Of God and His Enemies

In the daylight world, logic is such an elegant, efficient weapon, and religion is such an easy target. One man with a briefcase full of logic—like enriched plutonium—can level two thousand years of theology in fifteen minutes. The passionate neurotic Martin Luther never doubted the power of logic, which is why he railed against it like a lunatic: “Reason is the devil’s bride, a beautiful whore, and God’s worst enemy. . . . Tread her underfoot. Throw dung in her face. You must part with reason and kill her, or you will not get into the kingdom of heaven.”

A little logic takes such a deadly toll among the sacred cows, that the literary performances of best-selling atheists earn higher scores for showmanship than degree of difficulty. Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris are marksmen whose assaults on God, the Bible, and dogmatic Christianity defy coherent counterattack. Yet many of us, comparably armed, might do as well. Start humbly, with “Our Father.” A gendered—or pigmented, or sexualized—God is an idea of staggering, risible stupidity that many Christians (and Jews and Muslims) have not outgrown.

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