Those darned atheists mess everything up
Friday March 05th 2010, 4:30 pm

Atheists ‘fuelling sectarian conflict’

An expert in sociology says atheists or people without a specific religion are creating the most problems for inter-faith tolerance in Australia.

Monash University Professor Gary Bouma says people without a specific faith are fuelling sectarian conflict and cause division in society.

“Conflict comes up when groups vilify, deny the right to build the mosques,” he told the Studies of Religion in Focus conference in Sydney today.

“Or when the ‘nones’ – those who are anti-theist – [say] ‘You’re stupid’, that religious voices should be driven out of the public policy area, that religion shouldn’t be in schools, etc.

“That is conflict, and that is highly divisive in this society.”

Professor Bouma says a growth in religious diversity in recent years has created problems for Australian schools.

He says schools have to work out to how to encourage respectful engagement between students and teachers of various religions.

“Schools have a whole variety of competing loyalties within the teachers and within the students,” he said.

“It can sometimes go to conflict if there’s a viewpoint that some don’t want expressed.

“But how is it that you accommodate the diversity? How is it that you develop respectful engagement between diverse groups?”

Right, it’s just SO bloody obvious. Atheists, by virtue of not buying in to stories of omnipotent sky faeries, are the source of conflict. Clearly, this is identical to the force that non-stamp collectors have on the market prices of rare philatelic items.

Schools serve all religions or lack thereof best by telling students to leave dogma at the schoolhouse door. Diversity is best accommodated by allowing religions to occupy their station at places of worship.

This guy’s a professor? Taking the piss, right?


4 Comments so far
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Oh dear. Surely someone’s taking the piss. Last time I checked, most of the time when a “divisive” issue comes up, it’s some religious idiot trying to inflict their beliefs on everyone else. There are very few exceptions. How many armies around the world at the moment are marching under the banner of “Atheism”? How many are marching under the banner of some moronic belief system? It ain’t atheists who blow up abortion clinics, fly planes into buildings or espouse some misogynistic world view that results in them never having ironed a shirt in their life…

This guy ought to have a good hard look at the world, or perhaps himself…

Comment by Dave 03.08.10 @ 4:37 pm

The site now says “a sociologist and Anglican priest”. I wonder what possible motivation he could have to hate on atheists.

Not only that, but the article goes on to quote him as saying that “religious diversity” is also a problem. CLEARLY, everyone should be Christian. Preferably Anglican like him.

Anyway, obviously this idea is bogus and I’m not even sure what the point of publishing it is. No one is going to be converted to Anglicanism through something like this – “Hmm, apparently atheists’ existence creates conflict. OH WAIT, I’m an atheist! I’d better convert!!” Is he trying to polarise wavering Christians against atheism/agnosticism?

Oh and sadly, apparently he’s a professor at my university. Luckily I don’t take sociology, because if I did and if he were my lecturer I’d probably have to slap him.

Comment by Jess 03.09.10 @ 5:31 pm

Cult of malcontents. Unable to appreciate life as is, unable to accept dead as the final exit. Exposing young children to a half naked tortured man nailed on a cross is vile and abusive. The product of twisted old men. No healthy mind would promote this as the icon for a desirable lifestyle.

Comment by Melchior 03.12.10 @ 12:39 pm

The Global Atheist Convention is on in Melbourne. Follow #atheistcon on Twitter.

PZ Myers is there; check the PeeeZer’s take on how impressed he is with the ABC Religion unit’s coverage of #atheistcon: Uh-oh…we aren’t being nice and respectful of the faithful.

Comment by weez 03.13.10 @ 6:17 pm

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