News

Clerics’ Easter message: ‘Atheists are stepping up their assault on God ‘

ATHEISTS in Australia have hit back at criticism over Easter by religious leaders, claiming the clergy have made non-believers a scapegoat for declining church congregations.

Several church leaders used their Easter sermons and messages to condemn the increase in atheism, with Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen describing non-belief as:

An assault on God.

His comments came a day after Sydney Catholic Archbishop Cardinal George Pell also tore into non-believers.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia said Dr Jensen’s claims were “preposterous” and condemned Christianity for a spate of child sex abuse scandals.

Said Foundation President David Nicholls:

He seeks out a scapegoat and attacks atheism without any understanding of what he is saying. To state we hate his god or are attacking his god is nonsense. How does one hate or attack that which does not exist?

On a recent visit the the UK, Cardinal Pell, left, had an opportuntity of fingering some of the fabulous drag owned by the late Cardinal Newman, who was gay. The pizza-sized hat is a galero - the famous red hat once given to new Cardinals by the Pope. Pictured with Pell is Fr Paul Chavasse.

Jensen said in his Good Friday sermon at the city’s St Andrew’s Cathedral that atheism was a form of idolatry.

As we can see by the sheer passion and virulence of the atheist – they seem to hate the Christian God – we are not dealing here with cool philosophy up against faith without a brain. Atheism is every bit of a religious commitment as Christianity itself.

The nitwit added:

It represents the latest version of the human assault on God, born out of resentment that we do not in fact rule the world and that God calls on us to submit our lives to him. It is a form of idolatry in which we worship ourselves.

Cardinal Pell, at St Mary’s Cathedral, launched a similar attack on atheism in his Easter message, and praised government organisations  -“paid for by the Christian majority” ­- for helping make the Australian way of life the envy of the world. He then pointed out that atheists sponsored no community services.

The new Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, Anthony Fisher, drew broader comparisons.

Catholic bishop Anthony Fisher claims that godlessness led to Nazism

Last century we tried godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating: Nazism, Stalinism, Pol Pot-ery, mass murder, abortion and broken relationships – all promoted by state-imposed atheism.

An outraged Nicholls said atheists made contributions to society like any other citizen, and added:

Atheists are not out to Stalinise or bring Nazism into the world.

According to this report, neither Fisher nor Pell made any direct reference to the latest Catholic sex abuse scandals in which Pope Benedict XVI has been implicated.

Before World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008, Fisher was castigated for remarks he made about the case of a priest who raped two girls. He told a news conference he wished people would focus on the positivity of World Youth Day ”rather than dwelling crankily, as a few people are doing, on old wounds”.

26 responses to “Clerics’ Easter message: ‘Atheists are stepping up their assault on God ‘”

  1. Stonyground says:

    The repeated attempts to push the Christian Nazis into the atheist camp are becoming rather tiresome, as is the repeated fallacy that Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists therefore all atheists are like Stalin or Pol Pot.

    As for idolotry, I don’t ever remember having indulged in it or ever even wanted to. In any case it only qualifies as any sort of crime in their own deluded little world where it is an offence to their non existent god.

    These goons always fail to tell the difference between state imposed atheism, which is wrong as everyone should have freedom of concience and a right to their own beliefs, and organic atheism which is simply people coming freely to their own conclusion that religion is bollocks. I don’t think that they are being deliberately obtuse, I think that they are genuinely that stupid.

    The good news is that all this lashing out simply smacks of desperation. Listen guys, if you have convincing evidence that your fairy tales are actually true then lets hear them, otherwise just STFU.

  2. JohnMWhite says:

    “Pol Pot-ery”

    Is that a hobby?

  3. tony e says:

    Of course!! How could I have been so blind!!

    They commit the crime but we are to blame?

  4. writzer says:

    That old song and dance again! Atheists hate God! Come off it, guys. We ‘hate’ God the same way we hate garden fairies, the Easter Bunny, and Zeus. That is to say there’s nothing to ‘hate’ so hate’s not in the equation.

    I’ll drag out an analogy that’s becoming a bit dog-eared, but it is worth airing again because nuts like Jensen and Fisher have either not heard it or haven’t thought about it: Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby. Now, is that so difficult to understand?

  5. J says:

    This reeks of setting an agenda. If you are under attack then it is reasonable to use force to defend yourself surely? So lets frame ‘not sharing our perspective’ as ‘assaulting our God’ shall we?

    Nice responsible use of unemotive language there. Or perhaps not, perhaps it is a rabble-rousing piece of sophistry with a view to holding on to his power?

    And that hat? Danny LaRue would have rejected it as ‘too camp’.

  6. AngieRS says:

    Trouble is, these nobs are given column inches to spread their nastiness.

