I don’t mean that we Brights haven’t gotten good at picking off many an agnostic or so-what kind of Human. Of course we score big time with the young guys who aren’t responsible for anything, and don’t really care about anything besides spending most of their time in the basement playing video games and texting girls unsuccessfully and firing off the occasional crazy blog or e-mail in between making runs to the fridge for booze and Red Bull and leftover pizza. Those folks are easy enough pickings for Us, as You know. And don’t get me wrong — I’m not knocking them! It’s not like Our atheist ranks don’t depend on the loyalty of guys like that!
But getting serious people over to Our side, once the Loser’s Word is really planted inside them? Forget about it! Just look at some of the most annoying traitor convert cases from the 20th century alone. In Britain and just for starters, we have Evelyn Waugh, C.S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, Graham Greene, Edith Sitwell, Siegfried Sassoon, Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, T. S. Eliot, and J.R.R. Tolkien. And you know how big that last one got with the Rings trilogy! I’m telling you, these things hurt.
In fact, there are so many Brit converts from that era that they’re the subject of an entire book called Literary Converts: Spiritual Inspiration in an Age of Unbelief. It was written by — what else? — one Joseph Pearce, a Dull convert who claimed he was himself turned by another convert, or should I say in this case Uber-convert: G.K. Chesterton.
That’s one good example of how the religious insanity gets transmitted. For a few more, how about Mortimer Adler, Tony Blair, Clare Booth Luce, Kit Carson, Frederick Copleston, Dorothy Day, Elizabeth Fox Genovese, Antonia Fraser, Peter Geach, Rene Gerard, Alec Guinness, Frederick Hart, Gerard Manley Hopkins, E. Howard Hunt, Russell Kirk? And that’s just cherry-picking through “A-K” on Wikipedia for the names I think You all would recognize; there are plenty more out there that You might not.
Let’s focus for a minute on my own personal nominee for worst-case EVER traitor Dull of all time. That would be G.E.M. — the “E” is for “Elizabeth” which is a Female name, if You see where I’m going with this — Anscombe.
Have You ever heard that phrase, “having it all”? Apparently, nobody told her she couldn’t. Not only a Woman, but a mother; not only a mother, but a mother of seven; not only a Woman mother of seven but married; not only a Woman mother of seven and married but happily married (to another genius, logician Peter Geach); not all that but also a Professor; not only all that plus a Professor but also at Cambridge; not only all that, but typically described as the most significant female philosopher of the twentieth century — and a confidant of Ludwig Wittgenstein whose Philosophical Investigations are still read in her translation — and not to put too fine a point on it, she was ANOTHER backstabbing Christian traitor convert, C-O-N-V-E-R-T, from early on.
And she never, ever shut up about the Loser, either. Not even when times were bad for the Church, like in the 1960s, and she defended all the most unpopular Dull teachings. Not even when times were good, and she won acclaim for all kinds of things including some non-religious monograph called Intention which most eggheads call one of the most important works of analytic philosophy of its time. She didn’t even stop talking about the Loser when she kicked the bucket! Even her obituary read: “She was attended on her deathbed by four of her seven children, all of whom are practicing Catholics.” Talk about rubbing it in!
Do You Guys have any idea how much this Anscombe thing alone hurts us? My bad! I forgot, atheists don’t seem to know many women. But let’s pretend You did, and let’s say You were playing Our favorite Bright “brain game” with one of them — You know, the one that goes, “Come join us atheists, my little chickadee, because that’s where all the Scientists and brainiacs are!” Well, what do You do if someone up and asks something like, well what about the likes of Elizabeth Anscombe? Wouldn’t even some of You be just a LITTLE set back? I mean I’ve read Your books and I’ve read hers too, and it’s not like that comparison exactly proves that all the I.Q. points are in the Bright corner!
Okay, forget about G. E. M. Anscombe! I admit, I’m a little obsessed there. Even sketchy ex-boyfriend Lobo could see that. That’s part of why he gave me your books, You know; more on that episode in a later Letter. For now, let’s focus instead on the many other Humans who have made the same trip to the Loser’s side like Anscombe did, and who also haven’t come back. I mean even after Darwin! After Ayn Rand! Even after Eddie Vedder went atheo, too!
I’m not making fun of our Bright celebrities of course. I just wish some of You wouldn’t make quite so much of them. It makes me nervous, because a lot of the names we atheists brag about just don’t measure up to the ones the Dulls can claim — like, way. Sometimes it feels like the believers are all getting to play Halo 3, while we atheists are still stuck on Mario Speedwagon.
And the convert cases just keep coming. In Washington DC alone during the past few years — yes, the past few years, exactly the time when this new atheism of Ours has been rolled out for discussion everywhere — any number of high-profile journalists and politicians have jumped ship for the Loser and taken the flak for it. And in more strategic bad news, we Brights lost an absolutely critical ally when Bernard Nathanson — formerly one of America’s chief abortionists and an actual founder of the fantabulous group NARAL, go, team! — went over to the Loser’s side. He said it was all because of the sonogram machine, can You believe such pathetic weakling word vomit?
Now why can’t we atheists snag somebody high profile like that? Maybe we should start a TV show called America’s Top Atheists, where the winners get to burn books by enemy religious converts! (How about Vox Day’s The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, for starters!) Do You think that might help?