by baldilocks

Filling in for Fausta.

When we last talked about public atheist Richard Dawkins, he was being ‘de-platformed’ by Pacifica Radio’s KPFA.

In contrast, Dawkins spoke last week at the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in London, where he received a standing ovation and an award.

This conference’s purpose is

[to] discuss censorship and blasphemy laws, freedom of and from religion, apostasy, the limits of religion’s role in society, LGBT and women’s rights, atheism, secular values and more.

Speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, US and Yemen will gather in London to defend freedom of conscience and expression and argue that freedoms are not western but universal.

It’s innocuous internationalism and atheism, with one significant difference: these people support and offer a platform for ex-Muslims.

When ex-Muslim Bonya Ahmed reached out her hand to accept an award in London on Sunday, it was missing her thumb.

Islamists hacked it off in Bangladesh, 2015.


The ceremony that recognised this brave woman had to be held in a secret location because London is no longer safe for ex-Muslims, atheists or even secular Muslim believers who dare to say that Islam should not be implemented as a system of laws.

Let that sink in: these people had to gather in an undisclosed location.. Not in Bangladesh, but in Britain.

The next time you hear or read about American atheists whining about eyeball oppression from the sight of crosses and Ten Commandment monuments, point out the state of things in the UK. I know I will.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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by baldilocks

Yesterday at Hot Air, John Sexton posted a piece about a radio station’s cancellation of an appearance by public atheist Richard Dawkins. The station’s reason? They say they don’t support “hurtful/abusive speech” and are unwilling to give it a platform. Hurtful/abusive speech, in this case, is code for speech critical of Islam, which Dawkins has been offering of late.

His response to the cancellation:

I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?

I think we all know the answer to Dawkins’ rhetorical questions but this is a much more complicated situation than mere fear on the part of the broadcasters in question.

Sexton and others have referred to the radio station—KPFA—as a ‘Berkeley station.’ But that isn’t quite an accurate description of the station’s foundational aspects. Yes, it has always been located in Berkeley, but it isn’t a stand-alone station. It’s part of the Pacifica Foundation created in 1949 by pacifist Lewis Hill and is part of the foundation’s radio network.

Stations included in the network are KPFA, KPFB in San Francisco, KPFK in Los Angeles, WPFW in Washington D.C., WBAI in New York City, and KPFT in Houston. There are also dozens of affiliate and affiliate translator stations.

In short, Pacifica’s KPFA is the flagship of a fairly old progressive institution.

(Personal note: in the nineties, when I was a community college student, one of my professors advised us to listen to KPFK in order to hone our critical thinking skills. I took that advice and listened for years afterward. The professor’s advice was very useful, but probably not in the way that he intended. Listening to KPFK helped me discover that I was not a Leftist.)

Pacifica’s stations bill themselves as independently-operated by local broadcasters and as listener-sponsored. Both are true, but that last part is only half-true. These stations receive grants from sources like the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute and…the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. From the latter’s website:

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

CPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.

CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70% of its funding to nearly 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

Emphasis mine.

(From what I recall of KPFK’s fund drives, the size of the grants depend on the size of the haul each station takes in during its fund drives.)

In other words, Pacifica stations are funded by voluntary donations from supporters, big-time left-leaning, one worlder foundations, and involuntary “donations” from American taxpayers – none of which has prevented the overarching Pacifica Foundation from having financial and personnel drama throughout its existence, but there you go.

Back to the Dawkins controversy: it’s clear why his appearance was cancelled. Oh, sure, Pacifica is afraid of getting blown up, but it’s more than that. Islam is the new Darling of the Left;  all the old flames: blacks, Spanish-speakers, women, homosexuals…and atheists…have been kicked to the curb and the new Darling must be protected at all costs.

And, to, once again, step out on the predict-the-future limb, the Organized Left is preparing for the day when Christ’s earthly Church here in America will be under the type of persecution similar to that of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

The Organized Left is merely picking a side, once again.

And, kudos to Dawkins for his lack of hypocrisy and for his bravery.

(Thanks to Ace of Spades HQ)

FORGOT TO ADD THIS:  Here’s a very interesting link about the life of Lewis Hill and the upbringing of his baby, Pacifica.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

UPDATE DTG: This story dovetales perfectly with a series of posts of mine from which concludes The common thread of the left is the destruction of Judeo Christian culture, standards belief and If you start from that position it all makes perfect sense.

Update 2: Instalance Thanks Glenn, well done Juliette

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That atheism is all about dissing religion as a whole.

the Left didn’t have a problem with his description of Pope Benedict XVI as a ‘leering old villain in the frock’ who ran ‘a profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution … amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.’

But today we see the Guardian going after the once Esteemed Dawkins:


Sure, he wrote some pop science books back in the day, but why do we keep having him on TV and in the newspapers? If it’s a biologist you’re after, or a science communicator, why not pick from the hundreds out there who don’t tweet five or six Islamophobic sentiments before getting off the toilet in the morning? If you need an atheist, there are many philosophers, scholars of religion, and public intellectuals available who don’t refuse to acknowledge the existence of theology.


