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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Unfollow Richard Dawkins

Carrie Poppy |
September 23, 2014 | 3:15 p.m. PDT

Contributor

Me meeting Richard Dawkins in Burbank, CA. The camera operator is obviously really excited, too. (Carrie Poppy / Neon Tommy)
Me meeting Richard Dawkins in Burbank, CA. The camera operator is obviously really excited, too. (Carrie Poppy / Neon Tommy)

Richard Dawkins has lost me.

I used to respect the guy, even idolize him. He had spent his whole career promoting science, writing bestselling books, and in his later years, being outspoken about his lack of religious belief. Here’s me, on the right, meeting him in 2009, and looking pretty happy about it.

But then, Dawkins stopped writing books, started professionally trolling the internet and gave Christians a whole new reason to believe in the Antichrist.

Here’s a quick rundown, if you missed it:

He seems obsessed with blaming rape victims for being raped.

This month, Buzzfeed released an article in which a woman accused a prominent atheist writer, and friend of Dawkins’, of raping her while she was drunk. The very next day, Dawkins tweeted that being raped while drunk is just like driving drunk: if you didn’t want it to happen, you shouldn’t have alcohol-ed your way into this mess in the first place. A foolproof argument because, as you know, if you get drunk, your car may coerce you into the garage and force you to drive it.

But that wasn’t the first time Dawkins used twitter to talk about sexual assault. In July, he let the world know that “Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse” (according to experts, that’s not true). And just in case anyone would question his wisdom, he added “If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.” I believe that when he was named Oxford’s Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, they said: “Your first order of business as a public educator is to tell people to go away and learn how to think.” Then they made fart noises with their armpits.

He thinks rape culture is really funny.

After his followers were like, “Hey, maybe stop talking about rape like you’re the ref in a boxing match,” he basically said that the “REAL rape culture” is just a bunch of annoying ninnies who don’t like sex.

He thinks molestation can be pretty much harmless.

Yup, he said that.

He thinks women who knowingly give birth to children with down syndrome are immoral. 

Uh huh. Because, apparently, people with that condition are so miserable, they shouldn't exist.

He mocks women asking for respect.

When science writer and feminist Rebecca Watson asked a male stranger not to corner her in an elevator and make advances, Dawkins jumped into the comments to mock Watson for thinking she has it bad when Muslim women, he says, have it really bad.

He reaffirms everyone’s suspicion that he’s the anti-Christ and that atheists are unethical, pretentious a-holes with fourth grade social skills.

As a person who doesn’t believe in God, I know that it can be weird to tell someone that I don’t share their faith. For a second, they think I have no moral compass and that I’m going to eat their baby. But then I hang out with them, eat some vegan pizza and show them my Doctors Without Borders wall calendar, and they chill out. Until Richard Dawkins comes on the TV and persuades everyone that we unbelievers are insane dirtbags who have a greater obsession with sex, gender roles and murder than any Old Testament God could ever live up to.

In short, Richard Dawkins starts to look like the Antichrist, and then everyone goes and buys rapture insurance and the whole economy tanks. Do you want that? Me neither.

But you know who does want it? Richard Dawkins. I suspect he thrives on being the world’s devil figure. He’s going on 74 now, and he still hasn’t rid the world of religion (something a lot of nice atheists and agnostics don’t want, by the way), so maybe his final couple of decades can be spent embodying the Satanic image the whole world has had of him from the beginning.

What to Do?

Even after proving to the world that he’s a living Dr. Claw, Dawkins has over one million Twitter followers, and he seems to spend about half his morning retweeting all the praise he receives the night before (and none of the criticism, of course). It’s time we all unfollow Richard Dawkins, on Twitter and in real life. Stop thinking of him as a relevant person, with thoughtful opinions on religion, morality or his favorite subject: sexual assault. He’s a cranky, spoiled rich guy who gets his kicks from shocking the kids in Philosophy 101.

Unfollow Richard Dawkins. When you forget he exists, he’ll be just like God is to him: irrelevant, powerless and just a little hilarious.

Contact Contributor Carrie Poppy here; or follow her on Twitter.



 

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