Oy, here we go again – the Daily Mail is reporting on Dawkins’s 2006 “fear of hell is worse than mild abuse” claim, all over again, as if it hadn’t just been beaten to death again only a month ago, and as if it hadn’t started on its career of being beaten to death way back in 2006.
Raising your children as Roman Catholics is worse than child abuse, according to militant atheist Richard Dawkins.
In typically incendiary style, Professor Dawkins said the mental torment inflicted by the religion’s teachings is worse in the long-term than any sexual abuse carried out by priests.
He said he had been told by a woman that while being abused by a priest was a ‘yucky’ experience, being told as a child that a Protestant friend who died would ‘roast in Hell’ was more distressing.
Last night politicians and charities condemned the former Oxford professor’s views as attention-seeking and unhelpful.
For crying out loud – “typically incendiary style” yourself, Daily Mail! And no doubt one or two politicians and charities did condemn his views, once you phoned them up and asked them to.
What a cheap mindless fuckwitted excuse for journalism.
I said things about it all a month ago, saying the sexual abuse claim was a mistake and should be left out of it, especially now, but dammit he’s right about hell. That’s still what I think, lo these four weeks later – yes I still think it’s very bad to assure children that they or people they love will (or could) be tortured in hell forever.
There are a lot of tweets on the subject on his Twitter timeline at the moment. They’re powerful.
@RichardDawkins Friend who is kind, gentle, compassionate but catholic is convinced she will go to hell. Seen her sob, terrified, about it.
@RichardDawkins My dad was an atheist, my mom scared me so by telling me he was going to hell. I had nightmares.
@RichardDawkins I once had a Baptist crying her eyes out describing how her own mother was burning in hell for eternity , religion sucks
There’s also a strangely random and untrue tweet from one of the #FTBullies crowd -
What “FtB lot”? Who among the “FtB lot” has treated Dawkins’s “child abuse” claims in hysterical fashion? Where, when?
There’s no way of knowing, so the mud sticks to anyone the #FTBullies crowd want it to stick to. And on and on it goes.
He did explain his thinking on this subject a few hours earlier.
The good thing about many messianic types is that if you keep prodding and poking at them, they will in the end self-destruct.
Ahhhhhhh so that’s what is is. You keep prodding and poking at us because you think we are “messianic types.” That’s interesting. It justifies any old harassment and stalking and bullying, doesn’t it, because all you have to do is decide that someone is a “messianic type” and you can do anything you want to. That’s especially odd because his claim all along has been that we’re “bullies,” but what does “you keep prodding and poking at them” describe other than bullying? I would really like to know. I think “you keep prodding and poking at them” is an excellent definition of bullying.
It’s helpful to know where we are.
(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)