An earlier statement made by atheist author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in which he called Christianity "a bulwark against something worse," is reappearing on Facebook and Twitter.
"There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings," Dawkins said in an interview with the Times of London in April 2010 on the issue of Islamist terrorism. "I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death," he added.
The prominent atheist went on to say, "I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse."
The statement "is being sent to and fro on Facebook and Twitter and providing fodder for discussions, even among atheists, of the benefits of Christianity for modern society," Breitbart notes.
Earlier this month, Dawkins visited Google's office in Kirkland, Washington, to discuss his book, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science. He said the best argument for God he's ever heard has to do with a deistic God as the fine-tuner of the universe.
He said he is not "in any sense admitting that there is a good argument," and insisted that "there is no decent argument for the existence of deities." He added that the best argument he has heard of concerns a "deistic God, who had something to do with the fine tuning of the universe."
"It's still a very, very bad argument," he went on to say, "but it's the best one going." He noted that a major problem with the argument is that it leaves unexplained where the fine tuner came from.
In his controversial book, The God Delusion, Dawkins said child sexual abuse was better than religious education. "Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place," he wrote, referring to cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland.
"'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.' The adage is true as long as you don't really believe the words," he said, seeking to explain. "But if your whole upbringing, and everything you have ever been told by parents, teachers and priests, has led you to believe, really believe, utterly and completely, that sinners burn in Hell (or some other obnoxious article of doctrine such as that a woman is the property of her husband), it is entirely plausible that words could have a more long-lasting and damaging effect than deeds. I am persuaded that the phrase 'child abuse' is no exaggeration when used to describe what teachers and priests are doing to children whom they encourage to believe in something like the punishment of unshriven mortal sins in an eternal Hell."