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Modern Screwtape

The Devil is in the details of everyday life.

Jun 7, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 36 • By JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND
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Now, A. F. isn’t suggesting that nonbelievers can’t create happy homes: Her point is that the Brights have ceded the whole realm of family life to the seductive rituals and teachings of the competition. And she doesn’t have a ready explanation for this geeky myopia. But she throws out a few clues. For example, Bishop Fulton Sheen, the popular midcentury television preacher, made this pointed observation about the Brights and their proclivity for anger-driven cognitive impairment: “He who has fallen away from the spiritual order will hate it, because religion is the reminder of his guilt.”

True or false, Mary Eberstadt dares to introduce the notion that if ideas have consequences, the New Atheists have good reason to set aside their moral posturing and rethink their next career move—after they get some couch time for anger management.

Joan Frawley Desmond, who writes on religious and social issues for a variety of publications, lives in Maryland.

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