Sunday, February 26, 2006

Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: her-r-r-r-e's . . . Richard (NOT)

Sunday, time many relax in front of the tube. In the US we get to choose among such journalistic icons as Chris Matthews or his genital counterpart, MSNBC Geraldo-wannabe Rita Cosby (no link; my keyboard refused on grounds it didn't do pornography). But what if we lived in more enlightened climes?
Earlier this month, Britain's Channel 4 aired The Root of All Evil?, a two-part exploration of religious faith hosted and narrated by Richard Dawkins, the eminent Oxford ethologist and author who is one of the world's most outspoken proponents of the theory of evolution. He's also an aggressive critic of religion. The Root of All Evil? follows Dawkins as he travels to some of the world's religious centers—among them Jerusalem, Lourdes, and Colorado Springs—to observe services and to interview leaders and followers of various faiths.


From the vantage point of the United States, the program is remarkable: You simply would never encounter such a brazen denunciation of religious faith on this country's airwaves, because the outcry from the religious right would be deafening. Dawkins's narration drips with contempt; as he goes about his rounds, it's as if he can hardly restrain himself from shouting, "I'm surrounded by IDIOTS!" The smoke coming out of his ears leaves a trail behind him wherever he goes. (via panopticist)
Alas, it's true. You can find nauseating religious drivel on every channel, including PBS, but a proudly atheist and rationist view? Hell, no.

So my Sunday is my own and I'm not wasting it in front of the TV or in church (my Fridays and Saturdays are similarly free for more productive work, as well; like watching re-runs of the Brady Bunch).

Unfortunately I don't get to watch Richard Dawkins either.