Perhaps an atheist for Pope…

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins for pope? If you don’t know, Richard Dawkins is one of the most pronounced atheists in the world today – so naturally he would be a great candidate for the papacy.

At least that is what a few humorous gamblers implied on the gambling site  paddypower.com. Among the 72 other pope candidates to be bet upon, Richard Hawkins appeared with the ironic odds of 666-1. But this seems to be more than just a funny gimmick. Apparently stunts like these are often present in moments of religious decision.

The Christian Post recently added an article discussing reasons behind the seemingly fruitless practice:

British atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has emerged as a contender among a leading Irish bookmaker’s list of candidates to replace a retired Benedict XVI as pope and leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, which a religion and pop culture expert believes could be a sign of discontent among the Catholic faithful.

The article went on to quote Dr. Jennifer E. Porter, religion and pop culture teacher at Memorial University in Canada

I think betting on Richard Dawkins, Bono or Father Dougal McGuire are tongue-in-cheek ways for people to highlight their criticisms of what they see as a Catholic Church increasingly out of step with mainstream priorities, and the conviction that the church does not ‘hear’ what ordinary people are trying to say… Don’t believe in a literal God? Vote for Dawkins!

While obviously futile, the ballet for Dawkins seems to have been more of an avenue to make certain people’s opinion heard. Did it do any good? Time will tell, but I am going to go out on a limb and say the new pope isn’t thinking twice about atheist who didn’t even come close to sitting on the papal seat.  At best, it seems to have provided a good chuckle for the few people who actually heard about it.

Hazards of crossing an atheist

Be careful the next time you offend an atheist, they might take you to court for discrimination.

Usually it’s the religious folks who are fighting for less discrimination, but there is a new trend starting. Freedom from religion has spurred many secular groups to find equality with religion or simply to remove religion altogether.

The Wyndgate Country Club recently lost a court battle with the Center For Inquiry (CFI) in the Richard Dawkins lawsuit. The club had the nerve to cancel an engagement with Richard Dawkins back in October of 2011 and in April 2012 CFI filed a lawsuit saying the club was discriminating against Dawkins because he is an atheist.

The country club’s event coordinator told CFI that the owner “does not wish to associate with certain individuals and philosophies.” This is primarily because of an interview Dawkins had with Fox News earlier that month, in which he talked extensively about his atheist views. However, the club stated later in the 2012 court papers that while the event was cancelled, it was not out of discrimination. In fact, they say this is just the CFI’s ploy to gain publicity.

The CFI is ecstatic after their victory in the case:

This is an important victory for nonbelievers in the fight for equality under the law, one that makes clear that discrimination based on a lack of religion is just as unacceptable as discrimination in any other form. In fact, this is perhaps the first time that federal and state civil rights statutes have been successfully invoked by nonbelievers in a public accommodations lawsuit.

Who is right here? Is CFI embellishing the truth? Or should the Wyndgate Club have done a little more checking on public laws before deciding to cancel the event? One thing is for sure, Wyndgate didn’t think this one decision was going to make them pay out considerable funds a year and a half later.

 

 

Atheist, Christians aren’t complete idiots

Richard Dawkins
photo via Philly.com

Richard Dawkins, pronounced atheist and British author, would be one of the first to criticize the “stupidity” of religion. But surprisingly, Dawkins’ new found respect for President Obama has lowered his criticism of Christianity.

Apparently, due to Christianity’s ancient tradition, its faults are more understandable given the ignorance of the time, according to Dawkins. But, he would say that  Mormonism, created in the 19th century, is so unfounded that it is especially dim.

“It may be ignorance not stupidity for the creationists, and ignorance is no crime. But to be fooled by Joseph Smith takes real stupidity,” he announced on twitter.

Obviously, Dawkins is not a fan of presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He accuses Mormons of being “barking mad,” “loony,” and “racists.” While Christianity isn’t really that bad, just ignorant, he said.

But, Dawkins did not always draw a distinctions between religions. After all, 90 minutes prier to his tweet about the stupidity of Mormonism he tweeted that “40% in US are stupid enough to believe the world is only 6000 years old. They’ll vote for a man stupid enough to be fooled by Joseph Smith.”

An article in The National Review reported that Dawkins also said during a 2007 conversation with other atheists that while religions were not all “equally bad,” they were uniformly irrational:

My concern, is actually not so much with the evils of religion as whether it’s true. And I really do care passionately about that. The fact of the matter: is there, as a matter of fact, a supernatural creator in this universe? And I really care about that. And so although I also care about the evils of religion, I am prepared to be even-handed because they all make this claim.

But now all of a sudden all religions are not equally irrational because a man Dawkins greatly respects claims to be part of one of these irrational religions. Obama claims to be a Christian and Dawkins is now urging all atheists to vote for him.

The National Review article said this about Dawkins’ new faith in Obama:

In October, [Dawkins] weakly explained to James Taranto that, ”loopy as Christianity may seem to you, it’s stone cold sane compared with Mormonism.” Besides, he continued to his half million followers, Obama can’t possibly be a Christian. Obama, who is “intelligent, educated, humane, [and] witty” is “probably not religious,” and, if he is, he’s ’only vaguely ‘spiritual.’” Whereas, “Bishop Romney really IS Mormon in the full batshit doolally sense.” That’s convenient, then.

Dawkins will be voting democrat on Nov. 6 and he urges other atheists and unaffiliated Americans to do the same.  “Obama can’t succeed with a Congress that filibusters everything because of who he is. Give him a mandate. Vote Democrats for Congress,” he tweeted.

So it seems Dawkins is as much of a partisan as he is an atheist. He has a distinct aversion to Republicans and is even willing to change his stanch opinion of Christians because his presidential “hero” claims to be one.

Surveys have already shown that about 63 percent of nones are voting Democrat, but do they put as much thought into Obama’s Christianity as Dawkins does? Probably not. But even if they do, it simply means they think Christians are ignorant but not nearly as evil to the modern world as Mormonism.  It still doesn’t sound like much of a compliment though.