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Mar 10 2012

Someday, “Irish Atheist” will replace “Irish Catholic” as the default association

Those vigorous Irish atheists have won another victory: they’ve slapped down a set of bigoted and stupid statements that were part of teacher training in Ireland, and are going to be contributing some accuracy to the training.

Hibernia College, the online teacher-training institution, has removed slides from its religion module for primary teachers at the request of Atheist Ireland.

Dr Nicholas Breakwell, vice-president for academic affairs and knowledge management, said yesterday that “some offending slides identified by Atheist Ireland have been removed pending the annual review process” to which all courses at the college are subject.

He also said Atheist Ireland had been asked to prepare a module for the college “on atheism, what it believes and does not”.

That’s progress! What’s appalling, though, are the original statements, composed by an ignorant Catholic priest, and recited at the students.

Atheism seems to be fashionable in Ireland at present. It is seen as rational, progressive and compassionate. But above all, it is ‘in’, not to mention convenient since, as Dostoevsky said in 19th century Russia, where it was likewise ‘in’, that if there is no God then anything can be justified.

What bothers very few of its latter-day exponents is the fact that atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed, namely Nazism, fascism and Marxism, the latter alone responsible for some 100 million lives, according to The Black Book written by French ex-Marxists. Atheism is not a benign force in history.

It’s not that it’s offensive so much as it is stupid, wrong, and misleading. I haven’t met a single atheist who thinks that way because it excuses ‘anythng goes’ behavior — not one, and I know a lot of atheists. And then, of course, there are the obvious lies: Nazis were mostly Catholic and Lutheran, not atheists, and Marxism is an ideology that insisted on atheism, not the other way around. I have never before seen Marxists labeled as humanists — the author of that bit of propaganda clearly had no idea what a humanist is, so why was he writing the module on atheism?

29 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    A Catholic priest lies about an alternative to his religion. Who would have thought such a thing possible?

    </sarcasm>

  2. 2
    dogfightwithdogma

    Catholicism, religion, christianity, christian are all just alternative words for ignorance and delusion.

  3. 3
    DaveL

    Well, there is no God and anything can be justified. All you need to do is make up a God to believe in who sanctions whatever it is you want to do.

  4. 4
    anubisprime

    The RCC must wonder what in the name of Beelzebub’s jammy cord has hit them smartly across the buttocks…must feel awfully like a juggernaut of rationality with the momentum of sheer hell behind it…they are reeling.

    Who could have imagined just a few short years ago that a katolik’ priest and his flatulent lies would ever be actually challenged in a country the ‘crows’ loved to call their ‘second Vatican’

    Seems they have lost a major jewel in their crown since the fourth or fifth century…that must sting their ego a tad!

  5. 5
    Rutee Katreya

    …are they all such transparent bullshit or did only the atheists get such wonderful treatment? That’s pretty typically terrible, I’m just surprised they got away with it so long.

  6. 6
    jayarrrr

    Oh, yes, I LIKE being told I’m going to hell or that I’ll run amuck raping and killing because it’s SO the “In Thing” to do right now… Not even Hipsters are that stupid.

    Stupid git.

    And Hitler was a Catholic, too. Had a good relationship with the Catholic clergy of Germany. Sorry, Xians, he’s YOUR boi, not ours.

    And all this blather is from a religion that has a mechanism for absolution and forgiveness on a regular basis.

    Like George Carlin said, “Three Hail Marys and you’re back on the street with Father Ramirez…”

  7. 7
    hyperdeath

    You have to commend them for their originality though. That Dostoevsky quote is an excellent find, and I wonder why it isn’t used more in anti-atheist rhetoric?

  8. 8
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Dostoyevsky was wrong. Atheism really is no good if you want to justify stuff. For justification, you need to pull a god out of your ass and polish him up. You want to murder, rape, commit genocide, have wild unbridled sexual orgies, gorge on pudding while the masses starve, marry your eight-year-old niece, own slaves, collect riches, build monuments to yourself, beat or neglect your children to death and justify it all? All you need is for people to believe that’s what their imaginary friend wants for you because you’re the priest, prophet, or messiah.

  9. 9
    raven

    What bothers very few of its latter-day exponents is the fact that atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed, namely Nazism, fascism and Marxism,

    Factually wrong here, lies.

    Nazism was Catholics and Lutherans and anti-atheist.

    Fascism was mostly Catholic. The Catholic church was and are avid supporters of fascism. They have always had an uneasy feeling about democracy and found it easier to strike deals with dictators.

    They were supporters of Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, the Croatian Ustashne, and many other lesser know Fascists. At one point, the Fascist dictator IIRC, of Slovenia was a Catholic priest.

  10. 10
    steve oberski

    Dr Nicholas Breakwell, vice-president for academic affairs and knowledge management, said yesterday that “some offending slides identified by Atheist Ireland have been removed pending the annual review process” to which all courses at the college are subject.

    Quite the notpology.

