The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

“Fr. What-A-Waste” takes on the atheists

Regular readers will recall that is Katie Couric’s nickname for this dashing TV priest and moral theologian, Fr. Thomas Williams, who works as a Vatican consultant for CBS News.

The good father has a new book out, “Greater Than You Think,” an extended argument against atheism. And Elizabeth Scalia has a review of it over at Inside Catholic.


A snip:

His small book…is meant to rebut the recent string of best-sellers promoting a “new” intellectualist atheism over the same-old knuckle-dragging faith in the “fairy tale” of a Creator God. Responding to noted New Atheists — Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, and most especially Christopher Hitchens — Father Williams has produced a quick read that manages to point out flaws in simple reasoning and clear errors in the more complex arguments that are often blindsided by the atheist’s own prejudice.

Father Williams’s book will be unlikely to convince his opponents, or even silence them, but it may well help both believers and unbelievers to step away from a spiritual precipice — believers because they may consider how their own behavior helps create atheists, unbelievers because it gives them a means to make a thinking choice (and therefore permission, if it’s what they are looking for) to believe.


“Greater Than You Think” manages to make short work of the often over-long arguments of the bestsellers, sometimes by foregoing niceties for clarity. Father Williams writes in his introduction:

My own limited experience indicates that atheism — especially in its more passionate strain — always has its causes. All the convinced atheists I know do not merely disbelieve in God; they hate Him. He becomes for them an object not of simple indifference, but of the most visceral animosity . . . [which is] always motivated by one of two things: a deep injustice suffered, for which they blame God and cannot forgive Him; or a deep injustice they have committed, for which they cannot forgive themselves.

Check out the rest of the review right here.

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posted September 3, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Isn’t this all just a long reiteration of the Brennan Manning quote:The greatest single cause of atheism today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyle. That’s what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.I think this is true of atheists who’ve come from Christian backgrounds, but not so much of those who’ve come from non-religious or eastern religious/quasi-religious backgrounds. I also don’t know that people hate God and then claim not to belive in Him. They just hate the twisted version of God that’s been used by the usual suspects to slam them over the head time after time — and they should, because that sort of thing is Satan at work — there are more supposed Christians doing Satan’s work than out and out “Satanists” (whatever those are — they seem to be fairly lonely, sad people more than evil people, but that’s just my impression).

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Stone of Bethel

posted September 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I find the louder a group gets the less ground they have to stand on. The atheists are getting louder because all their arguments are falling apart… Marx and Freud have been proven irrelevant and in recent years the Chinese have rendered the theories of Darwin obsolete… All their great heroes are being shown to hold as much water as they believed of our Truth. And since we won’t go away, it infuriates them. ESPECIALLY because our intellectuals, really ARE! :)

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posted September 3, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Stardancer don’t be so two faced. You can’t live up to anything you wish to be. You know you will never be what you think is right and best. You also know you can’t live up to any standards Jesus sent, just like the Christians. Instead, you live up to no standards, no one way to you is better than another. There is no difference between good and evil. What does it matter if there is no God? It doesn’t. Instead, you live up to the standards of whatever the heck it is you think is right. You think you’ve got it figured out. No one will ever live up to God’s standards, and that is the point. God is all powerful and perfect, how could we possibly live up to that? We can’t, but we sure as hell can die trying. Instead, you believe in your god or what you think is good, and all because you can’t imagine trying to live up to the standards of Jesus. Read Pascal’s wager, and you may think differently…..oh, and, have fun in hell.

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posted September 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm

dorandoran, you’re the kind of “Christian” who starsdancing was talking about.

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Joseph Fromm

posted September 4, 2008 at 12:30 am

Deacon Greg,Just a note, Fr. Thomas Williams, L.C. is a member of the Legion of Christ.JMJJoe

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posted September 4, 2008 at 6:43 am

Um…Huh?I’m not an atheist. But I guess you pretty much summed up the premise of this book with that comment. If you’re a Christian, why would anyone want to be one?

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posted September 4, 2008 at 8:29 am


posted September 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

Ahh…it all becomes clear now…”dorandoran” is merely some big fake “prolife” site. Prolifers…you’ll know them by their hate…Okay, babe. I guess that I’m a Christian and anti-abortion doesn’t matter. If I discuss the nature of atheists, I don’t hate the right people and therefore I’m not even a human being in your book. Like I said, there are more so-called “Christians” doing Satan’s work than anyone else on the planet. Have a lovely day, all you fine upstanding, better-than-everyone, holier-than-thou Christians. I think I’ll go hang with some atheists today. Their kindness, openness and ability to reason will be a breath of fresh air after this garbage.

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posted September 4, 2008 at 4:43 pm

dorandoran and stardancing, the bickering is unneccessary. dorandoran if you believe the first paragraph you wrote than why would you finish with such hateful terms. stardancing, you are just trying to provoke others and if someone is truly holier-than-thou they do not feel they are better-than-everyone, in fact the bible tells us to look at others as though they are better than us and treat each person with the same respect we want, treat them as they are a loved family member or even treat them how we would treat Jesus upon meeting him. So I pray you all find more peace in your hearts and I love you both.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted September 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Deacon Greg,Just a note, Fr. Thomas Williams, L.C. is a member of the Legion of Christ.JMJJoe Thanks, Joe. I know. I’ve actually met and worked with Fr. Tom at CBS. Blessings,Dcn. G.

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