In a totally unsurprising announcement, Ayaan Hirsi Ali renounces atheism and declares herself a Christian. I half-expected this to happen — she’s been working at the Hoover Institute with a lot of wealthy conservative Republicans, it was just going to take time to realize who was buttering her bread. I’ve read her autobiography, and it was clear that what drove her was in large part a resentment of the terrible Islamic authoritarians who controlled her life for so long. Well, now she’s come full circle and is identifying with a different set of terrible authoritarians.
As an atheist, I thought I would lose that fear. I also found an entirely new circle of friends, as different from the preachers of the Muslim Brotherhood as one could imagine. The more time I spent with them — people such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins — the more confident I felt that I had made the right choice. For the atheists were clever. They were also a great deal of fun.
So, what changed? Why do I call myself a Christian now?
Part of the answer is global. Western civilisation is under threat from three different but related forces: the resurgence of great-power authoritarianism and expansionism in the forms of the Chinese Communist Party and Vladimir Putin’s Russia; the rise of global Islamism, which threatens to mobilise a vast population against the West; and the viral spread of woke ideology, which is eating into the moral fibre of the next generation.
Oh. So she has bought into the conspiratorial anti-woke nonsense, and the usual fear-based bullshit that is the foundation of most conservative thought. The communists are coming to get us! Our only hope is to follow a different authoritarian ideology!
But we can’t fight off these formidable forces unless we can answer the question: what is it that unites us? The response that “God is dead!” seems insufficient. So, too, does the attempt to find solace in “the rules-based liberal international order”. The only credible answer, I believe, lies in our desire to uphold the legacy of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
judeo-christian always sets off alarm bells in my head. Misrepresenting what atheism is about also doesn’t help.
That is why I no longer consider myself a Muslim apostate, but a lapsed atheist. Of course, I still have a great deal to learn about Christianity. I discover a little more at church each Sunday. But I have recognised, in my own long journey through a wilderness of fear and self-doubt, that there is a better way to manage the challenges of existence than either Islam or unbelief had to offer.
It’s Jeeeesus. Good luck with that, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
By the way, nowhere in her long essay does she say a word about why Christianity is a good philosophy, other than that it’s a platform for fighting against Muslims and woke atheists.