The End of the Atheists’ Road

GOP presidential musing is turning toward Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana. Given the C Street affiliation of two now-former contenders, Senator John Ensign and G

overnor Mark Sanford, I thought it worth a google to check Daniels out. Is he a C Streeter? I don’t know. Is he confused about First Amendment freedoms and his role as a public servant? Unquestionably. Keynoting the 2009 Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast—a spin-off of the Family’s annual National Prayer Breakfast—Daniels proclaimed his commitment to representing nonbelievers as much as believers. He even says he loves infidels. But he sure doesn’t have to like them. Here’s an excerpt from his speech, on the official Indiana state website:

You see, cruelty and selfishness is always at the end of the atheists’ road. People of faith, sinners that we are, err and sometimes horribly. But it doesn’t flow from the logic of what we believe. Once one concludes that we are all just accidental protoplasm, that there is no higher authority to which we ought to be obedient, then only the self matters, only power over others matters. C.S. Lewis wrote, “When all that says ‘it is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains.”

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).