So Someone has Noticed

Aha. Natalie Angier and I are on the same page, so to speak.

Among the more irritating consequences of our flagrantly religious society is the special dispensation that mainstream religions receive. We all may talk about religion as a powerful social force, but unlike other similarly powerful institutions, religion is not to be questioned, criticized or mocked. When the singer-songwriter SinĂ©ad O’Connor ripped apart a photograph of John Paul II to protest what she saw as his overweening power, even the most secular humanists were outraged by her idolatry, and her career has never really recovered.

Not this cookie – I wasn’t outraged. (Well, I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but if I had been, I would have cheered.) John Paul 2 had way too much power and used it to do appalling things.

“Society bends over backward to be accommodating to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities,” says Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist. “If I say something offensive to religious people, I’ll be universally censured, including by many atheists. But if I say something insulting about Democrats or Republicans or the Green Party, one is allowed to get away with that. Hiding behind the smoke screen of untouchability is something religions have been allowed to get away with for too long.”

Exactly. Me, Angier, and Dawkins – a small club, but a good one. Yes okay you can be in it too.

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