

Because they started out as fervent Christians, unlike Dawkins and Hitchens and company, Phelps and DeWitt are seen as heroes within the movement. They tend to live and work in the country’s most Bible-soaked places. “I think what’s happening is that nontheists are realizing we can’t just leave this cause to Ivy Leaguers and intellectuals,” DeWitt told me. “We’ve got to convey the secular worldview in a more emotional way.”

At the same time, DeWitt is something of a reality check for many atheists, whose principles rarely cost them more than the price of “The God Delusion” in paperback. DeWitt refuses to leave DeRidder, a place where religion, politics and family pride are indivisible. Six months after he was “outed” as an atheist he lost his job and his wife — both, he says, as a direct consequence. Only a handful of his 100-plus relatives from DeRidder still speak to him. When I visited him, in late June, his house was in foreclosure, and he was contemplating moving into his 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser. This is the kind of environment where godlessness remains a real struggle and raises questions that could ramify across the rest of the country. Is the “new atheism” part of a much broader secularizing trend, like the one that started emptying out the churches in European towns and villages a century ago? Or is it just a ticket out of town?
Comments 
23rd-Aug-2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
What I personally don't care for in the movement is the fact that atheism seems to be a religion in itself; it has beliefs to fall back on just like a religion. They use atheism as crutch, which allows them not to use reasoning skills, just like many accuse religion of doing.The fact that many of them cite 9/11 as their reason for becoming atheist shows how little they know about the 9/11, religion or Islam. . .I don't believe it was Al Qaeda that instigated 9/11, I believe there were a number of people financially profiting from it, and there's too little evidence to claim that even Osama Bin Laden had anything to do with it. Even if they had something to do with it, there's always religious fundamentalists who do unintelligent things. It's their small brains doing that, not the religion.

As for religion and Islam, what I've really liked about Saudi Arabia after living here for the past 2 months is the people and their love for their religion. They of course see the corruption and how governments use religion to try to control the masses, but they don't let that deter them from their love for their religion. They don't abandon it, because someone misused it for their own personal reasons. . .

Not being a religious person myself, I don't criticize people for not being religious, but I wish many of these so called 'atheists' would wake up and realize some of the issues and redundancies in their 'conversion' to atheism.
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