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Mar 23 2010

In case you’re feeling prankish on Facebook…

There’s an amusing page called Pray for Richard Dawkins, and it’s maintained, as you might guess, by someone guzzling whine-and-cheese by the gallon.

For those of you unfamiliar with him, Richard Dawkins’s story reads very much like Paul’s. Dawkins is arguably the most influential atheist and persecutor (although not physical) of Christians in the world today. Like Paul, he believes that Jesus is a lie. Like Paul, he’s a well-respected leader of a movement that opposes Jesus. Like Paul, his conversion would be nothing short of a miracle from God, and an amazing witness to people everywhere.

I’m dying to know exactly how and when Dawkins has ever “persecuted” anybody. Unless, of course, this is the typical Christian usage of the term “persecution,” usually parsed as “Waaah, you’re not validating me! You’re telling me my beliefs are wrong, and I can’t respond to you, and that takes away my feelings of entitlement! How dare you disagree and make me feel stupid!” I’d say that’s pretty well confirmed by their careful admission that Dawkins’ “persecution” is “not physical.” Then what, simple disagreement with your beliefs is “persecution”? Yeah, asshole, tell that to someone who knows what persecution really looks like — they’re the ones with numbers tattooed on their arms — and see how sympathetic they are.

Bogus “persecution” claimed as an exercise in ostentatious self-regard is, of course, the Christian’s problem, not the atheist’s. But what else is funny is how the screed goes on to reveal how silly Christian beliefs are, and how its own most devout believers don’t think through the ramifications of what their faith calls them to do.

To wit: the page owner is flush with excitement at the prospect of Dawkins’ possible conversion. An “amazing witness,” to be sure! And so the point of the page, apparently — because if it weren’t for his Facebook fans God would just be totally SOL — is to rally Christians to pray en masse for just such a miraculous conversion. Evidently God can’t be bothered to give prayers a hearing unless they’re part of a class action.

But wait a teeny tiny little sec. Isn’t God supposed to be omniscient and everything? And if that’s so, isn’t he pretty well aware of Dawkins and his very public atheism already? It’s not as if he needs a heads-up. So wouldn’t he already have made up his mind, knowing the future infallibly and all, about converting Dawkins? Suggesting otherwise just makes both God and his followers sound like some idiot kids in a chatroom.

Xian4Ever yo HeavFather whats up?!?

YHWH Im good, my child

Xian4Ever dude I mean God there’s like this d-bag Dawkins? Totally wrote a book, talking shit saying you dont exist!!!1! Srsly!

YHWH ORLY? WTF!!

Xian4Ever No shit its like a WHOLE FUCKING BOOK. Says your like a teapot or something

YHWH OMme! Heh no worries, I’ll totally school that bitch LOL

Xian4Ever LOL!!!

No, something tells me an omniscient God would pretty much already have a fellow like Dawkins on his radar. Which, of course, prompts the question of why said conversion hasn’t occurred yet. After all, Scripture does make it abundantly clear that God, once he’d had enough of Saul’s bullshit, just came right down and laid the divine smackdown on the guy, and it wasn’t as if he needed a bunch of Facebookers jamming the prayer lines then. No, God just got shit done.

So either God knows, and he’s waiting for some great stage moment for maximum dramatic effect. Or maybe he wants Dawkins to remain an atheist. Maybe God’s divine plan is to reward not the believers, but the skeptics, the more vocal the better, for using their gift of reason so well. Or maybe God just doesn’t care. Or maybe he’s just made up.

Anyway, if you’re on Facebook, I think ‘twould be amusing to flood the page’s membership with atheists cheering Dawkins on, eh? If Dawkins’ fans vastly outnumber the prayer “warriors,” maybe that’ll get God’s attention and get that miracle conversion underway, eh? Or it may just be another opportunity to mock playfully how childish the whole concept of God really is.

23 comments

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  1. 1
    Leisha Camden

    Actually, Christians are persecuted harshly in a number of countries today. By Muslims, of course. If one were a cynical person, one might wonder if there is perhaps a lesson in that.

