The Vice Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University has attacked Melbourne atheists whom he accuses of descending like a Biblical plague upon the earth, attacking Christians and targeting Catholics in particular.
Ironically, the writer appears to have forgotten that the worst of the Biblical plagues were attributed to the very deity which he worships.
Any modern war lord who created the type of pestilences supposedly visited by the Jewish Yahweh god on the Egyptian race would likely be charged with international war crimes these days. (We will ignore, for the moment, the opinion of the majority of modern archeological scholars that there is no credible evidence that the Jewish nation was ever enslaved in Egypt.) The perpetration of plagues which are specifically designed to kill and torture thousands of innocent women, children and livestock rather than the nation’s leaders is not behaviour that a civilized nation would want to emulate and it is even more unlikely that the actions would be held up as exemplary or condoned by an international law court. It is unlikely that the excuse that the attacked nation was threatening the freedom of the warlord’s own nation would be considered as an adequate or reasonable defense. Even the devastation of Hiroshima had better justification.
Now the harm done by these god-created plagues cannot be reasonably equated with the actions of a bevy of outed atheists congregating in Melbourne for a convention, no matter how much they might attack someone’s valued religious persuasion. The writer is clearly unable to tell the difference between the monstrous criminal actions attributed to an ancient deity and the relatively minor discomfit which results from a non-Believer’s insistence on objective proof of supernatural claims or the embarrassment of having one's god-believing nose rubbed in the evident immorality of ordained clergy and god-worshiping laity. This gets the writer off to a rather poor start in relation to any claim of moral superiority or righteous indignation.
Taken as a whole, the article is a wonderful demonstration of the psychological phenomena of projection. The writer gives a first rate demonstration of just about every objectionable thing of which he accuses vocal atheists, meanwhile failing to offer any proof that his attackers are actually guilty of their alleged crimes. On the other hand, the author provides clear evidence of his own failings in these directions. He is rude, crude and disgustingly illogical. He is brazen, brash and strident. He is bitter, angry and vitriolic. He fails to respect his opponents or acknowledge their right to criticize the basis and nature of his beliefs. He attacks the character of those who fail to accept the validity of his belief system but makes no attempt to calmly and objectively address their objections.
His skill at emotional projection is extraordinary. He places atheists in the “pitiable bin of intellectual vulgarians”. He describes their demeanor as “a bit like watching a giggling incontinent drunk at a party”. He insists that their words are “so banally derivative of every piece of hate mail ever sent to God that I am amazed Satan has yet to sue for copyright infringement. - - No old chestnut is too ripe, rotten or sodden.”
The writer’s self-congratulatory style is unwarranted; so are his claims that atheists claim the intellectual high ground and that they have no right to do so.
He deflects the pivotal questions of whether the Catholic belief system and/or practices are responsible for generating the pandemic sex scandal perpetrated by significant sections of the church clergy. He avoids addressing the question of whether Catholic beliefs and practices have been instrumental in encouraging or supporting the morally egregious behaviour of responsible clergy and laity who covered it up, knowingly exposed parishioners to harm and deliberately punished the victims by ignoring them, mistreating them and denouncing them as liars.
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