This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Pope's Holyroodhouse Speech Transcript

Pope's Holyroodhouse Speech Transcript - Comments

Tronberman's Avatar Comment 1 by Tronberman

As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

Seriously?

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:42:50 UTC | #518816

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 2 by PrimeNumbers

I am so disgusted! He blatantly ignores the Catholic heritage of Jew-hating, forgets that Hitler was one of theirs, and manages to effectively equate atheists with Nazi. What an evil, odious man.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:45:32 UTC | #518818

Aqua Ape's Avatar Comment 3 by Aqua Ape

He needs Obama's speechwriter, and maybe Obama's appeal.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:45:51 UTC | #518819

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 5 by AtheistEgbert

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives.

How outrageous is this?

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:01:11 UTC | #518833

nessatse's Avatar Comment 6 by nessatse

That atheist bit sounds like a very deliberate troll...

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:01:17 UTC | #518834

CraigB's Avatar Comment 7 by CraigB

The sad fact is that a lot of people will buy into this rewriting of history.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:02:02 UTC | #518835

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 8 by TheRationalizer

So, Christianity can be credited for stopping the slave trade, but not blamed for starting it in the first place?

He's also saying the Nazi agenda was to eradicate religion which is obviously not the case. I am sure that many atheists paid with their lives fighting the Nazis, not just Pastors.

Then to say that what the Nazi's did was because of a lack of God? This is infuriating!

All I have to say is this.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:07:04 UTC | #518840

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 9 by Richard Dawkins

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny” (Caritas in Veritate, 29).

This statement by the pope, on his arrival in Edinburgh, is a despicable outrage. Even if Hitler had been an atheist, his political philosophy was not based upon atheism and had no connection with atheism. Hitler was arguably (and by his own account) a Roman Catholic. In any case he enjoyed the open support of many of the most senior catholic clergy in Germany and the less demonstrative support of Pope Pius XII. Even if Hitler had been an atheist (he certainly was not), the rank and file Germans who carried out the attempted extermination of the Jews were Christians, almost to a man: either Catholic or Lutheran, primed to their anti-Semitism by centuries of Catholic propaganda about 'Christ-killers' and by Martin Luther's own seething hatred of the Jews. To mention Ratzinger's membership of the Hitler Youth might be thought to be fighting dirty, but my feeling is that the gloves are off after this disgraceful paragraph by the pope.

I feel like bombarding every newspaper in Britain with letters of protest.

letters@guardian.co.uk

letters@thetimes.co.uk

letters@independent.co.uk

The trick to getting letters published is to keep them BRIEF as well as literate and correctly punctuated.

I am incandescent with rage at the sycophantic BBC coverage, and the sight of British toadies bowing and scraping to this odious man. I thought he was bad before. This puts the lid on it.

Richard

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:09:23 UTC | #518842

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 10 by AtheistEgbert

As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century,

Again, outrageous. This is akin to denying the holocaust as far as I'm concerned in this blatant re-writing of history.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:11:01 UTC | #518844

Slugsie's Avatar Comment 11 by Slugsie

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:18:08 UTC | #518850

arrenariel's Avatar Comment 12 by arrenariel

Comment Removed by Author

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:19:58 UTC | #518852

spmccullagh's Avatar Comment 13 by spmccullagh

@Richard - Your fatal mistake is the use of the term Roman Catholic in relation to Hitler without the use of inverted commas. To suggest that such acts are in any way associated with religious teaching in such a blatant fashion is an outrage. So, if his actions are not rooted in Catholicism, then where are they rooted? Perhaps the twisted morals of someone who had fallen away from Church teaching to adopt his own Godless warped agenda.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:20:21 UTC | #518853

arrenariel's Avatar Comment 14 by arrenariel

Wow the Pope has just equated Atheism with Nazism forgetting that Hitler was a Catholic that he was a member of the Hitler Youth and that someone who he associates with is a Holocaust denier. Sorry 'Atheist Extremism' - when was the last time an Atheist blew up the Tube or two towers?

Not forgetting that Hitler said "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out."

In 1933 the Godless Movement in Germany wrote ""A campaign against the 'godless movement' and an appeal for Catholic support were launched by Chancellor Adolf Hitler's forces.".

Pope you are full or shit!