  2. 2
    Martin

    If anything Richard Dawkins has done is comparable to that sort of persecution, Leisha, you might have a point. I never denied there was any such thing as a persecuted Christian. These little Facebookers just ain't them.

  3. 3
    Ing

    I think we need to start a comic in the vain of the "Love Is…" novelty ones. It'll be ambiguously aged ken-doll nude Christians enacting what persecution is…I'll start.Persecution… is not being able to sing Aida Maria in Highschool.

  4. 4
    liminalD

    This was my comment, (posting it here as well cos I bet it gets deleted):"Right, so praying that God changes RD's heart so he becomes a Christian supports the idea of free will how exactly? If God reaches into you and somehow magically makes you believe, overcoming all your honest and sincere questions about the validity of it all and the things that contradict the faith position, how does that make you anything more than puppets? If God can do that, it would seem to suggest that it's really up to HIM who becomes a believer and who doesn't, who goes to hell and who doesn't, and then what's to say God hasn't already decided he wants RD to be an Atheist? Isn't it a bit presumptuous of you to think you can change God's mind? I think I'd rather pray TO Richard Dawkins."Mischief managed ;)

  5. 5
    James Francesco

    I love the chat room. "OMme" is as funny as Bender on Futurama, "Oh your god!"

  6. 6
    tracieh

    Holy Cow!>I'm dying to know exactly how and when Dawkins has ever "persecuted" anybody.I couldn't agree MORE. Comparing him to PAUL? For those who aren't familiar with the content of the Bible, Paul claims to have been responsible for literally hunting down Christians to make sure they were put to death. Oh, and not for the cause of "atheism"–but, no shock here, for the cause of a competing RELIGION! So, it was religious persecution–by a religious personMeanwhile, I have trouble imagining Paul–back in his persecution days–having civil dialogs with Christians, something Dawkins does routinely.Ted Haggard followed Dawkins out after a civil discussion, to shout mischaracterizations and demands that he leave the premises at once. Who's the nutjob here? One Muslim ex-Jew sat and told Dawkins that in Dawkins' Western world, "you dress your women like whores!" So, the religious guy wants women subjected, and Dawkins is the whack-a-loon? Has anyone ever seen the man even raise his voice? I've never seen him swear where he wasn't also laughing–because it's just so out-of-character for him. He's positively the calmest, most mild mannered person I think I've ever seen.And I wrote in a prior post that I had been influenced by his negative reputation early on–unwilling to read God Delusion until it got so popular I felt I needed to see the content myself for reasons of cultural literacy. Anyone offended by that book is trying to find a bone to pick. Nothing he says is unfair or unreasonable. It's only if you come at it positive you're right that a god exists, and sure that if anyone disagrees and gives their reasons, you've been somehow insulted.

  7. 7
    Ing

    Off topic but sort of related.You know the Penny Arcade boys got letters for this onehttp://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/3/22/

  8. 8
    Leisha Camden

    Martin: Of course I'm not saying that these Christians are being persecuted. What I'm saying is that they wouldn't know persecution if it bit them on their collective ass. (And of course that theism makes people nuts.)One Muslim ex-Jew sat and told Dawkins that in Dawkins' Western world, "you dress your women like whores!"This is so completely messed up. This guy doesn't understand the first thing about anything. Men don't dress women in the west, we dress ourselves! In the Middle East, men do dress women, and that's why women's clothes look like shit down there. ;-) Sorry, guys, no offense, but the average heterosexual male's dress sense just isn't up to scratch, and I think we all know that. I find it's best to be honest.He's positively the calmest, most mild mannered person I think I've ever seen.This is so true. Whenever I hear theists rant and rave about Dawkins the militant extremist, I always have to wonder which Richard Dawkins it is they're talking about. They're just absolutely not seeing what I'm seeing. o_O Hm, seems I read a blog post recently about that …

  9. 9
    Martin

    Ah. Sorry I misunderstood you.

  10. 10
    kopd

    But wait a teeny tiny little sec. Isn't God supposed to be omniscient and everything? That's a problem I had with prayer back when I was still a believer. I thought, what's the point of asking God for something? If he's omniscient then he already knows, if he has a "plan" then his mind is already made up. If he intends to do it he will, and asking won't change anything.

