Ed West:

Back in the 2000s New Atheists used to have a good old laugh at Christians, fighting and killing over the minutiae of doctrine. And then many of those same people evolved into social justice activists, and are now having their own tortured theological debates about the meaning of ‘woman’. In contrast to the bravery with which people attack sacred doctrine and dogma from centuries past, they find themselves powerless when it is staring them in the face.

I chortled, I did. If I may be so immodest as to quote myself:

The tragedies and dilemmas we encounter, individually and collectively, are not necessarily errors which can be fixed with more knowledge. Increased knowledge will only be used in service to the same old unenlightened desires, possibly even creating new dilemmas in the process. And even when we know how little we know, we find a way to convince ourselves that we’ve learned our lesson and become smarter for the experience.

Atheists are, it must be admitted, particularly prone to this. Despite their pretensions to rational objectivity, a disinterested observer might be forgiven for suspecting that atheists are just another group of tribesmen who slew a rival desert god and ate his brains, believing they were ingesting his powers of omniscience.

I see it was almost a decade ago that I wrote that. Despite a notable decline in my writing ability in the interval, I haven’t changed. I’m still an unbeliever; in fact, as the Official Atheists used to say before they caught the brain virus, we’re all unbelievers to some degree; I just happen to disbelieve in one more God than they do; namely the God of Social Justice, or RGHTSDFHSTRY, as the Book of Intersectionality calls him. But I digress. I didn’t call you all here to wrangle over theological disputes. No, this is a celebratory occasion! I raise my glass tonight to all my erstwhile progressive friends who used to treat my email address as a confessional booth, shamefully disclosing their heretical doubts over the revealed truth of transgenderism, even as they felt compelled to pretend in public that the real danger to the body politic came from rural theocrats in Indiana. As we watch Supreme Court nominees profess to be utterly stumped over the meaning of such abstruse legal concepts as “woman;” as we watch the various party commissars and commentators tie themselves in intellectual knots to justify this feigned ignorance while praying fervently that the gastric distress resulting from swallowing so many necessary lies doesn’t cause any thoughtcrime to squeak loose onto their permanent record like an inadvertently loud fart in public, we should remember, my friends, that these are indeed the best of times. In fact, I can’t even deny the evidence any longer. I can no longer in good conscience claim to be an unbeliever when it is abundantly clear that there is a trickster god who loves us and wants us all to be amused. I, for one, am quite amused.