Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kum-bi-ya, pooh-pooh

I've been a big fan of Richard Dawkins ever since I read The Selfish Gene all those many years ago. Since then I've read virtually everything the man has written. He's very smart, very clever and a terrific writer. The only thing I have against Richard Dawkins is that he married Lalla instead of Leela (a remark that Tom, a Dr. Who fan, will understand).

But lately -- well, I don't know. His Darwin-tumping evangelism is taking on the aspect of a Bible Belt tent revival. He's the Elmer Gantry of atheism. If there's such a thing as fundamentalist disbelief, Dawkins has it.

Now, mind you, in Dawkins' hands even that can be fun. I liked The God Delusion as much as the next guy. Lord knows, the Almighty had it coming, and who better to give the the Big Guy a poke in the eye than Richard. But I had to laugh out loud when I saw in the London Sunday Times that Dawkins is helping to finance an atheist summer camp for kids.

I mean, really. Keeping religious indoctrination out of the public schools is one thing; a boot camp for little scoffers is another.

As freethinkers, will they be allowed to get up in the morning at whatever time they choose, except on Sunday when sleeping to noon is mandatory? In campcraft, will they braid plastic bookmarks for their little gray copies of Origin of Species? Relieved of fear of eternal punishment, will they go on a binge of short-sheeting the counselors? Will they sit around the campfire at night singing "Faith of our fathers -- fiddlesticks and fie"? Will the great man himself make an appearance at Saturday assembly to urge the pint-sized scampers to ever greater heights of dubiosity?

How about if adults just leave the kids alone and let them have some summer fun.

And --