One sees why Mary Kenny gets grumpy mail

Mary Kenny must be somewhat impervious to criticism – she’s saying the same absurd things she said last time we took this ride – minus the hilarious gripe about gloomy atheist funerals, to be sure.

‘Atheist bus’* – blah blah –

I found the atheists’ coda “so relax and enjoy life” ludicrously implausible. I’ve never yet met an atheist with a sense of joie-de-vivre (unless, in the case of one well-known public atheist, a certain drunken cordiality) most of them seem to be miserable blighters. Read GK Chesterton’s great poem ‘The Ballad of the Sad Athiest’. It perfectly describes this kind of dreary and austere puritan.

I think I said this last time, but ho hum, I know my duty, I’ll just say it all over again – but in a high squeaky voice this time, by way of variety. What or whom Mary Kenny has or has not met is supremely beside the point. Mary Kenny does not get to conclude from whatever sample she personally has encountered, what all atheists are like. Besides which, Kenny so obviously has no sense of the need to check one’s own perceptions and biases that I don’t even trust her to know what kind of atheists she’s met – I don’t trust her to avoid the obvious error of remembering the glum atheists and forgetting the cheerful ones; in short, selection bias. One can’t even trust her to punctuate her own sentences (what happened after that parenthesis? a blackout?) so why should one trust her to sort her own memories with caution?

I still believe in freedom of speech and freedom of debate: although it is clear that if the militant atheists had their way, there would be no space whatsoever for Christians or other believers in the public realm.

Is it? Is that clear? Not to me, and Kenny (you won’t be surprised to learn) offers not a shred of a ghost of a reason to think it is. She just announces it, that’s all. She doesn’t remember meeting any sanguine atheists therefore all atheists are miserable blighters therefore they want to expel all believers from the public realm. QED.

I am convinced that this injection of atheism into the culture is directly responsible for the increase in drug-abuse, in crime and, most specifically, in the five-fold increase in suicide that we have seen in these islands over the last 25 years.

Kenny is convinced of a lot of things, on no apparent grounds whatever. She shouldn’t make a boast of it though.

A life without a spiritual sense of purpose, or the moral parameters set by the Ten Commandments — is a living hell.

Jesus god – the ten commandments. Please. Three about crawling to god; sabbath; parents; adultery; and four blindingly obvious minimal prohibitions: murder, lying, theft, and envy. Big fucking deal. Life without that stupid little list, more than half of which is either dead wrong or debatable, is a living hell? There’s not a word about cruelty; nothing about being generous or kind or (Karen Armstrong please note) compassionate; nothing about justice or rights or equality. Yet life without that narrow jejune superstitious unimaginative impoverished piece of crap is a living hell? It seems much more likely to me that a life limited to that grocery list as the sum total of morality would be – not necessarily a living hell but certainly a small airless thing.

Then she goes on to say – pleasantly – that atheists are the cause of parents who torture their babies to death. Back atcha, hon.

*Atheist bus? It’s a bus with an atheist ad on the side. Is it a theist bus when it has a theist ad on it? You don’t seem to see that phrase, so probably not. Yet another case of Special Rules for Atheism.

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