    Offence is not the issue, the issue is whether the statements were true or not.

    And WTF is “knowledge management” ?

    Does it have an office right beside the ministry of peace ?

  11. 11
    Part-Time Insomniac

    With every “fuck you” act that Ireland makes toward the RCC, I’m growing ever more excited about visiting there this summer. Wait, is this happening in Northern Ireland as well? I seem to recall there being some reason for the two areas being distinct from each other aside from the religious majority in each.

  12. 12
    ikesolem

    “an ignorant Catholic priest”?

    Hardly. The efforts of the Catholic Church to dissociate itself from the Pius XII era of collaboration with and support for Hitler’s Nazi Germany are well documented, and their propaganda line is that it was all about “neo-pagan atheism.”

    Similar efforts continue to this day:

    The Vatican blundered into a fresh public relations fiasco on Tuesday after seeking to rewrite the biography of Pope Benedict XVI by denying that he was ever a member of the Hitler Youth.

    Yech.

  13. 13
    Sastra

    hyperdeath #11 wrote:

    You have to commend them for their originality though. That Dostoevsky quote is an excellent find, and I wonder why it isn’t used more in anti-atheist rhetoric?

    I was going to point out that no, the Dostoevsky quote is quite standard for arguments on why atheism is ‘wrong’ — but then I saw this was from hyperdeath who no doubt knows this and is making a funny. As DaveL and others have said, the sentiment is stupid, based on the idea that God sets a moral standard that is both correct and universally acknowledged.

    It also assumes that when people do wrong they always know they are doing wrong. It’s much scarier when they don’t. Religion helps with that second scenario.

  14. 14
    raven

    jesuswouldbefurious.org:

    The Catholic Fascist dictators of the 20th Century 1

    ( one of whom was a Catholic priest in good standing with his church
    before, during and even after the holocaust ) :

    •Belgium’s Leon Degrelle
    •Bohemia-Moravia’s
    Emil Hacha
    •Croatia’s Ante Pavelic 2
    •Germany ‘s Adolf Hitler
    •Italy’s Benito Mussolini
    •Portugal’s Antonio Salazar 3

    •Slovakia’s Fr. Josef Tiso4

    •Spain’s Francisco Franco
    •Sudetenland’s Konrad Henlein
    •Vichy-France’s Pierre Laval
    •Vichy-France’s Henry Petain

    This is a list of Fascist and Catholic dictators during the mid 20th century. The Fascist dictator Fr. Josef Tiso was a priest and head of Slovakia, not Slovenia.

    The Catholic church has always had an affinity for Fascist dictatorships. As an extreme authoritarian top down organization, it knows what that is when it sees it.

  15. 15
    unclefrogy

    It is a dream of mine that some day history will be praised for accuracy above all things. As I age what I was taught about what went before has continuously changed. It seems that much of what I was taught as a child could be classed as more propaganda than truth.
    This priest’s characterization is a great example. It is an amazing event to see someone having to seriously considering correcting such obvious distortions.
    I do not have very much hope of it catching generally, would be wonderful though.

    uncle frogy

  16. 16
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Kudos to the Irish for casting off the yoke of irrationality. The priest in question is missing an important point, though.

    As nutbar crazy as someone like Hitler was, it really is impossible to say whether his quotes regarding the “God mit uns” sensibility were genuine or just clever manipulation of verbal cues to stir the masses. Part of his insanity also had brilliant but diabolical use of rabble-rousing. What does undo the priest’s (and so many other’s) view of atheism as the the root problem was that Hitler’s manipulation still used religion as its bait on the hook, and catered to a public that definitely were Catholic and Lutheran. The persistent use of Hitler as the atheist is irrelevant if entire nations of devoutly religious people can be turned to war, genocide, revenge fantasy and murder by the machinations of an insane, failed art student with chronic halitosis.

    These useful side arguments should still only be necessary as side arguments. They are constantly used to overshadow the direct evidence of the bible as a source of evil by verbatim quotation of it to show that the book’s authors had their god’s complete approval, in fact his demand upon penalty of eternal torture, that a good Christian should commit acts of genocide, human enslavement, infanticide, pedophilia and other atrocities. And that’s just from the sick demands appended to the ten commandments that pastors and priests use to spackle and gloss over these other gruesome requirements of the faith.

    When there are demands that the ten commandments get put outside stone edifices for public perusal, we need insist that the additional disgusting commandments get chiseled into the rock as well. Surely this would horrify into apostasy enough of humanity who have this stock, Sunday school level of knowledge about their horrific religion.

  17. 17
    Anthony K

    it really is impossible to say whether his quotes regarding the “God mit uns” sensibility were genuine or just clever manipulation of verbal cues to stir the masses

    This holds true for everyone who professes to hold worldview or belief system, particularly if there’s a demonstrable benefit to professing those beliefs. Nonetheless, based on evidence such as that provided by Dennett and examples like Mother Theresa, “self-serving, manipulative agnostic” is my default assumption for any member of the clergy.

