What does this have to do with today’s world? Everything. I love to listen to the “New Atheists” (I put it in quotes because they haven’t given any new or good arguments for atheism, they just repackage the old ones in a dumbed down way), and in particular, Richard Dawkins. If you haven’t seen his call to militant atheism and want to give your heart a shudder, prepare yourself.
The world he envisions is completely elitist; a world in which you are judged by what you have contributed to society (specifically scientifically because that’s the only thing worthwhile in his mind) and if you don’t believe in what he and other atheist scientists tell you is the right way to think, you’re a threat to everyone.
See the problem with Richard Dawkins’ vision is that he thinks that once it is achieved, we’ve arrived, it is the be-all to end-all and it can’t possibly be improved upon. It is stuck in the rigid orthodoxy of atheism that must use science to prove itself rather than dig deeper into the truth.
Luckily we have the Catholic Church to stand out as a sign to confound and dumbfound the Richard Dawkins worldview. The Church holds up as our savior a crucified man who loved us so much that He went on to that cross willingly. We have a commission from Him to do the same in the way we live our lives. We identify with the victim, the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the suffering, the dying, the weak, the sick, the forgotten, the imprisoned, the vulnerable, and the worthless according to this world. We don’t value people based off of what they contribute, but because of the fact that they are children of God, and because of that dignity, they demand our care. Because of this obligation that we have, we know that we must always improve upon ourselves, each and every day. The Church will never say (I hope anyway) that we’ve arrived, that we’re there and have nothing more to accomplish, because until we’re in heaven with God, there’s always something more we should be doing. The Church must always break out and accept the truth wherever it’s found, either spiritually or scientifically. It is during this period of Lent, beginning today, that we intensify this need to realize that “you came from dust, and to dust you shall return,” that we are not there, we haven’t arrived, and we must make a true effort to convert our hearts to God, who will show us how to become more perfect examples of His love to the world.
So chin up Catholics. Take joy in the cross of Christ and make it your own and the world will be beside itself, and Richard Dawkins won’t even know how to react to us.