Last week we had Pope Benedict declaring that atheists are responsible for all our environmental problems:
’Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where his existence is denied?’
’This is rich coming from the leader of an organisation that has plundered the world to enrich itself. As he sits in his golden palaces, surrounded by unimaginable luxury and material wealth, he lectures the rest of us about restraint and greed. We have nothing to learn about environmentalism from this hypocrite.’
And then on Wednesday the New Zealand Conservative blog had to vent its spleen in The Surly Child That Is Atheism:
’For there is appearing, and growing, in Western Society, a vicious and uncompromising element of atheism, that does not tolerate Christianity at all: indeed, it abhors it and reacts violently towards it.’
Notice the claims of violence by atheists! This seems to be a common ploy of critics of atheism when they let loose. (I have already referred to Michael Ruse’s violent presentation of atheists beliefs in Religion in the public square).
But what were the examples of ’violence’ mentioned by the New Zealand Conservative?
- Criticism of the Pope for his comments on AIDS and condoms;
- A Penn and Teller skit on the Catholic Church;
- Author Phillip Pulman has been writing non-theist fiction again;
- The state of Wisconsin (USA) provision that requires providers of health insurance include contraceptive services;
- A Brazilian proposal to remove religious symbols from public buildings in the city;
- A claim by Australia’s Cardinal Pell that Christians face global bullying in public life.
To me these seem to be complaints about humanity in general — not just atheists. Complaints that our pluralistic society will no longer grant them a dominant role. In fact, they seem to be more the complaints of the bully, rather than the bullied.
And where the hell is all that violence they refer to?