Maybe you’ve seen the recent news stories about atheist billboards (“Don’t believe in God? Join the club.” or “Millions are good without God.” etc.) The following excerpt from a forthcoming book by Darrow Miller sheds some needed light on the effects of atheism on a society.
Twenty years ago communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe collapsed because its atheism did not comport with truth or reality. Man is not an animal or a machine. Today, atheism is hastening the death of the West. An atheistic foundation will not sustain life or freedom.
Many in the West live on borrowed capital from the Biblical worldview. Atheist and secularist academics—the intellectual elites—want to enjoy the blessings from Judeo-Christian roots. Yet they despise the tree and hack at its roots, seeking to overthrow the Biblical moral and metaphysical order.
Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) was born into a British Marxist family and became a journalist, author, satirist, and communist, before ultimately converting to Christianity. One of his most influential experiences came when he traveled to Russia in 1932 and witnessed firsthand Stalin’s planned famine of 1932-1933 that killed perhaps ten million Ukrainians.
This atrocity staggered Muggeridge, but the final blow to his idealistic belief in communism came when Western liberals converged on Russia and, in the face of such horror, championed this atheistic state. His book, The Great Liberal Death Wish, articulates his analysis.
On a basis of liberal-humanism, there is no creature in the universe greater than man, and the future of the human race rests only with human beings themselves, which leads infallibly to some sort of suicidal situation. … The thing that touched off my awareness of the great liberal death wish, my sense that western man was, as it were, sleep-walking into his own ruin, was the extraordinary performance of the liberal intelligentsia, who, in those days, flocked to Moscow like pilgrims to Mecca. And they were one and all utterly delighted and excited by what they saw there.
Muggeridge describes Western clergy admiring the anti-god museum, politicians from free nations proclaiming that there was never a more just and free political system, Western attorneys testifying to the impartial justice of the Soviet Union, Western businessmen speaking of the superiority of the Soviet economy. Muggeridge recognized all this as lies. He wondered how such paragons of Western liberals could promote such distortions. He concludes:
It was from that moment that I began to get the feeling that a liberal view of life was not what I’d supposed it to be—a creative movement which would shape the future—but rather a sort of death wish.
The final conclusion would seem to be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions and providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down. And, having convinced himself that he is too numerous, labors with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer, until at last, having educated himself into imbecility and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keels over, a weary, battered old brontosaurus, and becomes extinct. (quoted in “The Days Have Come Down in the West,” Boston Catholic Journal)
Followers of Jesus Christ cannot idly watch the destruction of western culture. To the bleakness of such belief as Muggeridge exposed, we are to bring the message of the Him who came that men “might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
- excerpted from a forthcoming book by Darrow Miller