I think it’s now safe to say that the Archbishop of Wales is a prat. Much like the pope he seems to think that “atheistic fundamentalism” is one of the greatest problems facing the world. I’m sure war, famine and poverty are also on his list, somewhere.
We will overlook, for the moment, that there is no such thing as atheistic fundamentalism, there is simply the lack of belief in gods, and we will overlook, for the moment, that recent pronouncements from both the catholic and anglican churches on everything from homosexuality, education and abortion have been somewhat fundamentalist in their own right. Instead, let’s look at what this guy is saying:
He said it advocated that religion in general and Christianity in particular have no substance, and that some view the faith as “superstitious nonsense”.
Well, that’s pretty much a given. I would object to “Christianity in particular” though, any religion that proposes gods is superstition nonsense. This is pretty harmless stuff: anglicans think catholicism is superstitious nonsense and vice versa. Muslims and christians all think Hinduism is superstitious nonsense, and they’re all inclined to think that Thor is superstitious nonsense. Atheists just intend to agree with all of them. This is the same as blowing up buses?
the archbishop said “virulent, almost irrational” attacks on Christianity led to hospitals removing all Christian symbols from their chapels, and schools refusing to allow children to send Christmas cards with a Christian message.
I think the archbishop will be delighted to learn that it was, in fact, the Muslims that have been removing (covering, actually) christian symbols from hospital churches. I’m not quite sure who’s preventing whose children from sending cards, but I’m not aware of any atheists demanding that christians stop putting christian messages in their own cards. This is the same as prohibiting women from driving? He’s not even identified the correct perpetrators.
He also said it led to things like “airlines refusing staff the freedom to wear a cross round their necks” in a reference to the row in which British Airways (BA) suspended an employee who insisted on wearing a cross necklace.
This is the Evil Atheist Conspiracy at its worst. You see the Evil Atheist Conspiracy has infiltrated the board of directors at British Airways; their goal: to change the uniform policy in order to bring down religion. Cunning eh? No one tell him that the woman would have been suspended for refusing to remove a standard silver chain with no pendant on it too. This, you see, is morally equivalent to sentencing a rape victim to lashes because she had the audacity to share a car with a man.
Dr Morgan said it was “perfectly natural” to have a “coherent and rational debate about the tenets of the Christianity”.
But he said “virulent, almost irrational” attacks on it were “dangerous” because they refused to allow any contrary viewpoint and also affected the public perception of religion.
Which leaves hanging the obvious question: who gets to decide what is a “coherent and rational debate”, and which is a “virulent, almost irrational attack”. One strongly suspects that the answer is “it’s coherent and rational if you agree with me”, but “it’s virulent, almost irrational if you don’t”.