Wednesday, 1 June 2011

rod liddle and smug humanists

Whilst no saint himself, I greatly enjoyed Rod Liddle's column in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago.

On the morning after the apolocalypse was predicted to have occurred, Rod's commented on the events surrounding Harold Camping's failed prediction of armageddon. He may have made a couple of disputable points, which are only to be expected: "Yesterday was supposedly the date of the Rapture... according to millions of born-again Christians across the globe..." Errr, no actually, just a highly misled old man from the States and his - albeit large - band of followers. However, his tempered vitriol is reserved for those who sneer from the other side of faith's Great Divide.

I've taken the liberty of transcribing a large portion of his column: obviously, none of it is my own.

Armageddon and smug humanists: as awful as each other

"It will be a slight disappointment to me if yesterday wasn't actually the end of the world, frankly. It would at least wipe the smile off the faces of those jeering humanists who are busy organising ironic pre-Rapture parties. I suppose schadenfreude and spite are poor reasons to yearn for the utter and complete destruction of mankind, but I cannot help myself. I want to watch the look on Dawkins's face when a giant hand comes down and pokes him in the eye, booming, 'Bad call, science boy.'

"There is something insufferably arrogant and aloof about humanism, its presumption that we represent the bes that there is to offer, that there is nothing more powerful than us. Most of the humanists holding parties over the weekend probably still have the trestle tables left over from their hilariously ironic Not The Royal Wedding street parties, and probably some fo the food too (hummus, I would guess... and organic pitta bread.)

"Dig beneath the surface and you'll find that a fair few of the also believe the end of the world is coming, maybe 30 years or so in the future, the consequence of another foreseen Rature, global warming, with its terrible herald of forlorn-looking polar bears marooned on melting icebergs. Floods, famine, pestilence, drought - the prophecies of the global warming movement's militant wing all have an agreeably biblical ring about them, don't you think?

"One way or another there is something inside many of us that yearns for annihilation and is convinced that it is indeed coming very soon, if only the ignorant masses would listen. I suppose it is a form of narcissism, that we have been singled out for special treatment either because of our own piety, in the case of the evangelical Christians, or the ignorance of others, in the case of the global warming millennialists."



Dave said...


I should hope that one is not falling into the trap of tarring all humanists with the same smug and over-zealous brush. There are some fine humanists out there, with the militant few giving the rest a bad name. Hard not to pick them out for criticism given their persistent poking and harassing of those who are theists.

Atheism has more to offer the realm of Christianity than either Christians or atheists give credit for.

Thank God for them.

Pete @mediatree said...


The words above are Rod Liddle's, not mine. I have the same intolerance for smug bastards the world over, regardless what they are being smug about (he says, smugly.)

Here's a fun fact: I once did a job for the then Humanist chaplain to QUB!

Dave said...

Did that job involve kneecapping some fundamentalist evangelicals? If not, I am very disappointed in you...

Pete @mediatree said...

It did not. But you'll be cheered to know I made no attempt to save her from eternal damnation. Would've felt a bit rude at the time.

Dave said...

The blood of her lost soul is on your hands.

That is all.

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