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Does the Atheist Foundation of Australia have a very thin and hypocritical skin?

April 3, 2010

Does the Atheist Foundation of Australia have a very thin and hypocritical skin?


“Twas the Friday before Easter and all through the lodge, atheists we rejoicing at their non belief in god.”

Actually what did occur was a few sermons from religious leaders condemned what they saw as the rise of the New Atheist Movement. The most recent highlight of the new atheists was the recent Global Atheist Convention “Rise of Atheism” held in Melbourne just a few weeks ago. Perhaps the leaders of the various religions Anglican and Catholic were getting a little fed up with being blamed for all the ills of history. Perhaps they independently came to the same conclusion that a viewpoint other than blind trust in Atheism was due. Perhaps they all got together in a dark room and conspired to hit the downtrodden atheists because that is how they get their jollies. Perhaps they were only doing what they were hired to do and defend their faith against false and misleading information. Take your pick. Regardless why each of these religious leaders were speaking out, their target audience were the people sitting in pews. This small factor seems to be lost (perhaps unintentionally) in the way that the media reports what is said in church sermons. You could almost be mistaken that it was live television debate instead of religious ceremony.

What has incensed the Atheist Foundation of Australia’s president David Nicholls was the words spoken by Catholic Arch Bishop Anthony Fisher :

Last century we tried godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating,” … “Nazism, Stalinism, Pol-Pottery, mass murder and broken relationships: all promoted by state-imposed atheism or culture-insinuated secularism.”

In response David Nicholls says the comments are an act of desperation by the churchs. “We’re not forcing anything on anybody,” he said. “Hitler, who was a Catholic, forced Nazism onto the German population. Stalin forced his ideology onto the population. They didn’t do any of these things in the name of atheism, in fact Stalin was trained in a seminary.”

Later Nicholls produced a press release for the Atheist Foundation Website titled: Propaganda from the pulpit.

In this letter he makes a glaring contradiction of blame. “Christianity is reeling from an overwhelming number of child sex abuse claims and an inability to rectify the abysmal situation satisfactorily for the victims.” Nicholls writes in his introduction then just a few paragraphs later he adds: “He (Peter Jensen) seeks out a scapegoat and attacks Atheism without any understanding of what he is saying.”

I am not sure what David Nicholls definition of scapegoating is but it seems that he has the right to pile collective guilt of sex abuse directly on Christianity. At the same time he washes his hands of any collective guilt of atheist transgressions. Double standards work well in Nicholls universe.

The other double standard that he applied is his association of Hitler and Stalin with their supposed religious roots. The statement he makes that “Hitler, who was a Catholic” is only true up to the age of about 12 when Hitler rejected Christianity and became an atheist. In reality Hitler was an atheist who hated Christianity. Stalin is a much easier person to understand. He was expelled from the seminary in 1899 and did not even sit the final exams. He become a communist and an avowed atheist.  As a result and did not hesitate to oppress religion. The whole reason for oppressing religion was at the core of Marxist Materialist Ideology where religion is the key obstacle to the atheist utopian state. So to make any claim that either of these people were not applying atheist ideologies is clearly false. Either Nicholls is ignorant (and just shooting his mouth off before his brain is in gear); or he is being disingenuous.

Perhaps one telling line from Nicholls letter is this statement: “Jensen’s intolerance about Atheism is reminiscent of other instances in history where innocent groups have been vilified by religion with disastrous results.

A novice might be led to believe that the Atheist Foundation of Australia is a passive little group who just want to left alone as they do their atheist stuff. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Atheist Foundation of Australia is an activist organisation that is running political and social campaign to rid society of any religious influence.

One of their most recent campaign is an attempt to force bus companies to run their line of antireligious billboards. They were also instrumental in organising the recent Global Atheist Convent (Rise of Atheism) which descended into sledge descended after Richard Dawkins (amongst others) decided to fling insults rather than make a positive point. More evidence of the Foundations’ hardline attitude can be found in a quick survey of their past press releases. Here are some examples:

Annual G.O.D Award Release Date: Friday, August 22, 2008: “Grossly Outlandish Deficiency Award, be presented to Catholic Cardinal, George Pell”

A Christmyth message Release Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2009:

Atheists Call for Crusade Against Abbott Release Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009: “there is widespread concern amongst the Global Atheist Convention organisers and presenters that Abbott is a political mouthpiece for the Vatican.” And then writes: “Religious zealots like Abbott are not content to follow their beliefs privately. They want to use their political power to force their religious doctrines on the rest of us – whether or not we share their religious views. We find that offensive and un-Australian.” And …”We’ve had a gutful of popular, progressive political policy being derailed by religious fanaticism. The timing of the Convention could not be better.”

The list goes on and on with such exciting press releases like this:

Easter… Celebrating the Sacrifice of a Scapegoat : Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Moral Mess of “Christian Values” Monday, August 13, 2007. In which the Atheist Foundation attack Christian morality.

It is worth remembering that before someone starts crying victim and discrimination that they should not leave evidence of their own discrimination. For career activists like David Nicholls crying victim is just punctuation between his long diatribes and attacks. He is quite free to sing about being crucified on Easter but for those that have taken the time to read his past acidic statements and nativisms his complaints ring hypocritically hollow.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ionzone permalink
    May 9, 2010 9:30 am

    Very good, but I think you are letting them off pretty easy! (Couple of typeos, btw)


    • May 9, 2010 10:03 am

      Thanks for your comments.

      (Typos come free with every post.)

      I could have been much harsher but once the point is made any eople either start to agree or they disagree. If they agree, then they will chase up additional information themselves. If they disagree then they will not bother reading the whole post.


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