Richard Dawkins’s Atheist Cult

The British biologist Richard Dawkins has, in the past decade, made himself an outspoken crusader for atheism. Andrew Brown notes something akin to blind religious devotion among his most dedicated followers, some of whom are willing to pay membership dues:

[T]he Richard Dawkins website offers followers the chance to join the “Reason Circle,” which, like Dante’s Hell, is itself arranged in concentric circles. For $85 a month, you get discounts on his merchandise, and the chance to meet “Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science personalities.” . . . After the neophyte passes through the successively more expensive “Darwin Circle” and then the “Evolution Circle,” he attains the innermost circle, where for $100,000 a year or more he gets to have a private breakfast or lunch with Richard Dawkins. . . . At this point, it is obvious to everyone except the participants that what we have here is a religion without the good bits. . . .

Like all scriptures, the Books of Dawkins contain numerous contradictions: in The God Delusion itself he moves within fifteen pages from condemning a pope who had baptized children taken away from Jewish parents to commending [the] suggestion that the children of creationists be taken away because teaching your children religion is comparable to child abuse.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Atheism, New Atheists, Religion & Holidays, Richard Dawkins

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus