Tom Gilson

Atheist Columnist: God and Faith Are Good For Africa

The Times of London column’s headline and sub-head read:

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God

Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem – the crushing passivity of the people’s mindset

And the core paragraph says,

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

Obviously there’s cognitive dissonance there, which the writer, Matthew Parris, acknowledges and describes throughout this fascinating piece.

Hat tip and further comments: Nova Scotia Scott » Blog Archive » Atheist says Africa needs God

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1 thought on “Atheist Columnist: God and Faith Are Good For Africa

  1. I wouldn’t deny that belief in God can be very helpful in a struggle against certain forms of despair and apathy. It may simply be easier to find hope and motivation in some form theism, in comparison to atheism. And, although it would be odd either to follow these pragmatic reasons for the formation of one’s own belief in God, or to get Africans to believe in God merely because such a belief had these beneficial side-effects, these considerations would seem to give atheists some reason not to spend their resources interfering with the spread of Christianity in Africa—at least when Christianity takes a form that does not condemn condom usage (in Malawi, it 91,000 children are estimated to have HIV, and AIDS has left over half a million orphans).

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