In a wide-ranging interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer George Will discusses baseball, politics, and his status as an atheist.
"I'm an atheist. An agnostic is someone who is not sure. I'm pretty sure. I see no evidence of God," Will told Real Clear Religion
"The basic question in life is not, 'Is there a God,' but 'Why does anything exist?' St. Thomas Aquinas said that there must be a first cause for everything, and we call the first cause 'God.' Fine, but it just has no hold on me.
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"I majored in religion in college. I was very interested, but I just came to a different conclusion. I'm married to a fierce Presbyterian, and she raised our kids fierce Presbyterians.
"I'm an amiable, low-voltage atheist."
This is not the first time Will, a conservative who has written several books on politics and baseball, has made his views on religion public. In May, he told The Daily Caller
that he was an atheist.
In the Real Clear Religion interview, Will was asked whether his atheistic views would preclude him from running for office as a conservative.
"It would be impossible for me to run for high office as a Republican," Will said. "Since I have no desire to run for office, it's a minor inconvenience! I think William F. Buckley put it well when he said that a conservative need not be religious, but he cannot despise religion.
"Russell Kirk never quite fathomed this, which is one of the reasons why I'm not a big fan of "The Conservative Mind." For him, conservatism without religion is meaningless."
As for the current state of religion in U.S. politics, Will said it is partly based on being politically correct.
"There's a certain layer of political correctness involved: all cultures are created equal and all that rubbish," Will said.
"[President George W.] Bush's initial reaction was quite understandable. There's a large Muslim population, and he didn't want people to be scapegoated and isolated and abused. When you get a liberal administration like [President] Barack Obama's, it's basically composed of people who think religion is retrograde."
The interview also touched on the crisis in the Middle East involving the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Will was asked how the United States should deal with the terror group and the threat it poses.
"You get our sometimes friends the Saudis to quit funding them," Will said. "The president ought to say that ISIS is not an existential threat to our regime, it's an existential threat to yours. We're not going to do it for you. We'll help you, but we won't do it.
"It's time to take the training wheels off. Gideon Rackman talks about the 'learned helplessness' of NATO. We used to pay for 50 percent of NATO, now we pay 75 percent. It's time for these regimes in the Middle East to put their militaries where their mouths are."
Will recently wrote that Obama needs to seek the approval of Congress
for what he calls the "war with the Islamic State."
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