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Attenborough gets mail

10:54 am - January 28th 2009

by Unity    

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If I asked you to name the public figure who you thought was least likely to receive hate mail then I think its fair bet that Sir David Attenborough would be one of the first names to spring to mind…

…and it seems, sadly, that you (and I) would be wrong.

Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries. In an interview with this week’s Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the broadcaster said: “They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance.”

It’s worth reading the full article, if only for Attenborough’s delightfully articulate sideswipes at the creationist hatemongers:

Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give “credit” to God, Attenborough added: “They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.”

There are many who consider Sir David to be the greatest living Briton; to my mind he’s certainly Britain’s greatest educator.

A fifty year plus career as a presenter and producer of the finest natural history programming in the world stands on its own as evidence of the man’s stellar contribution, not just to Britain but to the whole world – and yet, even he’s not immune to the not-so-tender ministrations of the creationist hate mob.

Enough is enough and its time to tell a simple home truth – it’s time for the majority of Christians who happily find a way to accomodate Darwinian evolution into their personal view of the Christian faith to get off their collective arses, demonstrate a little moral courage and intestinal fortitude and start cleaning out their own cesspit.

Perhaps the most irritating aspect of the whole ‘New’ Atheism vs the Fundies debate that’s been raging since the publication of Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’, aside from the abject intellectual vapidity of pretty much all the attempts to rebut Dawkins’ arguments, has been the all-too-obvious willingness of moderate, reasonable, intelligent Christians to simply pop their head over the parapet for a second, announce that the faith that Dawkins castigates isn’t ‘their faith’ and then run away as quickly as possible.

Well, guess what – it is your faith. The hatemongers believe in your god and they’re getting their dumb ass ideas from your ‘holy’ book, so I figure that maybe this is your responsibility and you should be trying to do something about it.

It’s not as if your forebears couldn’t do it. A couple of hundred years ago, and without any real prompting from us atheists, your ancestors managed to figure out for themselves that all the stuff in the bible condoning slavery didn’t sit well with the rather more important and worthwhile business of only doing unto others what you’d have them do unto you and loving thy neighbour, so they sensibly decided to ditch the slavery bit.

And what a great move that turned out to be.

All we’re asking for here is ‘same again’, only this time we’d quite like to dump all the nonsense about the secondary status of women,  homosexuality and the Earth being created on 6,000 or so years age and then start telling some of your fellow ‘believers’ to lay off the hate-mail and the whining when people disagree with them.

In fact, let me give you a tip here.

Take your bible and rip out and burn pretty much everything other than the four gospels.

Congratulations, you’ve now got a tidy, and much shorter, book of solid moral philosphy to work with, much of which makes a considerable amount of sense and provides a pretty fair guide to living as a good, honest and decent human being.

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'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments

Here here!

Step forward George…. (we miss ya by the way)

“…the all time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims….”

That’s going a bit overboard. The wisdom literature in the Old Testament is pretty good.

Plenty of moderate Christians have pointed out real flaws with Dawkins’ arguments – see http://andrewrilstone.blogspot.com/search/label/A Sceptic’s Guide to Richard Dawkins . And why should it be incumbent on Christians to attack others who call themselves Christians when it’s not – for example – expected that all Muslims should denounce fundamentalist Islam, or that all socialists spend all their time talking about the evils of Stalin?
Most Christians already *have* ‘ditched’ those bits, as far as I can tell, and the fundamentalists are a tiny minority.
(NB I am an atheist, just an atheist who doesn’t like to see any group of people denounced because of the actions of a minority within that group…)

Interesting ideas in your last paragraph. I got into trouble for suggesting we rip up the Bible. I may have been a little… forward in tone.

What I meant was:
a) Your God either condones violence, hatred and bigotry or doesn’t.
b) If He doesn’t, then having it in the holy book which represents the faith is offensive, and possibly even blasphemous. Especially as it’s leading to real-world justifications for violence.
c) If he is okay with the current wars, bigotry etc done in his name, then shut up telling the rest of us how he’s a perfect being of love and let us get on with dismissing anything you have to say about moral issues.

