There is a new secular religion that is infecting the country and it is called critical race theory. This ideology has been brewing in college campuses and fringe groups for decades. It was not that long ago I watched it infecting a new minority group that was finally starting to make progress with the Intellectual Dark Web and the Four Horsemen. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett sparked a curiosity into secular beliefs that indirectly resulted in YouTube channels and podcasts related to the subject. As a recovering Catholic who married into the Methodist church, became a Buddhist and later didn’t know what the hell I was, I too became curious of the forbidden belief of no god. The more I read and learned the more things began to make sense. The reoccurring question that atheist had to argue against was the subject of morality. While answers were given the question never went away and I think, although I don’t know for sure, this may have been the downfall of the atheist movement. We don’t hear much from the four horsemen these days. Hitchens is dead. Dawkins is usually putting his foot in his mouth. Sam Harris has a hit podcast but it is so long winded I don’t know who is listening unless they prefer not to listen to anything else.
During my time as an atheist, I listened to a weekly podcast called Atheist Airwaves, the show is still available, but a hurricane in Texas put an end to the show. As I listened to the show and became swept up in the hosts and their lives, I started to learn that there was more going on than the idea of “a life without god.” During one show a host named Jay was arguing that women can’t just sleep with anyone. Life has consequences and every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I agreed and added in the comment section “Just don’t fuck assholes. It’s not hard.” For two days I received emails, messages, and comments on the video about: women’s rights, victim blaming, feminism, a woman’s right to choose, etc. To make the harassment stop I finally said, “women can sleep with whoever they want.” This topic, the subject we were discussing had nothing to do with atheism but the host argued that the ideology supported “progressive ideas.” Before is knew it had happened, the ideology that had been based on science and intellectual thought was now being taken over by wokeism, but that term did not exist at the time. Looking back, it makes sense, the lead host, Christian Ferris, worked at a university and was also a recovering Catholic. The term social justice warrior was starting to make the rounds and everyone online was hitting the keyboards trying to make a difference by spreading insults, doxing, harassing, and working at having people fired for grievances as small at using the wrong pronoun. Then wokeism came for the podcast.
A guest was invited to the show and via Facebook a small but vocal campaign was started to keep the guest from being on, and if they were allowed to speak threats were made that the show was be ruined. The main culprit was some third-rate atheist activist who claimed to be a veteran, bisexual, celebrity with a girlfriend sporting the name of some supermarket fruit. I can’t recall if it was Kiwi, coconut, mango, or banana. Somewhere along the list it will show up but frankly I don’t care to remember. For hours threats were made and I joined in the campaign of punching keys and following the attackers back to their Facebook pages where they were plotting how to dox, start a smear campaign, and start calling places to have people fired. Then I appeared in the chat “hey fuckface!” Clearly these people didn’t know how to keep their pages private and for the next three hours we exchanged insults. I took screen shots of their conversations. Photos were sent to me of the celebrity’s ass. In the end he blocked me and the podcast never heard from him again. Through all of this I learn an important lesson. Atheism is just another religion like anything else. I thought there was one fundamental belief, there is no god. Instead, I watched people fight and bicker about the most minute things. Friendships were destroyed. Marriages ruined with the introduction of polyamory and other deviant behavior. Watching the atheist was like seeing a libertarian community try to figure out the rules to their new utopia. The buildings crumble and the pipes leak. The grass doesn’t grow from the motor oil being dumped on the lawn. The river catches fire and you can’t leave because somebody else owns all the roads. What could have been a good idea, a community to enjoy and relax with turned into a screaming match of ideology that rivaled the BLM protestors of today. Science quickly stopped being the measurement of thought and ideas and it was quickly replaced with feelings and primal needs. What should have evolved mankind to another level instead de-evolved people into primal apes fighting to become the next alpha to claim all the women.
I stopped listening to Atheist Airwaves when I got a new job. A year later I looked it up on a day off and found that the show no longer existed. People moved, got divorced, or continued to clean up beaches to try to make the world a better place. There was good that came out of the movement. Community clean up was a part of the local group in Corpus Christi. The more that the group explored atheist ideas the further it ventured away from the simple ideology, there is no god. Dr. Darrel Ray was a repeat guest on the show, a man who wrote about religion being a thought virus and later pushing polyamory and orgies at his house. It wasn’t uncommon for him to make sexual advances on co-hosts of the show. It did not take long for a sex cult to evolve from the atheist movement. It was going to happen like it does with any new religion and Dr. Darrel Ray was going to make sure he was going to get his fair share of the action.
Towards the end I found myself longing for the days of highly intellectual writes with their whiskey and cigarettes typing out their thoughts and changing the world one opinion piece at a time. As time continues on those voices become fewer in numbers, replaced with Adderall laced misfits that seek “likes” over intellectual credibility. Dawkins came and went, catching our attention with a few books and slowly losing credibility with each talk he gives. Sam Harris has a loyal following but his monotone nature is better equipped at putting people to sleep rather than convincing them of anything. Hitchens, the love child of Gore Vidal and William F, Buckley, sadly died early in what could have been a long and involved career rivaling his mentor Vidal. I doubt we will see another movement of this magnitude in the atheist community. As of 2021, atheist became the largest minority in the United States with churches now reporting their congregations at half of what they once were. While the community of non-believers is rising there is no longer a voice to carry it and I fear that it is being taken over by wokeism. If I had to guess, many of the ANTIFA people wearing black and hitting reporters with bike locks are likely atheists who don’t claim any religion but follow an ideology. You don’t have to do much to be an atheist, and maybe those activists in the early days were on to something when it came to creating an ideology to follow. Afterall if they had pushed the idea of non-violence as an atheist maybe the riots of 2020 wouldn’t have happened, but if there is any thing, I learned about atheists in 2015-2016 it’s that they will fight and argue about anything. As one wise man once said, trying to get atheist to follow anything is like trying to create an army of cats.