November 23, 2015

DAWKINS’ ACTIONS SURPRISE ME LESS THAN THIS SUDDEN ASSERTIVENESS BY THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Richard Dawkins says UK cinemas should screen the Lord’s Prayer: Vociferous critic of religion says anyone thin-skinned enough to be offended by church advert deserves to be offended. I certainly agree with Dawkins. I’m tired of rewarding cry-bullies for being easily offended. Toughen up or shut up.

Dawkins has been a long time advocate for free speech, arguing that protecting religious sensibilities is not a reason for censorship. And despite attracting controversy over his views on religion, the author of the God Delusion has previously described himself as a “cultural Anglican”.

The advert he was defending is to promote a new Church of England website, JustPray.uk, which encourages people to pray. The film shows Christians, beginning with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, saying one line of the Lord’s Prayer. The following lines are said by a diverse range of people including weightlifters, a police officer, a commuter, refugees in a support centre, schoolchildren, a mourner at a graveside and a festivalgoer.

Video at the link. And Dawkins isn’t the only one:

The Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, also an atheist, rejected the idea of the advert causing offence. She wrote on Twitter: “As a gentle atheist, I’m not offended by Church screening gentle cinema adverts; we shouldn’t reject our deep cultural roots in Christianity.”

The assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, told the Mail on Sunday he was “flabbergasted that anyone would find this prayer offensive to anybody, including people of no particular religious belief”.

Well, several people might have complained. And in the PC world, that’s enough to shut something down, so long as they’re the right several people.