The unholy alliance between atheists and evangelicals - 2019-10-24
The conference, organized by Sovereign Nations and titled ' Speaking Truth to Social Justice ,' featured the masterminds behind the so-called ' Sokal Squared ' scandal: Helen Pluckrose, Peter Boghossian, and James A. Lindsay. Its name is a nod to an earlier hoax, which parodied the extreme postmodernist criticism of science, perpetuated by physicist Alan Sokal , who graced the occasion with his presence. Last year, the three current and former academics, who are prominent speakers in atheist and humanist circles, published bogus research papers in several academic disciplines — gender studies, queer theory, critical race theory, intersectional feminism, fat studies and postcolonial theory — to highlight the charlatanism and obscurantism that stand in for scholarship, the lack of academic rigor and flaws in the publishing protocols of these fields. Some of the hoax papers they submitted border on outright hilarity. One published paper suggested that dog parks perpetuate ' canine rape culture ' while another was basically Mein Kampf dressed up in intersectional feminist lingo. The trio popularized the term 'grievance studies' to refer to these fields because, according to Pluckrose, they begin 'from the assumption of a grievance' and then bend 'theories to confirm it.'
They found in Michael O'Fallon, the evangelical Christian founder and editor-in-chief of Sovereign Nations , an ally who is likewise deeply concerned about our postmodern era in which 'grand narratives that have guided our discourse are collapsing.' What he fears is the encroachment of the secular theoretical perspectives that undergird social justice upon the gospel and the church, weaponizing identity to upend the Christian interpretation of doctrine.
And so an unholy alliance between a bunch of atheists and evangelical Christians was born. Having the inaugural conference dedicated to defending liberalism in a venue named after the 'Grand Old Man' of liberalism could not have been more symbolic. William Ewart Gladstone was a four-term British prime minister whose political doctrine centered around 'peace, economy and reform.' He instituted laissez-faire economic policies and free trade, extended voting rights, promoted equality of opportunity and self-governance of Britain's colonies and disestablished the Church of Ireland (so that Roman Catholics no longer had to pay tithes to support the Anglican Church), among other reforms, and was an early if ultimately unsuccessful advocate for 'Home Rule' for Ireland.