You know although we often there the word “Islamophobic” thrown around but except by me I’ve never heard anyone describe any of the regular attackers of Christianity in general and Catholics in particular as “Christo-Phobic”, have you?

But back to the piece in general, while one might think the impulse would be to give Dawkins credit for consistency since like Pat Condell he dismisses all religions equally, the attack in the Guardian suggests that now all “right thinking” people (by which it is meant “people who think correctly”) should reject Dawkins meaning his days of cameos on Dr. Who

are likely over:

Damian Thompson also notes how not only is Dawkins in the present not toxic but his once highly praised books of the past are nw to be reclassified after these latest utterances:

Note how The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker — masterpieces of lucid thinking that advanced humanity’s understanding of evolution — have become mere ‘pop science’ now that their author is upsetting the wrong people.

Ah totalitarianism never changes, his old writings are suddenly VERBOTEN or at least nothing significant. Will we next see his image airbrushed out of posed photos?

Now lets stipulate that one does not have to be a fan of either radical Islam or radical feminism to think his arguments on religion are tripe & Dawkins is an ass.

Nevertheless we must give thanks to Mr. Dawkins for he has created a clarifying moment for society in demonstrating that any critique of Islam such as noting the comparative number of science Nobles of a single college vs the entire Islamic world is beyond the pale he demonstrates that for the vast majority of our secular humanist friends their “atheism” was not and never was about a disbelief in a or the gods worshiped by humans on planet earth.

No Professor Dawkins by his consistency of thought has confirmed that secular humanism always has and always will be just another vehicle to attack & deny and marginalized Christianity under the quite correct theory that it’s truths are a direct threat to the ideology of the worship of one’s self.

Thank you so much Professor Dawkins for providing that important service…

…but I still think you’re an ass,

Update:  Stacy gets it:

Atheism has a teleology — a purpose, an inherent goal — having developed in the West as a means of undermining the social and legal authority of Christian morality. Atheism is therefore not equally hostile to all religious beliefs, nor is it objective in the selection of targets.

People who hate Christianity nowadays declare themselves “atheists” in much the same way as people who hate America once declared themselves “Communists.” For that matter, it’s the same way women who hate men call themselves “feminists.” The claimed label is a means of rationalizing one’s hatred in a self-flattering way, by distinguishing one’s own enlightened sophistication in contrast to those whom one ridicules as ignorant simpletons for their traditional beliefs.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

Nearly 2,000 years later, this verdict still condemns them.

Dawkins at least has the virtue of consistency.

In my last post I noted Richard Dawkins, atheist extraordinaire and his interesting opinion on Radical Islam just to recap:

Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: “Well, um, the God of the Koran I don’t know so much about.”

Really? A man as educated as Dawkins doesn’t know much about the god of Islam? that’s pretty odd because there was a time that Professor Dawkins wasn’t so reticent about the topic. Let’s back up to just two years ago to an interview posted at Freethought nation:

“I’m reasonably optimistic in America and Europe. I’m pessimistic about the Islamic world. I regard Islam as one of the great evils in the world, and I fear that we have a very difficult struggle there.”

In fact we don’t even have to go back that far, let’s try January 29 of 2013

What could possibly have occasioned such a change in such a short time? I’ve got a clue:

A prominent Danish critic of Islam, Lars Hedegaard, has been targeted in a gun attack in the capital Copenhagen, police say.

The 70-year-old writer and historian was not injured in the shooting.

The gunman approached Mr Hedegaard pretending to be a postman and missed with a shot at his head, police said.

That story is dated February 5th of this year. Hedegaard, one of the Mohammad cartoonists was asked, isn’t it foolish to provoke Islam? His answer:

“you could have said the same thing about the White Rose in Germany, the resistance group. They ought to have known that if they said something about Nazism, they would be killed. Or you could say the same thing about the Danish resistance movement during the German occupation. It was said to them: do not go out and sabotage. Collaborate and shut up, otherwise you’ll get to a concentration camp and you’ll be executed. You could have said the same thing to Winston Churchill or the British Army — why the hell make trouble? You know what’s going to happen if you resist — you’ll be killed. Yes, and many of them were.’

and the media?

And what of the media, which — particularly after the smears around the failed prosecution — have regularly portrayed him as a bigot? Do they have any culpability in this? Hedegaard is reluctant to apportion secondary blame, but finally says this:

‘You can certainly say that if you are constantly presented as an enemy of the people, as I have been, then you are fair game for any lunatic. You cannot blame some lunatics for thinking that you can easily come and kill me, because if you read all this day in and day out, year in and year out, the man is an absolute lunatic and full of lies and bile and what not, you can get him with impunity. Yes, of course I think it plays a role.’

Does that sound familiar to you, I guarantee it sounds familiar to Pam Geller and Robert Spencer. I suspect it sounded familiar to Richard Dawkins prompting his sudden Volte Face. As Glenn Reynolds put it.

