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← The List: The World's Worst Religious Leaders

The List: The World's Worst Religious Leaders - Comments

Janus's Avatar Comment 1 by Janus

Where's the Pope?

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:25:00 UTC | #151147

AnthSynthasome's Avatar Comment 2 by AnthSynthasome

Hitchen's subtitle seems appropriate here...

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:31:00 UTC | #151151

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 3 by Bonzai

Except perhaps for Nasrallah, they are all nobodies with only limited, local influences.

These are mostly politicians,-- at least one is a cult leader,-- caught up in local conflicts rather than religious leaders proper.

If they are somehow used as representatives of religion then indeed most believers can justifiably say "these are not our gods".

I wonder who came up with a list like this. I sense that it is probably more about political axe grinding than anything else. It may not be an accident that Nasrallah tops the list and he happens to be the only person on the list who has some international recognition.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:31:00 UTC | #151152

Thomas Byrne's Avatar Comment 4 by Thomas Byrne

Where's Dawkins?

C'mon Prof. You're not trying hard enough.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:32:00 UTC | #151153

Jay G's Avatar Comment 5 by Jay G

With regard to Dov Lior:

I doubt he is Hassidic. Chassidim in general are hostile to the founding of the State of Israel and don't generally move to the West Bank. He is part of the Religious Zionist movement, which is poles apart from Chassidism

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:38:00 UTC | #151156

Bigorra's Avatar Comment 6 by Bigorra

The loonies have been spotted!

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:49:00 UTC | #151162

Shaden's Avatar Comment 7 by Shaden

I was looking for Pat Robertson, he would fit right in.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 11:28:00 UTC | #151186

EvidenceOnly's Avatar Comment 8 by EvidenceOnly

The pope should be on this list for the following reason:

According to, 1.6 million people died of AIDS in Africa in 2007.

This is the equivalent of 1.5 NINE-ELEVENS per day, every day for years gone by and years to come!

A very large number of this could have been prevented by encouraging people to use condoms.

Yet, the Catholic church (and the Bush administration) will only allow for education of abstinence since condoms go against their religious beliefs.

Some bishops in Africa use fear tactics to scare people away from condoms. They claim that condoms are infected by the West to kill Africans.

Let's measure the badness of all leaders in how many 9/11s they directly or indirectly cause.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 11:33:00 UTC | #151193

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 9 by Tyler Durden

I was looking for David Robertson, he would fit right in.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 11:41:00 UTC | #151200

black wolf's Avatar Comment 10 by black wolf

adding to your post, it's not only bishops lying, scaring and commanding people away from contraception, there are at least two African cardinals in that line as well. Cardinals are direct subordinates of the Pope. I havent heard that they've even been admonished in the slightest bit by the Vatican.
Japanese CEOs have apologized under tears for incompetent and fraudulent behavior of subordinates.
Governors have resigned over revealed corruption in their administration.
Entire boards of executives of non-profit charities have stepped down from office over solicitation scandals.
From the Vatican: Silence. Crickets chirping. Rolling bushes.
This is the greatest imaginable Fuck You to humanity. EVER.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 12:11:00 UTC | #151216

Raiko's Avatar Comment 11 by Raiko

Out of curiosity, who's the worst atheist leader we know?

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:20:00 UTC | #151262

Prankster's Avatar Comment 12 by Prankster


Could be anyone living or dead as long as we don't mention Stalin or Hitler or Mao

Can't find old Joe Ratzinger in here though so the list must be wrong surely?

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:26:00 UTC | #151266

Pattern Seeker's Avatar Comment 13 by Pattern Seeker

They forgot to mention-

Joseph Kony is also the inventor of the 'Kony Dog,' a delicious Ugandan snack filled with hatred and nonsense. Deep fried in tasty lies and covered with their enemies blood. Try One!

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:33:00 UTC | #151272

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 14 by robotaholic

These people don't even sound like humans.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:35:00 UTC | #151276

JammyB's Avatar Comment 15 by JammyB

Let's not forget that the current Pope has PERSONALLY and by his own hand helped to cover up the rape of small children of the congregation. Even the most fundie Christian should be putting him up on this list.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 14:34:00 UTC | #151292

cam9976's Avatar Comment 16 by cam9976

The author forgot that Stalin and Mao's brand of communism was highly religious in nature and that Hitler established a quasi state religion of Catholic mysticism and occultism in Germany.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 16:11:00 UTC | #151313

MaxD's Avatar Comment 17 by MaxD

I would at least like to see David Miscavige on the list as like a lesser villain.
Here is why I think that would be good.
and Go here
and Watch the video Onward

Tom Cruise can join him on the list!

