Atheist-Bashing in High Gear; Rabbi Lapin Calls Atheists ‘Parasites’, Talked of Spilling Blood, While the Pope Blames Us for the Holocaust
It’s been a busy few weeks for religious zealots with a hate-on for Atheists, I have to say.
First up, Rabbi Lapin, a member of Glenn Beck’s little Black Robe Regiment group of creepy theocrat wannabes, had this to say on the September 3rd episode:
"I tell them directly, I do believe, that Atheists are parasites."
(my transcription, so if I got a word wrong, try not to burn me at the stake or what not)
You see, we’re ‘benefitting’ from the ‘energy’ put out by religious folks without putting anything into the system. Honestly, it sounds like some nerdy explanation of The Force as much as anything else.
However, as the Young Turks and David Neiwart have documented, Lapin’s hardly new to Atheist bashing, and perhaps worse. About the religious vs. the non-religious in the US, Lapin said:
"I am absolutely convinced that God is far from finished with the story of the United States of America," he said by way of summation. "First of all, [there’s] the matter of the little battle that must be fought, just as it was in the 19th century." There were, and are, "two incompatible moral visions for this country. We had to settle it then. We’re going to have to settle it now. I hope not with blood, not with guns, but we’re going to have to settle it nonetheless. The good news is that I think our side is finally ready to settle it. Roll up its sleeves, take off its jacket, and get a little bloody. Spill a little blood. We’ll settle it. And we’ll win. And then there’s no holding us back."
(Just for a little left-wing solidarity I feel I should point out that Lapin hates teh Gay with equal fervor)
Over in Europe meanwhile, the Pope is making his grand UK appearance, full of pomp and speechifying, with enormous, nay, lavish amounts of security at taxpayer expense, naturally. Don’t worry though, he’s not there to humbly beg forgiveness for the innumerable sex scandals plaguing his institution, he’s there to bring the smack down on the Atheists:
Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a "reductive vision of the person and his destiny".
Of course the idea that Nazi Germany was Atheistic is utter nonsense, and the idea that Hitler was an Atheist rather dubious at best. He certainly claimed, over and over, to be a Christian, and had effusive praise for the power of religion, specifically claiming to be a Catholic, and that Christianity informed and guided his particular brand of insanity.
Considering the Catholic Church’s troubled relationship with fascism, ie, its often open support of Fascist dictatorships as a bulwark against Communism, I’m somewhat amused by the sheer unmitigated gall the current leader of that religion has to lay Hitler at *our* feet.
Needless to say this speech hasn’t gone over well with the UK’s large Atheist/Irreligious community, or, say, Richard Dawkins:
This statement by the pope, on his arrival in Edinburgh, is a despicable outrage. Even if Hitler had been an atheist, his political philosophy was not based upon atheism and had no connection with atheism. Hitler was arguably (and by his own account) a Roman Catholic. In any case he enjoyed the open support of many of the most senior catholic clergy in Germany and the less demonstrative support of Pope Pius XII. Even if Hitler had been an atheist (he certainly was not), the rank and file Germans who carried out the attempted extermination of the Jews were Christians, almost to a man: either Catholic or Lutheran, primed to their anti-Semitism by centuries of Catholic propaganda about ‘Christ-killers’ and by Martin Luther’s own seething hatred of the Jews. To mention Ratzinger’s membership of the Hitler Youth might be thought to be fighting dirty, but my feeling is that the gloves are off after this disgraceful paragraph by the pope.
I shy away from the Hitler Youth thing, if only because he’s currently, as we speak, the head of an international conspiracy to hide child molestors from the law.
There is perhaps a bright side though; attendance at the Pope’s events is far, far below expectations, and the Humanists in Scotland are ready for his visit with some hilarious billboards touting the country’s rapidly growing secularism.
Heh heh. Made me laugh, anyway.
Still, I see stories like this and I can’t help but wonder at the whole spectacle. Religious figures really can get away with saying whatever ignorant, hateful thing they want about atheists, can’t they? There’s really no consequence for doing so. It’s completely within the scope of acceptable political discourse.
(Inevitably necessary disclaimer: Yes, they have the free speech right to say these things, at least here in America, though Lapin’s edging pretty close to inciting violence. The point is that, come next week, Lapin will still give appearances and go on tv without being noted as a vile eliminationist, and the Pope will still be ranting about Atheists causing all the woes in the world, and that’s apparently perfectly acceptable. Imagine the outcry if you substituted ‘Islam’ for atheism, or ‘Jews’ for atheist, in this type of speech. Don’t you think the reaction would differ?)