Look! Over there!

The pope warns against “atheist extremism.”

Days after a Church-appointed commission found cases of sexual abuse of children – typically starting around the age of twelve – in nearly every diocese and every Church-run religious school in Belgium, the Pope went to England and warned against “atheist extremism” that, he said, posed a threat to “those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate.”  It’s a good thing all those child-molesting priests, and the bishops who covered up for them, were men of faith; think how badly they might have behaved had they been atheists.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Look! Over there!”

  1. You're being too kind to him. He actually said that the Atheist extremism raised the specter of Nazism, which besides being a Godwin's Law violation is a topic this Pope in particular might do well to avoid, given his personal expertise on the subject. It's not for nothing that people call him Ratzi The Rhyming Slang – heck, given the absolutist conservatism he professes and his decades cracking down on progressive voices in the Church, it's not just because of his boyhood.

    The other interesting declaration connected with the Papal visit was the cardinal who said that passing through Heathrow reminded him of visiting a third-world country. Amazingly, his official spokesperson explained this by saying his boss "was merely highlighting Britain's multi-ethnic makeup". Which means he wasn't complaining about bad infrastructure or overbearing officials: he's just incredibly racist.

  2. Bux:

    Diddling little children is bad.

    Covering up for your colleagues who are diddling little children because you're afraid of scandal or liability lawsuits is bad.

    Blaming the whole thing on "homosexuals" is bad.

    For that matter, burning heretics and witches was pretty bad. So was chattel slavery. So is torture.

    And I don't need any metaphysical mumbo-jumbo to be able to say so. And as far as I can tell, the folks who claim they know right from wrong because God or the Church told them so have a worse-than-average record of getting it right.

  3. ok, when I ask "what is bad", I don't mean what things are bad. I mean how do you determine what is bad. Is diddling little childen bad because you say so Mark? Is diddling little children bad because 90% of civil society at this moment in time thinks so? You claim you need no metaphysical mumbo-jumbo to be able to say so, but what then do you draw upon to be able to say so? Call it "metaphysical mumbo-jumbo" if you will, but it's an unavoidably honest question to ask.

    As far as the track record of theists compared to atheists, I'll put their record up any day against the staunchest atheists. But since you throw out a mathematical term ("worse-than-average"), where is quantifiable evidence to support this assertion. You make a fallicy of logic by overlooking contrary examples and focusing on supporting examples in favor of your pre-disposed position. So let's see some hard evidence. Maybe we can start by quantifying by some factor such as how many human beings have died at the hands of atheists vs. theists throughout history, starting with atheists like Hitler and Stalin.

  4. Really Bux. You want to play that game? So as far as you are concerned the horrors of colonialism are just so much liberal whining? As far as you are concerned, nothing much important happened in the Americas after the Spanish arrived apart from their being introduced to Jesus? The Belgian Congo was all just a minor labor dispute? The post-British Indian famines (or, heck, Irish famines) were just some folks complaining about being forced to go on diet? Ever heard of the 30 years war and the death rates involved?

    Or, wait, don't tell me — all those people, no matter what they said about being driven by god were not REALLY driven by religious impulses.

Comments are closed.