Atheism and the Texas Church Shooter

American Thinker’s commentary needs to reach more people. Here is one of my favorite writers, Selwyn Duke, on the topic of atheism and that Texas church shooting a week ago:

“If God does not exist, everything is permitted,” wrote Fyodor Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov. Mentioning this in association with Devin Patrick Kelley, the militant atheist who last Sunday perpetrated the worst church shooting in U.S. history, is bound to raises hackles. Of course, few atheists will descend into committing murder; in fact, I’ve known some I’d call “good people.” Moreover, note that I myself once not only didn’t believe in God, but like Kelley thought religious people were “stupid.” Yet is it possible a straight line can be drawn between atheism (the belief) and increasing crime and immorality? Ideas do have consequences, after all.

George Washington once wrote, “[L]et us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. …[R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Many great thinkers have expressed the same idea, yet, when it’s related today, the assumption is that what’s being said is atheists can’t be good people. This is both because theists generally don’t explain their position well and atheists generally don’t seek to understand it well; passions run high and the two sides talk past each other. But now I’ll explain exactly what Dostoevsky and Washington meant — in a way making it apparent why it’s an insight that helped bring me, formerly a dismissive unbeliever, to faith.

A very near relation of a close friend said to him once, “Murder isn’t wrong; it’s just that society says it is.” I’ve heard this sentiment expressed, in different words, many times. In fact, notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal,” said to his parents as a teen, “If there’s no God, why can’t I just make up my own rules?”

Read more: American Thinker