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Are crazy Christians crazier than crazy atheists?

Militant atheists seem less likely than Christians to fall for wackadoo conspiracy theories

By on Friday, 13 August 2010

Hutton Gibson, with his son Mel (inset)

Hutton Gibson, with his son Mel (inset)

Hutton Gibson, father of poor Mel, has just given an interview to the Political Cesspool Radio Program – yes, there is such a thing, here – in which he says that the Pope is a homosexual – like “half the people” in the Vatican – and is trying to destroy the Church from within. Go here.

In common with many militant atheists and secular humanists, Hutton Gibson believes that the Pope’s alleged sexual “preference” explains why he did nothing about sex abuse in the Church. “Why else would he put up with this thing? He was in charge of stamping it out. He did nothing, he just kept quiet.” Now that the Church is sunk in scandal, says Hutton, the Pope is covering his tracks by, for example, bringing back the old Mass. It’s not that he values the old Mass, see, just that he doesn’t want anyone to catch on that he is, in Gibson’s words, an anti-Pope, a “slippery character”.

My friend Scott P Richert has an excellent blog on all this at About Catholicism.

Scott, who is executive editor of the conservative Chronicles magazine, points out that conspiracy theorists (of both Left and Right) can always explain inconsistencies in their arguments by assuming that the subjects of their conspiracies think exactly as they do.

“So Hutton Gibson, who wants to see the Traditional Latin Mass restored, finds Pope Benedict’s restoration of the Mass to be proof of the conspiracy, while Left-wing critics of the Catholic Church join Gibson in declaring that the Holy Father is a homosexual, even though they normally approve of homosexuality and attack the Church for declaring homosexual activity a sin.”

But here is question that occurred to me as I listened to Hutton Gibson: are wackadoo conspiracy theories more often found among Christians than among atheists? I do not know, but I have never come across militant atheists who have quite the same mindset as Gibson and proclaim that, for example, Peter Tatchell is secretly a straight Christian and is working from within the secular humanist movement to further the interests of Rome and to ensure that one day every living person on the planet is a professing Catholic.

If there are such people, I think we should be told.

  • Ericpconway

    Stuart Reid should familiarise himself with the Irish atheist ( or indeed any atheist ) web site. The contributions therein make Hutton Gibson seem like a paragon of rationality.

  • rayingles

    It's a hilarious double-standard that you actually have to pick up a gun and kill somebody to be considered a 'militant' believer, but all you have to do to be considered a 'militant' atheist is write a book.

  • http://twitter.com/jayson_d_cooke jayson.d.cooke

    You don't provide any references in support of your sub premise that “in common with many militant atheists and secular humanists,”, and as both an atheist and a secular humanist, I have never come across this in the literature.

  • Vonchenzo

    Agreed with jayson. The consensus on his child abuse inaction, as i understand it, is that the pope is more concerned with protecting his organisation's image than protecting the children under his control. I have never heard it suggested by a 'militant atheist' that he is homosexual, or that it would be a bad thing if he was.

  • John Doe

    When have “militant atheist”, as you call them, ever accused, or for that matter, cared if the Pope was gay?

  • Guest

    Well, is the Pope a homosexual? All of our American Roman Catholic politicians are promoting the homosexual agenda.

    Is there an Irish Roman Catholic politician who is not a homosexual???

  • hoops

    Unfortunately I think (Catholic) ecumenism will be plaqued by the problem of extreme views in pro(op)ponents. I was extremely disappointed in my experience of the Amazon.com site where views haven't moved on from the Wars of Religion. In my view the problem is to do with logistics as much as politics. Off the cuff extreme views are unmoderated by an education in religion and these views “play”.

  • Heather Mcdougall12

    'Crazies' come from all walks of life and are to be found across the belief spectrum.Militant athiests do indeed have irrational conspiracy theory beliefs, it's just that they are different to those of people of faith.Militant ahteists believe there is a religious conspiracy to control the government, as they go on and on about Bishops in the House of Lords. They dislike and believe there is also a conspiracy in the House of Commons among religious M.P's, and demand public declaration of M.P's personal faith. Some atheists believe Catholics in particular are conspiring to bring about a theocracy where they will attack unbelief. Many atheists also believe there is a Christian conspiracy to get money out of the government via taxpayers, for alleged charity works, which they believe are fake. Atheists also believe there is a conspiracy to discriminate against certain groups of people.
    Some atheists also believe there is a conspiracy between the government and Christians to keep and even enlarge faith schools, which they very much disapprove of.
    Atheists do believe in conspiracy theories and crazy things, they are just different to what some Christian 'crazies' believe.Christians are not uniquely crazy. All sorts of people have strange beliefs. Christians are no worse than anyone else. If anything they are less crazy because their faith grounds them.

  • Loftimuska

    All religions can be forceful. Atheists can be too. I say there are about equal. It is human nature, whether you are an atheist or a christian, to argue and be forceful. Blame it on the forbidden fruit or the evolutionary need to compete, depending on your beliefs.