A Bad Year for God?

Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ is being released in paperback in America this week, to mark the occasion an advert was to be published in The New York Times (NYT) Sunday Book Review section, you can see a copy of the advert here. As the advert says, it seems like it was a bad year for God last year. Atheist books, such as Richard’s, sold well (‘The God Delusion’ was one of the top 20 books sold in Australia last year) and it looks like there are more to come.

Yesterdays NYT had a review of a new book called Irreligion:

A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up.
By John Allen Paulos.
158 pp. Hill & Wang. $20.

Jim Holt gives it a mixed review, there’s also a link to the first chapter, so you can read some of it and review it yourself.

What with the Archbishop of canterbury telling us the Christmas story was just a legend and the rise of atheist letters being published in local newspapers and online, as I reported earlier; one might get the idea that religion may be starting to wane?

Gerard Baker, at Times Online, posted similar thoughts in his piece ‘2007, a bad year for God squadders’ (which I commented on after it was re-printed in The Australian) his opinon is that:

It was the believers that did most to discredit religion this year, not the atheists.

Tell us what you considered  to be some of the biggest blunders of the religious last year, things that might just put that final nail in the coffin of religion, things that made you laugh at the religious, things that made you cry, …

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Filed under atheism, atheist, book review, god, news

12 responses to “A Bad Year for God?

  1. AV

    Where to begin, OzAtheist? I write a weekly post on this very topic!

    Looking some of these posts over, I’d have to go with Saudi Arabia banning the letter X, Conservapedia, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Albert Mohler advocating pre-natal gene therapy to eradicate homosexuality, Chocolate Jesus, the Creation Museum, some UK schools dropping the Holocaust and the Crusades from history lessons for fear of offending Muslim students, the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops of Perth endorsing the teaching of intelligent design in state schools, Judith Reisman blames the Virginia Tech massacre on the killer’s “erototoxins,” the whole Reed Braden/God Delusion fiasco, Bill Heffernan declaring that Julia Gillard’s being “deliberately barren” makes her unfit for office, the Nightline debate Kirk Cameron/Ray Comfort and the Rational Response Squad (“Crocoduck,” anyone?), Jerry Falwell dying, the ABC religion department’s Rachael Kohn declaring war on Richard Dawkins, the US military discharges 58 Arab linguists for being gay, lynchings, stonings and bashings of gays in California, Jamaica and Eastern Europe, the Pentagon’s “Gay Bomb”, Pakistan condemning the UK for awarding Salman Rushdie a knighthood and thereby “hurting the feelings of Muslims,” UK Anglican bishops blaming floods in that country on gays, Christian fundies disrupting the Hindu prayer in the US Senate, the DUP pushing for the teaching of creationism and ID in Northern Ireland public schools, Major Freddy Wellborn’s lying (for Jesus) his way into a meeting of atheists and freethinkers among US military serving in Iraq and then shutting it down. the LOLcat translation of the Bible, Ann Coulter calling for Jews to be “perfected,” the wailing and gnashing of teeth over The Golden Compass, two men receiving 7000 lashes for sodomy in Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad claiming that there are no homosexuals in Iran, the Family First candidate demanding that all candidates declare their sexual orientation, the group of Orthodox Christians barricading themselves in a cave in a remote area of Russia to await the Apocalypse, Silas winning the Federal seat of Mitchell, the British schoolteacher facing 500 lashes and prison because her students named a teddybear “Mohammed,” the Catholic bishop in Chicago seeking legal changes to prevent the Church from having to pay out “excessive damages” in sex abuse lawsuits, Sherri Shepherd–who thinks the earth is flat and that Christians predated Greeks and Romans . . . .

    And my absolute favourite: God lying to Pastor Danny Nalliah about John Howard winning the election.

  2. prolepticlife

    I’m sure God is really worried about having a bad year.

  3. I had no idea athiests could be so fervent and evangelical…..Next thing you know we might catch you swinging from the chandeliers….or ……..proselytizing from door to door.lol
    Maybe the “biggest blunder” of you athiests in the 20thcentury was trying to rid Russia of Christianity from 1917-1992. Starting with the assinations of Tsar Nicholas and his family.But your sorry reign ended with the tearing down of the Berlin wall, and Christianity and freedom in Russian and Europe is alive and well.
    Its the world that mocks the godless and thier tyranny and turns on them in the end.

  4. I don’t believe God probably gives a hoot about his pr image. I on the other hand have had a hard time swallowing since reading Oz’s post and AV’s comment. This is one of those times where I suffer terribly from a guilt by association complex.

    I am still at the point of shaking my head and gathering my thoughts.

    “Judith Reisman blames the Virginia Tech massacre on the killer’s ‘erototoxins,'”

    Do what?


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  6. Scavenger,
    The Communists imposed atheism. Other totalitarian regimes have imposed religions (Islam, Christianity, etc). That doesn’t really prove anything.

    Besides, can’t you answer the question? What do you suppose was the biggest blunder? For myself, I can’t see one defining moment. I don’t know that there was one. I think it is more likely that we are seeing an increasing amount of people fed up with any organized religion whatsoever, and attempts to dress faith in reason’s clothing.

    Interesting post Oz. (And interesting site).

  7. AV

    The Communists imposed atheism. Other totalitarian regimes have imposed religions (Islam, Christianity, etc). That doesn’t really prove anything.

    Least of all Scavenger’s implied claim that communism/Stalinism is a necessary outcome of atheism, or the strawman that if one is an atheist one automatically endorses Stalinism.

    Whenever theists attempt to lay the blame for Stalinism/Maoism at the feet of atheists, it’s always useful to remind them of the stark parallels between Stalinism and religion–particularly its theocratic/fundamentalist/cultish variants. State atheism in Soviet Russia represented an attempt by the defenders of one dogma (not atheism, but Communism) to curb or wipe out competing dogmas. The Soviets also had anti-Darwinism in the form of Lysenkoism, a biological pseudoscience–the conclusions of which were based not on observation and experiment but on subservience to (Communist) dogma. It proved disastrous for biology in the Soviet Union, just as the attempts by fundies to make science subservient to Christian dogma will prove disastrous in the West.

    I on the other hand have had a hard time swallowing since reading Oz’s post and AV’s comment. This is one of those times where I suffer terribly from a guilt by association complex.

    There’s no need. I don’t think anyone’s trying to strawman you by assuming that, just because you’re a Christian, you necessarily endorse things other theists do or believe. If you find these things as ridiculous/outrageous as we do, that’s good enough for me.

  8. Thanks for the compliment Dan.

    For me 2007 was a big year. I saw “Root of All Evil”, read “The God Delusion” and then several other atheist books, started this blog, and became active on other blogs and forums.

    Like you I don’t see any one defining moment, and AV found too many to count 🙂 , though I do think the increased number of people prepared to speak out against religion is one of the most significant aspects.

  9. Sure thing.

    The increasing comfort level of people willing to “out” themselves as atheists and publicly criticize religion is very heartening.

  10. AV

    It was the believers that did most to discredit religion this year, not the atheists.

    This has arguably been the case every year, not just 2007! 😉

  11. I find them not only ridiculous but physically sickening!

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