Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Root of All Evil?

Further apologies for the intermittent nature of this blog. I am afraid that twice weekly service may not be resuming for a little while as I am snowed under at present.

What should we make of Richard Dawkin's new show The Root of All Evil?? Channel Four have foisted a question mark on his title but I doubt the initiative for that came from Professor Dawkins. Well, I'm going to talk about how best to make a programme that portrays atheism as badly as possible. I'm not too bothered with the ethics of misrepresenting my subject, but instead I'll take my cues from Dawkins' treatment of religion.

Let's start the show with me looking good, wise and dressed like a scholar. However, all the atheists in the show will be chosen because they look shifty, have funny beards or are Texans. If I can find one with a pair of little round glasses and a scary continental accent, so much the better. That's what TV researchers are for. First, I'll visit a meeting of atheists doing harmless things and generally not threatening a fly. I'd suggest that these people are on a slippery slope towards moral disintegration and mass murder. This would be as unfair as linking a granny at Lourdes directly to a suicide bomber, but apparently that's OK.

Next, I'll visit America and find some sad secularists with a persecution complex and pour scorn on them. I'll interview a supporter of Madalyn Murray O'Hair and make out she was the representative face of American atheism (she certainly wanted to be). Then I'll talk to a wacky libertarian follower of Ayn Rand and thus prove atheism can lead to communism and fascism at the same time. Then I'll pretend they attacked me. Unfair? Well, Dawkins compares a service at a US evangelical church to a Nuremberg rally and craftily edits his film in order to make the preacher look as a bad as possible. Finally, we get a very odd scene where Dawkins claims his crew were thrown off the church's land but although the camera is on, the editing is seriously jumbled and the sound track paraphrased by Dawkins himself.

I'll wrap my show up with a visit to Moscow where I'll interview an unreconstructed Stalinist who will berate the bourgeois and decadent West. He'll promise that Communism will eventually take the world over and I'll leave with his threats echoing in my ears. Typical atheist, I'll imply. Of course, that's no worse that finding the nuttiest Moslem in Jerusalem (complete with funny beard and American accent) to represent Islam.

On second thoughts, I'll leave the black propaganda to the people who are really good at it.

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