Richard Dawkins, who claims to oppose genocide, vows to “destroy” Christianity

Rev. George Pitcher writes about an interview of Christopher Hitchens conducted by Richard Dawkins. (H/T Thinking Christian)

Excerpt:

But the centrepiece of this Christmas edition is the main coup for the New Statesman – an interview by Prof. Dawkins with Christopher Hitchens, the great polymath who today lost his fight against cancer. It’s a fascinating read over three double-page spreads. Not least because Prof. Dawkins reveals a charming humility, allowing Hitchens to show his intellectual superiority at his own expense. Hitchens is thoughtful about CS Lewis and Christianity and rather leaves Prof. Dawkins floundering in his wake, occasionally interjecting little assents to show that he’s still there, as he struggles to keep up.

But one of these interjections is most revealing. About half-way through, the Prof gets this in edgeways: ‘Do you ever worry that if we win and, so to speak, destroy Christianity, that vacuum would be filled by Islam?’

So, ‘if we win…and destroy Christianity’. True, there’s a ‘so to speak’ in there, but it doesn’t do much. Try ‘If we win and, so to speak, kill all the Jews’ as an alternative. Doesn’t really work, does it? And Prof Dawkins can hardly claim that he was misquoted or taken out of context. He was editing the magazine, after all – there’s even a picture of him doing so, pen poised masterfully over page proofs.

Now you might think that Dawkins intends to destroy Christianity in debates, and not in the wars and purges of atheism that occurred last century in North Korea, Cambodia, China, the Soviet Union, and so on. Those atheist regimes caused the deaths of 100 million people, according to Harvard University Press. But Dawkins has refused to debate William Lane Craig on more than one occasion. So whatever he means by “destroy Christianity”, he doesn’t mean “defeat them in rational debate, using superior arguments and evidence”. He had his chance to do that, and he passed on it. So, he must mean something else by “destroying Christianity” other than persuasion.

Let’s find out what Richard Dawkins thinks about morality. Dawkins has previously written this:

The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

(“God’s Utility Function,” Scientific American, November, 1995, p. 85)

Dawkins’ view is that nothing is really good or bad objectively. Cultures just evolve certain conventions, and those conventions vary arbitrarily by time and place. I think we need to interpret his goal of destroying Christianity against the backdrop of his nihilism. 50 million unborn children have been killed in the United States since 1973 alone. That’s 50 million people with distinct genetic codes different from their mothers or their fathers, who will never grow up to achieve their potential.

Dawkins himself is in favor of infanticide:

So what might destroying Christianity look like to an atheist?

Here it what destroying Christianity means in North Korea, the most atheistic country on the planet.

Excerpt:

A Christian woman accused of distributing the Bible, a book banned in communist North Korea, was publicly executed last month for the crime, South Korean activists said Friday.

The 33-year-old mother of three, Ri Hyon Ok, also was accused of spying for South Korea and the United States, and of organizing dissidents, a rights group said in Seoul, citing documents obtained from the North.

The Investigative Commission on Crime Against Humanity report included a copy of Ri’s government-issued photo ID and said her husband, children and parents were sent to a political prison the day after her June 16 execution.

That’s what Kim Jong Il means by “destroy Christianity”. What does Dawkins mean by it?

FLASHBACK: American Atheists calls for the eradication of Christianity.

22 thoughts on “Richard Dawkins, who claims to oppose genocide, vows to “destroy” Christianity”

  1. I’m a bit confused by the political ties you are making. If communism represents atheism, then is capitalism supposed to represent Christianity? Because that would directly go against the Bible’s “you cannot serve god and money” verses, of which there are several.

    1. Yes, capitalism is broadly consistent with Judaism and Christianity.

      See:
      Politics According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem
      Money, Greed and God by Jay Richards
      The Virtues of Capitalism by Scott Rae
      etc.

  2. It is a strange concept though, as I believed Christianity to be against wealth and material things, which Capitalism promotes. I will have to do some reading!

