The Hypocrisy of Richard Dawkins

At yesterday’s Reason Rally, the acknowledged headline speaker was the famous Richard Dawkins. And Dawkins, true to form, managed to display both hypocrisy and irrationality in the course of his fifteen minute speech.

To set the stage, let’s remember the promise the Reason Rally organizers made to us on their website:

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The Reason Rally and the Westboro Invitation

A few days ago, as a formal sponsor of the Reason Rally, Jim Klawon of the National Atheist Party sent a formal invitation to the Westboro Baptist Church. This is interesting because Westboro is classified as a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Legal Center. As the Southern Poverty Legal Center explains, “Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America. The group is basically a family-based cult of personality built around its patriarch, Fred Phelps.” Nevertheless, Mr. Klawon invited them to participate in The Reason Rally. You can read the letter here. This letter was subsequently given a positive mention at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science website and Twitter account.

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The Reason Rally and Generosity

The Reason Rally, hosted by “many of the country’s largest and most influential secular organizations, will feature “music, comedy, speakers, and so much more.” As “the largest secular event in world history” the goal is “to advance secularism” and focus “on all non-theists have achieved in the past several years.”

As you look at it, The Reason Rally, in its structure, actually seems to have a surprising amount in common with a megachurch service or a Christian festival. You have celebrity speakers, famous bands, comedians, poets, authors, and and activists. Overall, it looks like it will be a fun gathering.

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The Reason Rally

On March 24th, Richard Dawkins and other atheists plan to host a “Reason Rally” in Washington, D.C. As their website explains, “The Reason Rally is an event sponsored by many of the country’s largest and most influential secular organizations.” The list of speakers includes P.Z. Myers, Dan Barker, Lawrence Krauss, David Silverman, and U.S. House Representative Pete Stark.

As “the largest secular event in world history”, they hope to deliver a unique message of “good news,” namely, “We’re huge, we’re everywhere, and we’re growing.” As part of this theme, they’ve promised to keep the experience positive, celebrate secular values, and avoid trashing religion.

As the event itself unfolds, we will see how well the organizers and participants keep to these promises.

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