It’s easy. If something in the Bible is being used to justify something you disagree with, take it out. Put it at the back in an appendix marked “historical nostalgia only, not to be used for justification”. Not only will it spread love, reduce violence and do your religion a whole load of good PR-wise, but it’ll make your God happy.

Also, is it a holy book because it’s perfect? What if it’s not perfect, and has lies, things which are no longer true/relevant, or mistakes in? How can it then still be holy by definition?

It went on from there, but I couldn’t hear much over the shouting.

I’m surprised you’re surprised that he received this mail; he does, after all, educate people about biosciences, and there are plenty of very vocal people who think elevating biology above the level of stamp collecting is the worst kind of heresy.

On the other hand, most Christians of my acquaintance do actively condemn this kind of hatemongering, and do reject the misogynist homophobic and downright inaccurate parts of the Bible. I’m not sure what, exactly, you’re asking them to do more.

“There are many who consider Sir David to be the greatest living Briton; to my mind he’s certainly Britain’s greatest educator”

Get a grip; he’s a tv presenter.

There are also a lot of Muslims in higher education who do not accept evolution – probably higher than the percentage of Christians – but I’m not going to be the one to tell them to rip-up the Koran.

Christian fundies are a major force in the USA but they’re a tiny minority in the UK. The previous Pope accepted Darwin and Papal Infallibility means that other Catholics do too, whether they know it or not. As far as I’m aware the proportion of members of the general Synod who accept evolution is also higher than in the general population.

8. Mike Killingworth

The most obvious thing to say about the Bible is that it isn’t a book, it’s a library. And we don’t expect the different books in a library to agree with each other.

Christians can only expect trouble if they wrench verses of their scriptures out of context and claim that they provide a quick-fix answer to some current problem or other. When Henry VIII wanted to divorce Katharine of Aragon he relied on Leviticus 18:16 and 20:21 – the Pope, in telling him to get lost, quoted Deuteronomy 25:5. These verses contradict each other and have doubtless provided great diversion to Jewish scholars, among others, over the generations.

People have always read into the Bible what they want to – for example, 1 Timothy 4:1 prohibits vegetarianism but I yet to meet a Christian who pays any attention to that.

No wonder Augustine said that he wouldn’t believe a word of Scripture if it wasn’t for the authority of the Church!

The God Delusion’, aside from the abject intellectual vapidity of pretty much all the attempts to rebut Dawkins’ arguments

Unity Dawkin’s ideas were not new . I had encountered them all in Bertrand Russell’s Why I am Not A Christian and other sources.
As an atheist then, Unity , and would be genuinely interested in your thoughts . why should random atoms , mostly space really , the things we perceive as us , care if other atoms , the things we call Palestinians , are dying in either disproportionate amounts or an amount which , like the little bears porridge is , just right ? What does it matter?
Dawkins takes a child’s understanding of Christianity ( and I do not say a child’s understanding is inferior in this context) and sets it next to an adults understanding of science . That’s all. For example Genesis. Tell me, what account of our coming into the universe would have satisfied you? Bit of Darwin, few bits of physics big bang, cooling that sort of thing ? What sort of a universe would it be for such things to pop into existence four thousand years ago and given that how would you express the purposefulness of the universe for all time ? Dohoooo tell .

PS: John Stuart Mill came up with a responding rebuttal of the argument from morality. He said that if “God invented morals “ the either he invented them arbitrarily ( so murder might have a been a good thing ) , or some things were previously good and some bad. If so he did not invent them .
Conclusion : The capacity to be invented is not one that moral judgements can have
But then perhaps God ‘is’ good and does not exist in time but is in all time ? Sadly Mr. Russell and Mr. Mill were not able to come up with algebra sufficiently advanced to form this into an equation and have been silent .