    I think that that this Dawkins clip shows that he wants to relieve suffering, not kill babies for no apparent reason. With a belief in the afterlife, one should not fear death, especially of the innocent, for they will have a place in heaven. This salvation is more important than their time spent on earth. Christianity has made that very clear, and to relive suffering on earth and allow a soul to ascend to heaven innocent sounds like a pretty good deal.

  3. Christianity, if practiced correctly, naturally leads to individual freedom, tolerance and free markets. All of these are essential for capitalism and free trade to flourish.

  4. Last I checked my scriptures do not point to christ being a respecter of economic policy. However, as to whether Capitalism is synomomous with Christianity, I would invite readers to look into the church in Acts 2.

    However, Communism is most certianly Synomous with Atheism as per the Communist Manifesto.

    “Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.”

    “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

    Karl Marx was very clear that to be a communist, to be a marxist one must be an Atheist, as “religion is the opiate of the masses.”

  5. Yes, communism is antitheist and Marx was an atheist.

    To promote Capitalism is to promote the rule of one that is not God. I would think this would include problems with false idols.

    To promote Capitalism would be promoting material wealth, as the goal of Capitalism is to create material wealth. Jesus is not a fan of this, and even the bible says:

    Psalm 23:1
    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

    Ecclesiastes 5:10
    Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

    Hebrews 13:5
    Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.

    There are a lot of bible verses that promote SOCIALISM, of which the goal is equality and wealth is redistributed:

    Proverbs 3:27
    Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

    Deuteronomy 16:17
    Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

    Proverbs 21:26
    …the righteous gives and does not hold back.

    Proverbs 22:9
    He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.

    Proverbs 28:27
    He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

    2 Corinthians 9:6-8
    Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

    BUT, I don’t think religion and politics should be fuel for each other. Good Christians, like my grandparents, know that politics and religion are two different things. God wouldn’t want it that way.

    1. Holy snark. Don’t you understand the difference between private, voluntary charitable giving and compulsory redistribution of wealth by a secular government?

      Christianity supports helping widows and orphans. It doesn’t support taking money away from a working family so that some teenager can have breast enlargements, some convicted criminal can have a sex change, or some 45-year-old feminist professor can have IVF. (Those are from the UK, the UK and Canada, respectively)

      I’m sorry to be mean, but honestly – Christianity is about individuals freely choosing to give what they earn to people in need, and socialism is about giving $535 million dollars of taxpayer money to Solyndra, a company connected to an Obama fundraiser.

      As far as the separation of religion and politics, no authentic Christian could have that view. Otherwise, we would never have ended slavery and we wouldn’t be fighting on behalf of unborn children today.

  6. Freedom, private property etc., certainly work best in the Christian life! But hey, I am an old RMC,Royal Marine Commando! ;)

      1. We are old Boot-Necks, the old Guarani war-cry “Sapukay” came out of the Falklands for some. I was at one time attached to the American Marine Force Recon..Ou-Rah!

  7. Mathew 7:1-2
    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

    Luke 12:33
    Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

    God wants us to give, not to pas judgement. You are doing both. Let’s not make assumptions!

