NPR is a very favorable place for atheists. Richard Dawkins, the harsh leftist author of “The God Delusion,” was smothered in air-kisses on the Diane Rehm Show on Tuesday (distributed across the country from WAMU-FM in DC). Fill-in host Katty Kay of the BBC began: “This year Richard Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect Magazine's poll of 10,000 readers in more than 100 countries.”
As he touts the first half of his memoirs in a book called “An Appetite for Wonder,” Kay oozed: “I wanted to start by asking you if it's a prerequisite for the world's top thinker to have an appetite for wonder?” This followed:
DAWKINS: What an embarrassing title. I don't know where that came from, the world's top thinker. It clearly can't be true.
KAY: I'm not going to stop using it all hour, though.
The oozy feeling continued when they discussed how Dawkins recalled his childhood through letters written by his mother: “She's a very good writer, a very vivid writer. “ Kay replied: “And you cite them a lot in the book. They're lovely.”
Dawkins foes might find this utterance the most interesting, when he lets a little social Darwinism slip in, and contempt for high-breeding religious folk: “For Darwinian cross selection to work, the individuals that do best in the world are supposed to be the ones that we produce the most. But if you look at the world, the ones that reproduce are not the ones who are most successful in navigating through this technologically complicated world.”
It was also notable when Diane Rehm’s grandson wrote in with a liberal question about there’s too much religion in American politics:
KAY: Richard, as a Brit who's visiting America I want to ask you this, it comes--it's an email, actually, that's come to us from Alex Rehm, who is Diane's grandson. And Alex writes, "I’m curious how Richard Dawkins sees the current state of religion in America. Have we reached a tipping point where religion will take a backseat to reason in the political arena? Even as polls show an increasing number of people identifying themselves as not religious, somewhat anecdotally, I feel as if it plays a greater role than ever in politics."
DAWKINS: Yes. It's paradoxical, isn't it? I mean America is by far the most religious country in the -- what should we call it -- the Western world, the technologically advanced world. And it is a surprising thing. The polls are moving in the right direction. The number of people who call themselves the nones -- that's N-O-N-E-S, not N-U-N-S -- the number of people who call themselves the nones are increasing. And they are underestimated. I think it's probably true to say that many politicians think that they need to suck up to religious lobbies because religious lobbies are very vocal.
But if the politicians would actually look at these statistics on the number of people who have no religion, they might recognize that actually there's a pretty big constituency of non-believers. And if we're talking about sucking up to constituencies, maybe the non-believers deserve to have a little bit of attention, which they've so far not been getting.
Dawkins never has to worry about drawing attention from adoring hosts on NPR stations. He’s underplaying the degree to which the Democrats have noticed their “nones,” like dropping God out of the 2012 platform, and then booed when it was shoved back in.
Earlier: In his film "Expelled," Ben Stein read Dawkins back to himself from "The God Delusion":
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."