PPS You will say what does it matter, but you are unable to give any good reason not to kill a child at six months . Why not , its less smart than a chimp I think your views on abortion are getting pretty close to that anyway.

I do understand the crowd who immediately say the Bible must remain exactly as it is forever. It makes sense – you’d mess up the Kabbalistic numbers otherwise, and then the people who are actually allowed to know the real meanings wouldn’t be able to work them out.

But that usually descends into a discussion about whether the Nazarenes were really just Gnostic essenes, and it never ends well when you mention the Gnostics, or any hint that it wasn’t all literal.

And the NT doesn’t get off much easier. Best phrase I’ve found for it: “A mistranslation of a transliteration copied under duress from Latin by non-initiates based on a Paulian misunderstanding of a Gnostic allegory.”

But like I say, you can search for “facts” all you like, they’re not relevant to the discussion. The only truly relevant bit is how many minorities are currently being persecuted, harmed or discriminated against based on a book that is claimed to be the word of a perfectly loving being.

If a change can bring about ‘goodness’ (by your God’s definition) in the real world, that act is a good act in His eyes, and one worth doing as a Christian. I have no problem with people who have a real faith and don’t want to know about historical details – faith can be positive. So let’s use it to make positive change in the world. And rip bits out of the Bible.

11. douglas clark


I’m really glad you addressed that to Unity, because I can’t even see a coherent question in it.

Are you all right?

Phew, so many questions, so little time…

Dawkin’s ideas were not new . I had encountered them all in Bertrand Russell’s Why I am Not A Christian and other sources.

True, but what Dawkins has done is bring them to a wider audience and make them accessible, which is no more than you;d expect from a scientist who, until recently held a position intended to promote the public understanding of science.

Why should we care?

Wrong question – first we need to ask why have the ability to care to which the answer is that we possess an evolved capacity to find our own meaning and purpose in the universe. Beyond that, if you’re looking to understand the foundations of my own moral outlook and ethical outlook on the world then start with Hume and work your way forward through Mill to Isaiah Berlin.

You may well see things differently, but then that’s what being human is all about.

how would you express the purposefulness of the universe for all time

I wouldn’t.

Purpose is a quality that I ascribe primarily to sentience with an accommodation for basic sapience because survival is, to a significant extent, purposive. I, for example, have many different purposes – right now one of them is to finish replying to you and another is to drink the rather nice cup of coffee that sitting about 18 inches away. Later I’m sure I’ll feel hungry and find another purpose to satisfy.

The universe just is. It’s neither sentient nor sapient, making a discussion as to the purpose of the universe essentially meaningless. Some may consider that nihilism, but that’s only because they lack the imagination to cope with a universe of random events and uncertainty, neither of which I’ve ever found problematic, personally.

My views on abortion are a primarily utilitarian accommodation of contending and conjoined rights. It’s not a perfect solution but it works well enough for me and a fair few other people.

As for finding reasons not to kill a six month old child, we live in a society will a strong cultural injunction against killing toddlers and that,, for most people, is reason enough.

I can actually conceive of many reasons not to kill a toddler, most of which are subjective and/or utilitarian but no less valid for all that – sorry, not only do I not do god, I don’t do Kant either.

13. Green Socialist

Sir David for President!

I am Christian – in terms of denomination I’m Baptist.

Yes, where necessary I stand up against homophobia, sexism and plain stupidity in the church. But as well as being a Christian I’m also a member of society. Do you think I’m better off targeting my campaigning efforts to wider society where it might make a difference, or to a minority of Baptists in the US with dotty ideas who won’t listen to me, who take scripture out of context repeatedly and who don’t accept church authority anyway as American Baptists have withdrawn from the World Baptist Alliance (for not being right-wing enough)?

I realise you’re trying to be provocative with the “rip out everything apart from the 4 gospels” stuff, but it’s worth noting this: many of the passage supposedly about homosexuality, for example, are mistranslations or misunderstandings. So too, there is no biblical prescription against abortion. Read Amos for a denunciation of religious ritual and conformity, or James for a denunciation of economic conformity. Paul’s letters can be easier to misinterpret, but there’s some wonderful stuff in them too.

