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By James H. Toner, The Catholic Thing, Feb. 20, 2022
Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, a former U.S. Army officer, and author of numerous articles, books, essays, and reviews, including multiple columns in The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, Homiletic & Pastoral Review, The Imaginative Conservative, One Peter Five, and The Wanderer. …
Around thirty years ago, the redoubtable Father Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009) asked and answered the question that is the title of this column. My present task is not to try to improve upon one of Father Neuhaus’s typically gleaming essays, but only to remind readers of it, and refer them to it (here).
Father Neuhaus answered the question in the negative: atheists cannot be good citizens. The kinds of atheists he described thirty years ago, however, are no longer merely “present.” Rather, they dominate our intellectual and moral discourse. A smothering atheism not only trumpets the absence of God but insists that even references to God in the public square are dangerous and, therefore, impermissible. ….