  7. J says:

    They know all about inches and nobs. That’s the trouble, can’t keep them to themselves. So much love to share.

  8. MrGronk says:

    If violence does end up being visited on their vile church, it’ll be enraged ex-Catholics doing it. Think 20th century Spain – the 1906 riots showed a gruesome sense of humour, with disinterred dead nuns being put on display as a mockery of the worship of holy relics. Twisted stuff, maybe, but that’s what you get when you abuse and tyrannise people for centuries.

  9. JohnMWhite says:

    If atheism truly were a religion, surely these folk should be arrested for inciting hatred against them?

  10. NeoWolfe says:

    First of all, let me remind all of you, that I AM a freethinker, but I’m not an atheist. But, there is no time like Easter to go looking for truth.

    As these wannabe holymen are hiding eggs and pinning up paper cutouts of rabbits, the idiots don’t even realize they are celebrating a pagan fertility rite. Yeah, praise jesus!!!

    But, the threadhead quotes Dr. (phd in blindness) Jenson:

    “Atheism is every bit of a religious commitment as Christianity itself.”

    Now, let’s be totally honest. Christianity, and religions like it, assume that the universe came into existence through the will of some deity. Depending upon the religion, that deity, or deities, have some divine plan that lends meaning to a cave dwellers life. All freethinkers understand that it was all crap invented by fakers and witch doctors to establish their influence, no different from religion today.

    BUT!!!! Dr. Braindead Jenson has a point. While it’s silly to believe in the myths and legends of tent dwelling goat herders of four thousand years ago, it is equally presumptuous to assume that the universe is an accident, in the absense of scientific evidence to back it up. So the two sides of the issue can go fuck each other up, call each other names, put Carl Rove, or John McCain style spin on their arguments, but me, I will be sitting in the neutral corner, with a sign that displays the only intelligent scientific conclusion, “I DON’T KNOW”.

    NeoWolfe

  11. Buffy says:

    First they blame Satan. Then they blame the parents of the victims. Next they blame the gays. Now they’re blaming atheists? Will they ever get around to accepting responsibility for their own actions or will they start the whole thing over once they’ve run out of other people to blame?

  12. sailor1031 says:

    Like Neo I am an agnostic, not for want of religious study or scientific study. Like Voltaire it is my scepticism which prevents my being an atheist. That said, since as someone who doesn’t believe in the xtian dog I am responsible for 20th century atheism and therefore responsible for the enforced collectivization in the USSR, world war II, all nazi crimes and Pol Pot-ery(?, in fact all totalitarian crimes everywhere, as a onetime christian (until the age of 13…) am I now to be held responsible for all the child abuse perpetrated by priests? surely there is a logical inconsistency somewhere here in ascribing the crimes of individuals to all the members of a group or class……just as if I were to say that ALL priests are kiddie-fiddlers and rapists – which is probably untrue!

  13. NeoWolfe says:

    Damn, sailor,

    You are packing around a heavy load. Drop that crap for a few minutes and have a disgusting cheap beer. 🙂

    (Burp) NeoWolfe

  14. barriejohn says:

    Be prepared for a lot more of this sort of thing as antipathy towards the Church increases. They will not go down without a fight and they WILL fight dirty!

    NeoWolfe: Whilst I appreciate that any “freethinker” would quite naturally wish to avoid dogmatism in any form whatsoever, I feel that your arguments are somewhat confused. We may be ignorant of many FACTS regarding the universe, but what we DO know is that there is not a shred of evidence for the existence of a god or gods, either now or at any time in the past. In the light of such lack of evidence I am prepared to consider myself an atheist. And how on earth would you set about providing evidence that the universe is “an accident”, as you put it? The onus is on the theists to provide evidence of a divine hand, and there just isn’t any.

  15. RussellW says:

    How can we explain to believers that atheism is not a ‘belief’? Perhaps presenting atheism as a rival,satanic, ‘faith’ is a tactic by the theocracy,surely the highly educated Church elite can’t be so dopey as to not understand the principle of non-belief. They just hope that their congregations can’t tell the difference.

  16. William Harwood says:

    I get the impression that Mr Wolfe is misusing the word “agnostic.” The term was coined to mean someone who DOES NOT KNOW whether, behind the observable reality of cosmology and evolution, the universe is produced and directed by the god of religion. It was never intended to mean a person who does not know whether the most widely accepted theories of the origin of the universe are totally accurate, approximately accurate, or inaccurate. In the nineteenth century, before historians had proven beyond a shadow of doubt that bibles, korans and similar alleged revelations are works of fiction, agnosticism was not merely an acceptable philosophy; it was the most reasonable philosophy.
    That is no longer true. The oxymoronic nature of religion’s gods, such as being omniscient despite believing that the earth is flat, establishes that gods who know things their biographers do not know cannot exist, or their alleged revelations made through their spokesmen (Hebrew: nabiya; Greek prophetes) would not be permeated with inaccuracies. It follows that an agnostic in the original sense is now someone who is unaware of information that others do know. As for the sense in which Mr Wolfe seems to be using the word, it would be applicable to anyone who does not know everything about everything, in other words a synonum for “human being.”
    Given the way that “atheist” is misinterpreted as someone with a belief rather than an absence of belief, many (including myself) are reluctant to claim such a title. Persons who claim to be “agnostic” because they think that an “atheist” is also a dogmatist, should consider abandoning a term that carries implications of ignorance and replacing it with a word that has no such negative connotations. The suggested alternative that even the godphuqt cannot misinterpret is “nontheist.”