    This priest’s penchant for false fear-mongering claims does not compel me to change my assumption.

  18. 18
    coelsblog

    Dostoyevsky was wrong.

    It is worth bearing in mind that Dostoyevsky put those words into the mouth of characters in a novel; that is not the same as Dostoyevsky himself regarding them as true.

  19. 19
    unclefrogy

    Brownian, would this,
    ““self-serving, manipulative agnostic” is my default assumption for any member of the clergy.”
    apply to the perpetrators of the Inquisition also?

    uncle frogy

  20. 20
    brianthomson

    Again with the Dostoevsky! I read part of a theology book, years ago, called “The Drama of Atheist Humanism”, by a priest named Lubac who later became a Cardinal, and it’s apparently quite influential in Vatican circles. The book is full of Dostoevsky’s whines about religion, forgetting that Dostoevsky was also critical of religion at times.

    I mean, is it so hard to understand that he was a writer of Fiction? That just because a writer expresses an idea, it doesn’t automatically follow that he’s fully behind that idea – and if he or she is, it doesn’t make that idea true? Sheesh …

  21. 21
    Kamaka

    @ Brownian

    “self-serving, manipulative agnostic” is my default assumption for any member of the clergy.

    A quote from the movie “Blackrobe”: “Men must be made to believe in something greater than themselves.”

    Belief in belief for the rest of us; the clergy themselves, not so much. Your default assumption is generous… I think most of the clergy who have been at it for a while know they are peddling lies for money.

    @ unclefrogy

    [Does this] apply to the perpetrators of the Inquisition also?

    Are you aware that the Inquisitors got their victims possessions?

  22. 22
    johnmarley

    …just because a writer expresses an idea, it doesn’t automatically follow that he’s fully behind that idea – and if he or she is, it doesn’t make that idea true[.]
    [emphasis mine]

    That goes for any quotable source. It’s a form of Argument from Authority.

  23. 23
    johnmarley

    Argh! blockquote fail!

  24. 24
    davecoyotl

    RE: “I have never before seen Marxists labeled as humanists”

    Most Marxists I know are clearly humanists. If you don’t believe in supernaturalisms on one hand and don’t consider the non-human world as worthy in itself and not subservient to human needs, there’s not much else to be but a humanist, not necessarily a humanitarian humanist but a humanist nonetheless.

  25. 25
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    “I think most of the clergy who have been at it for a while know they are peddling lies for money.”

    It’s a guarantee that there’s a large number of them that have that mindset. The dropout rate from seminary is around 15% because of the disillusion created by child-like faithful suddenly finding out the biblical canon was compiled over centuries of vatican bickering instead of plunked down by angels. That along with all the other non-Davy and Goliath cartoon* horrors revealed by suddenly having to read the bible.

    What you’re left with have to be the truly brainwashed delusionals and mental lumps, the obligatory liars for Jeebus, and the flock fleecers (insert cash register ‘kaaa-ching’ noise here). All are useful to the church and its coffers so who is going to be interested in changing such a system? Well, aside from the obvious people that see it for the scam and bullshit it is, but we’re not allowed inside the priest schools, for obvious reasons.

    Absolutely nothing needs be said about American evangelism. The blow-dried, Armani-clad assholes of The Trinity Broadcast Network and similar are entirely about money, and anyone that can’t or won’t see it are dirt-ignorant or must have some incredibly nasty secrets they’re sure are going to send them to hell.

    *Much of which was presented in the Moral Orel animation on Adult Swim, using the original David and Goliath styled claymation.

  26. 26
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Oops, I meant to add about the people with the nasty secrets guaranteed to send them to hell: Send them there unless they implement the buyout-option by sending money to TV shows proclaiming their love for Jeebus. It’s all about the money.

  27. 27
    leonardspencer

    The problem for that Priest is Ireland is the last place anyone would believe Atheism is the root of evil. Nobody there has had a friend or family member tortured to death by an Atheist militia.

  28. 28
    Doubting Thomas

    One can make a good case that Naziism, Fascism and Marxism are all religions. Or at least they share commonalities such as belief in irrational unprovable ideas and ideals. Not to mention the tendency toward authoritarianism and corruption.

  29. 29
    Q.E.D

    Dear father,

    Given that you belong to an organization headed by a former member of the Nazi Youth, it behoves you to stop lying about any connection between Nazis and atheists (or anyone else really).

    We atheists have been extraordinarily fair minded and refrained from calling the Pope a Nazi out of concern for fairness. Although the statement “Pope Benedict was a member of the Nazi Youth” it historically accurate, by and large we atheists have refrained from harping on about it due to his presumed lack of choice in the matter, his youth and the politico-historical circumstances. Our restraint may falter if you and your colleagues, including the pope, keep repeating the lie that Nazis were Atheists.

    If you do not find these arguments convincing, I refer you to the 9th commandment of your own holy book.

    Fucking professional liars for Jesus.

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