MSNBC columnist Zeeshan Aleem warned that America is enduring a “crisis” that is “rooted in an excess of religion,” to the point where the country is becoming a “Christian theocracy.”
Despite being raised in a Muslim household himself, he did not pull his punches when singling out other religions for being problematic in American political institutions, warning the Christian-right is “fueled by a radically reactionary Supreme Court that is two-thirds Catholic.”
“The overturning of Roe v. Wade means the lives of women across the country are being held hostage by a conservative Christian conception of life,” he wrote.
Aleem blasted Republican politicians for invoking their Christian faith in their opposition to transgender rights and abortion.
In response to the alleged crisis, Aleem proposed an “energetic, organized atheist movement — which I propose calling ‘communitarian atheism’” to be the solution, claiming it “would provide an effective way to guard against the twin crises of intensifying religious extremism on one end, and the atomizing social consequences of a plunge in conventional religiosity on the other.”
“An organized atheist community can help agitate for and finance a secularist equivalent of the Federalist Society — the right-wing legal movement that helped populate the federal courts with hard right jurists and helped get us into this mess — to act as a bulwark against theocracy,” he wrote.
He proclaimed that the most “urgent” task for atheists in modern America “is to guard against the astonishing uptick in the power of the religious right, with the Supreme Court favoring religious intervention in our political lives and an increasingly energized Christian nationalist alliance with the Trump wing of the party.”
Aleem illustrated that his case for “communitarian atheism” stems from his “belief that atheism opens up radical new possibilities for critical thinking and freedom, but that it has a great deal to learn from religion and the religious right as well.”
He explained his conversation to being an atheist.
“Some people think of atheists as rudderless and living in a cold, meaningless world. My experience was the opposite. Atheism enlivened me and spurred me to develop a broader skepticism of all manner of received wisdom. The displacement of heaven inspired me to think about achieving utopia on earth; my reading skewed in a radically left-wing direction, and I pivoted toward political activism,” he wrote.