Here's a link to the "printable" version of a very recent article from the September 29 issue of Newsweek magazine.
In the article, the well-known atheist Sam Harris attacks Sarah Palin, strongly implying that the fact that Palin attended Assemblies of God churches for decades constitutes de facto proof that she is unqualified to be the Vice-President.
Harris admits that millions of Americans share Palin's belief "that the Biblical God consciously directs world events," but he then goes on to imply that none of those Americans are qualified to serve as Vice-President or President, on account of those beliefs. He then describes McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate as "unconscionable".
Of course, the use of the phrase "unconscionable" implies that people do in fact have consciences, and that there is such a thing as objective morality (and, by implication, objective immorality).
It is here where atheists such as Sam Harris flounder big-time. If there is no God, as they claim, then beliefs about right and wrong are merely the results of social conditioning. If there is no God, then morality is infinitely malleable, and subject to changing conditions, such as the popularity (or lack thereof) of particular ideas about appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
If humans alone determine what is right and what is wrong, then it logically follows that majority opinion is invariably correct when it comes to morality. Yet, paradoxically, atheists claim to be objectively right about their belief that there is no God, in spite of the demonstrable fact that they represent a tiny minority of all of the people living in the world. This internal inconsistency might best be described as "cognitive dissonance".
One doesn't need to read the writings of atheists such as Sam Harris for very long before one is struck by the utter arrogance of such people. Fellow atheist Richard Dawkins describes himself and other like-minded unbelievers as "brights," as if there haven't been plenty of devout believers with IQs every bit as high as his own.
Just for the record, my own IQ has been tested at 140. I'm not sure how that compares with the IQs of Harris or Dawkins, but I think that the general consensus is that 140 is a fairly high IQ. But I'm smart enough to know that what I know is miniscule in comparison with what I don't know. And I'm smart enough to believe that the entirety of human knowledge is miniscule in comparison with the knowledge of the One who created the universe and who sustains the life of every single human being, in spite of the fact that some of those human beings forfeit their right to such ongoing sustenance on account of their perpetual defiance of the God who made them.
In my view, the arrogance of atheists such as Harris and Dawkins is caused by a remarkable lack of self-awareness on their part, insofar as their own limitations are concerned. That lack of self-awareness seems to be tied to a lack of awareness of the intrinsic limitations of empiricism, which seems to guide and shape most of their assumptions to a great extent. The idea that there might be realities which cannot be measured or proven with the tools and methods of empiricism seems to be beyond their abilities to conceive.
In 2003, Dinesh D'Souza wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal, entitled "Not So 'Bright'". I think that the article is well worth reading.
The Sam Harris article in Newsweek reeks of snobbery, condescension and anti-Christian bigotry, but that should be no surprise, in light of the things which Harris has written in the past.
I find it particularly interesting that an atheist such as Sam Harris seems to have a strong interest in promoting the election of Barack Obama, in spite of Obama's claim that he's a born-again Christian, and in spite of his many attempts to capture the votes of devoutly religious people by using language calculated to accomplish that purpose.
Yet, I don't really find it surprising that Obama is the candidate preferred by atheists such as Sam Harris. In Obama's view, one's religious convictions ought to be confined to the purely private realm. In Obama's view, such convictions shouldn't influence public policy.
But real life isn't that cut and dried. Most of the greatest political issues of history, including the issues of slavery and civil rights for African-Americans, have had a strong religious component. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of any great social reform movements in America which were led primarily by atheists. As for the social reform movement of atheistic Communism in the Soviet Union, we all know how well that experiment worked out.
To treat religiously devout people such as Sarah Palin as second-class citizens who are undeserving of leadership positions is to ignore the rich tradition of religious faith which has made it possible for people such as Sam Harris to enjoy the liberties they enjoy. In fact, the very concept of human rights in America has always hinged on the assumption that God is the source of all human rights, and that it is that fact which obligates all human beings to respect those rights, since we will be held accountable for how we have treated one another.