Oz tax payers support Dawkins & Hitchins attendance at Athiest Convention
The State of Victoria is using Australian tax payers hard earned money to fund the Global Atheist Convention, ”A Celebration of Reason”, which willl host the leading proponents of New Athiesm Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris. The organisers of the convention are billing the four speakers as the ‘four horsemen of the anti-apoclaypse.’
‘The Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau has confirmed that state government funding will be provided to the convention, which they expect to attract 2500 people…the convention would deliver an economic boost to the state of $7.6 million.
According to The Age newspaper:
‘One of the four, American author and academic Daniel Dennett, told The Sunday Age that the horsemen theme was ”amusing” and confirmed that, apart from one videotaped meeting in Christopher Hitchens’s apartment about five years ago, they had ”never shared a podium before”.
Mr Dennett said that their collective message was getting through because ”no-religion” is the fastest growing category worldwide.
”What is particularly important is that the number of public, unapologetic, atheists is growing. The visibility of today’s atheists is a new feature, and we urge everybody who agrees to ‘come out’,” he said.
Atheist foundation president David Nicholls said the ”four horsemen” would ”attract people from everywhere on the planet” to the April 2012 convention. ”It will be the biggest global event for atheism ever, and it probably won’t be repeated,” he said.
Protect the Pope comment: In the run up to Pope Benedict’s state visit one of the main complaints of the New Athiests was that tax payers money was being used to part fund the visit. Even when local councils pointed out the expected economic benefits to the local economy of the pope’s visit, the New Atheists and their allies ignored them and endlessly droned on about tax payers money. They also ignored the fact that Catholics are tax payers,and that the Church was a major contributor to the cost to the State visit, initiated by the Government’s invitation.
What complete hypocrisy, therefore,for the likes of Dawkins and Hitchins to be funded by the tax payers of the State of Victoria. After all they are representatives of a faith group, scientism, a faith not shared by the majority of Australians. Shouldn’t their visit be completely funded by their follower,particulalrly during this time of financial hardship?
To be honest, Idon’t have a problem with the New Atheists receiving tax payers support for their convention, because even though I disagree with their world view and their extreme anti-Catholic bigotry, I uphold their right to meet, enjoy each others company and have a free exchange of ideas.
I would like to challenge them to do one thing at their global convention – pretend that religion doesn’t exist for four days and lets see if New Atheism can stand on its own two feet as a world view and way of life. Lets see if they can talk about the meaning of life and morality without the crutch of anti-religious polemic and playing to the bigotry of their extemist contingent.
I’d like to think that Dawkins and co are capable of this but I can’t see them managing it, because they’ve made too much money playing to the anti-religion mob and they’ve turned atheism into a circus act.