RICHARD DAWKINS AND THE LAST CHURCH with special appearance by Christopher Hitchens revealing a natural religious tendency-a sense of the sacred


There’s a very interesting Warhammer story, called The Last Church, in which the Emperor
of Mankind visits the last remaining church on Earth to try and deconvert the last believer
and tear it down.
For anyone who hasn’t read or listened to the audio track of my epic The Politics of
Warhammer 40,000, you might not know that there is a theological contradiction at the
heart of 40k which gives the setting more depth than one might expect at first glance.
The Emperor of Mankind is some kind of Übermensch who is clearly simply superior to other humans
in both mind and body. He was also a militant new atheist who wanted to extirpate the concept
of religion from the galaxy. The irony of the setting, aside from the fact that in any
other universe the Emperor would have been regarded as some kind of demigod, is that
when mankind spreads out across the galaxy they do so under the rubric of the Imperial
Truth, which is an official creed set by the Emperor of atheism, rationalism and science.
However, it is discovered that there are, in fact, gods. Evil gods. Evil gods of chaos
that use magic to pervert and corrupt mankind, and these evil gods manage to bewitch Horus,
the Emperor’s favourite son, and cause half the Emperor’s legions to defect to chaos.
The ensuing civil war sees Horace slain by the Emperor himself, who is mortally wounded
King Arthur style, and then placed on a life support device called the Golden Throne.
The reason that this springs to mind is because recently Richard Dawkins, one of the famous
four horsemen of the New Atheist movement, was interviewed on a radio station called
LBC and admitted to being a cultural Christian.
This made some waves online, even though this wasn’t actually the first time Dawkins has
said as much.
However, one may remember that the New Atheists were very active in the late 1990s and early
2000s, vigorously debating Christians and doing whatever they were able in order to
impose the imperial truth on a society in which Christianity had already begun to slowly
It isn’t that the New Atheists killed Christianity, instead they spent a great deal of energy
beating a dying horse.
New Atheism itself fizzled out when it turned out that there was no great Christian dragon
left to slay, and out of its ashes rose the phoenix of social justice.
The New Atheists, with their dogmatic insistence on reason and science, cleared the path for
rational restructuring of society along gender, sex and racial lines, what we now call woke ideology.
After learning that Ramadan was being celebrated publicly in London, Dawkins expressed his horror
that a religion other than Christianity was being promoted in Britain, and explained his
affinity for the Christian religion which he describes as a fundamentally decent religion.
Well I must say I was slightly horrified to hear that Ramadan is being promoted instead.
I do think that we we are culturally a Christian country. I call myself a cultural Christian. I’m
not a believer, but there’s a distinction between being a believing Christian and being a cultural
Christian. And so, you know, I love hymns and Christmas carols and I sort of feel at home
in the Christian ethos. I feel that we are a Christian country in that sense. It’s true
that statistically the number of people who actually believe in Christianity is going down
and I’m happy with that, but I would not be happy if, for example, we lost all our cathedrals and
our beautiful parish churches. So I count myself a cultural Christian. I think it would matter
if we, certainly if we substituted any alternative religion, that would be truly dreadful.
Well, which brings me to my supplementary point, which is that, as we know, church attendance is
plummeting, but the building, the erection of mosques across Europe, I think 6,000 are
under construction and there are many more, I mean, are being planned. So do you think,
do you regard that as a problem? Do you think that matters?
Yes, I do really. I mean, I might have to choose my words carefully. I mean, if I had to choose
between Christianity and Islam, I choose Christianity every single time. I mean, it seems to me
to be a fundamentally decent religion, in a way that I think Islam is not.
I would also not be happy if we lost our beautiful cathedrals and parish churches to be converted
into mosques. But why is it that this is the dynamic that we are presented with? The answer
of course is a fundamental imbalance in belief. Muslims believe in Islam and believe it is
their duty to pay to have mosques constructed, and they actually take the time to attend
them. In Britain, at least, church attendance has never been lower, and we do not spend
the time and money on our religion in the same way because we don’t really have one
anymore. If a church cannot be maintained it will be sold, mostly converted into housing
but also converted into a mosque. What Dawkins is asking for is to have the consequences
of religion without the mechanism of it, to have the believers without the belief. Naturally
this contradiction cannot hold and without sincere belief there will be no believers.
believers. This fact seems to have become apparent in the years after the New Atheists,
where the consequences of killing Christianity are bearing their poisoned fruit. Social breakdown,
a failure of personal ethics, a lack of moral authority, the death of the desire to build
things which are beautiful, and the creation of a vacuum which foreign religions will happily
fill with their true believers. I wonder if Dawkins ever wonders if, in fact,
