I’m not sure what to make of this sneering holiday column by Albert Mohler, leader of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s baffled, simply baffled by “atheist apostle” Richard Dawkins and his singing of Christmas carols. It’s not clear what Mohler thinks his point is here, other than that he believes there is some sort of disconnect between atheists and celebrating Christmas or even culturally Christian traditions. I can’t quite follow the logic: do I really need to be “Hot for Teacher” to enjoy Van Halen songs? Do I need to believe in Purple People Eaters to sing that song to kids?
All we can say for sure is that Mohler is a pretty good example of how incapable of empathy or understanding many believers can be when they try to wrap their minds around the reality of atheists (complete with an inability to use anything other than religious ideas like “apostle” to describe us). All he’s really exploring is his own self-flattering ignorance of who atheists are and what we’re about.
“So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I’m not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.
“If there’s any threat these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists.” (emphasis added)
Oh wait, no.
So, let me get this straight: religious nuts like Mohler spend half of their time railing against how atheists want to ban Christianity. Then they turn around and debunk their own lies, and act surprised to find that atheists don’t actually hold the straw man position that they claimed And we’re then supposed to think Dawkins is weird or inconsistent in the face of that sort of intellectual vaudeville act?
Well Mohler: Merry Christmas, moron.