Lots of other bloggers have already covered this (eg. see Pastor Mark’s comments here), but now it is my turn. Just briefly, the Atheists Convention here in Melbourne last week failed entirely to win friends and influence people.
I must say that Barney tries to be charitable, but still is unconvinced. Bolt wasn’t even trying. Both reviews increase my wonder at C. Hitchen’s claim that “religion poisons everything”. The best comparison is, as I have said before, with the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Now, I have my criticisms of the latter event also, but it never descended into the kind of ridicule and self-congratulation that the Atheists Convention did. Rather it was truly a positive event which welcomed one and all and which did a heck of a lot of really positive things about how the world could be made a better and more wholesome place to live in. Even the likes of Hans Kung and Joan Chittester didn’t sour the event in the way that the Dawkins crowd did last week. Once again, proof in the wisdom of our Victorian and Australian governments in refusing to give a cent in support of this latest gathering. The fact is that the Parliament injected a great deal of really uplifting and inspiring energy into the cultural and religious life of this state, whereas the Atheists Convention was entirely, utterly negative.