When Atheism Becomes Religion

America's New Fundamentalists

    • 1.7 • 10 Ratings
    • $11.99
    • $11.99

Publisher Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes this timely and compelling work about new atheists: those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there are two radical, polarized and dangerous sides to the debate on faith and religion in America: the fundamentalists who see religious faith as their prerogative, and the new atheists who brand all religious belief as irrational and dangerous. Both sides use faith to promote a radical agenda, while the religious majority, those with a commitment to tolerance and compassion as well as to their faith, are caught in the middle.

The new atheists, led by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, do not make moral arguments about religion. Rather, they have created a new form of fundamentalism that attempts to permeate society with ideas about our own moral superiority and the omnipotence of human reason.

I Don't Believe in Atheists critiques the radical mindset that rages against religion and faith. Hedges identifies the pillars of the new atheist belief system, revealing that the stringent rules and rigid traditions in place are as strict as those of any religious practice.

Hedges claims that those who have placed blind faith in the morally neutral disciplines of reason and science create idols in their own image -- a sin for either side of the spectrum. He makes an impassioned, intelligent case against religious and secular fundamentalism, which seeks to divide the world into those worthy of moral and intellectual consideration and those who should be condemned, silenced and eradicated. Hedges shatters the new atheists' assault against religion in America, and in doing so, makes way for new, moderate voices to join the debate. This is a book that must be read to understand the state of the battle about faith.

Religion & Spirituality
March 10
Free Press

Customer Reviews

The Godless ,

Atheism can't be considered religion.

This books premise is built upon nothing but a straw man argument. The author has simply set a false view of atheism so that he can then tear it down. It is an outlandish allegation to claim that atheism is a religion, as atheism does not have any of the hallmarks of religion. The fact remains that atheism has no mandatory participation for the fear of eternal banishment, it contains no beliefs of it's own, and it's proponents are all of different social and political persuasions. It is easy to link the common values of atheism's so called Four Horseman, however many atheists have differing opinions about religion, faith, science, and politics. The very definition of atheism removes it from ever being a religion, as atheism simply means to lack a belief in any deities. Atheism may be becoming more organized, but this is only in response to the common lack of belief and the need to ensure that religious belief is not forced upon others.

RiptideRunner ,

Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color

Enough said


New Atheism is bad and this book is pretty good

This book is a pretty good critique of the “New Atheists” and their intellectually flaccid utopian delusions.

As a religiously informed intellectual Hedges is well situated to extract the most insidious hypocrisies from the New Atheist framework and lay them bare.

Could be a little shorter and has a tendency to repetitively compare the New Atheists with other historical dogmas with tenuous depth. Regularly invoking the horrors of Stalinism and Nazism as a singular same is both a frustrating conflation and comes of as ham fisted.

Where the analysis shines is where Hedges explicated the clear and ironic parallels between New Atheism and the Evangelical Christians of Hedge’s “American Fascists.”

Worth the read.

More Books by Chris Hedges