I remember reading ahead of time about the ‘Reason Rally’ that was held on March 24th in Washington, D.C. It was not something that much interested me in that the free assembly of atheists is something I would support. The freedom of religion really includes the freedom of non-religion. Though even when I was an atheist the rally is not something that would have much interested me as far as wanting to attend other then well-wishing the assemblage as a sign of right-thinking.
I was thinking tangentially on a related subject on how atheism has it’s own form of clericalism. The high priests of atheism are often scientists such as Richard Dawkins, P.Z. Myers, Stephen Hawkins, along with the late Carl Sagan and Stephen Gould. Though while not all the so-called new atheists are scientists, scientists are given an elevated level of respect. Speaking for myself at one time I would not have desired a Philosopher-King, but a Scientist-King so that we could all live under a rule of reason. That the philosophy of scientism permeates these high priests of atheists is no surprise since when the only tool you have in your toolbox is science you hit everything with it. They ignore the limits of science and try to make every question a “how” which at the same time is suppose to explain the “why.” That explaining chemical and electrical actions in our brains is suppose to explains everything about the brain.
As Blessed John Paul II wrote in “Fides Et Ratio”:
88. Another threat to be reckoned with is scientism. This is the philosophical notion which refuses to admit the validity of forms of knowledge other than those of the positive sciences; and it relegates religious, theological, ethical and aesthetic knowledge to the realm of mere fantasy.
This is why a “Reason Rally” starts off crippled and returning to Fides Et Ratio again.
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2).
There has been some coverage on what Richard Dawkins said at the rally:
WASHINGTON D.C., March 27 (CNA) .- At the March 24 ‘Reason Rally’ in Washington, D.C., an estimated 20,000 atheists and agnostics heard author and activist Richard Dawkins encourage mockery of Catholic beliefs and those of other religions.
‘Don’t fall for the convention that we’re all ‘too polite’ to talk about religion,’ Dawkins said, before urging rally attendees to ridicule Catholics’ faith in the Eucharist.
‘Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged ‘ and if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt,’ he told the cheering crowd on the National Mall.
‘For example, if they say they’re Catholic: Do you really believe, that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?’
If the answer is yes, Dawkins suggested atheists should show contempt for believers instead of ignoring the issue or feigning respect.
‘Mock them,’ he told the crowd. ‘Ridicule them! In public!’
Once again Dawkins gives the Church a back-handed compliment. Like most atheists the foil is almost always Christianity and often specifically Catholicism. Also interesting the focus on the Eucharist and how it is something that should be mocked. Well Jesus was mocked and scourged before so there is nothing new under the sun here. Though I can’t really blame atheists in how the doctrine of the Eucharist is so outrageous. Really it is outrageous in that is is shocking, bold, and startling. We should all be so startled out of any bland reception of the Eucharist. The mocking of the Eucharist has certainly been a focus as the case of the desecration of the Eucharist by P.Z. Myers shows. He certainly followed Dawkins template of “ridicule and contempt.”
So Dawkins has an atheist paraphrase for the quote falsely attributed to St. Francis.
“Preach Darwinism at all times and if necessary use ridicule and contempt.”