The video below is a short exchange between Richard Dawkins and Bill O’Reilly. I’ve come to expect nonsense from O’Reilly, and I have a fairly low opinion of what Dawkins writes regarding theology, while considering his science writing second to none.
What caught my attention here was the accusation that Dawkins is mocking God. More and more, I see this accusation used against anyone who doesn’t accept someone’s religious beliefs and has the audacity to challenge them. I’ve expressed a certain disdain for what Dawkins writes about theology, but I believe he has the right to say that.
Is what he says “mocking God”? Well, he’s an atheist. He doesn’t believe in God. What exactly do you expect him to say?
Thus I can be regarded as blaspheming Islam because I don’t believe that Mohammed was a prophet. In turn, a Christian might think a Muslim was blaspheming Jesus because he doesn’t believe Jesus is divine. If you believe something isn’t true, well, you believe it isn’t true!
Dawkins is bound to think the core story of Christianity is myth (understood in the derogatory sense), because he doesn’t believe it’s true, either as history, or as a good, effective myth (seen in the more positive sense). I may disagree. I may dislike what he has to say. I may even think his language is intemperate from time to time, but that fact still remains.
But expressing it in a children’s book? Again, I have the right to produce a children’s book based on my theological beliefs, entwining them in the story. Is this not also acceptable when done by someone else with different beliefs?
Just because faith is involved shouldn’t mean that it’s unacceptable for each person to express their point of view, and defend it, even vigorously.