RICHARD DAWKINS: CATHOLICISM IS WORSE THAN CHILD ABUSE
Sunday, 4 March, 2007 3:28 PM
From: "Rory Connor"
To: "Professor Vincent Comerford", "Ronan Fanning", "Dr. Colum Kenny", "Daire Keogh", "Dermot Keogh", "Dr. Eoin O'Sullivan", "Professor Irene Whelan" "Editor History Ireland" , "John Horgan" , "Louise Fuller Maynooth"
RICHARD DAWKINS: CATHOLICISM IS WORSE THAN CHILD ABUSE
[This is from a humanist website that SUPPORTS Dawkins so you can be sure that they are not misrepresenting their hero. Again Dawkins views indicate how witch-hunts originate among the elite of society and penetrate downwards. The fish always rots from the head!
In what can only be considered an incredibly unfortunate statement during a recent conversation (actually October 2002 RC) with Emily Hourican of The Dubliner, Richard Dawkins advances the claim that religion is worse than sexual abuse (bolding mine):
The Catholic Church also has an extraordinarily retrogressive stance on everything to do with reproduction. Any sort of new technology which makes life easier for women without causing any suffering is likely to be opposed by the Catholic Church. Regarding the accusations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, deplorable and disgusting as those abuses are, they are not so harmful to the children as the grievous mental harm in bringing up the child Catholic in the first place. ...
When I first saw this mentioned at The Jewish Atheist (via The Uncredible Hallq) I thought Dawkins was being misquoted or quoted out of context. Unfortunately, not so! You know what point Dawkins was trying to make. I know what point Dawkins was trying to make. Nevertheless, to claim that sexual abuse is worse than Catholic teachings is incredibly misguided and flat out insensitive to victims of pedophilia.
Unlike The Atheist Jew though I don't think this is going to affect my opinion of Dawkins too much. Of course, that's why we're atheists, right? We don't need to worship gods or demigods, even if they're as smart as Dawkins.
The God Shaped Hole - The Dubliner October 2002
Richard Dawkins assesses the legacy of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and enters a plea for a religion-free society.
I am delighted that one of the leading Roman Catholic seminaries for the training of young priests in Ireland is closing down because it can't get any recruits. When I read that in the newspaper, it left me smiling for the rest of the day. However, if the Catholic Church does die in Ireland - and I devoutly hope it will - I hope that it will not be replaced by some other idiotic superstition like New Age-ism or some other kind of religion.
The Roman Catholic Church is one of the forces for evil in the world, mainly because of the powerful influence it has over the minds of children. The Catholic Church has developed, over the centuries, brilliant techniques in brain washing children; even intelligent people who have had a proper, full cradle-Catholic upbringing find it hard to shake it off when they reach adulthood. Obviously many of them do - and congratulations to them for it - but even some really quite intelligent people fail to shake it off, powerful evidence of the skill in brainwashing that the Catholic Church exercises. It's far more skilled than, for instance, the Anglican Church, mere amateurs in the game.
The Catholic Church also has an extraordinarily retrogressive stance on everything to do with reproduction. Any sort of new technology which makes life easier for women without causing any suffering is likely to be opposed by the Catholic Church. Regarding the accusations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, deplorable and disgusting as those abuses are, they are not so harmful to the children as the grievous mental harm in bringing up the child Catholic in the first place.
I had a letter from a woman in America in her forties, who said that when she was a child of about seven, brought up a Catholic, two things happened to her: one was that she was sexually abused by her parish priest. The second thing was that a great friend of hers at school died, and she had nightmares because she thought her friend was going to hell because she wasn't Catholic. For her there was no question that the greatest child abuse of those two was the abuse of being taught about hell. Being fondled by the priest was negligible in comparison. And I think that's a fairly common experience.
I can't speak about the really grave sexual abuse that obviously happens sometimes, which actually causes violent physical pain to the altar boy or whoever it is, but I suspect that most of the sexual abuse priests are accused of is comparatively mild - a little bit of fondling perhaps, and a young child might scarcely notice that. The damage, if there is damage, is going to be mental damage anyway, not physical damage. Being taught about hell - being taught that if you sin you will go to everlasting damnation, and really believing that - is going to be a harder piece of child abuse than the comparatively mild sexual abuse.
The word atheism sounds negative; let me call it rationalism. It is a rational view of the world where you stand up proudly, in your humanity, you look life straight in the face, you look the universe straight in the face, you do your level best to understand it, to understand why you exist, what the universe is about, you recognise that when you die that's it, and therefore life is very, very precious and you devote your life to making the world a better place, to leading a good life so when you die you can say to yourself I have led a good life. Now, that seems to me to be a worthwhile goal to put in place of the medieval superstition which is religion. Belief in God doesn't have to be a bad thing, but I think it's a very demeaning thing to the human mind to believe in a falsehood, especially as the truth about the universe is so immensely exciting.
At the beginning of the 21st century, we humans have a real opportunity to learn about and understand the universe, the world, humanity, life, in a way that none of our predecessors have ever come close to. That is a huge privilege, and belief in God simply gets in the way of that. Religion is an irrelevance, it's a distraction, it's a rather boring, parochial falsehood that stands in the way of the glories of true understanding.
In conversation with Emily Hourican
COMMENT BY RORY CONNOR: I do understand that Richard Dawkins hates the Catholic Church but that does not explain everything. (I'm not too keen on left-wing intellectuals myself but I don't make false allegations of child abuse against them!).
No one says to himself "I am a scumbag and I will now proceed to tell lies about my enemies." No matter how vicious or absurd his behaviour, every person needs to be able to justify himself. So how does Dawkins do it (and after all he has numerous admirers)?
I suggest that the word "paedophile" is losing its meaning and is morphing into an insult that "liberals" throw at their enemies. A previous generation of intellectuals did the same with the word "fascism". In his essay "Politics and the English Language" George Orwell wrote that "Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’".
I have previously pointed out [Note 1] that at least 7 Irish Bishops have had false allegations of child abuse (or covering up child abuse) thrown at them. The media shrieks insults at the Bishop for a short period until it is forced to apologise (or the Bishop is dead and the media moves on to a new "scandal"). Even when a newspaper or TV station is obliged to retract its accusation, the apology is quickly buried.
Liberal Intellectuals of that kind have no conception of the damage done by real child abusers. In fact they have no interest in paedophilia at all except as a devise for selling newspapers or a way of insulting clergy and "reactionaries". THAT is the intellectual atmosphere in which Richard Dawkins feels free to say that it is more harmful to bring up a child as a Catholic than to sexually abuse him.
4 March 2007
 See "False Sex Allegations against Irish Bishops" and "Objections to False Allegations against Irish Bishops" on www.alliancesupport.org on 9th and 21st December 2006. See also "Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O'Grady" on 16 January 2007)