With religion so often used as a mask to support military jingoism, many people see the New Atheists (Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, et al) as a force for rationality and sanity. But in fact they often support the interests of the powerful, as a fine article in The Nation points out. Hitchens and Harris both supported Bush’s “crusade” while Dawkins muses about supporting Christian evangelists in Africa, “given that Islam is such an unmitigated evil”. In the Tikkun Daily Blog, Be Scofield satirizes the extent to which the New Atheists make a better target of religion by hugely oversimplifying it (“To be religious is to be a theist,” claims Hitchens, an assertion which would certainly surprise many Buddhists.)
Also of interest is a recent New York Times article “Is your religion your financial destiny?” which shows how the range of U.S. incomes varies by religion. (Spoiler alert: Unitarians, you’re in trouble.) And there’s a link to a very lovely Big Picture collection of last week’s celebration of Vesak, Buddha’s birthday.
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