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 16:56:00 UTC | #151329

Hostile2012's Avatar Comment 18 by Hostile2012

How about L Ron hubbard (I don't care about spelling). he led the biggest breach in government security and started the worst cult in modern times.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 17:22:00 UTC | #151336

leviticus's Avatar Comment 19 by leviticus

Bonzai your comments sound like nothing other then classic religious apologetic rhetoric. First play down the importance of the people or events that could look bad for religion then distance religion from these people by saying things like

If they are somehow used as representatives of religion then indeed most believers can justifiably say "these are not our gods".

Also I can't believe that you can downplay the importance of a person like Joseph Kony as a "nobody" of little importance with a limited local influence as if the murder of at least 100,000 people is no big deal and the abductions of over 60,000 children to turn into soldiers and sex-slaves is unimportant. And I also suppose that: The Taiping Rebellion, The Mountain Meadows Massacre, The Thirty Years War, The Spanish Inquisition, St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and the Crusades were all also "not in the name of your gods".

I also agree with Shaden Pat Robertson would make a strong candidate for this list.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 18:30:00 UTC | #151352

atheist_peace's Avatar Comment 20 by atheist_peace

Where's the Dalai Lama? And Mother Teresa?

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 18:33:00 UTC | #151353

discipline's Avatar Comment 21 by discipline

Where the hell is James Dobson on this list?

He's the extreme right-wing Christian fascist homophobe who advocates beating children into submission.

Oh, and his organization has 2 million members and his media outlets reach over 200 million people per day:

And he enthusiastically endorses Expelled, of course:

He's the worst of the worst (in the US at least).

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 18:54:00 UTC | #151356

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 22 by dragonfirematrix

Wow! It seems many are getting into so much detail.

There really is nothing to debate. Religion is the problem, not part of any solution.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 19:13:00 UTC | #151361

Koreman's Avatar Comment 23 by Koreman

Fine examples of Pavlov's operant conditioning in reality.

It is amazing what people are capable of, only to be rewarded by an invisible wizard from nowhere and never, who made up the entire universe -except himself and his habitat-, to satisfy his own primitive human instincts.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 20:02:00 UTC | #151369

ZekeCDN's Avatar Comment 24 by ZekeCDN

I would at least like to see David Miscavige on the list as like a lesser villain.

I'll second that. I was researching his "crimes" before I'd ever even heard of Intelligent Design.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 20:15:00 UTC | #151371

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 25 by Russell Blackford

Funny, you know. I can be all calm and tranquil, and then I read something about the latest sactimonious rubbish uttered by the grand poobah of the cult of misery ... and I feel my blood pressure go up. I must go and indulge in some deadly sins and calm down again. The only one I'm really up to, these days, is gluttony, so it'll have to do. Just as well we have guests coming around for dinner.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 20:21:00 UTC | #151372

Edanator's Avatar Comment 26 by Edanator

These are "just" examples of madmen, one from each of the five world religions. What's disturbing with this article is that the Christian madman is the only one that gets dismissed as not practicing true faith.
"Although Kony frequently uses biblical passages to justify his actions and has his child soldiers make the sign of the cross before battle, he mixes Christianity with mysticism and claims to be advised by a "spirit council" from beyond the grave."

I'm sure religious leaders of all the other faiths could make similar claims of "their" madmen, but their objections are not heard. Bias?

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 20:29:00 UTC | #151375

_riverrun_'s Avatar Comment 27 by _riverrun_

Ugly and despicable people no doubt! But, and I say this as an atheist, secular state worship of the Harris / Hitchens kind has led to far more deaths than any of these individuals could hope to achieve. By constraining and framing the issue within such narrow terms, Foreign Policy Magazine(consciously or not) fulfills its typical criterion of condemning foreign crimes, whilst ignoring ones closer to home.

Fri, 11 Apr 2008 21:38:00 UTC | #151383

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 28 by Peacebeuponme


Out of curiosity, who's the worst atheist leader we know?
That was tongue in cheek, right? There cannot be an "atheist leader" in same sense as there are "religious leaders".

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 01:49:00 UTC | #151444

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 29 by Steve Zara

Comment #159360 by Peacebeuponme

Sorry to be provocative, but why not?

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 01:52:00 UTC | #151445

epeeist's Avatar Comment 30 by epeeist

Comment #159281 by Koreman

Fine examples of Pavlov's operant conditioning in reality.
I didn't think Pavlov used operant conditioning. Wasn't that brought in later by the likes of Watson and Skinner?

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 02:02:00 UTC | #151449