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The devout atheist

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 03, 2012

Gotta love the idea of building a temple to atheism, and the behind the project. The misguided millionaire who’s funding the venture believes that “you can build a temple to anything that's positive and good.”

I suppose you can—if you have the money, and nothing else to do with it. But why? Apple pie is positive and good, but I don’t worship it. (There was that one time, after eating too much, that I had a nightmare about a building made of apple pie. But I don’t think it was a temple.)

“That could mean a temple to love, friendship, calm, or perspective,” says our hero. Then you’d have a temple built to an abstraction. Why not build a temple to the Pythagorean Theorem—which, in comparison with atheism, has the advantage of being true?

And what sort of temple do you build to honor atheism? Most appropriate, I think, would be a temple that doesn’t exist.

Still this project is a useful reminder that Christians do not worship an abstraction. A temple only makes sense if it’s dedicated to someone—or better, to Someone.


Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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