Sunday, March 29, 2009

Knox on Atheism

I am keenly appreciative of the British converts to the Catholic faith. The epitome of these is Ronald Knox (1888-1957). Son and grandson of evangelical Anglican bishops, Knox was a shooting star and scholar at both Eton and Oxford. C. S. Lewis and Knox held one another in high regard.

I will be featuring Father Knox's in a great many quotables in the future. For now, let's begin with what he said about atheism and atheists:
We are threatened by forces not less highly organized than in the days of the first persecutions; not less ruthless than the barbarians of the Dark Ages, not less fanatical than the storm-troops of the Reformation. The world at large is still indifferent to religion, as it was yesterday and the day before, and now stands stupefied at the appearance of a new philosophy which believes that religion matters, matters so intensely that it has got to be wiped out.

We shall not begin to understand the attitude of the modern unbeliever towards the Church until we realize that he thinks of us as a conspiracy: a conspiracy to set up an unholy Roman Empire over the consciences of an enslaved race.

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