While I of course do not countenance the harassment of anyone by religious nuts, I also have something of a baleful view of the kind of self-conscious atheist who regards it as a good use of his time to spend the day winding up the god squad. And so, I think it’s hard to argue that anyone involved will look back on the PZ Myers/Bill Donohoe/Webster Cook/”fricking cracker” episode and think “yes, that was my finest hour”.
My basic sympathies are with PZ. I’m in favour of occasionally having a bit of harmless fun at the expense of the religious as long as there aren’t too many obviously foreseeable adverse real-world consequences. In other words, I’m basically of the view “it’s all fun and games until the Danish Embassy gets burned down”.
Onnnnnnn the other hand though, while I am perhaps the last person on earth who is well-placed to tell anyone else that winding people up for the sake of it is a really silly and childish thing to do … well, winding people up for the sake of it is a really silly and childish thing to do, and furthermore Dawkinsite militant atheists are as annoying as fundies in their own way and perhaps deserve a bit of winding up too. Thus I have determined to strike a blow in retaliation on behalf of the Catholic Church.
I don’t think that joke-desecrating a page of Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” (which PZ did, photo evidence in the linked post) is remotely symmetrical – it’s rather like a man with a huge ugly nose calling someone else names and then saying “well, I don’t mind if you call me big-ears”. The secular humanists’ Achilles Heel isn’t their reverence for any particular book or artefact – it’s their wildly disproportionate hatred of religious education.
And so it is that, at some point this weekend, I plan to tell a small, credulous child (about whom I will provide no other information) that a rainbow is a special sign from God that he promises never to flood the world again and that this proves that God exists. And PZ Myers will have this on his conscience that as a direct result of his actions. I think this rather than writing to somebody’s boss or soliciting a deluge of hatemail, might be considered a proportionate retaliation. Have a good weekend, true believers.