      1. I agree with you Mr. Wintery. Concerning this, to relegate what is happening here as being tantamount to or an argument for Socialism is not doing justice to the biblical text.
        The Church in Jerusalem was in persecution. One does not have to read much further to see this persecution in action and some of the consequences for being Christian. This degree of persecution was not the same across all the churches, as can be seen in 2 Cor. 8,9; where the believers were doing much better financially than those in Jerusalem. Here Paul is asking for a collection for the saints in Jerusalem. Two prominent themes here are: love, and freewill. Paul in 2 Cor. 9:5 says “… the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction (A gift that is grudgingly granted by avarice [or insatiable greed] (BDAG)(ESV).” He goes on to say that “God loves a cheerful giver (9:7)” and that it not only supplied needs but thanksgiving to God(9:11). If this is divorced from God and attributed to “the State” it loses sense of meaning. Furthermore, Paul makes it clear that the Corinthian believers were of differing economic classes as Paul tells them to give according to what they have, not according to what they do not have [e.g. the widow’s two mites](8:11). Also in Acts 12:12,13; it is seen that John Mark’s mother had a house and a servant girl (no doubt a member of the Church), whereas there were surely some who did not own a house at all.
        For a more direct example, 1 Tim. 5 gives direct instructions to what is likely the church in Ephesus. Here it can be seen that there was a problem with caring for the widows, where the solution was not a form of ecclesiastical socialism. Also, some ministers were to receive more honor than others according to how well they ministered. The “honor” here refers to the material according to the next verse.
        All of these things were written well after the events in Acts 2. If this were to be a normative established practice, there would be some other clues later on in the other churches. There is much to be said of a theology of giving, but not as a government ran economic solution contrary to love and freewill under God.
        Judgment- or lack there of, basically means that we lose almost all sense of freewill. If you see someone get out of a new BMW and walks around the corner to beg for money for a bus ticket to get to a soup kitchen you would probably think twice. Why? This was a judgment. Or, your 15 year old teenage daughter wants to stay the night at her boyfriends house, do you stop and think about it at all? This is a judgment too.
        –Great blog Mr. Knight. Thanks for your dedication and work… sorry for the judgment. (These were only for examples and not meant to disrespect or disregard anyone – though I did mean the compliment, I visit every now and then :) )

  8. As I read this I wonder if some of this discussion was not caused by my brief statement. Please note, if you assume that I am endorsing the idea that Christianity and Socialism are synonomous, I would say this is not what I intended.
    The communalism of socialism is contrary to the individual relationships, and the individual conscience/ goodness, of the Gospel.
    As well, however, the ends of capitalism and the motivators of this system such as greed, “lording over Power”, etc are also counter to the Gospels.
    I would, however, given the choices, capitalism allows freedom, which then allows true believers to choose to be greedy or not, they may choose to be succesful within the capitalistic framework, or they may choose to be unsuccessful. This is not the case for socialism or communism. Thus, given our options, and given the freedom which it allows, capitalism is the best economic system for Christians.
    I do not however, believe that our God has an official economic system. His is perfect, our systems will always be fallen.
    His system, a system of radical, loving, generousity, as per the the story of the Woman with her Last Coin in Luke 21, will never be established among wretches like me, like us.
    Oh, how great will it be to live in his kingdom under his kind of systems. But we will never know this until we are in his kingdom for eternity.

  9. Atheism is the religion of the coward: It teaches to just yield to the easily reinforced delusion (but only in the short run) of being the master of one’s life. Of course it’s nonsense, but it’s more difficult than facing the truth of one’s mortality and asking the really difficult questions. Richard Dawkins is supposed to be brilliant but he’s afraid of debating the carefully thought out Christian, Dr.William Lane Craig.

    1. Amen, Craig would clean his clock! And indeed every atheist lives in a kinda place of mental cowardice…”The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.” (Ps.14:1) It is very interesting that St. Paul quotes from this Psalm in Romans 3:10, etc.

  10. I do now understand why christians would prefer capitalism after reading some of the more informative comments, so thanks to Brandon and tobeforgiven.

    I am not a coward, but I understand your hostility. It isn’t easy to have discussions with people who don’t share the same views. Insults are not the way to better understanding each other.

    1. Here’s a nice long course of audio lectures on Christianity and economics:
      https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/how-i-got-interested-in-the-relationship-between-christianity-and-economics/

      And here’s another lecture:
      http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/285816-1

      And another:
      [audio src="http://bonhoeffer.acton.org/acton_media/mp3/2008-06-11_Richards.mp3" /]

      And from the number one Christian theologian:
      http://scottsdalebible.com/tag/factors-within-nations

      Outline for that lecture here:
      http://www.christianessentialssbc.com/downloads/50factorsthatcantransformnationsrev12-9-08.pdf

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