Christian beliefs were once a significant part of the public square. They formed part of the American national identity. However, when beliefs go unchallenged for a long period of time, they become “dead dogmas” or stagnant truths in the heart of a nation. A clash of opinions brings vitality to established beliefs and the potency of their true meanings are drawn out to be fully appreciated and understood. The beliefs having become stagnant and inconvenient, subtle opposing forces began to chip away at the beliefs changing them a little at a time, but seldom did they constitute a direct assault. And it seemed that the Christian world barely noticed, and cared as little for the opposition as one would care for a misquito buzzing outside one’s ear. Chritians were content to “swat” it away and continue on with their lives. Meanwhile, their “dead dogma” was being replaced.
Thankfully, a direct assault came, and it woke the Christian community out of its slumber. Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett ridiculed Christian belief for what it had become: superstition, wishful thinking, and irrationality. They brought their arguments right to the public square where they could not be ignored. The difficulties of their arguments were pressed upon the national conciousness even to the point of conversion. The Christian community now having awakened, rose to the challenge. John C. Lennox, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Alister McGrath, and many others valiantly and with great clarity defend those beliefs, once again causing the nation to drink the full potency of their meanings. Thanks to the opposition, a Christian awakening meant a national awareness, and provided a opportunity to reaffirm those beliefs in the public square with boldness. So, I tip my hat to Dawkins and the rest for the refining of religion and the American identity. May you continue in your stedfast fight, and may we rise to the challenge every time.