Soft Targets

Christina Odone reviewed Bill Maher’s film Religulous on Radio 4’s Front Row (start: 9m).

“He gets some very good replies from some terribly soft targets.” She’s thinking particularly of creationist-sympathising US Senator Mark Pryor (D-AK).

She goes on, “… but the most revealing moment is when Maher faces down a priest at the Vatican and says, ‘what about hell, what about sin, what about, you know, the evils of temptation?’, and the priest says: ‘yeah, what about them?’ and kinda shrugs off this simplistic attitude that Mayer has.”

And that’s the problem with the film: Maher is attacking “the wrong target.” What on earth attracts Maher to the simplistic belief of Mark Pryor, a mere everyday US Senator over the sophisticated religion of everyone’s favourite heavyweight Latinist Father Reginald Foster? What has Pryor got to offer the world? What influence does he have over anything? Who cares if some boring politician in the upper chamber of the legislature of some great world superpower might be sympathetic towards ridiculous religious views? What matters is that Vatican astronomer Father GeorgeCoyne softly dismisses those ridiculous religious views as being no longer relevant to the modern church. I mean, do try to keep up, atheists.

And I mean, so what if some soft target like The Pope makes some sort of batshit insane remark about condoms that defies basic anatomy and psychology, spits in the face of everyone who gives a crap about basic standards of truth-telling, and adds further insult the injury of millions of devastated lives? Why attack a soft target like him? What harm could his remarks possibly do?

This is a repost for archival of an item first published on the old blog a year ago.

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