I've never been the type of person to react to a problem like a chicken with its head cut off. Usually I find myself handling hostile situations quietly and meticulously, leaving little to no room for "HOLY SHIT KILL THAT GUY!"-esque reactions.
Which is why I scoff at Richard Dawkins' "plan to...ambush" and The Arrogant Atheist's campaign to "Arrest" the Pope.
There's been a t-shirt made!?!? Shit must be serious!!!
I understand that the pope very well may have suppressed information about sexual abuses. I understand he perhaps could have been more ruthless in punishing the priests involved. But to "plan a legal ambush" and use the slogan "Arrest the Pope" is very alarmist, and makes the Atheist campaign to look rather immature; reminding me somewhat of a teenage boy who's mad at their parents and blurts "I HATE YOU HOPE YOU DIE" with their recently-dropped testicles and peach-like facial hair.
wildatheist336: POPE SUX!!!! GO DAWKINS!!!!!
The reason I find this whole thing silly is because of course no one's gonna "arrest the pope". That will never happen. And there's no way one scientist is going to lead the charge to forcing handcuffs on him.
Especially one that looks like Hermione.
So the whole notion is inherently unbelievable and sensationalist. Perhaps "Question him" or "He should be open about the scandals" or something. But "Arrest"? It's embarrassing for Atheists across the world.
Now one can draw parallels to Christians and their most zealous sectors frothing at the mouth murder gay people and the rainbows that follow them. And that one wouldn't (and shouldn't) generalize those minorities as the faces of Christanity, and so no one should take Dawkins' actions as a poster for beliefs of Atheists everywhere.
This point would be fair if it weren't for the fact that Atheism has practically no bigger face in the world than Richard Dawkins (Who's written several books, made several award-winning documentaries, and has billions of quotes). There's also the fact that it is still a somewhat secretive community, in that there are no Atheists houses/communities across the world like there are churches and Catholics. So when one of the few loud members of the community speaks, the entire world listens, and has no other example to draw a contrast against. So we all end up looking like that speaker.
Hermione's very outspoken.
What we have to do here, being a community that's just now beginning to come out to the world without being socially lynched, is show that we can play calm and logical. Christians and any other major religion write us off as shallow and antagonistic as it is. We have to display class, rationalé, and tact. Not obnoxiously claim "ARREST THE POPE!!!". Not bare highly outlandish t-shirts. Simply be calm and collected as we let the world understand our reasoning and convictions. Otherwise, we only prove the opposition right.
Being a loud Atheist is the worst.
In a slightly related tangent, I do despise people who proudly boast about being Atheist, openly say they're happy with having no life after death, and say things like "RELIGION HAS BEEN RUINING THE WORLD FOR CENTURIES!!!"
First of all, if you're openly Atheist, you're probably doing it only for its shock value. The need to be different can drive people to say ridiculous things, and Atheism is unfortunately something that provides the smug self-satisfaction in being the opposite of what's popular.
Secondly, if you're fine with nonexistence after death, you're either cold-hearted bastard or a dumbass. The concept should always frighten you: the thought that inevitably you'll reach an eternal point of unconsciousness should not be something you ever feel comfortable about.
Lastly, religion does good. Things like the Crusades and the Selma Witch trials are tragic and unfortunate, but they're extremes of a generally charitable ideology. Religion helps people keep their marbles in a situation where they'd otherwise lose their shit, helps brings families and friends closer to one another, and provides entire populations of people with hope and dignity.
Did they need religion to do it? Perhaps not. Was it all just positive psychological reinforcement messing with their heads, and religion was a tool for it? Probably. But did it help them? Yes. And there's nothing wrong about that.