  11. 11
    kopd

    One Muslim ex-Jew sat and told Dawkins that in Dawkins' Western world, "you dress your women like whores!"Actually, we let "our" women dress themselves, you misogynist Bronze Age troglodyte.

  12. 12
    ThatAtheistChick

    I agree with IiminalD (I hope I spelled it right). What if it's in their god's plan that Richard Dawkins should be an atheist? Wouldn't praying for him to become one of them and stop questioning their beliefs make them arrogant for wanting to change god's plan? And also, what does that say about free will?

  13. 13
    Guillaume

    I always wonder why Christians are so eager to drape themselves as "opressed" or "persecuted" by atheists. I think they probably think it would give more weight to their belief if they were indeed persecuted. And I think they know they are being dishonest when they confuse criticism to persecution. They KNOW the difference, they just want to mix both terms.

  14. 14
    Watoosh

    "Actually, we let "our" women dress themselves, you misogynist Bronze Age troglodyte."She was paraphrasing a Muslim lunatic that Dawkins interviewed in a documentary, not sharing her own views. Unless you know for sure that the Muslim bigot is right here reading these comments, I suggest you learn to read properly.

  15. 15
    Martin

    Watoosh: I'm pretty sure kopd knows Tracie was quoting an Islamist cretin and not stating her own views. Indeed, he'd have to be a congenital idiot to think otherwise, would he not, as it's pretty obvious. So his remark was directed at the Islamist, and while the man isn't here to read it, blogs and their comment sections are often used for venting frustrations indirectly. So yeah, reading properly and all that.

  16. 16
    kopd

    Watoosh:She was not paraphrasing, she was directly quoting him. Dawkins response (which I was paraphrasing and embeleshing) was “What do you mean ‘dress our women’? I don’t dress women–they dress themselves.” And I don't care if the bigot reads these comments, I can still address them at him. Martin already very politely addressed you, so I'll assume that his response and this should suffice.

  17. 17
    felix

    And inevitably, I swear there must be some psycho-linguistic law about this, they spell it "athiest".I suppose it's not a big step from getting reality wrong to getting language wrong.There's been no activity on the page for months, and all they ever did lasted for only 2 weeks.Where is that Christian conviction they blab about, all that "we really care about you" and "we love you just as ourselves".All of it empty rhetoric, self-aggrandizing faux humility (yeah redundant I know).Christians emphasize that their core tenet of "love thy (thine?) enemy" is soooo much more special than the golden rule that every other religion expresses.To really make this so special, it would require real expression. It would require every Christian to actually do things always in love, not 'just' compassion but actually LOVE.To me, love means being ready to give up oneself to the benefit of somebody else. Not just handimg soup to people, or sending them homemade leather jackets for free, but actually sacrificing everything for a complete stranger, including life and every last penny.Where is the Christian who does that?I believe Christians exist only by circumstance, when a very hard rock meets a very hard place, in very rare cases.In real life, Christians do not exist.

  18. 18
    Thomas

    I think atheists should be suportive of the movement. Just think, if every Christian, Jew, and Muslim on earth were to pray for Dawkins' conversion, what would happen the next day when he opens his window and shouts "still an atheist!"

  19. 19
    Jess

    Thanks for my daily dose of mischief! Comments made :)

  20. 20
    Kazim

    This is so completely messed up. This guy doesn't understand the first thing about anything. Men don't dress women in the west, we dress ourselves! In the Middle East, men do dress women, and that's why women's clothes look like shit down there. ;-) Sorry, guys, no offense, but the average heterosexual male's dress sense just isn't up to scratch, and I think we all know that. I find it's best to be honest.No offense taken, I'm sure — and that's why smart heterosexual men let our women dress us. ;)

  21. 21
    Leisha Camden

    Kazim: Wise choice. ;-)

  22. 22
    Jolly

    Hey, this is great. Let's give them six months to see if their god is listening to them. Since it would be so great if he converted to insanity, oops, Christianity, then how awesome will it be when they fail. I am sure they will use reason to see that prayer doesn't work.

  23. 23
    jamesbaker95

    damn, commentsare disabled! :(

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