Why Richard Dawkins Is Angry



I find this very telling. In a brief video that’s making the rounds, currently highlighted at Why Evolution Is True, Richard Dawkins explains why he’s angry with religion. First, rather than allow untrammeled investigation and “questioning” about the universe, faith imposes dogmatic interpretations, saying simply “This is how it is.” Yeah, yeah. Yet when we find, let’s say, a teacher talking about how “disturbing” he finds it that students “question” the “irrefutable evidence” he lays before them, would you guess that teacher is a theist or a Darwinist?

Check out this article from LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. It’s an admiring profile of a biology teacher in a Los Angeles public high school who complains that some of his Christian students doubt what he tells them about evolution:

[W]hether the students are being influenced at home, in church or through Christian Club connections, Phillips finds it disturbing to see them turn in class reports in which they question irrefutable evidence that Darwin had it right.

Don’t these students realize that “This is how it is”?

Second, Dawkins says, “faith unsupported by evidence is a lethal weapon.” To back up this charge the video editor splices together a variety of visual images. Of those images intended to cast Christianity in a bad light, the visuals fall into three categories. There are scenes of children praying — which can’t be assumed to be a negative thing unless you’ve already accepted Dawkins’s message. There are pictures evoking events that happened centuries ago — the Crusades, the Inquisition. And there are pictures of members of the Westboro Baptist Church, protesting with their obscene signs.

Yes, the entire case against the contemporary Christian religion, a faith of 2 billion self-described believers worldwide, is allowed to rest on the actions of a single tiny group of nuts, reviled by everyone else in their faith if they are known at all and comprising just 40 members in total. This is the kind of evidence that Dawkins thinks we should find compelling.

The other day we referred you to an article at Huffington Post that sought, madly, to associate prospective academic freedom legislation in Indiana with, yes, the Westboro Baptist Church. ENV referred to WBC as “indispensable,” and that’s exactly the right word. What would Dawkins & Co. do without this handful of vile crazies?

Surely in a country of 314 million, the existence of 40 lunatics, most belonging to the same extended family, proves nothing other than it’s a big country. In that context, the frequency with which evangelizers for Dawinian materialism come back to them, obsessively, is really striking. If the members of Westboro Baptist Church didn’t exist, Richard Dawkins would have to invent them.

David Klinghoffer


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