If a change can bring about ‘goodness’ (by your God’s definition) in the real world, that act is a good act in His eyes, and one worth doing as a Christian. I

Change can also be bad and it is not a matter of not getting to get into the historical particularities it is a recognition of some thing that stands for all time but is of one time as well and what sort of thing it might be . The Bible has changed on many occasions and I would not limit to the book but include its ripples though poetry and literature and the sacred visions created in god’s name . The Bible should not answer to the requests of glib mono dimensional parroters of whatever the Mayfly orthodoxy of the day is .

The fact of permanence is celebrated as much as change .

Incidentally will you be asking the Muslims to change the Koran .I`d some of it was not exactly out of the top draw and yet , astonishingly , I have seen no such criticism on brave Liberal Conspiracy: What about this lot for starters

“The Jews and Christians say: ‘We are the children of God and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?” (Surah 5:18)
“Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.” (Surah 5:51)
“Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.” (Surah 8:36-)
“If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men.” (Surah 9:37-)
“Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home.” (Surah 9:73)
“Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them.” (Surah 9:121-)

And what about a few fun ones …..
“Forbidden to you are…married women, except those you own as slaves.” (Surah 4:20-, 24-)
“Believers, do not approach your prayers when you are drunk, but wait till you can grasp the meaning of your words…” (Surah 4:43)
“Try as you may, you cannot treat all your wives impartially.” (Surah 4:126-)

When will people learn that “WHAT ABOUT THE MUSLIMS?” is not an argument against the proposition that there’s something wrong with Christian religion.

On the contrary, I set the same challenge to Muslims and Christians:

If you think your God has a preference for certain rules of behaviour, and your book seems to suggest it is okay to behave against what He is and stands for, then you should be looking into that.
Start with whether killing people who aren’t of your religion is allowed.
Move onto whether punishing minorities you don’t like is allowed, or actively against the spirit of your faith.
Finally, decide if it’s okay to ignore what your main prophet/messiah said in order to keep doing so.

Giving your decision-making process over to a set text (or a man in a hat) is moral cowardice. Don’t think you’ll be able to escape whatever punishment you think God gives out just because when you saw injustice happening you refused to budge from a list of rules someone else interpreted for you.

(I don’t mean to be confronting anyone on here with this, or expect it to make any difference. I’m just answering Newmania, which I realise is the height of futility anyway.)

Those who call themselves left-wing or liberal should be secularists. I have no objection to anyone’s religious belief, but at the same time I do not kowtow to them. I am quite happily to be even-handed in criticising Christianity, Islam or whatever else.

Interestingly enough, it is not often recognised that many asylum seekers from such countries as Iran are fleeing theocracy, are glad to live in a relatively free & secular country, & do not want twats like Rowan Williams telling them they should be subject to the religionists.

The next time someone mouths off about whether something will offend someone, having not deigned to realise that “Christians”, “Muslims” etc are not some lumpen mass beholden to reactionary “leaders”, I know whose offence worries me & whose offence I don’t give a fiddler’s fuck about.

Excellent by Johann Hari:

I do get a tad pissed off & have a tendency to repeat myself so I won’t take this any further.

To be honest, if I was David Attenborough, and I admire him greatly, I would not give the religious nuts the publicity. It is a pointless exercise even trying to debate these cretins. If their God is so week and feeble that he needs constant praising from a TV naturalist he can’t be worth bothering with in the first place.

Oh, and I don’t care if they are Christian/Muslim/Jew or whatever flavour of pious nut case they claim to be.

Steve B
On the contrary, I set the same challenge to Muslims and Christians:

It seems to me there is lot more ‘challenging’ of Christians with a lot less reason . I think I would agree that any religion that actively condones killing people who are not members ought to be a source of concern . Your use of a half baked drippy version of Christ to add weight to your Liberal assumptions is a rather different matter. Personally I would be a little more cautious about enlisting god to my side in a political disagreement Nor would I assume I possessed a state of enlightenment unavailable to others as a given.
I think you may have more in common with these terrible fundamentalists than I have.

