These days, atheism is the the Vatican’s whipping boy it seems. ABC News reports that the Pope Says Atheism Led to ‘Greatest Cruelty’. So much for interfaith respect, so much for getting a “senior Vatican official” to urge that “Muslims must respect people of all faiths and not exclude them on the grounds of religion, race or any other personal characteristic.”
According to the article, the Pope says “it had led to some of the “greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice” ever known to mankind.”
Really, is atheism the only beast that had eroded moral values and degraded society? I beg to differ. History too begs a differing record for this perennial deathmatch between fidels and infidels. And we do not have to go far back. America, that bastion of freespeech, progress and power, is still in a deadlocked stalemate between religion and the state. Most overtly, the religious overtones that George Bush, President of the United States, has lacquered the War on Terror with could do with a few repaints to cover the cracks in his reasoning. What has this War, initiated and managed by Mr Bush brought to the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, America and the rest of the world?
I respect an individual’s right to belief, to choice. But here’s the leader of the one of the leading religions of the world laying humanity’s problems at the door of atheism, while calling for a rival religion to respect diversity. In the face of humanity’s collective track-record, saturated with violence and war in the name of religion, that just cracks the facade of inter-faith respect that much more. Holy Wars, anyone? Specifically, how about that series of holy wars called the Crusades?
In the article,the Pope “sharply criticizes Marx and the 19th and 20th century atheism spawned by his revolution, although he acknowledges that both were responding to the deep injustices of the time.”
Time… time should have been taken to reflect on the whys and wherefore of those deep injustices before, during and after those times before laying anything on atheism. You know… “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and yadayadadada.