The so-called New Atheists do not just reject any belief in the existence of God; they have declared war on Him. Richard Dawkins has proclaimed to all the world that Yahweh is a tyrant to end all tyrants: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
There is not much left in the thesaurus after that effort. Christopher Hitchens was scarcely more restrained, and wrote of “The Nightmare of the Old Testament”. Dawkins, Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the rest of the crusaders all become very indignant over the notion that morality requires a religious basis. Dawkins even said that Darwinism explains human kindness, generosity, and goodness.
Darwinism – in terms of Herbert Spencer’s survival of the fittest – certainly explains Dawkins’ assertion made in August 2014 that it is immoral not to abort a child with Down Syndrome. For some not altogether clear reason he drew the line at saying the same thing about a child with autism.
Dawkins and his ilk seem not to know that it is the God of the Old Testament who tells His people to love their neighbour as themselves (Lev.19:18), not to curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind (Lev.19:14), and to look after the stranger, the widow and the orphan (Ex.22:21-24; Deut.24:17- 22). Before the onslaught of modern versions of bureaucratic benevolence, God had declared Himself to be the one who watches over the sojourners, and upholds the widow and the fatherless (Ps.146:9). The Ten Commandments constitute a charter of liberty and decency, and those who replace it with slogans like “Liberty, equality, and fraternity” have been adept at achieving
the opposite of what they declare.
The quest for perfection without God’s revelation of what this means and without the counterbalancing warnings about human sinfulness has led to moral darkness being promulgated as light, and light as darkness. Dietrich Bonhoeffer had good cause to lament that “the vilest contempt for mankind goes about its sinister business with the holiest protestations of devotion to the human cause”. The moral monsters turn out to be the very ones who despise the God who made them and who shall judge them.