Richard Dawkins and his political agenda

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Richard Dawkins was a scientist?

Apparently, he isn’t a one trick pony; he’s a public speaking politician too. Who would have thought?

Well, it’s no surprise really, because Richard likes to spread the news of atheism wherever he goes, and to do that, you must take on a variety of different roles. The Irish Times has reported that Dawkins has called for a constitution review for Ireland, because it is too wrapped up in religion. I sincerely apologise, but when was Richard Dawkins a suitable candidate for calling political reform? Especially in Ireland?!

Expression of religion “should be limited only by the need to respect the rights and freedoms of others”, according to the Dublin Declaration on Secularism and the Place of Religion in Public Life, adopted unanimously at the World Atheist Convention yesterday. The declaration also states that “the sovereignty of the State is derived from the people and not from any God or gods”.

Speaking to The Irish Times, well-known atheist Richard Dawkins said the Irish Constitution should be reformed to “remove all influence of the Roman Catholic Church and all other churches . . . incorporating tolerance for all religions”.

Referring to the oath that must be taken by Irish presidents and judges, he said they might as well take an oath “to Zeus or Thor” as to God. He “rejoiced” at the growth of secularism in Ireland and when he read the papers “about the pathetically diminished number of priests”. He hoped the churches would “wither away”, describing the Catholic Church as “an evil institution . . . by far the worst where the churches are concerned”.

The three-day convention also launched Atheists Alliance International (Similar to Evangelical Alliance?), a newly restructured umbrella group for atheists worldwide, whose first chairwoman is Tanya Smith of the Atheist Foundation of Australia.

Organised by Atheist Ireland, the convention was attended by 350 delegates, many of them Irish, with a preponderance of young people in their 20s.

The Dublin Declaration on Secularism and the Place of Religion in Public Life also suggests reforms on other areas of life such as education, justice, and economical situations.

It seems to me in the UK that we have Islamic Extremism in one corner, and Atheist extremism in the other. I do hope David Cameron is going to sort out Atheists who incite religious hatred. Like Richard Dawkins.

I don’t think he has any place to go about calling for reforms in a country he isn’t even a citizen of. He’s a scientist, not an MP. And, just for the record, he’s not a professor either.

The ignorance of this man never fails to surprise me. If Ireland want their laws the same (which I’m guessing they do) then leave them to it. It’s hardly appealing to the majority of the UK to see Dawkins standing on a soap box with a load of radical 20 somethings who have been brainwashed by Delusional Dawkins ideology.

Nothing has summed it up better than the words of Archbishop Cranmer this week:

People like Richard Dawkins have occasionally risen to rule nations, and the horrific consequences of their intolerance of religious expression and aggressive assertions of atheism are matter of historical record. It is a curious blindness which fails to perceive that it is the very presence of the Church that ensures the ‘tolerance for all religions’. What tolerance can Dawkins’ atheism possibly manifest when it believes the Roman Catholic Church to be ‘an evil institution’? Is not the use of such extremist inflammatory language designed to stoke the very intolerance they profess to abhor?

The declaration states that ‘the sovereignty of the State is derived from the people and not from any God or gods’. What happens when the majority of the people believe the sovereignty of the state to be derived from God?

While we must thank God that Dr Dawkins has not risen to be prime minister, this declaration gives an insight into how he will govern the New College of the Humanities in association with his fellow atheists. What an enlightened bastion of the liberal arts that is looking to be.


Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @

  • Dean, many Christians use different avenues to spread the news of Christianity. Richard Dawkins has the exact same right to express and spread his beliefs through whichever means he sees fit, as long as he is not inciting hatred.
    I think you need to be careful not to equate Dawkins’ New Atheism with atheism in general. Many atheists disagree with many of Dawkins’ methods and with some of what he says.

    • He does have the right to express opinions and beliefs, Anna, but I think he does insight hatred to a certain degree.
      The aim of this post isn’t to talk about evangelism. Rather, it’s to comment on Richard Dawkins’ assumed right to become political in such a public sphere on a country he is neither a citizen of, nor shares the religion of. It would be like me commenting on the political situation in South Africa, for instance, and expecting it to carry weight. I just don’t buy into that.
      As for Atheism Vs New Atheism, I think the boundaries are increasingly blurring as Dawkins becomes more and more powerful as a public speaker. It seems to most of the UK (correct me if I’m wrong) that Richard Dawkins is the spokesman of Atheism in general, not just New Atheism. And no one is stopping him. Whilst I don’t equate the atheist belief system with the new atheist one, I cannot help but link the two in some form when the subject matter of Richard Dawkins comes up, because of the aforementioned reasons.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      • I am not saying that Dawkins does not incite hatred on occasion.
        I would also argue Dawkins is not the only public figure who comments on situations and events that are beyond his area of expertise. I think it is also true to say that almost anyone asked would offer an opinion on the religious conflicts of Ireland as they are so well known and publicized. Weight is only given to comments when they are supported.
        Why should Dawkins be stopped? He has the right to freedom of speech. While no one is ‘stopping’ him, people often speak out against him, including atheists, however, people are rarely interested in responses to controversial statements. Alister McGrath constantly responds to Dawkins, perhaps you should read some of his material, if you haven’t already?

        I do not mean to criticize you anyway in this comment, I am merely stating my opinion as you have done in your blog.
        Keep blogging 🙂

        • I don’t feel criticized, Anna – don’t worry! It’s good to have a tension in debate.
          You’re right in saying that he isn’t the only one who comments on things which are beyond his field of expertise, but I think there is an especially overwhelming arrogance in what Dawkins says.
          You’re also right in saying that most people have an opinion on religious conflicts in Ireland, but I don’t think Dawkins is so concerned with that in itself. He’s more concerned about his ‘New Atheism’ spreading. And he has particular hatred of the Catholic Church, which is in tight relationship with Ireland as a country. There is an agenda there – not just an opinion, hence the conference, and not just an ‘off the cuff’ remark.
          As for being stopped, he only has to be stopped when he’s inciting religious hatred, which he is.
          As for McGrath – I have, and do. And will continue to do so!
          Your comments are always valued, Anna 🙂

  • AJ

    Oh dear Dawkins up to his old tricks again..
    I was watching him on a tv show titled ‘Is the Bible relevant today?’ and some of the questions he was posing were unbelieveable, I would be very surprised if this man has even read the Bible, if he has he clearly didn’t understand it let alone other statements he was using in debate which were so absurd, very suprising coming from an educated man.