Humility be upon you

When will people learn that “WHAT ABOUT THE MUSLIMS?” is not an argument against the proposition that there’s something wrong with Christian religion.

Oh there is …the Catholics 🙂

Rilly? I’d always assumed the nickname ‘Newmania’ was a Catholic reference.

Ironic that I went to Cardinal Newman Catholic school 🙂

>”Your use of a half baked drippy version of Christ to add weight to your Liberal assumptions is a rather different matter.”

If that’s what you took from what I said, I’m surprised.
The yawning gap between what Jesus is alleged to have said/done (by people who never met him, up to 300+ years after the fact) and the idea which is put forward today is certainly something I’m aware of.

I don’t make liberal assumptions about what route the Church should decide to take on these issues either – although I retain the right to argue against its claim to be a moral leader if it chooses answers I don’t think qualify as such.

“God” is most definitely not on my side. I’m not sure I’d have him, to be honest. I also see no connection between the loving, merciful omnipotent version and the one described in the authorised books (and not the Apocrypha etc). I’m responding to what others have claimed is the case.

My arguments stand on their own – if you want to claim Z, then you need to take out things which currently stop Z being true. Or don’t. But don’t act surprised when the rest of us ignore you.

….What the hell am I doing? Sorry, people, I’ll stop feeding the trolls.

25. Shatterface

Tim f (16): My point is that no-one would tell Muslims to rip up the Koran as casually as they ask Christians to rip up the Bible. Frankly BOTH texts contain their fair share of bollocks and I’d by far prefer that people based their moral codes on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, which at least makes some attempt to address morally complex gray areas.

And since you are far more likely to have a Muslim doctor than a Christian fundamentalist the fact that their beliefs might conflict with the science upon which their practice depends has more serious implications than what a bunch of nutters are doing in some hick town in the USA.

I don’t think the four gospels are much cop either – Stoicism pre-dates Jesus by 300 years and has much better moral tales without all the petty cruelty.

Its an odd thing isn’t it that the Liberals and left have been throwing the Bible at us since the 19th century and now , not only do you continue to do so despite , having discarded it , but I am certain I recognise that same evangelical dogmatism .

It was once called “Enthusiasm”

Unity thank you for responding , I am afraid your utilitarian reasons for not executing babies will not recommend you as a possible baby sitter. You have a common problem, you believe life is nothing and yet you behave as if it were something . Think on ….

Humility be upon you ~ Newmania ’09

Cretin ~ Newmania ’09

fucking ~ Newmania ’09

Do you have a copy of the Bible in which Jesus reconciles contempt with humility?

So it appears that while you believe in God, you also believe the rules and lessons of that God don’t apply to you.

And since you’re so determined to portray Islam in the rhetoric of Pope Urban II, I’ll remind you that anyone can play the out-of-context quotes game:

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; … Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. ~Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-3,5

Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. ~ Samuel 15:2-3

We could continue this for a while, but I wouldn’t want to tax someone whose most advanced retort is cretin. The point is this; any of the ancient religions’ holy books has violence and the justifications for violence, Islam is not the regressive, ultra-violent religion you make it out to be, because the same criticisms can be levied against Christianity.

Unless you want to argue that John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, believes in a Christian Holy War against us godless atheists?

OHOC I would hate to think that you were guilty of the sin pf pride and behind this righteous indignation lay a grande sulk about the evidence of Islamic attitudes in UK I recently produced ?
I have no doubt that the Koran can be ignored or understood figuratively , on the other hand I frequently hear Muslims claiming that it forbids violence which is lie .
I was making a different point though. I was complaining about Unity telling us the Bible should be changed ( as it does not approach his exacting urbane standards) when other better candidates sit un-criticised . I was nothing the tendency of Liberals to direct their ire only at Christians and ignore the far worse human abuses perpetrated in Muslim theocracies . Unity tells us Christians should cut up the bible as it is responsible for dreadful things all over the place . I do not accept this but for someone who did …. what do you make of the Koran and its effect on behaviour ?

