I’m in New York today to interview Matthew Chapman about his new film, The Ledge. Chapman, if you don’t know of him already, is a screenwriter, director, author, and the great great grandson of Charlie Darwin. Here’s the trailer–I think people are going to like this one. Early buzz suggests it could be the “Brokeback Mountain moment for atheists.” Starring Liv Tyler, Terence Howard, and Patrick Wilson. The film was nominated for Best US Drama at Sundance, can be seen now On Demand, and hits theaters July 8.
Atheists are an amusing coterie. They are the least persecuted group in history; Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims have died in the thousands and millions for their beliefs. The 20th century is the most horrible century for Christian martyrs. The Holocaust is the paradigm of human evil. Buddhists have been persecuted systematically in many nations. Muslims were slaughtered in the Crusades.
Anti-atheist pogroms? Can you name one? Of course not. The reality is that atheists have rarely been the target of organized violence or supression. SInce the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, and Communism, atheism has been the most prolific perpetrator of violence in human history. No other ideoogy comes close. State atheism- from the Reign of Terror to Lenin to Stalin to Mao to Pol Pot to Kim Jung Il- killed more people each week of the past century than the Spanish Inquisition killed in 300 years.
Is The Ledge the Brokeback Mountain for atheists? We'll see. But the atheist obsession with faux-persecution is a pitiful charade, given the unprecedented carnage that atheism-in-power has brought to mankind. Atheists owe mankind an apology, not smarmy self-pity.
Atheism is obsession with self.