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:22:37 UTC | #518855

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 15 by SaganTheCat

I don't know if hitler was a catholic, atheist, astrologist or wiccan (depends on your source) but I do know he was a german head of a totalitarian state endorsed by mussolini

glass houses

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:24:06 UTC | #518857

keithapm's Avatar Comment 16 by keithapm

Well isn't that just peachy (and preachy)? So now we're Nazis is it? Well we've heard that canard before and now the leader of the Catholic church trundles it out. Lovely. He shows a spectacular ability to cheery pick from, and misrepresent, history. This is nasty.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:24:29 UTC | #518858

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 17 by irate_atheist

Comment 9 by Richard Dawkins -

Richard, he's so bad it's good.

I mean, in all seriousness, if you had wanted him to paint himself and the catholic church in a bad light and to appear as a rabid lunatic, could you have crafted him a better rant?

I know I couldn't.

And that's saying something.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:25:56 UTC | #518860

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 18 by irate_atheist

And, yes, the amusement of a former member of the Hitler Youth saying it was all down to atheism.

Give the man a megaphone.

Let his words be broadcast far and wide.

Let him be hoist by his own petard.

Let him be seen for the wickedness that he is.

And his church for the insanity that it enboldens.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:29:47 UTC | #518862

Roger J. Stanyard's Avatar Comment 19 by Roger J. Stanyard

spmccullagh claims "@Richard - Your fatal mistake is the use of the term Roman Catholic in relation to Hitler without the use of inverted commas...."

Not one senior RC Nazi was ever excommunicated by the RCC for what they did. As far as I can make out no member of the Nazi party at all, ever, was ex-communicated by the RCC for Nazism. The only senior Nazi ex-communicated was because he was divorced (IIRC). Not much of a sin is it in comoparison with what the Nazis did to Europe?

Christianity is deeply culpable in the holocaust and Nazism. The RCC was in bed with most of the fascist regimes in Europe in the 20s and 30s. Germany was a deeply Christian country during the 20s and 30s.

I think you need to look in a mirror before screaming that others have a warped agenda.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:29:59 UTC | #518863

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 20 by SaganTheCat

Richard

I am incandescent with rage at the sycophantic BBC coverage, and the sight of British toadies bowing and scraping to this odious man. I thought he was bad before. This puts the lid on it.

Richard

Thank you, I was wondering if anyone else had been feeling nausious at the way the BBC covered this. I was eating my breakfast during the "exciting" preparations.

Than I read this:

A Catholic MP has accused the BBC of ‘institutional Christianaphobia’ over its coverage of the Pope’s visit. Mark Pritchard is urging Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to give the corporation’s director general Mark Thompson a dressing-down for its news stories on Catholicism and Pope Benedict XVI. The Tory, who is vice chairman of the parliamentary group for the Holy See, said the BBC had displayed a form of ‘blatant, anti-Christian bias’.

I think we're getting close to the crossover point where it will become impossible to tell if an article comes from the mainstream press or the Dail Mash and the Daily Mail is actually the funniest publication available. a sort of Satire Event Horizon beyond which all the rules of reality and humour break down and no matter how ludcrous a notion you imagine it spontanioulsy will have happened rendering the concept of satire meaningless

Updated: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:33:58 UTC | #518864

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 21 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Comment 9 by Richard Dawkins

I feel like bombarding every newspaper in Britain with letters of protest.

letters@guardian.co.uk

letters@thetimes.co.uk

letters@independent.co.uk

And don't forget here:

BBC Have Your Say

And here:

dtletters@telegraph.co.uk

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:30:34 UTC | #518865

Ygern's Avatar Comment 22 by Ygern

Excellent opening gambit: A Godwin in his first speech.

Well, the does it for me. Anytime anyone ever says to me that the current pope is an intellectual is going to get their arse kicked. Metaphorically of course.

He is not only not intellectual, he is also a bare-faced liar. He of all people knows only too well the rather a lot of Nazis were Catholic. Including himself.

I've always been in two minds as to whether this man was maybe a delusional old fool who had made really bad decisions based on mindless devotion to his religion. Now I know he is evil.

Updated: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:35:07 UTC | #518866

Roger J. Stanyard's Avatar Comment 23 by Roger J. Stanyard

Richard forgot the Financial Times! Best cartoon for years in there today.

