Welcome to the 2011 Through the Looking Glass awards, the Anger Is An Energy edition. This was the year the whole earth shook, sending shock waves in all directions. We don't mean to imply that the seismic shifts were of equal magnitude: not every violent disturbance registered the same on our Richter scale.
Even within the US, where democracy and political openness have fostered a rich tradition of rebellious humor, stains still linger from those periods when “God-is-on-our-side” attitudes swept the nation into a mass hysteria of obedience and fear.
What if the American fundamentalists' power and influence became such that they helped destabilize the New Deal, played key roles in anti-Communist foreign policy during the Cold War, and supported numerous bloodthirsty dictators?
Sectarian strife, an historical constant, and its images of suicide bombings, occupation, and crumbling civil societies are sadly ubiquitous and have fueled the passions of the “New Atheism”. This will not soon abate.