How can a man with such a high IQ have such low views? – by A N Wilson Last updated at 3:59 PM on 15th February 2012

In 1% tricks and traps, advice, critical discourse, criticism, word of the law on February 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Yesterday, Professor Richard Dawkins was on Radio 4’s Today programme defending his latest piece of secularist propaganda — a poll which purportedly shows that of those who said they were Christians, many did not go to Church, read the Bible or hold very specific beliefs about Jesus, and some could not even name the first book of the New Testament.

On this basis, Dawkins suggested, it was wrong to claim Britain is still a Christian country, so we should get rid of bishops sitting in the House of Lords, abolish faith schools and put an end to chaplains in NHS hospitals.

Radio 4 had asked along the Rev Giles Fraser, former Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, to lock horns with Dawkins. He said it was ludicrous to assume someone was not a Christian simply because he could not name the first book of the New Testament.
‘Secularist propaganda’: On Radio 4, Richard Dawkins suggested it was wrong to claim Britain is still a Christian country, citing a poll which shows that many ‘Christians’ do not appear to practice their religion

‘Secularist propaganda’: On Radio 4, Richard Dawkins suggested it was wrong to claim Britain is still a Christian country, citing a poll which shows that many ‘Christians’ do not appear to practice their religion

And he challenged Dawkins, as the high priest of the secular movement, to recite the full title of the secularists’ own bible, Darwin’s Origin Of Species.

So Dawkins began, ‘On The Origin of Species?…’ before getting it wrong and, rather touchingly in the circumstances, groaning: ‘Oh God, there’s a sub-title.’

(The full title is On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection, Or The Preservation Of Favoured Races In The Struggle For Life.)

The professor’s humiliation, in which he was skewered on his own argument, did not stop him from taking to the airwaves throughout the day to promote his anti-Christian agenda with its creed of intolerance and ignorance.

Sadly, his zealotry would have precluded him giving consideration to an event the day before, in which a Cabinet Office minister called eloquently for Europe to become more confident and comfortable in its Christianity.

Religious discourse: Rev Giles Fraser, former Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral (left) challenged Richard Dawkins to recite the full title of Charles Darwin’s most famous work

Baroness Warsi — a woman and a Muslim — was addressing the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in the Vatican. She said: ‘The societies we live in, the cultures we have created, the values we hold and the things we fight for, all stem from centuries of discussion, dissent and belief in Christianity.’

Her speech was especially timely. ‘I am not calling for some kind of 21st-century theocracy,’ she went on. ‘Religious faith and its followers do not have the only answer?… My concern is when secularisation is pushed to an extreme, when it requires the complete removal of faith from the public sphere.’

Note the difference in tone between Baroness Warsi and Professor Dawkins. I believe she speaks for most people in this country, for the huge number who would not call themselves very religious, but who might want a wedding or a funeral in church, and who might very well describe themselves as Christian.

In contrast to Baroness Warsi’s open-minded declaration that religion might not have ‘the only answer’ to life, Dawkins peddles the extraordinary view that science does have all life’s answers.

The truth is that science does not even have the answers to the questions posed by science itself, let alone the questions posed by philosophy, or by the experiences of birth, love, bereavement and the prospect of our own deaths.

Very few Christians of the 21st century would see such matters in the same terms that they were seen by Christians in the Middle Ages or in the first century AD.

But that does not mean there is no reason for practising a faith, or for having religious institutions which hallow and shape our experiences of life.

The contempt felt by the secularists such as Dawkins for hospital chaplains tells us so much about their approach to life. The chaplaincies in our NHS hospitals play a vital role in bringing healing, human company and comfort to patients.
Repercussions: The trouble with this observation is that it all too often leads to reactionary extremes

Timely: I believe that Baroness Warsi speaks for most people in this country

This is not something we should despise. No doubt, some religious extremists would wish, in such circumstances, to push their own hardline viewpoint on to vulnerable patients and their families.

Most, however, are kindly presences, recognising the fears we all feel in the face of illness or death, and are offering comfort.

When the immensely popular comedian Peter Kay wrote in his autobiography that he was brought up as a Roman Catholic and found the notion of some kind of God or higher being ‘comforting’, Dawkins was excoriating. ‘How can you take seriously someone who likes to believe something because he finds it “comforting?”?’ he demanded.

It is almost beyond belief that such an eminent man could ask such a silly question.

When figures such as Richard Dawkins are asked to defend themselves against religion, they always select as their opponents the most extreme fundamentalists — whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish.

But Dawkins’ presumption to have an idea of someone else’s innermost beliefs is both fanatical and an intrusive thing.

He may be very clever at explaining the theory of evolution, but when hurling insults at those who profess their religious belief, he is hardly the objective scientist.

Of Nadia Eweida, the check-in worker whom British Airways tried to prevent from wearing a cross round her neck, he said she had ‘one of the most stupid faces I have ever seen’.

There never has been, in the whole history of the world, a culture or a society or a civilisation which was devoid of any religious structure.
Forgotten truth: Richard Dawkins neglects to dwell upon the fact that Charles Darwin said he believed in God

Forgotten truth: Richard Dawkins neglects to dwell upon the fact that Charles Darwin said he believed in God

Nor, in the history of human thought in West or East, does there exist more than a handful of eccentrics who would reject the spiritual dimension of life.

The vociferous secularist minority may, at first hearing, sound like the majority of intelligent men and women, dominating the broadcasting channels and much of the printed media.

But they have ranged against them Plato and Aristotle, nearly all the philosophers and sages of East and West down to the 20th century. Einstein was no atheist either. ‘Science without religion is lame,’ he said. ‘Religion without science is blind.’

Even Charles Darwin — and this is a fact Dawkins does not dwell upon — said he believed in God.

It is time the secularists shut up and grew up. They are like spotty adolescents who think themselves clever for cocking a snook at the clergy. Anyone can pick holes in the more absurd myths of religion, just as anyone can make perky fifth-form debating points about the non-existence of God.

The truths of the great religions have been tested, not in radio studios but in human lives. Look at the deeply religious beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King.

They were all highly intelligent people whose gentle lives are more impressive than the strident debating points of secularism.

I am not saying gentleness is impossible for unbelievers; merely that a little more gentleness from the secular lobby might allow them a humble glimpse of what we all — whatever our beliefs — owe to our religious inheritance.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

But Xianity’s not even the native religion of the North Atlantic Isles??? Celtism, Wiccanism and the Tuantha Pantheon are the TRUE faith of Scots, Welsh and Irish BEFORE the English invaded and subjugated the original faith systems and peoples (albeit beringing some tehcnology and development, that does not justify the loss of Sovereignty nor the right to destroy the original faith systems).

So who’s going to keep the native religion alive while all the ‘Godders’ go around being all Xian which was only imported when the Angles colonised and butchered the local Scots, Irish and Welsh? He who has no roots has no future. And that is why Israel and Palestine both have the sympathy of many with Israel holding to Judaism which of course was derived from the Egyptians.

“Anyone can pick holes in the more absurd myths of religion, just as anyone can make perky fifth-form debating points about the non-existence of God.”

Don’t throw that strawman at the people. The original faith issue conquers all arguments about people making non-arguments. This point is moot and culture and faith ORIGINALE is the real issue. Xianity is an Aramean/Armenian import of the near middle East from what some call ‘sand n1gg3rs’. Not white enough!

It takes a high IQ to want to keep one’s original faith system relevant and vibrant in opposition to one from a foreign land and full of strife, what makes such informativeness on one’s homeland’s native faith system to survive and be strong in one’s own homeland such a low view?

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