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Yes, Richard Dawkins Is That Stupid

He [Dawkins] counsels readers to imagine a world without religion and conjures his own glimpse: “Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Indian partition, no Israeli/Palestinian wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews as ‘Christ-killers,’ no Northern Ireland ‘troubles,’ no ‘honor killings,’ no shiny-suited bouffant-haired televangelists fleecing gullible people of their money.” ~Nicholas Kristof

Good one, Dawkins!  Without mixing religion into it, Croatian nationalists would never have killed Serbs, nor would Serb nationalists have ever killed Croats!  Because nationalists otherwise love foreigners until you start mixing God into it.  Nazis, whose religion was the nation and the state, would also have left everyone in peace if it hadn’t been for all those religious people spurring them on to acts of violence.  If the kulaks hadn’t been so stubbornly old-fashioned with their belief in God, they probably wouldn’t have starved in the Ukrainian genocide.  No one would ever overthrow or attempt to kill English monarchs but for quarrels over transubstantiation–why would anyone contest power if it were not to force everyone to pray in Latin?  There have also never been con-artists or frauds until the televangelist appeared on the scene (except, possibly, for Richard Dawkins). 

Imagine!  Instead of religious honour killings, you would just have tribal honour killings (because izzat and similar ideas in other cultures are cultural values that transcend religious loyalties), along with turf, money, resource, racial, nationalist and gang killings, which are much more gentle and not nearly so bigoted.  There is no possible reason why the Palestinians might have looked dimly on the establishment of Israel had they not been mystified by the opium of the masses.  They would have sat down with the Zionists and sung Kumbayah, except that they wouldn’t sing anything so deeply fanatical and dangerous as a religious song!  Finally, peace in our time–Dawkins shows us the way. 

Had we been without religion, when the Hutus slaughtered Tutsis at least you wouldn’t have had Hutu Catholics participating–no, sir, the genocide would take place without any involvement of religious people.  What a relief!  There would never be suicide bombers, even though the tactic was innovated by ethnic separatists in a (continuing) war of independence, because oppression, hatred and war would disappear once we stopped arguing over confessions of faith.  Thank goodness Dawkins has come to deliver us from evil–what would we have done without his guidance?

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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