I have little patience for promoters of secular causes who resort to religious appeals. I’m happy that you’re collecting pledges to stop breast cancer, but I don’t need a speech about how Jesus would have cured the Cancer-Sufferer if only the cave-people of his era had known what cancer was. It’s fine if you want to Save the Whales, but don’t use the Book of Jonah to convince me it’s an important cause. It’s great that you’re feeding the hungry, but do it because you want to help the hungry, not because Mohammed had a seizure 1200 years ago and hallucinated that some sky-man commanded it.
Avital Binshtock’s HuffPo piece on “Greening Your Spiritual Life” is a prime example of this kind of dreck:
Christians and Jews can refer, among other passages, to Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Buddhist Sutta Nipata instructs: “Within yourself let grow a boundless love for all creatures.” Hindus reading the Dakshinamurti Upanishad pray: “Let there be peace in my environment.” Muslims are instructed by the Qur’an (2:60): “Do not commit abuse on the earth.” The Wiccan Rede says, “Heed the flower, bush, and tree.” Atheists, many of whom revere Darwin’s writings, hold that humans should refrain from destroying the earth of their own accord.
Wait, what? “Revere Darwin’s writings?”
I’m sorry, I thought it said that atheists “revere Darwin’s writings.” What’s that? It does say that?
Just so we are clear, atheists do not “revere Darwin’s writings.” Most atheists have never even read Darwin’s writings. You could pull out a copy of On the Origin of Species, light it on fire, pee on it, and flush the charred ashes down a toilet, and no atheist would even blink an eye. (Unless the atheist in question owned the bookstore and you hadn’t yet paid for the copy.) I dare you to try the same with the Quran in front of Muslims.
Atheism, in case (like Avital Binshtock) you have no idea what it is, refers to the lack of belief in a god. It has nothing to do with Charles Darwin and nothing to do with “reverence” for any books, Darwin-authored or otherwise.
It is true that most atheists are familiar with Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection and sexual selection because they became the jumping-off point for all kinds of interesting scientific research that demonstrated how life could have evolved on earth, destroyed the teleological argument, and provided a sensible alternative to the panoply of ludicrous creation myths.
But a fundamental part of being an atheist is not having sacred texts. Anyone who “reveres” The Descent of Man in the same way that Christians revere the Bible or Wiccans revere the Rede (whatever the hell that is) is some kind of freaky “book-worshipper,” not an atheist.
What an insulting essay! Maybe if I go chop down an old-growth tree it will make me feel better.