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Atheism As The Root Of All Evil?

5 April 2010

I really can’t let this Easter weekend pass without commenting on the utter garbage coming out of the mouths of otherwise educated and presumably intelligent people.

The words of Anthony Fisher, Catholic Archbishop of Parramatta (an area of Sydney):

“Last century we tried Godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating: Nazism, Stalinism, Pol-Potery**, mass murder, abortion and broken relationships – all promoted by state-imposed atheism”     

State-imposed “Godliness” has had some pretty devastating effects – the Inquisition and the Holy Wars are the immediate ones that spring to mind, and in the 20th Century, what about Bosnia, Northern Ireland and the Middle East?    

Both parties can argue till the cows come home which side of the religious spectrum has produced the most horror but that surely isn’t the point and just diminishes the argument, unless you consider it’s really been reduced to the “religion makes you good” one. 

All religious beliefs have produced good and honourable people – as has atheism.

All religious beliefs have produced murderers and despots – as has atheism.

And “produced” probably isn’t the right word – I don’t think that people have been necessarily made the way they are by their religion (or lack of it).

Archbishop Fisher also said “We find no community services sponsored by the atheists” which I find particularly insulting. 

Most of my good friends, but not all, are atheists.  Some are Christians.  But they are ALL generous in spirit, ethical, honourable and kind.  They would ALL help others, friends or strangers, in need.  Because they believe in society and community, NOT because they believe in God.

**Pol-Potery – isn’t that a wonderful word?

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5 comments

  1. I almost feel like I should apologise (on Anthony Fisher’s behalf) but I won’t. You know, I’m sure, that not all Christians feel the way the mainline church leaders do.

    I certainly don’t believe that statement about atheists and community services – heck, what planet does he live on and in what century?

    It is true that some terrible things have been perpetrated in the name of religion and in the name of God. I sometimes cannot comprehend the atrocities which humans have inflicted and still inflict on other human beings. We all have the potential to be both oppressed and the oppressor; and sometimes fulfil both roles!

    BTW, I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing long weekend.


  2. I remember reading a few years ago, in George W’s time, I think, that the US government would cease to fund any charitable organisation that wasn’t run by a religious group, church, or whatever. Does anyone know whether this actually took place?

    I take real offence to the statement that atheists have never sponsored “good works”. In the UK we have probably the longest tradition of formalising charitably works, going back to at least Elizabeth I in the 16th century, but interestingly this was to enable those with regligious beliefs to put this into action by giving them the opportunity to support anyone who needed help. The Quakers and their untiring works in social reform are a good example, as is the work of the Salvation Army.

    That’s a very different matter to restricting assistance to those who also believe or to those who will convert (or pretend to) in order to get help. And the absence of a religious belief in others who get involved in helping those in need has never been a barrier to their making real social improvements.


  3. However, if there were no God then there wouldn’t be any atheists. Also just because you don’t know somebody doesn’t mean that that person doesn’t exist 🙂

    Right about the speak-before-thinking garbage factor though, makes me cringe.


  4. Did you hear about this easter stunt http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2010/04/04/161225_news.html ?

    There are still pages devoted to the fall out in the local paper down here. My particular favourite was the opinion piece that stated that “however-many christians worldwide could not be wrong” (cos we all know that majority = truth!) and then stated that the person complaining about the demonstration probably hadn’t taught he kids that Jesus was the reason for the easter bunny and eggs. Never mind that they were pagan fertility symbols usurped by the church to convert worshippers….


  5. Yes, this particular bit of sermonising struck me as well, highly offensive stuff!



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