David R. Carlin is a former Democratic state senator who was once a leading figure in Rhode Island politics. In his new book, Atheistic Humanism, the Democratic Party, and the Catholic Church, he explains that the “mind” of the Democratic Party has been converted to atheistic humanism, an ideology (or worldview) that is the deadly enemy of Catholicism. It is this ideology that has given America its present-day culture of sexual freedom, abortion, gay marriage, and transgenderism. More and more this atheistic ideology controls the chief propaganda organs of American culture, that is the entire Media-Education-Entertainment Complex, and of course the Democratic Party itself.
This excerpt from Atheistic Humanism, the Democratic Party, and the Catholic Church comes through the kind courtesy of Lectio Publishing.
When I had finished writing about ninety-nine percent of this book, I happened to be driving through my neighborhood one day (I was driving home following a periodic visit to my cardiologist) when I noticed a colorful cloth banner, rectangular in shape, hanging on somebody’s front porch. It said:
I slammed on my brakes in order that I might pause for a moment or two to admire the banner, which is a nearly perfect summary of the dangerous anti-Christianity mentality I am denouncing in this book, a mentality I call atheistic humanism. The person who made the banner is, I suppose, an atheistic humanist, and so, very probably, is the person who owns the porch in question.
If you know how to read the language of atheistic humanism, you will know how to interpret the many “pro” labels listed above.
- “Pro-BLM” means “the USA is a systemically racist society, ruled by white supremacists”
- “Pro-science” means “we don’t believe in the Bible or any other divine revelation”
- “Pro-choice” means “pro-abortion”
- “Pro-feminism” means “we deplore toxic masculinity”
- “Pro-LGBTQ” means “we endorse an immense variety of sexual perversions”
- “Pro-humanism” means “anti-Christianity and pro-atheism”
- “Pro-immigrant” means “pro-open borders”
Atheistic humanists are smart people, at least usually, and so when making propaganda they know how to clothe their dangerous ideas in harmless, often even attractive, words and slogans. And so, instead of saying, “Let’s mass-murder unborn babies,” they say, “Let’s defend a woman’s right to choose.” And instead of saying, “Almost all white Americans are racists,” they say, “Black lives matter.” Instead of saying, “The Bible is bull***t,” they say, “We believe in science.” And so on.
Great civilizations sometimes collapse. If we have any doubts about that, we can read Arnold Toynbee’s multivolume work, A Study of History; or another multivolume work, Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. In the second and third and fourth centuries AD, the old pagan civilization of the Greco-Roman world gradually but (as we now can see in retrospect) inevitably collapsed and was replaced by a new civilization based on Christianity.
It is possible that those of us living today are passing through a somewhat similar crisis of civilization, a crisis in which an old way of life is dying while a new is being born. If in those ancient days paganism, an old thing, was being replaced by a new thing, Christianity, so in our time Christianity, which is now an old thing, is perhaps being replaced something new, a worldview based on atheism. It is not easy for those living through one of these great transitions to know what is happening. Only after the transition is complete, only after the old thing has quite definitely passed away, can we be sure that it is truly dead and that it is therefore too late to save it. As the philosopher Hegel, meditating on the mysterious course of history, once said, “The Owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” So I’m not quite sure that our civilization is crumbling; perhaps we are simply going through a bad patch; maybe we’ll have to wait five hundred years before making a definitive judgment on that.
But something is happening, something momentous, whether we call it a bad patch or a collapse of our old civilization. Christianity is under severe attack by a great enemy, and it is this enemy—along with its political arm, the Democratic Party—that I plan to examine in this book. Although this attack is underway in many places, not just in the United States of America…
…But what is this new thing, this new thing that is a great enemy of Christianity? What should we call it? Many Christians, both Catholics and others, like to call it a new paganism, a neo-paganism. I think this is a great misnomer. The ancient paganism of the Roman-Greek world, quite unlike today’s anti-Christianity, was religious. All paganism is religious, paganism being the generic name for polytheistic religions. Ancient paganism certainly wasn’t religious in a Christian or monotheistic way, but without question it was religious. It had multitudes of gods, altars, rituals, and holy days. By contrast, this new thing, this candidate to replace Christianity, is not at all religious. Either it involves outright atheism, or it leans strongly in the direction of atheism. It is a decidedly secular or non-religious faith; more than non-religious, it is anti-religious; very specifically, it is anti-Christianity. At the same time, it is humanistic; or at least in its outwardly most attractive form it claims to be humanistic. A more or less accurate label for it would be secular humanism. A more accurate name still would be atheistic humanism—for atheism is the most thoroughgoing kind of anti-Christianity, and atheism lies at the core of this new and superficially benign faith.
There are various kinds of atheists. Some of them are beastly; they give vent to their basest, most animalistic impulses (think of violent criminals). Others are demonic; they love evil, not for the eventual good it may produce, but for its own sake (think of Nazis). The atheists I will be focusing on in this book are the (apparently) best kind, the humanistic kind. They are neither beastly nor demonic. They make an honest attempt to be human and humane. They even make an attempt (albeit a very unsuccessful attempt) to mimic what they imagine to be the ethic of Christianity. It is atheists of this kind—the “good” atheists, so to speak—that present the greatest danger to Christianity in general and to Catholicism in particular. I should point out, however, that once these “good” atheists are in command of society, the way will open for the entry of atheists of the beastly and demonic.
Ideological Structure of the Democratic Party
To understand today’s Democratic Party we must understand its ideological structure, and to understand this structure we have to see (a) who produces the party’s ruling beliefs and values, (b) who distributes these beliefs and values, and (c) who consumes them.
