Thank you, Dinesh

Sep 30, 2009
Posted in

by Dale McGowan

Executive Director, Foundation Beyond Belief

I come before you today to thank Dinesh D’Souza. Please don’t blink — it isn’t likely to happen again.

After the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, D’Souza took the opportunity to accuse atheists of being absent in times of human suffering. “Notice something interesting about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings?” he said. “Atheists are nowhere to be found.” The piece was the most shameless bit of opportunism since Jerry Falwell held us (along with feminists, gays, and civil libertarians) responsible for 9/11.

Most of all, it was breathtaking in its careless ignorance.

Fortunately the reaction against ignorance — even ignorance on that scale — can lead to good things.  An atheist professor at Virginia Tech posted a response at The Daily Kos (under the handle Mapantsula) of elegant indignation, honesty and pain:

It is hardly surprising that Dinesh D’Souza is once again not only profoundly mistaken but also deeply offensive. But I thought it worthwhile to say something in response, not because most people would put the point in the same morally reptilian manner as D’Souza, but because there is at least some vague sense amongst people that we atheists don’t quite grasp the enormity of Monday’s events, that we tend towards a cold-hearted manner of thinking, that we condescend to expressions of community, meaning, or bereavement.

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