This book (Mary Eberstadt) looks like a very funny read. It is satire similar to C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. I haven’t read it but it’s going on my Amazon wish list. The book is a series of letters to the higher ranking Atheists from a convert to their faith. As a former “dull” she advises these “brights” in how they might improve their evangelism efforts; she gives them insider information so to speak.
This blog (Scot McNight) lists some of the items noted in letter three of the book. It has to do with the area of good works.
1. Focus on the bad works of Christians and pastors and the Catholic Church and the leaders. There’s plenty to feast on there.
2. Avoid getting into discussions of the good works of Christians, for their record is amazingly good.
3. Avoid getting into discussions of the charity work of atheists, because the story is not nice.
A deadly quote: “we Atheists are much better off emphasizing what the other side has done wrong rather than emphasizing anything we Brights have done right” (40).
Why do this? “because the actual evidence for claiming that Atheism will do as much good in the world as Christianity and other religions is embarrassingly against us” (42). What, she ponders, can the atheists say about the godless atheism at work in Nazism and Stalinism? And claiming they were religious underneath all that godless violence is like thinking underneath Paula Abdul you will find a fat bald male teetotaler (her analogy).
The fact is, the Dulls take care of the sick and care for the poor and build hospitals and their “god” tells them to, while our theories and sciences teach us that such hospitals don’t have Darwin’s name on them and we, the Atheists, “don’t want the kind of world in which Nature’s rejects, the sick and the old and the frail of any sort, flourish anyway” (51).
In brief: “their highest authority, Loser, tells them to care for the sick and weak, whereas ours, Nature, tells us the opposite” (51).