Sunday, April 11, 2010
RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.
Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.
Well, sure, I guess. Have at it, I suppose.
The priorities though are pretty dubious. Hitchens, to his credit, once upon a time went after much more vicious criminals like Henry Kissinger. Apparently sitting heads of state are exempt from the injunction that Dawkins and Hitchens are trying to use here. Nevertheless, even with them excepted, if I was making up a hit list of criminals against humanity in dire need of prosecution, I'm not even sure the Pope would make my top 100.
You would think an atheist biologist would likely take aim at the purveyors and beneficiaries of the assorted unverifiable doctrines and mythologies that are driving humanity toward a truly species-threatening outcome. Given Dawkins' epistemology, capitalist economics or the legitimacy of nation-states is no more or less rational than monotheism. Although it's kinda hard to argue that even systematic kid-diddling is a greater evil than bringing on a global ecological catastrophe.
Hell, you don't even have to get that grandiose about it. Are the forty-five thousand people killed yearly by the US healthcare system (nevermind the wars of aggression) a lesser crime than those for which he wants to keel-haul the Pope? Why not indict some industry executives or their apologists and lackeys? Or, I dunno, Bush/Cheney for the systematic torture of adults. Why is that less of a priority than the systematic torture of children?
But I guess an economic system that is grinding the planet into ash will let you do science basically unmolested. Whereas sexual autistics who follow dudes in funny hats will like yell at you and make you feel bad or something.
Maybe he's fighting the good fight though. God knows, if Dawkins & Co. don't keep the bone-readers at bay, will there even be enough scientists left after the apocalypse to help us with the urgent task of terraforming Earth?