Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dinesh D’Souza, dumb or deliberately trying to mislead?

Dinesh D’Souza recently had the following to say in Salvo Magazine on the topic of atheism:

“I don't believe in unicorns, so I just go about my life as if there are no unicorns. You'll notice that I haven't written any books called The End of the Unicorn, Unicorns Are Not Great, or The Unicorn Delusion, and I don't spend my time obsessing about unicorns. What I'm getting at is that you have these people out there who don't believe that God exists, but who are actively attempting to eliminate religion from society, setting up atheist video shows, and having atheist conferences. There has to be more going on here than mere unbelief.”

I have to wonder if Dinesh D’Souza is being deliberately misleading or is as dumb as the comment makes him sound. The unicorn comparison is a poor one, largely because no one is going around trying to enact laws or shape government policy based upon belief in unicorns. D’Souza blithely ignores the negative impact of Christian Fundamentalism on the US in recent years. Bush's abstinence only education push has resulted in an increase in teen pregnancy. The denial of the morning after pill to rape victims by fundamentalist pharmacists is ignored by D’Souza's comment.

Yes, D’Souza, there IS more going on than a mere lack of belief in God. People don't like being told what to do by fundamentalist zealots intent upon using cherry picked verses from Leviticus as a legal textbook.

If our last president had spent his eight years in office claiming to take orders from a unicorn, or using a unicorn as the basis for his foreign policy, if he'd been using unicorn related language to try and drum up support for his invasion if Iraq, then D’Souza's unicorn comparison might have been relevant. As it is, it's a vague and unrelated tangent that reveals not a crushing argument, but intellectual bankruptcy on D’Souza's part.

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