  17. NeoWolfe says:

    Bjohn,

    I totally understand. And as the evidence lays out in front of me, I tend to believe that ultimately your conclusion will prevail. But, here’s what bugs me.

    When you are camping, you can throw a log on the campfire, and in the morning, it’s gone,….. but, it’s really not. By applying heat to the log, you start a chain reaction that begins to release the organic compounds, and the chemical energy that holds them together. But, in the end not an atom of matter is lost. Nor is any measure of energy lost, it is simply dissipated. Nothing created and nothing lost. Status quo.

    That being the apparent nature of the universe, I would think that a freethinker could keep his mind open about how an entire universe of matter and energy blasted into existence out of nothing. And I would expect that a fellow freethinker, regardless of his foredrawn conclusions, would respect the validity of that doubt. I’m not a fundie, I’m just sitting here like a real scientist and waiting for the facts to come in. Are you cool with that?????

    NeoWolfe

  18. NeoWolfe says:

    Harwood,

    Eloquently stated, and you are correct. Most who call themselves agnostic are still trying to decide about the validity of religion. I am definitely not there, and I think I have made that clear. I use the term to separate myself from an assumption of facts not in evidence. And you are not the first to point to a subtle difference between, “believing there is no god” and “not believing there is a god”. It is not lost on me. But, maybe it doesn’t matter. If there is a designer, he sat and watched as millions and millions of years of progress ended when that comet hit the yucatan peninsula. He didn’t send a prophet to warn the dinosaurs that their sins had caught up to them. No messiahsaur. One is led to conclude he doesn’t give a fuck, or at best, he’s a curious observer.

    I guess maybe I’m more humanist than agnostic, but, don’t look for me to lower my horns until scientists can manufacture something out of nothing (big bang). Until then, Dr. Harwood.

    NeoWolfe

  19. MrGronk says:

    NeoWolfe, you could, in all fairness call yourself an atheist, as (like me) you’re fairly certain that any designer or creator doesn’t have the attributes of anything we’d call “god”.
    My pet belief (assuming the “multiple universes” theory is correct and that some universes may be created by sufficiently advanced civilisations)is that our particular universe is some sixth-former’s science project.

  20. Har Davids says:

    Jews, gays, atheists, the sexual revolution. Can we place bets on the next one, as they seem to be running short of excuses. Anyone for Martians?

  21. barriejohn says:

    NeoWolfe: I think you’ve put your finger on it in your second commment there. If there are no gods then it’s pointless wasting time looking for them; and if there are, then they certainly have NOT shown any interest in the progress of this litttle experiment of theirs (despite the nonsense spouted by the religious), so we are equally justified in treating them as if they don’t exist!

  22. Stonyground says:

    That the universe may have exploded into existence from nothing is a mystery to which at present we have no answer. Not having a good explanation for something is no reason to entertain a bad one. In any case, in what way is a god willing the entire universe into existence from nothing an explanation? You are left with the same problem but now you have to explain where this god came from.

    Very few atheists state catagorically that they know that there is no god. If you are prepared to believe in something for which there is no evidence because it cannot be disproved then you would have to be “agnostic” about an infinite number of absurd things.

  23. libhomo says:

    I have to laugh when the religionists say that atheists “hate god.” The idea that we hate something that doesn’t exist is giggle worthy. A lot of us hate churches, but those are inventions of people.

  24. gsw says:

    we could come back with: religionists are commiting an assault on reason but we would be wasting our breath.

  25. RubberBaron says:

    @Neowolfe “how an entire universe of matter and energy blasted into existence out of nothing.”
    This has been answered (partially) in two ways:

    First, ‘nothing’ is unstable. There is an interesting (mathematical) paper on this [PDF] by Victor Stenger.
    Second, there is a perhaps not so speculative idea which posits a multiverse. This idea may be testable.

  26. Susan says:

    I’m with Barryjohn, the existence of god is not self-evident, therefore it is reasonable to assume that god does not exist. The onus is on those who say he exist to prove it, and until they do, the statement ‘god does not exist’ should stand.