(Photo: Dan Delzell)
Richard Dawkins has done it again. And this time he has really placed atheists in a pickle. Do they follow the abusive admonition of one of their idols, and thereby reject reason; or do they continue to teach their children that bullying is wrong? Something has got to give here. With mentors like Dawkins, it's getting tougher and tougher in America for atheists to maintain a consistency between their doctrine and their practice.
The rally in Washington on Saturday was supposed to embolden atheists in their positions. Instead, it has created a real dilemma for atheists who hold personal convictions against bullying. How would Dawkins have atheists treat religious people in the public square? "Mock them, ridicule them in public." Ouch. That one will come back to bite him many times over.
It goes against reason to tell your children that bullying is wrong, and then turn around and deliberately practice it yourself. Christians have it easy in that respect. We get to teach our children the same thing we teach adults about treating others with courtesy, even when we disagree strongly in principle. That is the Christian way. Atheism creates a different kind of fruit in the hearts of those who fully embrace it the way Dawkins does. One would have thought that Richard was smart enough to avoid such a error in judgment. It certainly won't help the cause he is seeking to advance.
When our life becomes so narrow that we live to ridicule others, we have almost reached a point of no return. How many people do you know who have ever made it out of that "black hole" and become mature adults who respect others? When a spirit of bullying takes over a person's heart, faith goes out the window. Reason goes out the window. All that a person is left with is hate and anger and a passion to bully others. Now that sounds like a productive citizen who will help to heal the problems in America, doesn't it? How tragic.
If the parents who attended the rally in Washington on Saturday can go home and forget some of the things they were told in the name of reason, they might just be able to maintain the status quo without any crises of conscience. This blunder by Dawkins certainly exposes a major disparity in what he assumes is a reasonable approach to life. Fortunately, it won't convince every atheist to forsake reason when it comes to what they teach their children. Some of them will reject the message of Dawkins and continue to pursue civil discourse with respect for opposing views. Good for them.
With all of the problems which bullying has caused in the public schools today, I don't suppose too many elementary schools will be inviting Richard Dawkins to speak to the children anytime soon. Any principal who would extend such an invitation would have a lot of explaining to do to the parents. I guess it could still happen. There may be some principals out there who are as blind to this problem as Dawkins. Not everyone is reasonable today. When reason goes out the window, bullying takes over. What's an atheist to do these days? Maybe their next rally will be different. Or maybe not.