The atheists are coming! The atheists are coming!

A certain man dressed in ostentatious white robes and plenty of bling is visiting the UK right now, and feels he should share some of the profound theological insights he has gained in the quiet, intellectually rarefied atmosphere of his enormous Italian mansion (also bling-adorned).

He has determined that atheism is equivalent to communist totalitarianism. Apparently, if enough people abandon the church (perhaps because it’s too soft on child abuse?), we will end up with another Stalin lording it over us. Too bad he misses the key points of western secularism, namely to challenge the dependence on authority so ingrained in both religious and communist settings. To think for oneself, rather than blindly follow commands. To recognize that all people are both fallible and beautiful at the same time, including the man in the white robes.

If the Catholic church were truly a place that allowed people to thrive in a modern, morally enlightened society, then people would see that, and the church would grow. In reality, though, the church is not growing: the people are voting with their feet. The warning against secularism issued by the robed man therefore comes across as the desperate Hail Mary pass (excuse the term) of someone who knows his institution is slowly dying. It’s up to him to change it, if he wants to save it.

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