We may picture this structure as a pyramid. At the top of the pyramid are the producers, relatively small in number. Below them are the distributors, much larger in number. And at the base of the pyramid are the consumers, the enormous number of rank-and-file Democrats. The beliefs and values move downward, as with the force of gravity. They begin with the people at the top of the pyramid; they are eagerly seized upon by the people in the middle; and these middle people energetically pass these beliefs and values on to the party’s rank-and-file…
The producers of these strongly leftist beliefs and values are people who are commonly referred to as intellectuals, but who more correctly should be denominated as ideologues. “Intellectual” is a very broad category; it can refer to any highly educated person who has a lively and continuing interest in some field of thought. For instance, a Shakespeare scholar would be an intellectual, and so would a physicist, and so would a professor of constitutional law. But not all intellectuals are ideologues; in fact most of them are not. An “ideologue” is a sub-category of intellectual. He (or she) is an “activist” intellectual; an intellectual who is promoting a political agenda; an intellectual whose commitment to a more or less revolutionary outcome shapes his (or her) perception of political reality. The pure intellectual studies reality to see what conclusions ought to be drawn. The ideologue already “knows” the conclusions prior to beginning the study; he then shapes the evidence to fit his a priori conclusions.
The producers of the beliefs and values of the Democratic Party are ideologues, leftist ideologues—progressives they like to call themselves. They have a kind of ideal society in mind, and they believe that the Democratic Party is the political vehicle that can, if guided correctly—which is to say, if guided by themselves—contribute greatly to bringing this ideal society about.
Only rarely are these ideologues elected officials. Far more often they are professors at colleges and universities, including law schools; and these are often America’s very best colleges and universities and law schools. They can also be found in significant numbers at leftist “think tanks.” On some occasions they are journalists. Or they are writers of political or historical or sociological books (this last category largely overlapping with the earlier categories).
The distributors of these beliefs and values are persons who may be described as “passive ideologues” in contrast to the “active ideologues” just described. That is to say, they don’t create the leftist beliefs and values they adhere to, but they receive them with enthusiasm. These are the people who dominate what may be called the “command posts” of American popular culture—or what may alternatively be called America’s “propaganda industry.” I have in mind the leftists who dominate such fields as journalism (both electronic and print), the entertainment industry (Hollywood, TV, popular music, etc.), and our colleges and universities. It is also common for public school administrators to be distributors of these beliefs and values, less common (though far from unknown) for classroom teachers to be so. Minsters of liberal churches and theologian-professors at liberal seminaries are also distributors. Finally, we must count the great majority of Democratic elected officials, from local town councils up the President of the United States, as distributors—along with the political activists who help these officials get elected.
Some of these distributors are more enthusiastic in their leftism than others. Those who are very enthusiastic—an enthusiasm that sometimes, especially among young persons, verges on fanaticism—call themselves progressives, while the more temperate leftists prefer to call themselves liberals. Whether progressive or liberal, however, they take their beliefs and values from “above” and pass them along to the common people “below.” They are like missionaries, spreading a gospel they deeply believe in even though they didn’t invent it.
The producers and distributors of these leftist beliefs and values are of course also consumers of their beliefs and values. But the great majority, indeed the overwhelming majority, of consumers are rank-and-file Democrats who are for the most part non-ideological—or would be if left to their own devices. Their motives for adherence to the Democratic Party are various. Sometimes it is a matter of family tradition: “My parents were Democrats, my grandparents were Democrats,” and so on. Sometimes it is a matter of racial identity: “Most blacks are Democrats, I am black, therefore etc.” Sometimes it is a matter of labor union membership: “My union supports the Democrats, therefore etc.” Sometimes it is a matter of economic interest: “The Democrats are good for my paycheck or my welfare check, etc.” Sometimes it is a matter of personal inertia: “I have always voted Democrat, etc.”
Very often it is a matter of imagining that the Democratic Party today is essentially the same thing it was decades ago: “This is the party of FDR and JFK, so how can I not vote for it?” This is what may be called “the fallacy of essentialism.” Some things—geometrical figures, for instance, or numbers—have eternal essences. They never change. A square always was, is now, and always will be a plane figure with four equal sides and four 90-degree angles. Some people imagine that their favorite political party is rather like this; that it remains essentially what it was in its golden age.
Even though these Democratic voters are for the most part non-ideological, and even though they have little or no personal attachment to the leftist values of abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, recreational drug use, and euthanasia, and even though they don’t believe that the USA is a “systemically” or “fundamentally” racist society, and even though the whites among them (most of them are whites) don’t believe it is racist to assign heavy penalties for crimes of violence committed by blacks and other “persons of color,” and even though they have no wish that public schools should teach little kids to adopt an attitude of tolerance toward a variety of sexual perversions—even though all this, these rank-and-file Democrats are willing to go along with the ideological agenda handed down by the ideological rulers of the party. Why? Because it is their party. It is a party they are in the habit of trusting, a party they are in the habit of supporting. Besides, they don’t like the other party, the rival party, the Republicans—just as Red Sox fans don’t like the Yankees. Like good team players, they operate on the assumption that if the captains of their team say ABC while the other team says not-ABC, they will have to agree with leaders of their team; they too will have to say ABC. To do otherwise in the midst of battle would be an act of disloyalty.
In sum, that’s how a small number of people (the ideological leaders of the party), having persuaded a much larger number of people (the propaganda arm of the party), can shape the political preferences of a vast number of people (the rank-and-file members of the party). And that’s how an intellectual elite whose ideas and values are far out of the mainstream can shape the destiny of a nation. A small number of leftist ivory tower intellectuals/ideologues (at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, great state universities, etc.) win converts at vital propaganda outlets (the New York Times, MSNBC, Hollywood, etc.), and these leftist propagandists in turn tell ordinary Democrats what political and cultural agenda they should support.