PS- The Bible is not comparable. It is a Library of very different texts and of far more ancient texts , this has always been understood .The relationship of the Old and New Testament is somewhat complex isn’t it ( Hint , they did not know it was BC…..) and much of the Old testament it has been interpreted allegorically ( as a prefiguring ) within the Christian tradition .
The Koran is far more a direct recipe for living in historical time and I am unconvinced that the tone the two religions is the same. Still , that need not concern us there are many perfectly nice Muslims.

Oh, this is pathetic.

We’re directing it at Christians in this instance because the issue is Attenborough getting hate mail… from Christians.

I have unending amounts of criticism for some of the Muslim theocracies. I’ll start with anyone who contradicts my liberal worldview, I don’t discriminate. Christianity is justifiable as a target precisely because it is so prevalent and powerful in the UK.

On a side note, the only people I’ve had trouble from in real life over my religion have been fundie christians.
(I traded up for a Moon Goddess – the hours are better and the perks are awesome – but you do get people who just can’t let it lie. And they’ve all been Christians.)
I was replying based on Unity’s call to modify the book to represent what most UK Christians think their religion should be, which at the moment it doesn’t. So in fact every stage of this was relevant to the article or following comments, and not picking Christianity out for any special treatment.

I’m secularist, but not anti-theist. I’ll debate Muslim ethics as well, I’m quite well-read. Stop trying to change the subject from relevant and real UK issues to “why aren’t you bashing Muslim theocracies?”.

31. douglas clark

Newmania @ 30,

I am worried about you! This is not a joke!

Seriously dude, could you take the meds….

Newmania, why do you believe the universe has a purpose?

When I put my finger in a termite’s mound I have to be ready for when the termites bite. I know if I knock it down a bit to get inside they’ll come and attack me, but I also know they’re more than capable of recreating it after I’ve got my dinner.

Newmania, the problem was that you didn’t give me evidence. What you gave me was a set of assertions which, with a little help from Google, turned out to be bull.

Take the “quoted from The Times without question” fact about how the “ultra-conservative sect” Deobandi was infiltrating our mosques. Turns out, with a little digging around, that far from being the devil spawn itself, it is a complex movement which has conflicting views from country to country and what’s even more interesting

Then I looked beyond your other “facts” about popular opinion amongst Muslims in the UK and a strange and bizarre thing happened: I found that those were selective nonsense as well. For example, while Populous’ survey said Muslims were in favour of Sharia, a survey for the Spectator (of all things) found that Muslims were opposed to Sharia law. And then there’s the Centre for Social Cohesion report into Student Muslims which creates an even more complex view of Muslim society, as opposed to your fear of a savage wave of terrorists.

I find myself irritated when people make blasé comments based on rubbish, so excuse me.

Regrettably, that’s all your posts are. Misrepresentation, fabrication and assertion.

Unity said: “Well, guess what – it is your faith. The hatemongers believe in your god and they’re getting their dumb ass ideas from your ‘holy’ book, so I figure that maybe this is your responsibility and you should be trying to do something about it.”

Firstly, I’m an atheist, and find creationism about as baffling as ideologies come.

However, this argument has a certain familiar ring to it, and that’s because it’s the precise same argument typically used to nail responsibility for terrorism onto your average British Muslim pensioner and so justify taking away their rights.

“Hey British Muslims, Al Muhajiroun believe in your God, and they’re getting their dumb ass ideas from your ‘holy’ book, so I figure maybe this is your responsibility…”

Still sound like a reasonable argument? You are now suddenly all for hounding your average British Muslim because they ‘allow’ Al Muhajiroun to spout hate?

The fact is that the average Christian is no more responsible for the acts of crazed fundamentalist letter writers than I (as a British left winger) am responsible for what is written on Harry’s Place.