Don’t want your religion attacked? Behead a few attackers. It doesn’t take many — most of them are cowards and poseurs, and will shut up at the least hint of risk. Hey, don’t blame me. I didn’t set up this incentive system.

Dawkins has apparently learned the lesson of Hedegaard & Molly Norris, he has submitted. Pam Geller and Robert Spencer are made of sterner stuff.

Here is a headline that might have caught you by surprise:

Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

Yes you read that right, Dawkins is supporting an effort by England’s Education secretary to send free King James Bibles to every school for its 400th anniversary, but don’t get your hopes up, it’s not a question of respect for the Word, but respect for the words

Ecclesiastes, in the 1611 translation, is one of the glories of English literature (I’m told it’s pretty good in the original Hebrew, too). The whole King James Bible is littered with literary allusions, almost as many as Shakespeare (to quote that distinguished authority Anon, the trouble with Hamlet is it’s so full of clichées). In The God Delusion I have a section called “Religious education as a part of literary culture” in which I list 129 biblical phrases which any cultivated English speaker will instantly recognise and many use without knowing their provenance: the salt of the earth; go the extra mile; I wash my hands of it; filthy lucre; through a glass darkly; wolf in sheep’s clothing; hide your light under a bushel; no peace for the wicked; how are the mighty fallen.

A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian.

As you might guess I’m not a huge fan of Richard Dawkins views on religion but Dawkins (like Chris Hitchens) is a well-educated man who got that education at a time before political correctness and identity politics turned education into a weapon. Dawkins continues in a less surprising vein:

European history, too, is incomprehensible without an understanding of the warring factions of Christianity and the book over whose subtleties of interpretation they were so ready to slaughter and torture each other.

Dawkins being Dawkins of course focuses only on wars over Christian Schisms, somehow William Wilburforce and the fight against the slave trade doesn’t make his cut but his general point is quite valid. One simply can’t understand Western Civilization without understanding the bible. Art, literature, History so much of western history is directly related to the Bible and its interpretation and to ignore it is to be willfully ignorant.

And Dawkins also has an ulterior motive:

Whatever else the Bible might be – and it really is a great work of literature – it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are very frequently told the opposite. The examples I have quoted are the tip of a very large and very nasty iceberg. Not a bad way to find out what’s in a book is to read it, so I say go to it.

BTW Dawkins for all my disagreement with him deserves respect for this argument, it would much easier to try to keep people away from scripture.

The guardian seems to believe that this isn’t going anywhere:

his support for Gove’s plan: opening the Bible is the surest way to put young minds off its contents. From this perspective, the Dawkins-Gove alliance looks dead before it started.

This is poppycock for two reasons:

1. For educational reasons alone the plan is justified for all the reasons above. Dawkins motivations are irrelevant to that purpose.

2. Christians if they have any faith should welcome Dawkins’ challenge for the young to read the bible. Inspired scripture has spoken to hundreds of millions for centuries, and any Christian worth his salt understands why in a way that Dawkins for all his education can’t comprehend.

So yes by all means let the young read the bible and let Dawkins make his best argument, I suspect it will not be a better one than the argument of the Holy Spirit.

I can’t add much to Stacy McCain’s absolutely hilarious take on the confrontation between two giants of Atheism, Richard Dawkins and Rebecca Watson but there is a point I want to quickly make.

The offending words spoken to Ms. Watson were as follows:

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”

Stacy’s reference to an old 1970 song that I actually had the 45 for not withstanding. I think normal people would agree the following:

  • The words were not offensive and were exceedingly polite.
  • At 4 a.m. after presumably having a few drinks Ms. Watson might be excused for reacting more strongly to such a phrase than she might have at say, 11 a.m. bereft of alcohol.
  • In what was once called “polite society” the social faux-pas from this, if any, would be considered trivial and dismissed lightly.

Alas we are dealing with people who make their living off of their perceived victimhood are unlikely to make such consideration and so Watson played the victim and Dawkins played the snark until confronted at which time he bravely ran away from the likes of Watson and Marcotte. Stacy McCain again:

Once the feminists started screaming for blood, Dawkins’ fellow atheists were only too happy to throw him under the bus. The reaction was as if Dawkins himself had hit on Watson.

This is one of those episodes where the totalitarian impulse of feminism is glaringly apparent. Feminists ferociously suppress dissent and seek to impose a conformity of thought, so that anyone within the movement who expresses doubt about the dogma and the agenda is condemned as a heretic…

…All in all, it’s rather ironic that the atheist Watson ended up a devotee of feminism, the most intolerant religion of them all.

Christianity is all about redemption and forgiveness, we Catholics even go to confession and have our sins wiped away. This whole episode would be, to a Catholic, an example of a venial sin, however to the feminist left as Richard Dawkins has discovered (and believes) there is no such thing as venial sin, just those who are allies and those who are enemies.