It's a spoof on the JWs with a householder opening the door to a man saying "Good evening. I'm an aggresive atheist - have you heard the bad news?"

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:32:07 UTC | #518867

keithapm's Avatar Comment 24 by keithapm

Comment 13 by spmccullagh @Richard - Your fatal mistake is the use of the term Roman Catholic in relation to Hitler without the use of inverted commas. To suggest that such acts are in any way associated with religious teaching in such a blatant fashion is an outrage. So, if his actions are not rooted in Catholicism, then where are they rooted? Perhaps the twisted morals of someone who had fallen away from Church teaching to adopt his own Godless warped agenda.

Actually Richard did not say Hitler's actions were motivated by his "Catholicism", he was merely pointing out that Ratzinger had misrepresented atheists and atheism by falsely equating them with Nazism, which is completely historically inaccurate.

Updated: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:37:48 UTC | #518868

mixmastergaz's Avatar Comment 25 by mixmastergaz

Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society

How outrageous is this?

I believe that one qualifies as "fucking outrageous"...

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:35:56 UTC | #518869

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 26 by TheRationalizer

Comment 9 by Richard Dawkins :

I feel like bombarding every newspaper in Britain with letters of protest.

I'd like to see you interviewed on the news commenting on the Pope's speech. If he's going to throw punches it's only fair that we get the opportunity to participate too.

I cannot express how offended I am.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:38:29 UTC | #518870

Roger J. Stanyard's Avatar Comment 27 by Roger J. Stanyard

Which of course raises the issue as to how many Cathlic countries went to war against Hitler? Not many. Poland was forced into war by act of invasion. Italy sided with Hitler. Spain and Portugal stood to one side altogether. Hungary sided with Hitler. Croatia sided with Hitler. Father Tiso supported Hitler. So that basically leaves France and Belgium. And France never really had its heart in it.

Let's look at just who did stand up to Nazism - The Soviet Union. UK deaths from war, 1939 - 1945 around 300,000. US deaths, around 300,000. Soviet deaths - 27 million. Nar, it was the "atheists" that broke the back of Nazi Germany. Catholic Europe has a lot to answer for over WW2.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:41:03 UTC | #518871

Nick Healey's Avatar Comment 28 by Nick Healey

Somebody needs to point out to the pope that hating religion does not make you an atheist, hating Catholics and Jews does not make you an atheist, hating god does not make you an atheist.

There is no definitive proof that Hitler was an atheist. Mein Kampf was littered with faith references, as were many of his speeches. Granted he also voiced plenty of anti-religious rhetoric, but this lack of consistency can be explained by the fact he was as crazy as a box of frogs. There is very little evidence to suggest that he had no faith in some divine being, only that he had no faith in the abrahamic religions, which is not the same thing.

Psychology 101; If Hitler had no faith, why pick on the Jews? Hitler has a lot more in common with Mel Gibson and the pope than he does with any atheists I know.

A similar simplistic psychological litmus test can also be applied to Stalin who actually attended a catholic seminary before becoming so vehemently atheist. Hands up who thinks Stalin might have been sexually abused by a cleric, or at least disillusioned by the rampant hypocrisy of the church with regards to wealth and suffering?

Does anyone know of a psychological thesis arguing that these alleged-atheist monsters were actually the product of catholicism and catholic indoctrination? It would be infinitely more plausible to me than blaming their actions on atheism, which in my experience tends to be a far more tolerant philosophy than faith.

As an ex-catholic I know how insidious and invidious a catholic upbringing and education can be. It is hard to shed. I am under no illusions that it massively contributed to shaping my personality in my formative years and even elements of who I am today, just as any childhood experience does.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:43:08 UTC | #518876

seals's Avatar Comment 29 by seals

Groan. What can we expect from a man who lives in a fantasy world, a hypocrite who now apparently believes his own flagrant rewriting of history.

It's just meaningless rhetoric. How can atheism, which is simply nonbelief, be extreme?

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:43:30 UTC | #518877

Coffee_Anathema's Avatar Comment 30 by Coffee_Anathema

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny” (Caritas in Veritate, 29).

Funny, that last is what I think is religion's effect on the person.

So he's trying to equate atheism with fascism now? Really? I smell a lawsuit. it may indeed be time to start fighting dirty.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:49:08 UTC | #518882