Putting aside the momentous calamity of the disappearing polar ice and the unfreezing methane clathrates just for one minute, the atheist community has become the target in the United States of even another pressure group: campus and academic-based folkish leftists, who object to any vilification whatsoever of poor and oppressed peoples, and see “White liberal male atheist bigots” as being in league with Trump, the Religious Right, Hitler, the Bushes, Pol Pot, the Chinese communists, Satan, Voltron, and whoever else in the League of Darkness is against their beloved faraway poor folk. Say something bad about a religion, if one poor person across the globe is in it, now all of sudden the speaker is a phobic phobe-a-phobe. That means you, Dawkins, and you Harris and Maher, and you, the lowly, blog-imprisoned atheist, every one of you – you are being phobic, you hope-crushing soulless white monster.
Here is where the standard atheist community disclaimer must be inserted: we ain’t got no dogma, and yes, our “leaders” can say some things that might offend this or that puppy or kitten community. Though many atheists are secular humanists and are foursquare for Palestinian rights, there might be a sub-section of atheists who grew up in Jewish households that inculcated an animus against Arab or Muslim peoples. Can we secular humanists just please have unlimited sympathy for any and every person, being, or puppy and not be slapped about for one of our superstars’ peculiar unenlightenments?
Dawkins deserves a lifetime free pass by all latter-day atheists. His remains the single most disseminated, purchased atheist book, yet he of course has gone on to offend or denigrate or say something mean about a Muslim puppy or two. We in the atheist community must deeply apologize to every single adherent of the monotheistic faith tradition blockbusters currently imposing anti-rational, anti-human strictures across the globe.
OK, yeah, maybe Dawkins did kick that Muslim puppy. That’s our fault for not berating him at length after the publication of The God Delusion to be forever pure and above any undergraduate’s moral reproach when dealing with the peoples allied with the victims of Bush W.’s and Obama’s bombing wars.
The atheist community in the US, currently boasting not a single politician, nor newscaster, nor paper of record, and outnumbered by any million-fold by public spiritualists, on the campuses and off, must try to rectify this assignation of unmitigated meanness by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Counterpunch, The Baffler, and any other pseudo-hip concernathon. The only way to do this is by starting to adopt Muslim puppies and Christian kittens – that way is the only way that will show our religion-sympathetic NPR-types that there might be a tiny residue of heart in public atheism.