Atheists cannot hope to accomplish great success in life.
This is the expressed opinion of someone who has been nominated for the Supreme Court as presumably being one of the wisest and most learned people in America (see here).
At the very top of her nomination speech, immediately after thanking the President and the Vice President, Ketanji Brown Jackson stated:
“I must begin these very brief remarks by thanking God for delivering me to this point in my professional journey. My life has been blessed beyond measure, and I do know that one can only come this far by faith.”
There can be no misreading or misunderstanding of her words. Again, she stated clearly that “I do know that one can only come this far by faith.” Only. There is no ambiguity there. There is no modifying context. She thinks this.
Further, this is clearly extremely important and fundamental to her. She chose to put it at the very top of what was certainly the most critical, the most visible, and the most carefully considered speech of her life thus far. She clearly not only thinks this but must think it very, very profoundly.
If this is something she thinks she knows, it must make one wonder what else she thinks she knows.
This revelation must come as a great shock to the many, many highly accomplished and successful atheists to learn that their success cannot be real. They must be imagining it.
More seriously, her considered conclusion must come as a great disillusionment to the many, many children who are not deluded by religion. It is undoubtedly disheartening to hear that they cannot accomplish great success in life unless they find Jesus.
It is disappointing to have a supreme court justice who a) does not appreciate or care about the effect of her words on non-believers and b) doesn’t recognize that her assertion is simply, utterly contradicted by actual facts.
Further, her statement isn’t as much a window into her religious humility and thankfulness as much as it is a window into a self-aggrandizing Prosperity Bible worldview in which god rewards the chosen few with great worldly rewards and success. That kind of self-righteousness does not bode well for a Supreme Court Justice in a secular nation.
Lastly, I’ll point out that I had good feelings about this nominee right up to these statements. When she uttered them, I slammed off the live video and shouted “Fuck!”
Within a minute my phone rang and the first word from my associate, a fellow atheist was, “Fuck!”
I’m sure that this was the response of millions of atheists who are Americans too. That this nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, was apparently blind to that response or did not care does not bode well for her ability to act as an empathetic and fair arbiter in decisions that affect ALL Americans.
If, as Justice Brown Jackson, she holds a deep conviction that success is only accessible through faith, and she wishes the best for all Americans, how can she morally do anything other than make decisions promoting religion and diminishing atheist, even simply secular activities?
As a final note, I’ll point out that the most discouraging and aggravating thing about this incident is that Ketanji Brown Jackson is, to a large degree, absolutely right. Atheists cannot reach the highest levels of success in this country. Not because god rewards the faithful, but because our nation is filled with, and critical decisions that affect us all are made by, religiously compromised people like her.