The Deobandi was set up to repel the influence of the British in India . It has an anti Western and specifically anti British component . Its hardly a good thing that particular branch turn out the vast majority of our home grown clerics , although you may be right , better than the nuts they ship in perhaps .
I did not say that all Muslims are in favour of Sharia Law did I …. I said 40% of Muslims (according to a Populus survey ) between 16 and 24 would prefer to live under Sharia law .I quoted that to make the specific point that the aggressive attitudes to the host nation does not get better as the Muslims get younger it gets worse .As I said older Muslims tend to be considerably less extreme . There is far more evidence this effect and the fact that things are complicated should not let you complicate black into white
I `m not sure why you are so surprised . It is obvious that the majority of the 2,000,000 or so do not express views quite as repugnant as the minority . For example if 1 in 10 actually supported the 7 ,7 attacks on our own country (200,000 ?) then 9 out of ten did not. Personally I am more impressed with the fact that one in ten applauded the murder of their own countrymen . Perhaps you look at it the other way ?
I entirely agree there are probably a range of views as there were in N Ireland . We can only guess what is going on and if the terrorists own family live in ignorance( they say) what can we really know .
I believe the Centre For ‘Social Cohesion’ has rather more extreme views about the Muslim threat than I do .There is special problem on Campuses you may not be aware of it dates form the times they cleared out the Mosques ( which are now quite closely policed ). The extremists moved their operations to Campuses . Four of the Bombers in the foiled attack on huge numbers of Americans were at Islington College . I expect they were looking for some bad news .
You have demonstrated you are rather cross , but I am not sure what else . . Perhaps you have made too much of an emotional commitment ?

Receiving hate mail wishing that you burn in hell isn’t pleasant, but then look at the experiences of Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders, Ibn Warraq, any openly ex-Muslim in Britain. No comparison.
It’s quite straightforward. To the man in the street Islam is so obviously inimical to western societies and western values, that all the PR done on its behalf, of which there has been and is, oodles, cannot hide this obvious fact. So its supporters have had to take a new tack – if you can’t improve the image of Islam in comparison with Christianity, then attempt to bring down Christianity to the level of Islam. This is an article of a recent genre, now much employed by the left – let’s call the genre “We’ve got to try to make Christianity look just as nasty as Islam”. Note once again, by the way, how the BBC has been silent over Lord Ahmed’s threat to mobilise 10,000 Muslims if Geert Wilders’ fitna was shown to a private audience at the House of Lords.

Unity your tone in this piece and that of Brownowski’s posted on the Holocausts Memeorial Dayare somewhat different. Which do you think is the more persusive?

“This is an article of a recent genre”

It’s hardly a recent phenomenon. Christians have been sending people hate mail for years.

Neil – note difference between genre and phenomenon. And I would guess that sending hate mail ist a proclivity not unique to Christians. Now if you’ll excuse me, I haven’t pruned my gooseberry bushes, and it’s almost February.

“what Jesus is alleged to have said/done (by people who never met him, up to 300+ years after the fact”

Archaelologists have found fragments of the gospels which date to the early 2nd century – by comparison the earliest texts we have for Roman documents of the time are several hundred years after the events they describe. Most scholars would argue that all 4 gospels were written down and circulating by 90AD. Up to that point the teaching of Jesus would have been memorised and passed on verbally, as most Jewish teaching was, and it was written down as the apostles started dying out.

Violence and fringe behaviour will always make better headlines than compassion, service and common sense. I really can’t understand the mindset of fellow Christians who’d want to send hate mail to anyone, but it’s also deeply frustrating that it’s these people, and the likes of Christian Voice, who we all get to hear about, rather than people who are being radically good.

