Mr. Murphy, and a Sudden Outbreak of Facepalms

I have read Mr. Murphy’s recent article on the national Post, and I have to admit that he has convinced me that my previous pro-atheist stance was foolish and misguided. Atheists are nothing but angry petulant people, with nothing to complain about.

How anyone could be angry with Mother Teresa is completely beyond me. Here is a woman who spent the majority of her life denying basic medical services to poor and starving people simply because she felt that suffering was a path to salvation, and she was helping them get to God by denying them basic healthcare, food and shelter, even while she pulled in large sums of money in the form of donations from the public, who believed that they were providing physical and material aid to these malnourished, impoverished and ill people. I mean, it’s not like Mother Teresa claimed that she was helping people with these donations, right? I agree with Mr. Murphy: fraud is entirely acceptable when perpetrated for religious reasons.

I agree with Mr. Murphy that Hitchens’s expose was nothing but contrarian commentary, and that otherwise this should never need to have been pointed out, because why would a society of Christian people (let’s follow Mr. Murphy’s lead here, and disregard all the non-Christians) want to know that they were being deceived and defrauded?

And why are these atheists to be angry anyway? It is completely unbelievable that they would get so angry all the time, when they are “reminded of the mere presence of what they have absolutely no regard for“, things like respect, equality, autonomy, and the means to pursue a quality of life that isn’t mediated by the state’s commitment to one particular religion. I mean it’s not like non-Christians have to financially support Christian institutions (by way of those institutions being tax-free and/or directly funded by the state).

And I really appreciate that Mr. Murphy reminds us of the comments about Christmas (that don’t exist) or that people are wanting to strip away every sign of Judeo-Christian heritage (which is also blatantly false) but I appreciate Rex bringing this up again because it shows us the kind of depth of understanding that he has of this matter, and the intellectual commitment he brings to bear on this. I share his sentiment, in full: thinking bad, hurt head, ignorant ranting easy. It’s such a relief to know that I’m not required to support my position with “facts”.

Mr. Murphy’s preference for holding a well-researched position is further laid out when he discusses the issues regarding Army chaplains. Mr. Murphy puts the emphasis on “spiritual” when describing the job of the Chaplain, when in reality the emphasis is really on the “counsellor” aspect. As such, Christian chaplains, when counselling their troops may provide counsel in a Christian context, such as encouraging people to pray or to seek spiritual guidance from God. Obviously for non-Christians be they Jew, Muslim, atheist, or otherwise this is something of a problem. But I completely side with Mr. Murphy in disregarding the nuance and the subtleties of the situation, or even the basic understanding of the concepts all what it is that Chaplains actually do. Because “nuance” and “understanding” are really for people who are not Mr. Murphy, or myself.

And I really appreciate Mr. Murphy’s extension of the analogy taken from a (false and uninformed) position to further “chase the religious analogy to its limit”, as he puts it. Nevermind that this is an analogy only for Mr. Murphy; in reality this is actually a request for counsellor who will be sensitive to the needs of the those who need counselling, and to put their counselling in the context of the person who needs the help. Perhaps Mr. Murphy should be aware of the existence of humanist chaplains (not merely atheistic chaplains) but I don’t believe that Mr. Murphy is actually aware of many things with regards to the subject matter. After all, it would seem that he expends a herculean effort to maintain such a blinkered view in this information-rich age, so I can understand that lowering his guard to all the information in may seem something of an unacceptable risk. Hell, he might learn something, and then where would he be? Probably not writing for the National Post…


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