October 08, 2009

Jackass story of the week....

The story here isn't really saying much.....just that there are atheists in high schools. Wow. It's the running commentary from Cardinal Francis George that really makes the head spin. What a complete and utter boob.

A “triumphalistic, self-righteous atheism” inspired by the work of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris is winning a following among American young people, leading to “atheist clubs” in high schools, according to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

The cardinal, who is President of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, says that unbelief among young people is more than a question of stopping going to church: it is part of a fashionable “new atheism” which is every bit as intolerant as Christian fundamentalism.

He told John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter:
“In Chicago, we now have atheist clubs in high schools. We didn’t have those five years ago. Kids I would have confirmed in the eighth grade, by the time they’re sophomores in high school say they’re atheists. They don’t just stop going to church, they make a statement. I think that’s new. That’s perhaps a bit more like Europe.”

The Cardinal agreed with Allen’s suggestion that that the atheism of Dawkins and Harris was “highly evangelical”:

“Yes it is, sure. Everybody has said that, and it’s true. It’s the mirror image of a kind of fundamentalism, because it’s very restrictive in its use of reason. It’s also very triumphalistic and self-righteous.”

The Cardinal’s comments will be hard to dismiss as scaremongering. YouTube is crawling with videos by articulate, friendly American teenagers and university students proclaiming their uncompromising atheism; indeed, atheism is one of the fastest-growing movements in the 18-25 age group, casting doubt on old assumptions that the religious impulse is somehow hard-wired into the American psyche.

Yet, as Cardinal George says, there is something strongly akin to religious fundamentalism in the evangelical commitment it arouses in its adherents. He, and the whole of the American Church, must be praying that the certainty of unbelief wears off as the “new atheists” have children and face the prospect of mortality. But, as statistics from Europe indicate, this not a foregone conclusion: atheism, like any other belief system, can be passed from one generation to the next.
A few points here...
The Cardinal is either being intellectually dishonest, or he's just stupid. Calling atheism "restrictive in it's use of reason" would be like called the ocean "extremely dry". Atheism, the scientific method, and reason are as intertwined as that dopey trinity he is so enthralled with.

Calling atheism as intolerant as fundamental Christianity is about as dopey as it gets as well. Last I checked it wasn't atheists who were against gay rights, think that women are inferior to men, were against birth control, and on and on and on. Atheism is not a set of beliefs. There is no dogma to follow.

He also comes up with this knee slapper "It’s (atheism) also very triumphalistic and self-righteous.” Excuse me? Did a Cardinal just say that atheists are self righteous? Excuse me while I take some time to pick my jaw up from my lap. WTF?


Kirk Jusko said...

If athiesm is now an act of rebellion rather than a mere statement of what a person thinks or believes, the religious folks have only themselves to blame. Be careful whose back you lash.

Raine said...

Wow. I feel like I just slipped into a parallel universe where atheism really means something entirely different. So, a bunch of people who believe some dude who was born of a dude in the sky, who came back from the dead, are worried about those that dont?

Christine Gram said...

I cracked up at the references to European atheists. Those damn Europeans!

What a crock.

Blueberry said...

He's perceiving religious fundamentists, who are triumphalist and self-righteous? He that smelt it dealt it.

...and Darth Vader wants to be Catholic? That figures.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

And this is why their little cults will die and the world will be better for it. Even eight graders can see through the bullshit and due to lax parenting skills have no fear in calling bullshit right to the face of Mr Holy Pants. This kind of douchey behavior by churches just about makes my head explode.