Want an example? Try this excerpt from Publisher's Weekly:
"Harris calls for the end of religious faith in the modern world. Not only does such faith lack a rational base, he argues, but even the urge for religious toleration allows a too-easy acceptance of the motives of religious fundamentalists. Religious faith, according to Harris,r equires its adherents to cling irrationally to mythic stories of ideal paradisiacal worlds (heaven and hell) that provide alternatives to their own everyday worlds. Moreover, innumerable acts of violence, he argues, can be attributed to a religious faith that clings uncritically to one set of godmas or another. Very simply religion is a form of terrorism for Harris."
Now, maybe most of you aren't surprised by this. I wasn't particularly myself. But there may be some of you who didn't think that people like this really existed. He almost seems cartoonish in his hatred of religion. You might think he's so ridiculous that nobody will pay serious attention to him. Don't make the mistake of taking him lightly. He's been making the rounds - Hannity & Colmes, Scarborough Country, probably other talk shows. People like him are getting their books published and their message across, and their numbers are growing. Are they in the majority yet? Not in this country, perhaps - not yet, that is - but just look at the voice of secular Europe and its increasing hostility to religion, and you see what kind of influence Harris and his ilk have.
Worried? You should be. We all should be. But we can't stop there, we can't give in to despair. Remember Our Lord's promise that He would be with us until the end of time. We owe it to Him and to ourselves to fight this Satanic school of thought, while we still have the time. Be prepared. Educate yourself and then educate others - your family, your friends, and others. Steel yourself for battle, don't be afraid to speak out. Set a good example, be a good witness to our faith. Pray unceasingly. And love.
I'm not going to preach about this - I just want you to know what's out there, because I hadn't heard of Sam Harris until I read two articles in the same issue of the Wanderer last week, by Frank Morriss and James K. Fitzpatrick (who have excellent thoughts on this - get out there and buy an issue of this newspaper if you can, or better yet, subscribe), and one of the purposes of this blog is to share what we know with as many people as we can. Hopefully, some of you will offer your own thoughts on things you've done that works, and what we all can do.
UPDATE: Hadleyblogger Mark has some additional comments on this, which are well worth reading and taking heed of:
I was not aware of him before you wrote your blog article, but appreciate your level of spiritual insight. The face of Satan takes many forms, widely ranging from a trivializing mocker to an emboldened soldier of evil. And because people do not understand the basis of our faith, or the deep dimensions of the battles that rage in the spiritual realm, some will unwittingly pick up a sword for Satan, and others will actually choose to carry the message of evil - all for, say, 30 pieces of silver. Actually thinking they are doing good through their actions.I think it would be good to recommend the Book of Acts of the Apostles as a must-read for Christians - or for Sam Harris. Sam embodies a not uncommon 21st century disconnect that is present in so many people - even in today's believers. The Book of Acts relates in the first person (and that's important) how God not only poured out His Holy Spirit to the first round of believers, but also how He dealt with disbelief and evil in the early church through His apostles. Taking that into today's arena, it is imperative that we must understand that if we are to stand against the onslaught of the evil one, we must be girded in His spiritual armor. And be ready to do "battle" with weapons that are not of the usual sort... Acts spells that out.
As followers of Christ, he told us to expect opponents like Sam Harris. And we must expect God to lead us in how to respond - continually reminding ourselves that it is not us responding, but Him responding as He uses us as vessels for His eternal purposes. Purposes that go way beyond our line of sight.Because our Heavenly Father is not subject to the shackles of time and space like we are, He works on many levels and in many forms at the same time for His good ends. Even as He leads his angels in great spiritual warfare He simultaneously becomes the Hound of Heaven to bring each soul home - one at a time. His mysterious "shapeshifting" is way beyond my understanding - I only know that our mighty Father moves in wondrous ways that befuddle mere men like Sam Harris, and humble men like me who have been given just a glimpse of His workings. As a result, Sam Harris needs to "dis" that which he cannot see and chooses not to understand.
I am not afraid of Sam Harris. As I am comforted and encouraged in realizing the incredible Nature of our Heavenly Father, I am sad for Sam Harris. And for the blackness that grips his heart.
Dear friends, the battle rages for this man's soul. We will not win by fighting him. We need to fight the one who is sucking the life out of him. That is the real battle. We need to pray tears for this man who is in danger of losing his very soul. He only has one.