David,Your post is from the heart of a TRUE Christian than those “professed christians” who sent hate mail to David Attenborough yet they are the ones that secularists like those on here love to jump on. Attenborough refuses to debate his views with Creationists because like Dawkins they feel it would just give them a platform they dont deserve (just a cop out methinks). I remember once Fred Hoyle was the darling of those scientific thinkers until the Big Bang theory put to sleep his steady state universe.Who knows maybe one day even the two D’s David & Dawkins might just see the light!

Attenborough gets the sort of mail from Christians that he should expect. It shows them in their true light. Not all Christians are headbangers, but belief in creation is about as credible as believing the moon is made of green cheeses or that the second coming is actually going to happen!

44. frank keefe

well that includes a lot of more intelligent people than you I would hazard a guess.

As Science Digest reported:

“Scientists who utterly reject Evolution may be one of our fastest-growing controversial minorities… Many of the scientists supporting this position hold impressive credentials in science.”

Dr Arthur E WilderSmith, an honored scientist with an amazing three earned doctorates. He held many distinguished positions. 4 A former Evolutionist, Dr. Wilder-Smith debated various leading scientists on the subject throughout the world. In his opinion, the Evolution model did not fit as well with the established facts of science as did the Creation model of intelligent design.

“The Evolutionary model says that it is not necessary to assume the existence of anything, besides matter and energy, to produce life. That proposition is unscientific. We know perfectly well that if you leave matter to itself, it does not organize itself – in spite of all the efforts in recent years to prove that it does.” 5

Secular researcher Richard Milton summarized the current world situation: “Darwinism has never had much appeal for science outside of the English-speaking world, and has never appealed much to the American public (although popular with the U.S. scientific establishment in the past). However, its ascendancy in science, in both Britain and America, has been waning for several decades as its grip has weakened in successive areas: geology; paleontology; embryology; comparative anatomy. Now even geneticists are beginning to have doubts. It is only in mainstream molecular biology and zoology that Darwinism retains serious enthusiastic supporters. As growing numbers of scientists begin to drift away from neo-Darwinist ideas, the revision of Darwinism at the public level is long overdue, and is a process that I believe has already started.” 6 (copy/paste)


Wilder-Smith was a clown who not only actively promoted the Paluxy River hoax but whose work was littered with basic errors and falsehoods and Milton’s a conspiraloon who does little else but peddle pseudoscience.

Try again…

frank @ 45

Attenborough refuses to debate his views with Creationists because like Dawkins they feel it would just give them a platform they dont deserve (just a cop out methinks).

How do you imagine that sort of debate would look? The creationist has got little if anything in his arsenal that supports creationism or refutes evolution. I suspect Attenborough has better things to do with his time.

47. frank keefe

A clown!! ..yeah! and of course being a member of an outdated and pathetic political party means you somehow have reached much greater heights than that learned gentleman.I guess if he still had his atheistic beliefs he would still be a child of your “god” Dawkins but like all other x atheists they are in your “unbiased” view “clowns”.Well I guess you should include in that list of “clowns”the afore mentioned:

Dr Raymond V. Damadian – Inventor of the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
Dr. John R. Baumgardner (Geophysicist)
Dr Ian Macreadie (Molecular Biologist and Microbiologist)
Dr. Robert Gentry (nuclear physicist)
Emeritus Professor Tyndale John Rendle-Short – From (theistic) evolution to creation
Dr. D. Russell Humphreys
plus many more “clowns” but just to many to list here!

48. frank keefe

The creationist has got little if anything in his arsenal that supports creationism or refutes evolution.

Its obvious from this comment that you dont live in the real world.Debates are going on all the time with creationists and evolutionists.just to help you type in Google “creation v evolution debates and it will keep you going for months if not years

Frank, I’m sure such debates do go on all the time (indeed I used to observe them on talk.origins but they got rather samey) but as there is no evidence for creationism and (literally) tons of evidence for evolution, I suggest they are in the end rather one-sided.

Creationism is about faith, not science. The existence of God (or indeed otherwise) is about faith, not science. Why do so many of the faithful have a need to prop up their beliefs with (faux) science?

Evolution is a fact, what’s the problem?

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