fact, he did the right thing. He may not believe that Christianity is true, whatever that is
supposed to mean when dealing with matters of faith, but perhaps the pleasant untruth
had virtues that were not immediately obvious, and killing off the ailing religion was perhaps
a mistake. Dawkins objected to the proliferation and
promotion of Islam across London, which he obviously abhors not just as an atheist but
as he said, as a cultural Christian. That is, as someone who grew up in the warm embrace
of a people maintained by this loving religion that provided him with the emotional security
he viciously attacked later in his life.
As he explained in the interview, Dawkins doesn’t feel the nostalgia for Islam that he feels
for Christianity. He references the pleasant cultural activities of hymns and carols which
made his civilisation feel homely and safe, kind and welcoming, and thinks that we should
continue these for the intrinsic good that they provide.
However, we can’t have belief without believers.
People don’t do these things for their own sake, they do them for the sake of something
external to the activity itself, and in the case of religion, something transcendent.
If one spends their life attacking the belief that underpins these practices, and eventually
succeeds in basically killing them off. It does seem rather… strange? To then lament
the death of the good things which they carried with them in their pleasant untruths. Surely
you must have expected to lose those as well as the beliefs, wouldn’t you?
Moreover it seems like a decidedly selfish thing to have done. In retrospect, Dawkins
grew up in a heavily Christian culture and inherited the benefits of such, which is why
he is nostalgic for Christian song and ceremony. They remind him of a better time.
An unfortunate consequence of his life’s work to discredit Christian teachings is to
encourage people to deprive future generations of the same opportunity to develop those feelings
towards their own civilisation.
There is a particular anecdote that Christopher Hitchens, a fellow horseman of the New Atheist
Apocalypse, told while riding in a car some years back, if he could convince the last
believer to deconvert from religion, he wouldn’t do it.
If I could convert everyone in the world, not convert, if I could convince to be a non-believer,
I’d really done brilliantly and there was only one left, one more, and then it’d be
done. There’ll be no more religion in the world. No more deism. I wouldn’t do it.”
And Dawkins said, what do you mean you wouldn’t do it? And I said, I don’t quite know why I
wouldn’t do it. And it’s not just because there would be nothing left to argue with and no one
left to argue with. It’s not just that. There would be that. Somehow, if I could drive it out
the world. I wouldn’t. And the incredulity with which you looked at me stays with me still.
Unlike the Emperor of Mankind, Hitchens might have felt that there was something
spiritually wrong with the death of a religion, some kind of irreversible loss,
and perhaps thought that there were some boundaries that for whatever reason
just shouldn’t be crossed, even for the dogmatic materialist.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, another member of the Church of New Atheism, in the early 2000s after escaping
Islam last year announced her conversion to Christianity for precisely the reason that
Dawkins is now lamenting its decline. She says, quote, I’ve come to realize that Bertrand
Russell and my atheist friends failed to see the wood for the trees. The wood is the civilization
built on the Judeo-Christian tradition. It is the story of the West, warts and all. Russell’s
critique of those contradictions in the Christian doctrine is serious, but it is also too narrow
in scope. To me though this feels slightly too consequentialist to be of any real use.
Ali explains that without religion she felt that her life had lost purpose and so to give
herself guidance and help bolster the West she has embraced Christianity, but can we
actually say that this is indicative of sincere belief? I’m afraid that I think it’s not,
– even if it’s a step in the right direction.
At the end of the Warhammer story of the Last Church, the Emperor doesn’t feel any kind
of Hitchin-esque moment of hesitation, or suffer a pang of regret. He brings out the
Last Priest as the church is burned down. Watching the flames engulf the last religion
of the human race, the priest, with tears in his eyes, throws himself on the pyre.
If you’re wondering, I am myself still an atheist, but maybe somewhat regretfully.
I think that any religious profession should be underpinned by a sincere conviction and
not a utilitarian calculus.
I am not a Christian, but I am a supporter of Christianity, which is why we host Calvin
Robinson’s Common Sense Crusade on Lotus

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I always disliked the superior tone of this atheist skeptic Sargon who can only do monologues. Reeking of narcissicism parading his elegant diction, like all atheists, I considered him wrong about much stuff. Though seeing the writing on the wall, to remain relevant, he has teemed up with a priest. But Sargon does here reveal a side of Christopher Hitchins we never knew. Suggesting he too was never serious about his anti-God polemics. Though he was the most quarrelsome of all the atheist skeptics.

Christopher Hitchins had a brother. Both grew up to be Trotskyists. The other brother evolved into a Christian journalist and Christopher evolved into a Militant atheist writing books and doing tours and lectures and died of cancer way too early to miss the End Times happening right now.

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