This famous statement by RICHARD DAWKINS on Twitter was disapproved severely by his friend LAWRENCE KRAUSS. “How to lose friends and alienate people” comes immediately to my mind, because I am myself somewhat expert in this domain. I have said before how difficult it is to distinguish disrespect for beliefs from disrespect for believers. Dawkins has crossed the line, as I surely have in debate and demonstrably in this Blog. In pleading guilty, as I’m sure Dawkins would, I would plead, if not for forgiveness at least for an effort at understanding how difficult it is not to offend believers by our vehemence in ridiculing religious belief.
My background (need it be emphasized ?) is totally different from Dawkins’ (the comparison or even contrast is itself a little arrogant …). One thing we do have in common is a religious education. But I became a priest and a professional religious educator. I recognize now how stupid, or at least how credulous, I was for half my life. This may help my critics (they do not include Krauss …) to understand, but not necessarily excuse, my temptation to apply these epithets to believers who deserve my respect in spite of their silly beliefs which don’t.