There is so much in what he said to take issue with I hardly know where to start. I find it disturbing to know that he thinks it is his right and obligation to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of children in order to destroy religion. I am not happy to be reminded that this sort of atheist jihad is out there. However, rather than giving in to a visceral reaction to Krauss’s position, I believe it is best to think clearly about it.
Another problem with Mr. Krauss’s position is his assertion that the world will be better off without religion. Richard Haynes is also an atheist. He actually is a former pastor who left the Christian faith and now champions the atheist cause, but he makes it clear that he sees problems with Krauss’s idea. Part of his objection is that in his own life a church played a crucial role in helping him when he was a struggling young man who had been badly hurt by his own dysfunctional family. He asks, “What would the world look like if religion were to disappear within a generation? What will happen to kids stuck in the same hell I was in?” He goes on to say, “Perhaps we nontheists should take a break from basking in the glow of our superior intellects and apply our unfathomable skills of reason to determining how we will satisfy the needs the churches now fill.”
I’ve got bad news for Mr. Haynes and Mr. Krauss. They won’t be able to satisfy the needs the churches fill. The world would not be better without Christians. In fact it would be considerably worse. The evidence of history and current events gives ample evidence that this is true. Has anyone noticed that one of the great organizations dedicated to relieving suffering in this world is the Red Cross? Why that name? Oh, the cross represents the Christian faith, without which the organization would never have existed. That is a fact that can be multiplied in the cases of thousands of charitable acts and causes. The simple reality is that there is no end of good that has come from our faith, good that would not have happened without it. It is the grace of God that transforms lives and calls us to deny ourselves and serve others in the name of Christ. Without that grace there is little or no reason to sacrifice self in the service of others. And the world reflects this reality. In a world without religion the rule is going to be every man for himself. The law of the jungle will be the order of the day. How is that going to make this world a better place? I’m afraid Mr. Krauss is woefully wrong in his assertion.