Richard Dawkins, militant atheist and author of The God Delusion, has begun a new campaign intended to embolden anti-religionist atheists everywhere. Taking a cue from the gay rights movement, his “OUT Campaign” encourages atheists to be open and bold about their lack of faith:
Atheists are far more numerous than most people realize. COME OUT of the closet! You’ll feel liberated, and your example will encourage others to COME OUT too. (Don’t “out” anybody else, wait for them to OUT themselves when they are ready to do so).
The scarlet letter (A for Atheist) is brilliant, I must say, harkening back, of course, to Hawthorne’s book The Scarlet Letter. Of course, the anarchists already have a fix on the use of the letter A, but when I see this shirt, I’ll be sure to think either “Absolute Fool” (see foolsheart.com), Arrogant Rationalist, Anti-Religionist, or Argumentative A**. I’m glad they are labeling themselves, it will make it easier to round them up and put them into camps ;).
OK, OK, don’t get upset, you irritable atheists – that last comment was a joke. We all know that rounding up people was something that the Social Darwinist eugenicist Nazis did, not Christians. We have no more intention of rounding up atheists than we do gays. Really. It’s just the fear mongers among you who make you think that’s a reality. Just watch the news and you can see who is rounding up dissidents and killing them, OK? Islamist radicals and atheistic Communists.
And don’t remind me about how heretics and atheists were persecuted by the “Church” – we’re all very sorry, OK? Besides, Catholic atrocities don’t count against us Protestants, since we were persecuted by the corrupt anti-Christ Popes too. And don’t forget, the witch hunts of the Protestants were an isolated historic event, only killing a very few people (25) compared to the millions killed by atheistic communism.
Back to the OUT campaign. Al Mohler has a nice post on this, in which he remarked:
Truth is not determined by numbers, but influence often is.
It will be interesting to see how many militants he can arouse for social action.
What is also interesting is that Dawkins is not just on an anti-Christian rant, but to his credit, he is against ALL religion and superstition.
The Times [London] reports that Dawkins is launching a new television series in Britain devoted to exposing false beliefs concerning religion and the paranormal. According to Dawkins’ restricted worldview, there is little difference there.
I guess in this sense, he will be doing us a favor. While Christian faith may not yield to every demand that Dawkins’ scientism puts forth, the application of the scientific method to superstition, false historic claims, and charlatans can only strengthen healthy faith, and weed out obvious liars. James Randi would be proud.
But as the London Times notes, not every feature of healthy faith can be measured or proven by double-blind empirical studies – such things as archetypes and the nature and reality of the life to come contribute to the richness and goodness of humanity (arguably). Note Dawkins equivocation on this:
As far as Dawkins is concerned the truth is indeed out there, but too many of us are looking in the wrong direction. I put it to him that his assertion that these unverifiable beliefs “undermine our civilisation” flies in the face of the importance of richness of myth and religious belief to our artistic and cultural inheritance. His answer is straightforward: “I suppose that’s an aesthetic judgment.”
Now if only militant Islamists, the true enemies of humanity, would wear a big letter on their shirts (a red A for the bloody Allah whom they serve?), that would be a Good Thing (TM).
And actually, for those of us Christians who are EX-atheists, buying and wearing one of these shirts could be a great witnessing tool. When an excited atheist comes up to us to talk about our shared hatred of God, you could then tell him, “oh yeah, I USED to be an atheist, but then, I met Jesus.” If only I was an ex-atheist, I would pull this bait and switch ploy regularly ;).