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.